NBA Betting Guide for Friday 12/3/21: Will the Jazz Cover Against Celtics?

numberFire's model loves Utah tonight, but is the moneyline too heavy to back the Jazz?

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 you can track line movement within games and compare odds over at the oddsFire section of the site.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

The model at numberFire is finding a lot of spreads and moneylines tonight to be efficient, so we'll have to take the value where we can get it.

This game between the 12-10 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 14-8 Washington Wizards features a 3.5-point spread in favor of the home side, the Wizards, who are also -168 on the moneyline.

Our algorithm views the Wizards' moneyline as a two-star recommendation, meaning we can go with a two-unit wager here. Our model sees Washington winning this game with a nice 69.0% probability. That leads to an expected return of 10.1%.

My model, after adjusting for injuries, isn't quite as high on the Wizards and instead sees this game as a virtual pick 'em. However, what I can say is that the Cavaliers remain extremely lucky on the defensive end.

Their shot distribution allowed would imply opponents should have put up 103.0 points per game on them over their past 10, but they have surrendered only 98.8 points per game. Their shot quality allowed in non-garbage situations is actually second-highest in the NBA, but opponents have converted only an effective field goal percentage of 50.0% -- sixth-lowest.

numberFire's model prefers the moneyline (-168) for Washington but also views their spread (-3.5) as a one-star option.

The Wizards are 8-2 at home with a point differential of +8.9 and a spread-adjusted point differential of +4.0 (the fourth-best mark in the league).

Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks

Here's another slight home favorite that the model at numberFire likes.

It's the 12-10 Atlanta Hawks (-116) over the 11-11 Philadelphia 76ers.

Our algorithm likes the Hawks to win this one at a 60.4% rate, better than their moneyline odds indicate (54.6%). The expected return is 12.5%, so their moneyline is drawing a two-star recommendation.

The Sixers are 6-6 on the road with a -0.6 point differential but a decent +2.1 spread-adjusted point differential in those games.

The Hawks, at home, are a dominant 8-2 with a +9.5 point differential with a +3.3 spread-adjusted point differential.

My model likes the Hawks as 5.0-point favorites.

Across the 25 most similar games to this one in numberFire's database, teams representing Atlanta won 18 of them (72.0%) and covered in 17 (68.0%).

Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz

numberFire's model was in on the Utah Jazz when they were favored by 8.5 points, so with the line here dropping to 7.5, it makes sense that the model still likes Utah to cover at home.

The expected score here is 112.2 to 102.5 for the Jazz, a gap of 9.7 points.

The Jazz are 8-4 at home with a +10.6 point differential (though, to be transparent, a +0.3 spread-adjusted point differential). The Boston Celtics, on the road, are a solid 6-6 on the road with a +3.2 point differential and a +2.6 spread-adjusted point differential.

The preferred bet here in this game, per numberFire's algorithm, is to take the Jazz outright (-310). That is one of only two spread or moneyline bets getting even three-star love from the algorithm (the Brooklyn Nets -300 is also a three-star recommendation).

Our model views the Jazz as 81.5% likely to beat Boston without Jaylen Brown.

Teams representing the Jazz won 80.0% of the 25 most comparable games to this one in numberFire's database and covered in 56.0% of them.