NBA Betting Guide for Friday 10/21/22: A Pair of Unders That Our Algorithm Loves

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. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's NBA odds?

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Miami Heat +3.0 (-114) - 3 stars
Miami Heat Moneyline (+122) - 3 stars

The Boston Celtics posted a convincing 126-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers to kick off their 2022-23 season, and the Heat lost at home 116-108 to the Chicago Bulls.

They'll need to knock off numberFire's top-ranked team entering the season to avoid going 0-2, but we don't necessarily need them to win in order to cash a ticket if we're comfortable just taking the points.

The Heat are 3.0-point home underdogs, which is a pretty interesting early-season trend. Since 2017, home sides that are underdogs of 2.5 to 3.5 points before the end of November are 57-2-1 against the spread and 45.5% outright.

numberFire's model has the Heat's win odds at 57.4%, explaining why it's easy to recommend taking the points and the moneyline.

In their opener, the Heat won two of the four factors, most notably the effective field goal percentage (eFG%) battle (53.8% to 51.1%) but had a bad turnover rate of 17.1% and generated a turnover on just 11.7% of the Bulls' possessions.

They also were outrebounded on the offensive glass (24.0% to 19.0%). Last year, the Heat were top-six in non-garbage-time defensive rebounding rate, so they should be able to clean that up for this matchup.

Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks

Under 218.5 (-110) - 4 stars
New York Knicks
Moneyline (-295) - 2 stars
New York Knicks -7.0 (-110) - 1 star

The big play here is the under at 218.5 points, which our model likes as a four-star play and as 70.2% likely to occur.

It's actually predicting a total of just 207.9 points. My model -- accounting for injuries and roster turnover -- projects a total of only 210.1, as well.

There's also value on the Knicks' side both in terms of the spread and moneyline.

They pushed the Memphis Grizzlies to overtime in their opening contest. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic 113-109 while maintaining just a 50.0% eFG% against what was an average defense a year ago.

The long-term sample on the Pistons is pretty unimpressive, including a -8.4 net rating in my model.

Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

Under 229.0 (-110) - 5 stars
Golden State Warriors
Moneyline (-198) - 2 stars
Golden State Warriors -4.5 (-112) - 1 star

I know that unders aren't fun, especially when two offenses with elite offensive playmakers are on the court, but the data is strongly pointing to the under here in this nightcap.

The projected final score from numberFire's model is only 214.1. My model has the anticipated total at 225.1.

The Denver Nuggets love to slow it down, and we usually see the Warriors' over/unders inflated: last year, they had just a 45.2% over rate, fourth-lowest in the NBA.

As for the outright win odds and the spread, they look good, though. Since last season, the Warriors are 19-7 in games with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green playing and have a net rating of +5.5.

The Nuggets had Jamal Murray back to start the season but were upset by the Utah Jazz 123-103 after allowing a 60.2% eFG% and getting swept in the four factors. The Nuggets shot just 22.7% from three (5 for 22) while the Jazz lit it up from beyond the arc (16 of 38; 42.1%).

You do not want to let the Warriors get off that many shot attempts from deep, and we should measure perimeter defense by shot volume allowed -- not three-point percentage allowed. The 38 attempts is what is truly worrisome. That would have ranked fourth-highest a year ago.