NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Monday 1/31/22: Taking the Points With 3 Underdogs

Data is pointing us toward some underdogs to cover. Who are they -- and why?

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.)

Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks

The theme for the night is going to be underdogs. Not because I'm trying to have a theme but because that's where some of the best value is emerging.

We have better games than this on that front, but the data does point to the Toronto Raptors (+2.0) to cover.

numberFire's model gives Toronto a 53.4% chance to cover, leading to a lean on the 'dog here.

My model sees the spread as 0.6 points in favor of Atlanta, and when we adjust for some key player health, we see that these teams are basically identical.

The Raptors are a +2.0 on the road when adjusting for spread expectations; the Atlanta Hawks are a -1.8 at home.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets

Although the Golden State Warriors have a stellar 37-13 record this season, they are just 13-9 in road games. Their point differential falls from +13.1 at home (where they are 24-4) to +1.9.

Adjusting for spread, the Warriors are a +4.3; on the road, they are at a +1.0.

This isn't going toward assuming the Houston Rockets will win (numberFire's model puts their odds at just 19.6% to win, which actually does put slight value on their moneyline of +440) but is mostly about the spread.

Houston is an 11.0-point underdog. Since 2016, home teams with a spread of +11.0 or larger have covered at a 53.7% rate and by an average of 2.1 points.

Those teams' win rate (18.7%) is similar to how numberFire's model views it (again, 19.6%).

My model actually sees the spread as 9.0, as well, so taking the points with the Rockets makes sense here.

Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

We're getting a shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers team on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have their own injury situation to deal with.

Portland is without Damian Lillard, Larry Nance Jr., and Nassir Little, and the Thunder are without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Without that Portland trio on the floor but in games with C.J. McCollum, the Blazers -- in non-garbage time -- have a net rating of...-14.1. Yikes.

The Thunder without SGA but in games with Josh Giddey have a non-garbage net rating of...-13.5. Yikes again.

However, accounting for such a narrow gap and home-court advantage, my model sees the Thunder as 0.5-point home favorites, so I like the spread (Thunder +4.0) and moneyline (Thunder +146).

numberFire's model rates each of those as three-star plays as well.