NBA Betting Guide: Sunday 1/24/21

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.

Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks Moneyline (-340): 5-Star Rating out of 5

The Atlanta Hawks have won fewer than 30 games in each of the last three seasons; that streak of mediocrity looks like it's going to end this year. Coming into tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Hawks sit at 8-7 and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The difference has come on the defensive end.

Last year, the Hawks finished 28th in defensive rating. They gave up the second-most second-chance points, sixth-most fast break points, and the most points in the paint. They are currently sixth in defensive rating, a shocking climb, and they've made major strides in all of those aforementioned categories.

Unfortunately for Atlanta tonight, they are playing at Milwaukee, where they've lost six straight and seven of their last eight (they've actually gone 7-1 against the spread [ATS] in those games, though). They also have to face a Bucks team that has lost the past two games; Milwaukee has won five out of their past six games after losing their previous two.

Milwaukee has had an extra day of rest heading into tonight's game due to a postponement of their game on Friday night. As it stands, they're playing on two days of rest to the Hawks' one. The Bucks have gone 17-5 since last year when playing on more rest than their opponents, including 12-2 when those games have been at home.

numberFire's model likes the Bucks to win tonight and to do so with ease. We give the Bucks an 89.7% chance of winning and project them to do so by 14.3 points. A -340 line implied win odds of only 77.3%. We mark the bet as a five-star play.

New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers

Over 214.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

An 8-6 record doesn't stand out as anything special, but it's been enough thus far to put the Portland Trail Blazers into fourth place in the Western Conference heading into tonight's home game against the New York Knicks. Unlike the Hawks, the Blazers have made few strides on the defensive end this year. They were 27th in defensive efficiency last year and currently rank 28th. Yeah.

Despite that and despite Portland having an average total of 230.2 points in games thus far, tonight's over/under is set at just 214.5 points. The Blazers are, of course, missing C.J. McCollum, who recently fractured his foot and is out at least a month.

While McCollum's absence hurts, the Blazers' scoring actually hasn't dropped off. In the five games McCollum has missed since the start of last season, the Blazers have averaged 115.0 points, exactly the same amount that they've averaged when he's played. Their defense, however, has dropped off. They've allowed an average of 124.6 points in those five games, 9.0 more than when McCollum was on the court.

The over has gone 8-5 since last year when the Blazers have been at home after a home loss. Our model sees that going to 9-5 after tonight. We have the two teams projected to combine for 223.5 points and give the over a 67.6% chance of hitting. With an expected return of $129.00 for every $100 wagered, we mark the over as a four-star play.