NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Thursday 5/27/21: Eyeing Some Underdogs

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 (-120) at Miami Heat (+102)

Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -1.5
Total: 226.0

Our algorithm has this one as a super tight game, projecting the Bucks to win at the Miami Heat by a score of 109.63-109.11. There's not much in the way of value on the spread or moneyline for either side, but we do have under 226.0 rated as a three-star bet.

Of the Heat's last 15 games, only 2 have gone under the total, with 11 overs and 2 pushes. But the average over/under in that span is 217.7 points, a far cry from today's total of 226.0. The two games so far in this series have totaled 216 (in overtime) and 230 points, with the 230-point outing being the blowout in Game 2.

We have 218.74 total points being scored in Game 3 and project the under to hit 63.3% of the time.

Phoenix Suns (+245) at Los Angeles Lakers (-300)

Spread: Los Angeles Lakers -7.0
Total: 210.0

We're still on the Phoenix Suns. Our model rates the Suns +7.0 and Phoenix moneyline as three-star wagers. We project LA to win but by a score of 104.58-102.92.

The Suns have been road 'dogs just nine times this season. They've covered in seven of them, and they've covered by an average of 5.6 points. In fact, Phoenix has won outright all seven times in which they covered. One such instance was at the Lakers on March 2, when Phoenix won 114-104 in a game in which Anthony Davis didn't play.

Of course, the big hangup with backing the Suns today is that Chris Paul is clearly not at 100%. That's a big problem -- shocker, I know -- as the Suns' offensive rating in this series goes from 115.0 with CP3 on the floor to 106.8 with him off it. The difference wasn't nearly as big over a larger sample in the regular season (118.1 with and 117.3 without), but the Suns weren't playing this Lakers team and this Lakers D every night.

The betting public falls in line with the trends and our numbers as 58% of the tickets and 59% of the money is on Phoenix to cover, according to our oddsFire tool. There is some sharp money on the under, as well, as 86% of the bets are on the over but just 78% of the cash has followed suit.

Denver Nuggets (+148) at Portland Trail Blazers (-176)

Spread: Portland Trail Blazers -4.0
Total: 227.5

We really like the underdog Denver Nuggets tonight in Portland. The trends do, too.

Denver was a slim favorite in Game 2, and in their last 42 games of a contest in which they were favored, the Nuggets are 32-10 against the spread, covering by an average of 6.0 points.

By net rating, Denver (+5.0, 6th-best) was better than the Blazers in the regular season (+1.8, 12th-best). They also went 2-1 versus Portland in the regular season, with the lone loss coming in the final game of the campaign -- one in which no Nuggets regular starter played more than 21 minutes.

Denver is a 4.0-point road 'dog, but we project them to win outright 50.5% of the time. We give the Nuggets a 62.9% chance to cover.