Sunday, 15 November 2015

Widespread Unders

In the last 20 NBA seasons, only one team favoured by 16.5 points or more has lost the game straight up.

March 17th, 1998 was that famous occasion, when the Washington Wizards favoured by 17 points lost by one point at home to the Denver Nuggets some 6,451 days ago!

The reason I tell you this is that last night saw the closest we have yet come to a repeat, with the Golden State Warriors (-17.5) needing a late 3-pointer to tie and take the game into overtime to beat the Brooklyn Nets.

The all-time record of teams at -16.5 or more is now 98-1. Perhaps the Warriors pre-game price of 1.03 / 1.04 was value, but a few backers would have been sweating had they been watching the game.

The reason I happened upon this little fact is that during the Summer, I was asked my opinion on NBA Totals betting in games where one side was heavily favoured. My gut response was that Unders was more likely to offer value, my thinking being that a team with a comfortable lead has a tendency to psychologically ease up, rest starters, and in addition the valuable extra points from the fouling towards the end of a close contest are absent.

I looked at the data for the last twenty seasons to see if this idea had any merit, and found that while the older data from 1995-2004 showed more equality between Overs (474) and Unders (480), the numbers since 2005 showed more of a bias (54.8%) towards Unders (487 - 402) and since 2010, even more of a bias at 56.5% (247 - 190).

As a result, we are now busily backing Unders on qualifying games, although 'busily' isn't really the appropriate adjective to use here, since the number of qualifiers is a little under 100 per season, a very manageable number for a part-timer.

Similar to the UMPO System, this is not a "get rich quick" strategy, but it is useful for generating slow and steady returns, for mitigating current and future Premium Charges if you are on Befair, and with just two losing (both small) seasons since 2004, it's another relatively low-risk system that doesn't require hours of precious time.

Last night was a busy one though, with two qualifying games - the previously mentioned Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets game which finished Under despite going to overtime, and the San Antonio Spurs v Philadelphia '76ers game which ended with a total of 175 points, i.e about as comfortably Under as they come.

The numbers above are calculated to a price of 1.952, which is the usual Pinnacle Sports price, and are intended as a guide.

1 comment:

pegguy Wort said...

What size of handicap do you look for when you're selecting games for this system?