NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 4/12/23: Targeting the Totals and a Favorite

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 can we 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. All injury news and notes come from the official NBA injury report unless otherwise noted.)

Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors

Over 213.5 (-110)

I think the best single angle of the night for the second wave of play-in games is the over in this game between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors.

If we look at trends since some in-season transactions, both teams in this game boast better-than-average offensive ratings with the Bulls at 116.7 and the Raptors at 117.5.

Along with that, we're looking at roughly average defenses and paces that are on the low end.

Excluding overtime games since the All-Star break, the Bulls are averaging a combined 219.1 points per game with the Raptors right at 220.0. The total of 213.5 is lower than usual even for these teams: Bulls games have had an average total of 227.8, and Raptors games have been at 223.8.

I will note that the Bulls are playing pretty well relative to expectations since the break. Their spread-adjusted point differential is +4.9, and their adjusted net rating (+5.3) is better than Toronto's (+2.9). So I see a lean on the Bulls +5.5.

Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans Moneyline (-215)
Under 227.0 (-110)

The Pelicans were 3-1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the regular season, though they did go to overtime back in December and lost the most recent game in March.

Their relevant net rating for this game based on their current rotation is +0.7; the Thunder's is -0.3. And this doesn't yet account for home-court advantage, which belongs to the Pelicans.

In 11 home games since the All-Star break, the Pelicans are 7-4 but hold a +3.3 adjusted net rating and have covered in 60.0% of those games. OKC, on the road, is just 5-8 since the break with a weak -4.4 adjusted net rating and a 36.4% cover rate of their own.

I don't love the spread but do see value in the Pelicans winning outright at -215.

The under is firmly in play, too. My model projects 225.1 total points in this matchup. Further, across their four games this season, these teams have averaged a total of 217.0 points, and that includes a 253-point overtime game in there. The three non-overtime games averaged only 205.0 points.