NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 3/31/22: Narrowing Down Our Options

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. You can also track spread bet percentages at NBA odds.

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

Philadelphia 76ers at Detroit Pistons

Under (223.5) - 3 stars

The main play in this matchup is on the under (223.5), which is receiving a three-star (i.e. three-unit) recommendation from our algorithm here.

numberFire's model likes this game to stay under 224 points with a 62.5% probability.

In two matchups so far this season, the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons totaled 207 and 212 points. The over/under in those matchups were 207.5 and 210.5, and now it's ramped all the way up to 223.5.

I know the Sixers have had some lineup changes, yet while the Sixers have a 62.5% over rate since the break, they have actually outperformed their own implied team total at only a 47.1% rate. They have fallen short of their implied total by an average of 1.6 points.

The Pistons have seen opponents go over their implied total just 22.2% of the time since the All-Star game; opponents average 5.4 points below their implied total against Detroit in those 18 matchups.

Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets

Over 240.5 - 1 star
Milwaukee Bucks (+1.5) - 1 star
Milwaukee Bucks Moneyline (+102) - 1 star

They don't get much tighter than this matchup.

The spread is just 1.5 points, and the Brooklyn Nets are -120 to win outright.

We're seeing no clear trend on the betting lines, either. Via NBA odds, the public spread bet percentage is 51% for Milwaukee, and that comes with 52% of the money on the Bucks.

There's the slightest lean on Milwaukee, then, from the public.

That's where our model is, as well. It gives the Bucks a 51.0% win probability, making their spread and moneyline one-star leans each.

When the total was 239.5 points, our model liked it as a two-star play, but it has since kicked up to 240.5, pushing it back into lean territory. (Hey, we've got just five games; not all of them will have green-light specials, and it's important to remember that with the betting selection process. Don't force what's not there.)

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz

Over (226.0) - 2 stars
Los Angeles Lakers (+13.0) - 1 star

Look, the Los Angeles Lakers are clinging to playoff hopes (5.1%, per our model) but now face a Utah Jazz team while listing LeBron James as out and Anthony Davis as doubtful.

That explains the 13-point spread here.

However, that's a lot of points. Since 2016, home teams favored by 13 points have just a 42.5% cover rate and fail to cover by an average of 1.9 points.

This is despite a win rate of 90.5% (our model likes Utah's win odds at 85.6%, so it's on par here). That should help us to back LA to cover.

But if you aren't into the idea that the Lakers keep this one from being a total laugher, then we can still look at the over.

numberFire's model likes the over to hit with a 61.6% probability, leading to an expected return of 17.7%.

Without James and Davis on the floor since the trade deadline, the Lakers have a respectable 112.4 offensive rating and 52.0% effective field goal percentage. But they manage to allow 122.9 points per 100 possessions to opponents. Those are over-friendly numbers.