NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Monday 5/24/21: The Moneylines Present Excellent Value

After dropping Game 1, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are favored to take Game 2. How does our algorithm think we should bet tonight's matchups?

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.)

Miami Heat (+166) at Milwaukee Bucks (-198)

Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
Total: 222.0

Game 1 of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat saw Miami outscore Milwaukee by a whopping 45 points from outside the arc, and yet they still lost. Our model thinks that doesn't bode well for the Heat in Game 2.

The Deer averaged 14.4 makes from three during the regular season while shooting it at a 38.9% clip -- which was good enough for fourth-best in the Association. Milwaukee made just 5 of 31 attempts in the first game of this series. Meanwhile, the Heat hit an average of 12.9 threes during the 2020-21 campaign, and their 35.8% clip ranked 12th-worst in the league. They outpaced both of those numbers by hitting 20 of their 50 attempts (40%) from three-point land in the first game.

A correction of the mean in those categories could very well be why our model is a big fan of the Bucks tonight. Taking the Bucks on the moneyline is rated as a four-star bet, while they're also a three-star wager against the spread. Over at oddsFire, we see that 58% of the moneyline bets are on Milwaukee, and the sharp money seems to be on the Bucks as well, as they're seeing 64% in that category.

Of the last 20 meetings between these two squads, 14 have hit the under -- numberFire's algorithm has that happening again, rating the under as a two-star bet.

Portland Trail Blazers (+110) at Denver Nuggets (-130)

Spread: Denver Nuggets -2.0
Total: 226.5

Our models see the average margin of victory between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers as 5.85 points in favor of the home team. That makes taking Denver on the spread a two-star bet and their moneyline a solid four-star wager.

Denver covering the two points is 59.08% likely to occur, per our model, with an average return of $112.8 for a $100 bet.

The regular season saw the Nuggets post a net rating of 4.8, which was good for sixth-best in the league and three points better than the 12th-ranked Blazers, according to NBA.com.

Game 1 saw Portland hit 47.5% of their three-point attempts (compared to just 30.6% for Denver) while also totaling 11 more attempts and 14 more makes from the charity stripe. It's hard to imagine either of those being sustainable.

numberFire's algorithm also has the average total of this game at 222.4, which is well short of the 226.5 over/under and makes the under a two-star bet.