A few days ago, we examined the analytics for NBA teams.
Today, let's do the same for NBA totals (over-unders).
Backing up to why this topic is important and might be useful – analytics can be a powerful tool when handicapping any sport, and especially the NBA which has so many games during the season. Clearly, analytics are more meaningful with excessive data. The more data we have, the more likely the results are to be accurate insofar as predicting future outcomes.
Many websites provide reliable analytics. Accordingly, I suggest looking at season-long data, as well as shorter-term data. Short-term data means within the last 5 of 10 games (some sites show more recent results, which should be weighed into handciapping since teams will often improve or decline as the season goes along).
Now five months into the 2020-2021 season and the playoffs approaching, we have a wealth of information available to us. Let's examine some outlier discoveries with regard to totals betting.
Here's the latest data from a site called EV Analytics:
NBA RESULTS FOR ALL TEAMS (POINTSPREAD RESULTS)
Here are a few major takeaways from the O/U data above:
(1) The New Orleans Pelicans have been the NBA's best "OVER" team so far this season. Most fans don't think of the Pelicans as a high-scoring team with an explosive offense. They get lost in the discussion among so many strong teams in the Western Conference as well as legitimate views that the team with the highest-scoring team in the league is either Brooklyn or Milwaukee. The thing is, the betting totals on all those other teams has adjusted. The totals on the Pelicans games have not, at least not so far. New Orleans has been a stellar OVER team during the regular season, going 36-20 to the high end of totals. If you had wagered on the Pelicans to go OVER in every game, your return-on-investment would be +22.3 percent. That's a surprising figure since this team is 7 games under .500 and going nowhere come playoff time.
(2) The Indiana Pacers have been the East's best "OVER" bet this season. The Pacers are the East's version of the Pelicans – a team 5 games under .500 going nowhere. Few fans or bettors think of Indiana as a high-scoring team, thus a good OVER wager. However, betting all Pacers' games OVER the number this season would have produced a very profitable 34 wins and 22 losses – a net win of almost 16 percent overall.
(3) The Los Angeles Lakers have been the NBA's best "UNDER" team this season. Who would have guessed the defending champion LA Lakers, the franchise that invented "showtime" would be the best UNDER team in the league? Well, that's what's happened as the betting markets have overreacted to perceptions of the Lakers which doesn't fit reality. LA is 33-23 to the UNDER during this regular season. Is that good defense? Or, is it due to injuries and star players missing many games? Answer – probably both.
(4) The Orlando Magic have been a magical "OVER" team recently. It's important not just too look at season-long results, but just as critical – recent performance. Orlando is on a recent scoring frenzy, going 8-2 to the OVER in its last 10 games, an NBA best over the last three weeks.
(5) The Philadelphia 76ers are the best "UNDER" bet over the previous 10 games. The opposite of Orlando is Philadelphia, which has played tight defense and also dropped its scoring average lately, producing a nice string of UNDERs. The Sixers are 8-2 to the UNDER their last 10 tip-offs.