NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Tuesday 6/1/21: Tracking the Smart Money Trends in the Suns/Lakers Game

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.)

Boston Celtics (+660) at Brooklyn Nets (-1000)

Spread: Brooklyn Nets -12.5
Total: 233.5

The Nets are heavily favored to close out the series over the Boston Celtics, who are listing Kemba Walker as doubtful (as well as Robert Williams). In five games without Walker and Jaylen Brown this season, the Celtics have gone 1-4 with a -3.3 net rating, via PBPStats.

By contrast, in 12 games with James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, the Nets are 9-3 with a net rating of 6.8.

numberFire's algorithm is big on Boston to extend the series, rating Boston +12.5 as a five-star recommendation out of five. Using the small-but-relevant samples I just mentioned, my model would have expected a spread closer to 5.5 than 12.5, so I could see the merit for taking Boston plus the points.

The public isn't quite there, and 69% of the money on spread bets is on Brooklyn.

There's also disharmony between numberFire's algorithm and the public on the over/under. numberFire is rating the under (233.5) as a three-star recommendation out of five, but we're seeing 81% of the tickets and 89% of the money on the over.

Those aforementioned relevant samples indicate an expected over/under of 225.5, a full 8.0 points shy of the actual total. This series has gone over in three straight games, but the overall season series has seen four unders and three overs.

In total, Boston +12.5 and the under have the best statistical case, but I think the other two games have more appeal overall.

Portland Trail Blazers (+116) at Denver Nuggets (-134)

Spread: Denver Nuggets -2.5
Total: 225.5

The algorithm's favorite play in this game is the Nuggets' moneyline, rating it as a four-star recommendation out of five. The model at numberFire gives Denver a 71.0% chance to beat the Portland Trail Blazers and take a 3-2 series lead.

The algo also like Denver to cover the 2.5-point spread at a 60.8% clip, which is good for an expected return of 16.0%.

Surprisingly, we're seeing the public money prefer the Denver spread (59% of the money) but the Blazers' moneyline (55%).

The public is heavy on the over (225.5), as usual, and these teams -- across seven games this season -- have played almost exactly to the over/under. The average over/under for their matchups has been 227.9, and their average point total has been 227.1. That has led to four overs in seven games.

The Denver spread and the over are drawing the most attention for me.

Los Angeles Lakers (+172) at Phoenix Suns (-205)

Spread: Phoenix Suns -5.5
Total: 208.0

The Los Angeles Lakers could be in trouble without Anthony Davis, who is listed as questionable with a groin strain. Even if he does play, we'd have to assume he's not at full health so soon after his injury.

In 18 games without Davis but with LeBron James, the Lakers are 11-7 with a net rating of 4.5, which in itself isn't concerning.

But the Suns are a 5.2 in opponent-adjusted net rating over the past two months, per my database, and are receiving a ton of smart money action.

oddsFire shows just 37% of the betting tickets on the Suns to cover the spread, but that's paired with 71% of the money. Likewise, the Suns' moneyline is getting 41% of the tickets but 57% of the money.

Our algorithm is lightly leaning toward the Suns to cover at -5.5, rating it as a one-star recommendation (and 52.1% likely).

Once more, we're seeing the betting public on the over (73% of the money), which is in line with what my model expected when using the Suns' recent data and the Lakers' data without AD: an expected over/under of 219.0.

To me, the over and the Suns to cover are the easiest cases to make on the board tonight.