Situational Betting with Rest after All-Star Game
The long NBA season continues following the All-Star game. And like the star-studded affair, we'll be looking for more scoring in selected games immediately after the break.
For the past 20+ years, we've seen a totals situation produce greater than 57% winners on a sample size of more than 220 games. This provides a 'cluster' wager opportunity to bet on all games that fit the simple parameters. As always, you want to shop the best lines at the sports books, but with scoring up again this season, we're likely to see some totals rise once the lines are posted.
Last year, these wagers went 5-2 over the total, providing winning results for a 15th season since documenting.
Here are the parameters, and the games that will be in play.
1) Home favorite
2) Teams 1st game after the All-Star break
3) Greater than 4 days rest
When you consider the rest situation and the better team in the match-ups (> 3) playing at home, the situation makes sense that we may see more scoring with extra energy and effort. Add in the increased scoring again this season and we likely have a positive profile to produce another winning result on at least nine games that fit the parameters.
Follow the trades and player movement as the deadline nears, and I'll add some additional offensive and defensive efficiency notes along with recent team scoring for the Thursday games.
Qualifying games with projected home favorites.
Thurs, Feb 23
Charlotte at Detroit
NY Knicks at Cleveland
LA Clippers at Golden State
Fri., Feb 24
Memphis at Indiana
Boston at Toronto
Phoenix at Chicago
LA Lakers at Oklahoma City
Dallas at Minnesota
Miami at Atlanta
Charlotte and Detroit are both in the bottom third of offensive efficiency and each team has averaged just 96 points per game over there last three contests. The Pistons have played four straight games under the total while Charlotte has played five-straight unders and the Hornets rank top-7 in defensive efficiency. Those stats and results will make it more difficult for bettors to pull the trigger 'over' the total in this match-up. Those results may keep the total down, and note Detroit beat Charlotte 115-114 on this court Jan. 5 with a 74-point fourth quarter and a posted total of 208.
Cleveland will be a big double-digit favorite over New York, and Cleveland is No. 3 in league scoring at 111 PPG but have averaged 118 PPG over their last three contests. The Cavaliers rank top-3 in offensive efficiency while the Knicks are league average. Cleveland comes out of the break with the best record in the East at 39-16. The Cavs also played 7-straight games over the total in February until coming up just short of 219 in the 113-104 win over Indiana the game before the All-Star break. Defense is not in the Knicks DNA, and the Cavaliers also rank in the bottom third of defensive efficiency. The Knicks have played five of their last six games over the total and lost to the Cavs Feb. 4 at Madison Square Garden 111-104 when the total was posted at 208. Note Cavs PG Kyrie Irving did not play in that contest.
The most anticipated game of the night Thursday is the LA Clippers at Golden State. The Warriors are a league-best 47-9 including 24-3 at home where they average a remarkable122 points per game (118 PPG overall). Yet despite leading the league in scoring, the Warriors are just 25-31 over/under this season. The totals for Golden State games are out of site with just one of their last 11 games posted below 220 points. The last two meetings between these teams the past month resulted in scores of 133-120 and 144-98 with Golden State winning both contests and each game going over the total by more than 20 points. We'll see a total in the 230's for this contest, but note while both teams are top-7 in offensive efficiency (Warriors #1), each team also ranks top-10 in defensive efficiency (Warriors #2) and top-5 in opponents FG% shooting.
Some additional totals insight shows the top over the total teams in the East are: Washington (34-21), Milwaukee (33-21-1), Cleveland (32-23) and Toronto (32-25). In the West, the top over teams are Denver (38-17-1), Phoenix (36-21), San Antonio (32-24) and the LA Lakers (32-25-1).
Do some additional research for the upcoming contests including Friday's featured profile games, and evaluate the match-ups, stats and monitor player movement, health and team notes and insight.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay