NBA

NBA Finals Game 5 Betting Guide: Navigating the Efficient Lines

The spread and moneyline numbers are really efficient, according to numberFire's model. What does that mean for the betting card?

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.)

Milwaukee Bucks (+140) at Phoenix Suns (-166)

Spread: Phoenix Suns -3.5
Total: 218.0

Neither team has relented on their home court through four games of the NBA Finals.

In fact, the Milwaukee Bucks hold a 13.4 net rating in their two home games, and the Suns' mark is 10.6. Each side really has just taken care of business in their home cities.

So, that would naturally favor the Suns for Game 5 back in Phoenix.

The Suns, who have won 8 of 10 home playoff games (and covered in 7), are rating out as 62.1% likely to get the win, according to numberFire's model.

The -166 moneyline odds suggest a 62.4% win probability, which makes the Phoenix moneyline super tough to back, given numberFire's odds. The expected return on such a bet is -0.6%.

While that is better than the Bucks' moneyline return of -8.9%, numberFire's model offers no pick on the moneyline for Game 5.

The spread for Game 5 is the tightest we've gotten thus far in the Finals at 3.5 points for the Suns. numberFire's algorithm sees a median point total of 114.8 to 111.6, a 3.2-point differential.

The Bucks do rate as 51.6% likely to cover, but that's not enough to back at an expected return of -1.6%. Once again, then, we see no official pick on the spread.

For what it's worth, the home team has won and covered in five of six matchups in this season series and the Bucks are 5-6 against the spread in 11 road games this postseason.

At least we see a recommendation on the over/under, and that's once again on the over, which is 4-1-1 in the season series.

numberFire's algorithm rates the over as a three-star recommendation out of five and sees this game as 65.3% likely to go over 218.0 points. That leads to an expected return of 24.7% on over wagers.