NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 5/26/21: How Should We Bet All 3 Games Tonight?

With three playoff games on tap tonight, what bets present the best value according to numberFire's algorithm?

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.)

Washington Wizards (+295) at Philadelphia 76ers (-370)

Spread: Philadelphia 76ers -8.0
Total: 231.0

Our algorithm doesn't view these two squads as particularly close in terms of talent and rank -- the Philadelphia 76ers sport a nERD rating (our efficiency metric based on in-game data) of 66.3, which ranks second-best in the Association. Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards' mark of 46.1 is 20th.

When the regular season ended, the gap in net rating between these two teams was pretty stark as well. According to NBA.com, Philly finished fifth with a net rating of 5.5, while Washington's -1.6 had them ranked 22nd.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that both our models and the betting market heavily favor the Sixers. Per our algo, taking Philadelphia on the moneyline is a three-star wager. That coincides with the public and the sharp money, as 77% of bets and 89% of the money is on the favorites.

Per numberFire's simulations, the average margin of victory is 11.48 in favor of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and co. That makes the eight-point spread a two-star bet. Our model's average total of 223.26 also makes the under worthy of consideration -- we give it a solid three stars.

Atlanta Hawks (+116) at New York Knicks (-136)

Spread: New York Knicks -2.0
Total: 212.5

Based on our algorithm's projections, a bounceback seems to be in order for the New York Knicks.

Game 1 saw Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks (literally) silence the crowd as Madison Square Garden by pulling out in front at the last minute. Taking the series to Atlanta down 0-2 would be a downright disaster for the Knicks.

Our model's average margin of victory for New York is 3.66, which makes the two-point spread just a one-star bet. However, taking the Knicks on the moneyline gets an extra star, as numberFire gives them a 63.55% likelihood of victory, implying a return of $110.3 for a $100 wager. The betting markets and sharps agree, as 68% of bets and 84% of the cash are on New York to be victorious.

Seeing as we have the team (New York) that played at the slowest pace during the regular season going up against the ninth-slowest squad (Atlanta), it should come as no surprise that we favor the under -- it's rated as a two-star endeavor.

Memphis Grizzlies (+320) at Utah Jazz (-405)

Spread: Utah Jazz -9.0
Total: 219.5

While the Utah Jazz are rightfully heavy favorites over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 with their star Donovan Mitchell back in the fold, our model doesn't see much value in either the spread or moneyline for either squad.

Where some value does seem to lie is within the total. Including Game 1 of this series, the four meetings between the two teams this season have seen an average total of 226.5, with three of them totaling at least 221. As such, the over on 219.5 is rated by our model as a one-star bet.

During the 2020-21 campaign, Utah ranked 4th in the league in offensive efficiency, while Memphis finished 15th. And what the Grizzlies might have lacked in efficiency on the offensive end, they made up for it by playing at the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA. The over certainly seems like the way to go here.