NBA Betting Guide: Saturday 2/27/21

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.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers -11.5: 1-Star Rating out of 5
Sixers Moneyline (-620): 2-Star Rating out of 5

On paper, the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers is a mismatch, and our model does not disagree, projecting the 22-11 Sixers to make quick work of the visiting 12-21 Cavs. Not only do we project a win, but we also project Philly to easily clear the 11.5-point spread.

Cleveland is on a two-game winning streak versus Philadelphia, most recently winning by a surprising 24 points in Cleveland in December. The SIxers have won their last three home games in the series, however, drubbing the Cavs by 47 the last time the teams clashed in the Wells Fargo Center.

Across the NBA, home teams are 25-0 straight up (SU) and 17-8 against the spread (ATS) this season when favored by more than 10.0 points, as the Sixers are this evening. The average margin of victory has been 16.7 points in those contests.

The Cavs are on a two-game winning streak. Dating back to the 2017-18 season, they've lost 10 straight and 13 of their past 14 away games after a two-game winning streak. They've gone 4-6 ATS during that 10-game losing streak.

numberFire's model gives the Sixers a massive 88.0% chance of winning tonight as well as a 55.6% chance of covering the 11.5-point spread. We mark the bets as two- and one-star plays, respectively.

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks

Under 218.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

At 16-17 coming into tonight's home contest against the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks are tied for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference and are on pace for their first postseason appearance since the 2012-13 campaign. While numberFire's model projects them to win tonight and get to .500, we're looking toward the under for betting purposes.

The new-look Knicks have jumped to third in defensive rating this season. It's a huge improvement after they ranked 23rd a year ago. They've given up the third-fewest points in the paint, fastbreak points, and second-chance points. They are giving up the lowest field goal and three-point percentages in the league. The difference between the Knicks (32.5%) and the second-best three-point defense (34.7%) is the same as the difference between the second and 15th-best three-point defense (36.9%).

That strong defense has translated into giving up the fewest points per game in the NBA, which has resulted in a 22-11 record for the under in Knicks contests. The under is 8-6 this season in Knicks games when the total has been set higher than 215.0 points. There have been an average of 215.7 points scored in Knicks games when their opponents are playing on zero rest, which the Pacers are. The under is 5-2 since last year when the Pacers have played in away games on no rest.

While 67% of bets and 68% of the money on FanDuel Sportsbook is being laid on the over, our model projects a 69.6% chance for the under to hit. We mark the bet as a four-star play.