NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 11/17/21: Siding With 3 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 you can track line movement within games and compare odds over at the oddsFire section of the site.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? (All odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons

The Indiana Pacers' 6-9 record is nicer than the Detroit Pistons' 3-10 record, but in this game, there looks to be value on the Pistons at home.

Part of that value comes in the form of their moneyline (+220), which numberFire's model values as a two-star wager. That suggests we can go with a two-unit bet on the Pistons to win.

They are 43.8% likely to get the win, leading to an expected return of 40.0% on investment. Though the return is great, the sub-50% likelihood keeps it in two-star territory.

The better bet is actually to take the points (+6.5) with Detroit. That's rated as a three-star opportunity.

Notably, the Pistons in games with Cade Cunningham do have a net rating of -8.8, but the Pacers aren't exactly lighting it up themselves.

Indiana's point differential is a +0.1 per game overall and a -3.1 on the road thus far. They're 2-7 in road games and play again away from the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The Pistons also have had some bad defensive luck in their past 10 games. Based on the shot distribution they've allowed in that span, they should have let up just 101.5 points per game if opponents converted at league-average rates but have actually allowed 110.4 points per game.

Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks

The Los Angeles Lakers might get LeBron James back soon, but it won't be tonight.

They'll be facing the Milwaukee Bucks, who are slated to get Khris Middleton back.

So, we're siding with Milwaukee, right?

Not quite. The points are too appealing for the road side.

The Lakers are 9.5-point underdogs here, and numberFire's model sees them covering that 61.2% of the time, making for an expected return of 16.9%. That leads to a two-star recommendation.

Even using the Lakers' splits without LeBron, my model sees the spread closer to 5.5 here.

Since 2016, road teams with a day of rest disadvantage and who are underdogs by 8.5 to 10.5 have covered at a 55.5% clip.

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves

There's a tight 2.5-point spread in favor of the home side, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 4-9. But it's the 6-8 Sacramento Kings getting the points who are drawing my attention.

And the attention of numberFire's model.

That gives us three underdogs to back.

Sacramento +2.5 is a two-star recommendation tonight and is rating out as 57.3% likely to hit. That's tied to an expected return of 9.4%.

Overall, the Kings have a point differential of +0.9 and a spread-adjusted point differential of +2.5, suggesting they've outperformed in-game expectations.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves' point differential lags behind at -4.3, and they have underperformed spread expectations by 3.8 points, on average. Their cover rate is only 30.8%; Sacramento's is 50.0%.

The underlying data is siding with the Kings to get the points here.