NBA Betting Guide for Friday 1/21/22: Taking the Points With 3 Underdogs

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 NBA odds.)

Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers

The 22-24 Los Angeles Clippers are banged up and are without Paul George, which helps explain why they're 8.0-point underdogs to the 26-18 Philadelphia 76ers.

But that spread is probably a bit too large.

The Clippers, without George, have a medium-to-very-high-leverage net rating of -5.4. Adjusting for the Sixers' injuries, their net rating is +2.0.

Accounting for that information, the Clippers are rating out as 5.6-point underdogs in my model.

numberFire's algorithm also leans toward the Clippers (+8.0), rating that bet as a one-star play. The algo views the Clippers as 55.8% likely to cover, leading to an expected return of 6.6%, explaining why it's just a one-unit play.

Overall, though, the Clippers haven't been too bad without George, and signs point to them covering on Friday.

Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks

This game is projected to be tight between the 29-16 Miami Heat and the 19-25 Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks are 2.0-point favorites and -120 on the moneyline. The Heat moneyline is +102.

The Heat are without Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro, and the Hawks list Bogdan Bogdanovic as out and Clint Capela as questionable.

With some other controlled adjustments, Miami's medium-to-very-high-leverage net rating in this split is +6.1, and the Hawks are a -1.0. My model, then, likes the spread more as Miami -1.5 rather than +2.0, and they're rating out as 58.39 likely to cover.

numberFire's model also is leaning on Miami to cover and rates such a bet as a two-star suggestion (i.e. a two-unit recommendation). The numberFire algorithm likes Miami to cover with a 57.3% probability.

It also leans toward the Miami moneyline (with an expected return of 4.5%).

Brooklyn Nets at San Antonio Spurs

There's another tight spread: the San Antonio Spurs are +1.0 at home. The Brooklyn Nets' moneyline is -116, and the Spurs' is -102.

Once more, though, the data points to the underdog.

In four games with James Harden and Kyrie Irving but with Kevin Durant off the floor, the Nets' relevant net rating is -4.5 over 109 minutes.

That's despite a 55.7% effective field goal percentage on a shot quality rating of 50.0% (basically, the estimated effective field goal percentage).

The Spurs' key net rating is a -2.13. Combined (i.e. with home-court adjustments), my model likes the Spurs -3.0.