Tuesday, 22 October 2019

NBA Totals 2019

So I did say that yesterday's post will be my last for a while, but I don't actually leave until Thursday and I find I have a little time on my hands to look some more into totals.

After a slight misunderstanding, Bumby Lansford was able to confirm my numbers for low NFL totals in non-divisional games. 

The results from different data sets will always differ slightly, but over a large sample size, an edge should persist across all of them. 

Turning to NBA totals, which i briefly touched on yesterday, Neanderthal asked:
222.4 was the average total points scored last season during the regular season while the average total for betting was 221.7. 

For anyone else interested, I'll be looking at backing Overs when the line is set as 229 points or higher to start with. I would recommend keeping an open mind on totals as they have a tendency to change as the season progresses.
2018-19 Regular Season Overs
For example last season, before the All-Star break the average total was 220.7, while after the break it jumped to 224.0.  While the NBA All-Star break is approximately mid-season when including the playoffs, it is more like 70% of the way through the regular season.

Another way of looking at the in-season changes is by splitting the 82 game season into two halves which shows the first half average total set at 220.2 with the second half at 223.2, both by far the highest ever and quite a leap from 2011's half season numbers of 190.6 and 194.7. 

In previous seasons, the first half totals have generally been close to the second half totals of the preceding season, but last season was an exception, increasing from 214.1 points to 220.2. 

As you might expect, the sportsbooks adjusted quickly to the money coming in on Overs because of the jump in scoring. 

The average total was at 216.1 in game one, at 219.4 in game two and 222.6 in game three and 224.6 for game four. 

Worth mentioning that not all conferences are created equal, and nor are all teams. Backing the Overs in Los Angeles Lakers home games last season when the total was 225 or higher won just 31% of the time. The Golden State Warriors at home were also costly for Overs, at 39%, and overall these two teams were two of the top five highest totals.

While it is understandable that the public would push the total high for Warriors games, I'm not sure why this happened for Lakers games as the team were a mess from the start last season. LeBron James was presumably one reason, but he missed 17 games through injury and only played 55 in total, and the Lakers finished 4th of five in their division, and 10th in the Western Conference, again missing the playoffs.

This season should be different after a summer of changes, including Head Coach, and they are currently joint favourites on Betfair (second favourites just about everywhere else), to win the NBA Championship this season along with the other Los Angeles team, who they happen to play on opening night tonight although most of Los Angeles would have been hoping to watch the Dodgers in the World Series. 

The Clippers are nominally the home team, (they share the same stadium), but are 2.5 point underdogs. The "away" team won all four matches last season, but over the last seven seasons, the Clippers have won 23 of the 28 local derbies. 

There's also an edge in betting on more rested teams playing a team from another conference coming off an overtime game, but I gave enough free help in the summer with my post on conferences and time zones which included this comment:
I share this idea because I'm a generous chap, and by the time the 2019-20 season rolls around, you'll all have forgotten about it! 
One system that Neanderthal hasn't forgotten about is the BLUnders System that worked so wonderfully a few years back in a world where NBA scoring hadn't exploded exponentially: 
The System used 12+ favourites, but with the previously discussed increase in points, which shows no sign of slowing down, any Unders system is up against it. 

The BLUnders Away System showed a profit again last season but there are few selections and I don't consider the BLUnders Systems to be worth pursuing for a while:

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