NBA Betting Guide: Friday 9/11/20

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, game line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would usually bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for tonight.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Nuggets +8.0: 3-Star Rating out of 5

The Denver Nuggets are up against a wall as they come into tonight's game against the Los Angeles Clippers down 3-1. They'll have to win to extend their season, and our models don't see that happening. The models do, however, see the Nuggets keeping the game close enough to cover the 8.0-point spread.

Going into Wednesday night's Game 4, the Nuggets had put up 108.4 points per game in the playoffs. They mustered only 85 points on Wednesday, hitting just 39.7% of their shots. The team has generally bounced back well this season; they've gone 8-4 against the spread (ATS) this season following games in which they've put up fewer than 100 points. They've gone 5-3 ATS after shooting below 40% in their previous game.

Denver has gone 4-2 ATS as underdogs following a more than 10-point loss. LA, on the other hand, has gone just 10-15 ATS as favorites after winning by more than 10.

"Home" playoff favorites are 15-17-1 ATS this season. Playoff teams who have won three games and have a series lead have gone 4-7-1 ATS when trying to close out a series.

numberFire projects the Clippers to win by 3.0 points tonight, and we give the Nuggets a strong 65.2% chance of covering the 8.0-point spread. With an expected return of $124.50 for every $100 wagered, we mark a bet on the Nuggets to cover as a three-star play.

Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics

Raptors +2.5: 1-Star Rating out of 5

The Boston Celtics held a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in their quest to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately for Brad Stevens and crew, the team has dropped three of their past four, leading to a Game 7 tonight for the right to take on the Miami Heat.

Bettors are strongly favoring the Celtics this evening, with 78% of bets and 86% of the money being wagered on them to cover as 2.5-point favorites, according to our oddsFire tool. numberFire's models, however, are keen on the Raptors to make this game go right down to the wire and cover.

This is just the third time the Raptors have been underdogs this postseason, and they've gone 1-1 ATS in the previous two games. They are 6-3 as playoff underdogs since last year, covering by an average of 4.8 points.

Game 7 underdogs have gone covered in six of the past eight Game 7s. The last three Game 7s were decided by just two points, including both this year.

If past Game 7s are any indication, we can expect the defensive intensity to pick up. In Game 1 through Game 6 over the past two years, underdogs have allowed 46.5% shooting from the floor. In Game 7, underdogs have held their opponents to just 38.4% shooting. If any team were to continue that trend, it makes sense betting on the Raptors, the team who held opponents to the second-lowest field goal percentage this season.

Our models do have Boston eking out a 1.0-point win tonight. We give Toronto a 55.2% chance of covering the 2.5-point spread and mark the bet as a one-star play.