NBA Betting Guide for Friday 3/31/23: Navigating Playoff Scenarios
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. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Where can we identify value in tonight's NBA odds?
(All offensive rating, defensive rating, and net rating splits come from PBPStats.com and account for medium-, high-, and very high-leverage situations unless otherwise noted. All injury news and notes come from the official NBA injury report unless otherwise noted.)
Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers Moneyline (-255)
Over 225.0 (-110)
These two teams' playoff destinies seem pretty set.
The 76ers have a 91.0% chance to finish as the 3 seed, according to numberFire's season simulations. The Toronto Raptors are 98.9% likely to be involved in the play-in in the Eastern Conference. But that's not enough to consider it a phone-in situation, of course.
Since the break, the 76ers are 12-7 with a +6.8 point differential and a +8.2 adjusted net rating. Those numbers for the Raptors are 10-7, +2.6, and +5.7, respectively.
So an edge in the data -- and home-court advantage -- is in the favor of the 76ers in this spot.
numberFire's model gives the 76ers a 73.1% chance to win, implying moneyline odds of -271.
My model also thinks this game scores 230.3 points due primarily to two strong offenses with current rotations being what they are, so I like the over, personally.
New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Over 222.0 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers Moneyline (-180)
Another pair of teams that seem set in the playoff race are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have a 93.2% chance to finish the regular season as the 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the New York Knicks, who are 92.7% likely to be the 5 seed. Of note, Julius Randle is out, and Jarrett Allen is doubtful.
What I like most is the over, as a result. My model, based on the current rotations for each team, projects a total of 226.0 points. Since the All-Star break, the Cavaliers' games have gone over at a 62.5% rate. Notably, they have surpassed their own implied team total at a 68.8% rate.
The Knicks' over rate is 47.1% in 17 post-break games, yet their frequency of surpassing their own implied team total sits at 64.7%. Removing overtime games from this sample, the Knicks are averaging 117.6 points per game since the break for a game total of 229.9.
The Cavs are the better squad, though, and with home-court advantage, their moneyline is showing some value. numberFire's model likes it as a one-star (i.e. one-unit) play.
Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets
Under 240.5 (-110)
The Brooklyn Nets have been slipping a bit with a 4-6 record over their past 10 games. But they're still 1.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat for the 6 seed in the Eastern Conference (and are 1.5 games back from the Knicks for the 5 seed) and thus have an 86.7% chance to stay as the 6 seed in the conference.
The always-average Atlanta Hawks are the 8 seed and boast a 95.7% chance to be in the play-in.
Atlanta has been putting up points since the break (123.7 per game themselves with an average total of 245.4), but the Nets should be able to muck up the game enough for the under to be the right play.
Brooklyn's averaging only 111.3 points per game themselves since the break and are playing at a slower-than-average pace. Their over rate is only 41.2% in that span.
My model projects a total of 237.7 for this matchup tonight. numberFire's algorithm has the under as a one-star play and finds it 55.4% likely to stay under 240 tonight.