NBA Betting Guide for Tuesday 12/20/22: Working Around Questionable Tags

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? (All offensive rating, defensive rating, and net rating splits come from and account for medium-, high-, and very high-leverage situations unless otherwise noted.)

A Note About Injuries

There are a lot of injuries that can impact this five-game slate, depending on how they break, so navigating through them is the main angle tonight.

We can deal with players ruled out. That's easy to account for. What's harder are the questionable tags.

To start the day, we have questionable statuses (or assumed questionable tags due to back-to-backs or other reasons) on the following (key) players by game:

Utah Jazz at Detroit Pistons: Mike Conley and Kelly Olynyk
Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks: None
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin
Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker
Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Utah Jazz at Detroit Pistons

Over 229.5 (-110)

When swapping key stats whether Conley and Olynyk play or not changes how my model views the spread (which is Jazz -2.5). The fact that the total is dropping suggests, to me, that Utah won't be at full strength.

What doesn't change so much when tweaking the inputs is the over. My model projects this game scoring at least 236.0 either way, so it's the best access to the game.

Detroit, without Cade Cunningham, has a horrid defensive rating of 120.2 (not that it's good with him -- that's just the sample I'm using), but both sides, then, have plus offenses and minus defenses.

Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks

New York Knicks -4.5 (-110)

Though there aren't any big question marks in this game, that doesn't mean that there aren't injuries.

The Warriors are without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. They list Klay Thompson as probable. In games with Thompson and Draymond Green active but without Curry and Wiggins on the floor, the Warriors hold a net rating of +2.6.

The Knicks, with Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson active, are a +4.2. They possess home-court advantage against one of the worst road squads in the NBA.

Golden State has a 23.5% cover rate over 17 road games (and are 3-14 straight up) with an opponent-adjusted point differential of -8.0.

Notably, they've allowed opponents to go over their implied team total in 75.0% of those matchups (12-6-1).

Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns

Under 228.5 (-110)

We're seeing the total climb in this game (from 226.0 to 228.5), and the Suns are now favored by 8.0 compared to 7.0. That suggests that Booker will play.

Whether he plays or not, the easiest recommendation is actually the under.

The Suns' offensive rating jumps up 13.2 points per 100 possessions with Booker than it is without him; however, the offensive rating also scales back with Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton active, too. They're on a back-to-back, which leads to lessened efficiency, as well.

numberFire's model thinks this game stays under with a 69.6% probability.

Phoenix has surpassed its own implied total in just 35.3% of its home games this year (6-11)