NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 5/12/21: How Are Injuries Impacting the Betting Lines Tonight?

Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.

But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit, and our oddsFire section of the site allows you to track movement in those lines and see where the action is coming from on particular games.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers

The under (219.5) is displaying some smart money indications via oddsFire. Despite 73% of the betting tickets going on the over, just 34% of the money is in them. That leaves 27% of the tickets on the under and 66% of the money on the under, a cavernous gap of 39 points.

Our algorithm at numberFire also likes the under and projects an average score of 111.8 for the Boston Celtics and 106.4 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a total of 218.2. That leaves the under as a one-star recommendation, but it's hard to ignore the smart money movement on it.

The Celtics are on a back-to-back, meaning no Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown, of course, is out. They have just one game without the both of them but generated a weak 102.0 offensive rating in that game, via PBPStats. That does boost up to 112.3 over a larger sample without the both of them.

Using those relevant splits and the Cavs' recent data, my model expected an over/under of 216.0.

New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks

The New Orleans Pelicans are 8.0-point underdogs, and they are without Zion Williamson and list Brandon Ingram as doubtful.

In a six-game sample without both of those players, they are 2-4 with a net rating of -4.7, via PBPStats. Despite virtually eliminated from the playoffs, the Pelicans are still getting love on the spread (66% of the money).

That's where numberFire's algorithm is landing, rating the Pelicans +8.0 as a three-star recommendation.

The line has been wavering a good bit, too. It opened at New Orleans +9.5 and trended down to 7.0 before being now at 8.0, so there are reasons to be liking the Pelicans getting so many points.

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers

The under (224.0) in this game is getting heavy action from the betting public. That stems from 67% of the tickets and 78% of the money.

Our algorithm rates it as a one-star recommendation out of five and sees it 55.9% likely to stay under 224 points.

Though LeBron James was expected to return last night for the Los Angeles Lakers, he did not play but is likely to return tonight.

Surprisingly, they are just 0-2 in games with James, Anthony Davis, and Andre Drummond with a net rating of -5.0, via PBPStats. In games with at least two of them together, they're 21-13 with a net rating of 4.2, though.

The Houston Rockets, though, are playing at a -12.2 net rating over the past 15 games. So, while the Lakers may need time to gel with their still-new trio, they're 76.9% likely to win, per my model, but win by an average of 8.2 points. Therefore -- and numberFire's model agrees -- we can look at Houston +13.0.