NBA Betting Guide for 2/26/21: Does the Algorithm Like the Celtics or Pacers Tonight?

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.)

Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

This will be a rubber match between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. These two teams played twice back in December. The Pacers won the first one 108-107, and the Celtics won the follow-up 116-111.

numberFire’s algorithm is leaning toward one side, and that’s for the Celtics. It rates the Boston moneyline (-142) as a two-star recommendation out of five. That moneyline implies win odds of 58.7%, but our algorithm puts their chances at 65.6%.

Additionally, the Celtics’ spread (-2.5) is rated as a one-star recommendation. The median projected score for this matchup comes out to 110.6 to 106.4 in favor of the home team. Boston is 56.0% likely to cover that spread.

We are also seeing the public betting trends supporting Boston. Not only are the majority of bets and money on the spread and moneyline for the Celtics, but there are also percentage-point gaps of at least 10 on the spread (10%) and moneyline (11%) when comparing the percentage of tickets to money. That’s generally a good sign of where heavier bettors are looking.

Atlanta Hawks at Oklahoma City Thunder

Despite the fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder are all sorts of injured, there are some interesting angles to this game. Firstly, there has been just 35% of the action (in terms of tickets) on the Thunder moneyline, but there has been 44% of the money on the moneyline, a 9-point differential.

Overall, the Hawks have a pretty substantial edge (a 0.3 net rating in 2020-21 compared to the Thunder’s -5.6). However, over the past 15 games, which is where I started to see some reliability in net rating samples, the Hawks are a -2.0, and the Thunder are a -4.9.

numberFire’s algorithm is very keen on the Thunder and project them to win outright. I’m not quite there, but at the moneyline odds of +164, it’s more than a fair number.

The spread of +5.0 also looks to be a reasonable way to get access to this game, but a positive number on the moneyline is always a welcomed wager.

Charlotte Hornets at Golden State Warriors

The over/under in this game has climbed half point from 233.0 at the open to 233.5. A slight majority — 55% of the bets and 59% of the money — are on the over, so that makes sense.

numberFire’s algorithm is going the opposite direction with it. The under is a four-star recommendation, per our algorithm, because this game is rating out as 68.8% likely to stick under the 233.5-point number. The median projected point total for this game is only 223.7, via numberFire’s model, and only 225.2, per my own model.

These two sides are right in line with the league average in offensive rating over the past 15 games, and the Warriors actually lead the NBA in defensive rating in that span.

Additionally, this season, 54.8% of the Charlotte Hornets‘ games have hit the over, but only 42.4% of the Golden State Warriors‘ games did that, tied for the fifth-lowest rate in the NBA.