NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 4/26/23: A Night (Nearly) Full of Must-Wins for Home Teams

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 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.)

New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers

Over 202.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers Moneyline (-220)

This super-slow series that is averaging just 91.5 possessions per game heads back to Cleveland where the Cleveland Cavaliers trail the New York Knicks 3-1.

The must-win game for the Cavaliers sees them favored by 5.5 points.

Neither side has averaged more than 98.0 points per game in the series, and only the Philadelphia 76ers/Brooklyn Nets series has been slower from a pace standpoint.

With that in mind, the Cavaliers are in a position to bounce back. They have a better effective field goal percentage (eFG%; 50.8%) than the Knicks (47.8%) but are still continuously allowing too many offensive rebounds to New York.

The series itself should be closer, and my model likes the Cavaliers' moneyline (-220). Since 2016, home teams in Game 5s (excluding the bubble year) are 56-20 outright and 48-28 against the spread.

My model actually likes the over to hit for the first time in the series, and numberFire's algorithm likes the over as a four-star suggestion, too.

Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies

Under 222.0 (-110)

Another close series in the data despite a 3-1 lead for the road team is the one between the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies. (Data via Basketball-Reference.)

LAL (3-1)97.5.51511.825.6.213112.2112.3
MEM (1-3)97.5.47711.425.8.178106.7106.8

The Lakers hold an edge in the most important of the four factors (eFG%) and are ahead in free throws per field goal attempt.

In games with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and D'Angelo Russell all active, the Lakers are 11-2 outright with a net rating of +11.1 and are 9-4 against the spread.

The Grizzlies really need Desmond Bane to find his shot (28.6% from three on 35 attempts).

My model thinks the spread should be 4.0 exactly, so I'm not very interested there.

Notably, the series has averaged just 219.0 points per game and -- based on the underlying data -- should have averaged 215.6 points per game. That's why the under is my preference for this matchup.

Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks

A Lean: Milwaukee Bucks -11.5 (-114)

The Miami Heat were carried to a Game 4 victory by Jimmy Butler's 56-point outburst with no other Heat player topping 15 points.

Milwaukee is 19-8 in games with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton and is back at home in a must-win situation. It's pretty wild to see a double-digit spread that is favoring a team down 3-1 in a series, but it is warranted based on my model.

My model likes the Bucks by 13.5 in this game, but numberFire's model disagrees and likes the Miami side to cover.

It's a tough game to figure out because -- mathematically -- the Bucks should roll. But the Heat have not relented. I do think there's an angle that includes the Heat trailing heavily and choosing to rest their starters, which could compound the point differential quickly.

Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings +1.5 (-110)

The big question in this game is the health and status of De'Aaron Fox, who is questionable with a fracture of his left index finger. That's his shooting hand -- to clarify.

But in games with Domantas Sabonis active and Fox off the floor, the Kings are a +2.6 by net rating once removing low-leverage possessions from the data. With Fox also active they're a +2.2. I'm not going to make the case that the absence of Fox or a less-than-100% Fox is a good thing, but the numbers aren't damning without him.

numberFire's model likes the Kings +1.5 as a three-star play as well as their moneyline (+108) to the same degree.

That's the route I'm going in what is essentially a pick 'em: taking the points with the home side.