NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 4/20/22: Fading the Public With 2 Home Squads

The NBA playoffs are here! The high-stakes drama in a gauntlet of best-of-seven series returns for another year, and the first round is in-progress.

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.

Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics

Celtics ML (-162) - 4 Stars
Celtics -3.5 (-110) - 3 Stars

Our model loves the Celtics, and 82% of the bets at FanDuel Sportsbook are on Brooklyn to even this series at one.

Those are two pretty darn good reasons to bet the C's.

This series is getting buzz as an all-timer, but the reality is the Celtics are the better team. Their +7.4 net rating this season was second in the NBA to Phoenix, and Brooklyn waffled around at +0.9 (15th in the NBA).

The Nets have shot-makers, but their 53.8% field-goal rate against the league's best defense just isn't sustainable. Even during Brookyn's red-hot month of April, they shot just 48.1% from the field.

While many expect Kevin Durant to play better, Kyrie Irving likely won't shoot 60% again from three-point land, either.

It's easy to stand with the model and against the public here.

Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Raptors ML (+114) - 3 Stars
Under 217.0 (-110) - 3 Stars

The deck is certainly stacked against the Toronto Raptors in this one.

Scottie Barnes is doubtful with an ankle injury, and Gary Trent Jr. played through an illness on Monday and just logged 10 minutes. As a result, the public has another heavy side here; 86% of bets are on the 76ers to win on the road.

Like the model, I want to fade the public again here with the Raptors. Toronto's +4.2 net rating at home was the 10th-best mark in the NBA, and they had just a +0.2 net rating away from Scotiabank Arena.

Down two key pieces, it's easy to see the lopsided results in Philly.

The Raptors should pour their guts into trying to keep this series alive with a win and get Barnes and Trent Jr. back. Philadelphia just doesn't have that same urgency.

The under is also getting a three-star thumbs-up in this spot, and it's easy to see why. This series has come to a crawl with an 89.5 pace across two games -- a mark that would have been dead last in the league by a mile.

Also, 12 of the 20 most similar games to this one in numberFire's database fell short of their projected total.

Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks

Over 225.5 - 3 Stars

The 10-point spread between the Bulls and Bucks here is unnerving.

We've seen multiple games this postseason tail out of control despite staying close throughout, so like numberFire's model, I'm totally good sitting out the spreads and moneylines in this space.

However, we can still root for the most fun bet in basketball -- the over.

This matchup was totaled at 230.0 points entering Game 1, but an ugly game where both teams shot below 41.0% has tanked this same matchup to just 225.5 on Wednesday.

These aren't two defensive juggernauts, though. Chicago allowed the fourth-best shot quality this season, and the defending champs allowed the 13th-best shot quality. Not many fell on Sunday, though.

Combine that with an average pace of 101.3 from the regular season, and a close contest has a great chance to eclipse this total. Considering all three games between these teams have gone "under" this season, though, I'll be scaling this back from numberFire's three-unit suggestion to just one.