NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 1/20/22: Are the Knicks a Lock to Win and Cover?

Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.

But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit, and you can track line movement within games and compare odds over at the oddsFire section of the site.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks

Neither of these teams are coming in hot. They're each 0-2 over their past two games, and the New Orleans Pelicans are 4-6 in their past 10 while the New York Knicks are 5-5 in theirs.

That said, this game has way more betting opportunities than either of the other two.

Someone has to pick up a win here, and it's much more likely than not (72.7%, per our model) that it's the Knicks. That makes their moneyline (-176) a three-star suggestion (i.e. a three-unit recommendation).

The Knicks (-4.0) also get a one-star lean to cover.

Adjusting for non-garbage situations and key health situations, the Pelicans have a net rating of -2.5, and the Knicks are at +3.8.

That means, per my model, the Knicks should be favored by 5.0 -- so just barely leaning on them to cover but are 69.4% likely to win.

The Knicks' moneyline wins out.

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks

Across the over/under (216.0), spread (Phoenix Suns by 3.0), and moneyline (Suns -152 and Dallas Mavericks +128), numberFire's model offers no pick recommendations.

We could just move on, but what does my model say?

The Suns -- in games with Chris Paul and Devin Booker but without Deandre Ayton -- have a non-garbage net rating of +12.6; the Mavericks with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have a medium-to-very-high-leverage net rating of +4.4.

That sounds like a big gap (and it is), yet when accounting for pace and home-court advantage, my model views the spread as 2.0 in favor of the Suns.

Even the over/under is rating out at 216.5 in my model.

The best lean is on Dallas to cover, but sometimes, it's best to look elsewhere.

Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors

The story for Suns/Mavericks isn't too different than it is for Indiana Pacers/Golden State Warriors.

The only recommendation from numberFire's model here is a one-star play on the over (217.0).

The spread (Warriors -12.0) and moneylines (Warriors -750 and Pacers +530) don't even offer value with such a lopsided expectation (87.9% win chance for the Warriors).

So about that over: the Pacers have gone over their own implied total by 3.8 points over their past 10 games, but the Warriors have done so in just 2 of 10 (by an average of -6.3 points).

Since 2016, games with a double-digit spread hit the over 53.2% of the time by an average of 1.7 points.