NBA Betting Guide: Saturday 2/20/21

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.

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers -3.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5

It will be a rematch of the 2019-20 NBA Finals when the Miami Heat take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, this time not live from a bubble. Miami, who has dealt with a thin squad for much of this season, does not look like the team that took King James and Company to six games.

Miami comes into tonight at just 12-17, going 5-10 on the road. As road underdogs, they've gone just 1-9, though they're a marginally better 3-7 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. They have gone 1-3 ATS and straight up (SU) this season after an away win.

The Heat have to face a Lakers team that is coming off a home loss. Since last year, the Lakers are 14-3 SU and 11-6 ATS after a home loss. This year those records are 4-0 and 3-1, respectively.

According to our oddsFire tool, bettors are keen to take the Lakers this evening as 74% of bets and 72% of the money is being laid on the Lakers to cover the 3.5-point spread. numberFire's model agrees with this sentiment. We give the Lakers a 64.5% chance to cover, marking the bet as a three-star play.

Washington Wizards at Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers Moneyline (-194): 4-Star Rating out of 5

Winners of six straight -- the longest active streak in the league -- and eight out of their last nine, the Portland Trail Blazers have vaulted themselves to an 18-10 record and fourth place in the Western Conference despite the absence of some big stars. Our model projects them to continue their hot run tonight when they host the Washington Wizards.

With Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and C.J. McCollum out, other Blazers have stepped up in a big way, notably Gary Trent Jr.. Trent is putting up 19.9 points per game in 13 starts without McCollum and is shooting a blazing (pun intended) 46.2% from three in those games.

Washington has won three straight, but they still sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. They're only 4-8 on the road this season, and they'll have to face a Blazers team against whom they've lost five straight. Russell Westbrook's teams have lost four straight and eight of his past 10 against Portland. His teams have lost five straight in Portland.

A whopping 80% of bets and 86% of the money is expecting Portland to win tonight, and our model is aligned. We give the Blazers a 77.4% chance of winning. With an expected return of $117.30 for every $100 wagered, we mark the bet as a four-star play.