NBA Betting Guide: Saturday 1/23/21

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 model 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.

Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls

Under 227.0: 4-Star Rating out of 5

The Chicago Bulls may be just 7-8, but they're playing like a team that could rebound from a 22-43 season and find their way into the playoffs. Five of their eight losses have been by four points or fewer, and their last three have come by just one bucket, two of which came against the top two teams in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.

They'll have a chance to claw back a win against the Lakers tonight when the teams clash at the United Center. Unfortunately for the Bulls, none of the Lakers' four losses have come on the road this season. The Lakers are 8-0 on the road in 2020-21, winning by an average of 13.4 points. While our model gives the Lakers a 78.4% chance of continuing that winning streak tonight, we're highlighting the under as the highest-rated bet in the game.

In those eight away games, the Lakers have held their opponents to an average of just 100.4 points -- they have given up an 110.0 points per game at home. The Lakers have held their opponents to just 43.0% shooting in those away games, which would be a significant fall for the Bulls, who are seventh in the league with a 48.0% mark. Not surprisingly, the under has gone 7-1 in the Lakers' away games this season.

The Lakers are first in the league in defensive rating, and it's not close. The difference between them and the second-best defensive rating is roughly the same as the difference between the second- and eighth-best defensive rating.

Our model has the teams combining for 217.5 points this evening, well below the 227.0-point total. We give the under a 67.2% chance of hitting. With an expected return of $128.30 on a $100 wager, we mark the under as a four-star play.

New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves

Over 220.0: 3-Star Rating out of 5

The Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans have combined to go just 8-20 to start this season, and defense has been a big letdown for both teams. They rank 26th and 24th, respectively, in defensive rating, and our model is indicating that neither team is going to do much to change that this evening.

The Wolves put up just 98 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks last night. Since last year, they've rebounded to score an average of 113.0 points in games after they've scored fewer than 100; the over has gone 8-5 in those contests.

The over was 0-5 in the Pelicans' first five games as they simply couldn't buy a basket. They averaged 101.6 points in those contests, scoring fewer than 100 three times. Since then, they've averaged 111.7 points (and given up 117.3) as the over has been on a 7-2 stretch.

Only 42% of the money wagered on the total on FanDuel is going towards the over tonight, per our oddsFire tool, but the over is exactly what our model is indicating as a solid bet in this game. We have these two projected to combine for 228.6 points tonight. numberFire's model gives the over a 65.7% chance of hitting, and we mark the bet as a three-star play.