NBA Betting Guide for Monday 6/14/21: Should We Just Take the Points With the Underdogs?

The games tonight project pretty closely, so should we simply take the points with the underdogs?

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 NBA Finals odds.)

Philadelphia 76ers (-156) vs. Atlanta Hawks (+132)

Spread: Philadelphia 76ers -3.0
Total: 225.0

After the Atlanta Hawks picked up a four-point Game 1 victory, the 76ers have bounced back with two straight wins in this series. Philadelphia's wins were each by 16 points.

That gives the 76ers a 10.5 net rating in this series now, and they lead in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.10 to 1.26) and effective field goal percentage (61.7% to 55.6%) pretty substantially.

As for some series trends for the 76ers and Hawks this full season (six games), the over has hit in half of the games, and the Hawks covered in just two of six games.

numberFire's algorithm is finding value in the home underdog with a +132 moneyline. The Hawks' win probability is 49.1%, suggesting their moneyline should be +104. Our model is rating that as a two-star recommendation out of five.

The model also likes the Hawks getting 3.0 points, as the median expected point differential here is only 0.5 points (our model projects a 107.0 to 106.8 win for the 76ers).

The betting public is heavily on the 76ers thus far, and at least 86% of the money is on the 76ers to cover the spread and win outright, so we have some discord between the model and the public.

If I use recent data for each side here to break the tie, the 76ers come out as 1.5-point favorites and as just 53.7% likely to win. As usual, the data is showing the series as close, so the lean is on the Hawks +3.0.

As for the over/under, the public -- as always -- loves it, and there is 85% of the money coming on the over. numberFire's model is on the under, rating it as a four-star recommendation and as 70.0% likely. That is tied to a 33.7% expected return.

My model is leaning on the under, projecting a baseline total of 222.5 points. Though two of these three games surpassed the over by 32.5 and 13.5 points, respectively, the two data-based methods suggest the under is the right play.

Utah Jazz (+176) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (-210)

Spread: Los Angeles Clippers -5.0
Total: 224.5

This game is much more divisive with regards to the betting public even though the moneyline and spread are larger than what we get with the Eastern Conference matchup tonight.

oddsFire is showing 51% of all spread bets coming in on the Utah Jazz, and those are accompanied by 43% of the money, suggesting a slight trend of heavier bets on the Clippers to cover the five-point spread.

The moneyline is similar: 58% of the bets but 68% of the money is on the Clippers, again showing the money rate outperforming the ticket rate for the Clippers.

Buuuuuut. Our model is liking the Utah side of things, rating Utah +5.0 as a two-star recommendation out of five and Utah's moneyline as a one-star recommendation.

The Jazz are 42.6% likely to get the win and move to 3-1 in the series, according to our model. Their actual moneyline suggests only a 36.2% chance to win. That's where the value comes from.

If I use recent data in my model to try to break the tie, it likes the Jazz to cover 66.7% of the time, a tinge higher than numberFire's rate of 59.7%.

As for the over/under, try not to be shocked here. The betting public has 84% of the tickets and 90% of the money on the over. But numberFire's algorithm has the under as a four-star recommendation and sees it as 68.8% likely to hit. My model has the under in between (per usual) at 56.9%.

The past two games have hit the over (by 5.5 and 15.0 points), but the under is still 3-2-1 in six games this season between these two teams. The Clippers have covered in only two of the six games, which isn't driving my analysis. It's just information to have.

So, in total, I'm keying in on the under and once again taking the points with the underdog.