NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 5/20/21: Will the Wizards and Pacers Hit the Over Again?

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.)

Indiana Pacers (+140) at Washington Wizards (-166)

Spread: Washington Wizards -3.5
Total: 237.0

The injury report is a little lopsided in this game, and the Indiana Pacers have a lot of health concerns for tonight. Caris LeVert and Myles Turner are out, and Malcolm Brogdon and Edmond Sumner are questionable. In their first play-in game, Brogdon played 21 minutes in a blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets, so he'll likely be out there tonight with the playoffs on the line.

In games without LeVert, the Pacers are 17-21 this season, via PBPStats, but in those games, they have a slightly positive net rating of 0.4.

The Wizards enter with a 6.1 net rating over their final 15 regular season games, ranking them fifth in the NBA, before a -17.6 against the Boston Celtics in their play-in loss.

Of note, these teams played twice already in May and three times since March 29th. The Wizards won all three and did so by an average margin of 7.3 points.

Of more note perhaps, is the point totals in these games: 256, 295, and 265, meaning they bested the overs (230.0, 246.0, and 250.0) in all three. That's wild. Our algorithm sees them going over in this game again. The model rates the over (237.0) a three-star recommendation and considers this game 62.7% likely to hit the over. That's tied to an expected return of 19.6%.

oddsFire is showing 61% of the tickets and 67% of the money on the over once again for this matchup, making it the most appealing play of the night.

The model does lean toward the Pacers' spread (+3.5) and moneyline (+140), rating each as two-star recommendations. The betting public is fairly split on the spread, with the Pacers getting 44% of the tickets and money to cover, but the majority of money (70%) is on the Wizards' moneyline (-166).

Using the Wizards' recent data and the Pacers' splits without LeVert, my model expects Washington to win 62.8% of the time, just in line with their moneyline odds (62.4%).

So the over looks best, but as for anything else, the data suggests that the Pacers keep it close enough to cover.