NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 4/13/22: Picks for Day 2 of the Play-In Tournament
The NBA playoffs are here! The high-stakes drama in a gauntlet of best-of-seven series returns for another year, and it starts with the play-in tournament to decide the final two spots in each conference.
Betting on the NBA can be tricky, 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. 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 are from NBA odds, and all ratings are out of five stars.
Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
Under 236.5 - 0 Stars
The most fun environment for points of these four play-in games should be Charlotte's trip to Atlanta.
LaMelo Ball has led the Hornets to a showtime-style fun season that's come with tremendous pace (fifth in the NBA) and a terrible defensive rating (eighth-worst in the NBA). They'd be the worst defense remaining in the playoffs if the Hawks' 113.7 defensive rating wasn't the fourth-worst mark in the league.
That being said, this total is very aggressive for a winner-take-all contest. To combat their poor defense, Atlanta is just 19th in overall pace, and though regular-season pace is at an all-time high, teams got much slower in the postseason last year.
These two teams only surpassed this total in one of their four meetings this year, and they averaged only 225.8 combined points across the season series.
numberFire's model has a three-star conviction in the over for those out there that ride the goldmine through and through. However, the model also is what helped me overrule its own conviction. Of the last 20 games that most similarly represented this one inside the model, 15 of them went under their projected points total.
Like the model, I have no conviction in the spread and don't see any value on the Hawks' moneyline despite picking them straight at home.
San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans
Spurs +5 - 2 Stars
Under 228.0 - 0 Stars
Not many expected the San Antonio Spurs to even be in this spot as little as six weeks ago, but here they are as the Lakers totally collapsed.
This game has the greatest injury impact of the four play-in contests. It revolves around New Orleans forward Brandon Ingram. Ingram has been out since April 5th nursing a hamstring issue. He'll play, but it's a huge blow to the Pelicans if he's less than 100%.
The Spurs got their star back on Sunday. Dejounte Murray played 32 minutes on Sunday and scored 17 points. It wasn't his sharpest effort, but it was enough to assume he'll be close to full speed for this one.
San Antonio had a higher net rating (+0.2) than New Orleans (-2.9) to end the season in April, and they've actually had one most of the season despite the worse record. Therefore, it's easy to back them with five points and assume this one stays close.
numberFire's model sits out the total, but it did lead me to a trend I can't ignore. In the 20 most similar games to this in the model's database, the "under" was 18-1-1. With Ingram's scoring potentially reduced and playoff intensity inbound, it's easy to expect fewer points in this one.