NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 5/11/23: How to Bet Some Closeout Situations

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.)

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers +2.5 (-110)
Over 212.5 (-110)

We don't have a huge sample of recent Game 6s with the home team up 3-2 in the series and also entering as underdogs, so this is a pretty unique situation for the 76ers as they try to close out the Boston Celtics at home.

Philadelphia is a 2.5-point underdog in this matchup after winning both Game 4 and Game 5 and overcoming a 2-1 series deficit.

The team is listing Joel Embiid as questionable, again, but everything points to his playing again. He's averaged 28.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 3.3 blocks per game in the series across 37.4 minutes.

The 76ers have four players averaging double-digit points: Embiid (28.0), James Harden (26.4), Tyrese Maxey (19.2), and Tobias Harris (13.2).

That list for the Celtics is five names and is led by 26.6 points from Jayson Tatum and 23.6 for Jaylen Brown with Brown shooting 57.1% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc.

Of note, the underlying data in this series based on the four factors suggest that the Celtics have 3.05 expected wins, and while that is a good way to look back on the series, it doesn't necessarily say that they're due for a win on the road in Game 6.

numberFire's model likes the 76ers to win this game 56.9% of the time, making their moneyline (+118) a three-star play. For me, I'm more interested in taking the points (+2.5) to cover a win or a narrow loss that the Celtics do deserve.

My model also likes the over, as does numberFire's. numberFire's algorithm likes the over as a two-star play.

Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns

A Lean: Under 225.5 (-110)

While the Eastern Conference series in action tonight suggests that the series score should probably be flipped 3-2 in favor of Boston, the four factors data shows that not only is the series lead accurate at 3-2 in favor of the Denver Nuggets but also that the Nuggets are thriving.

A game-by-game breakdown of underlying data shows 3.46 expected wins for Denver in this series with an estimated point differential (+7.1) greater than their actual point differential (+6.4).

Now, they're on the road, and we have other things to account for, so let's dig in there. Firstly, home teams have swept so far in this series.

Another big one is the health of Chris Paul (out) and Deandre Ayton (questionable). The Phoenix Suns' splits without Paul are not particularly good, as he has an individual net rating of +15.1.

As for Ayton, his impact has been pretty minimal in this series. He's averaging a line of 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and just 1.4 combined steals and blocks over 29.6 minutes per game.

Frankly, my model doesn't see much in this game, but numberFire's algorithm is liking the under (225.5).

Of note, the two games in Phoenix so far have averaged 244.0 points with each team operating with an offensive rating that ranks first in the given split. That is: the Suns lead the semifinals in home offensive rating (127.8), and the Nuggets lead in road offensive rating (120.8).

There's really only room to go down offensively, yet the first game of the night is more appealing.