NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 7/1/21: Navigating Injuries to Find Value in Game 5

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.)

Atlanta Hawks (+114) at Milwaukee Bucks (-134)

Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -2.5
Total: 215.0

This flow of this game will depend heavily on injuries.

The Bucks are listing two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo as doubtful with a hyperextended left knee.

The Atlanta Hawks list star Trae Young as questionable with the right foot bone bruise that held him out of Game 4's blowout win. Additionally, center Clint Capela is questionable, as well, with right eye inflammation.

This will undoubtedly shift the expected efficiency for each side here.

At the top, numberFire's algorithm sees significant value in this game, giving the Bucks a 79.7% chance to win. That makes their moneyline a full five-star recommendation with an expected return on investment of 39.2%.

However, we're seeing 64% of the public's bets and 62% of the money on the Hawks to win outright, according to oddsFire. So, there's a split between the two.

Using recent data for each side -- and adjusting for injuries with the help of PBPStats -- my model spits out a 2.9-point spread in favor of the Bucks, just in line with the actual spread. Looking solely at the playoffs, the expected spread would be 3.7 points.

In total, the Bucks won 64.1% of simulated games in my model, which gives us value on the -134 moneyline (which suggests 57.3% odds).

Therefore, numberFire's algorithm and my model view the Bucks as more likely to win than their moneyline implies.

numberFire's algo sees that win coming more commandingly, though, and views the Bucks as 69.4% likely to cover the spread, leading to an expected return of 32.5%. My model and the betting public (53% of the bets and money are on the Bucks to cover) are less certain.

Regarding the over/under, we see 58% of the money coming on the under, a public trend that's been more common in the playoffs than in the regular season from my observations.

However, numberFire's model rates the over as a five-star recommendation and expects a median score of 228.7.

My model is on the over but not as drastically: it anticipated an over/under of 220.5 if we use a larger sample. If we look solely at the playoffs, when each team's offensive tempo is down (specifically the Bucks' by a full second), it's down to 201.0. This becomes a matter of which sample we deem more relevant.

The top play looks like the Bucks' moneyline, assuming Young and Capela sit -- even without Giannis. That might be the only action I really would recommend. But other than that, I'd be leaning on the under, given the pace and under trends in this season series (five unders out of seven games).