NBA Betting Guide: Sunday 1/31/21

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.

Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers

Pacers +1.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is averaging a career high 28.3 points (fourth in the league) and is hitting an almost unbelievable 40.4% from three. That hot play has led the team to a blistering 14-6 start, good enough for first place in the Eastern Conference. The team's success, however, has not been the same at home and on the road.

The Sixers have lost just one game at home this season, but they sit 4-5 away from the Wells Fargo Center. numberFire's model projects that record moves to 4-6 this evening when they travel to face the Indiana Pacers.

At 11-8, the Pacers are tied for the third-best record in the East. Indiana has had success due to a balanced attack, which has seen three players average at least 20.0 points per game. We can further see that desire to spread the love in the team's 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks second in the league.

The Pacers have had the upper hand against the Sixers in the recent past, winning the last three meetings in the series and covering the spread in the last four. Indiana is 6-3 at home after an away loss since last year. The Sixers are coming off an away win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They haven't won consecutive away games since January 18th and 20th of last year.

Our model projects the Pacers to win by 2.4 points. For betting purposes, however, we suggest that you take them to cover the 1.5-point spread. We give them a 62.1% chance of covering and mark the bet as a three-star play.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves

Wolves +3.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

Not surprisingly, everything fell apart for the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron James left his home state to move to the Los Angeles Lakers. Since that departure, the Cavs have had back-to-back seasons with 19 wins. Those 38 combined wins tied with the New York Knicks for the fewest in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

This season, however, has brought a glimmer of hope. Behind Collin Sexton's 24.2 points, Andre Drummond's nightly double-doubles, and Darius Garland's 44.0% three-point shooting, the Cavs already have nine wins and are, amazingly, seventh in the Eastern Conference. They'll look to get to .500 tonight when they travel to the Target Center to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Wolves started 10-8 last year and then proceeded to go 9-37 the rest of the way. That stretch of poor play has continued into this season, and they sit at just 4-14, last in the Western Conference. They'll look to get win number five tonight against a team they've done well against the past couple of years.

Minnesota has won three of the past four and four of the past six against Cleveland. They'll once again be without Karl-Anthony Towns, who is still dealing with COVID-19. While Towns' absence hurts, the team hasn't been that much worse without him in the past couple of years, going 12-27 with him and 11-32 without. While the Wolves have scored 6.0 fewer points per game in that time without KAT, their defensive rating has improved marginally from 114.5 to 112.5.

While we project Minnesota to win by 2.4 points (yes, oddly the exact same as the Pacers game I detailed above), we suggest you look to taking the Wolves +3.5 tonight. We give them a 67.7% chance of covering the 3.5 points and mark the bet as a four-star play.