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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Dec 20 NBA Play: Betting Total on Portland Blazers @ New Orleans Pelicans

Portland Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans o201 (-117)

Our two computer simulation systems point to a range of 205-212 for the combined total of this evenings game between the Blazers and the Pelicans (4pm Pacific at Smoothie King Center), offering ample value on the OVER play.

A look at the scores these teams have posted throughout the season identifies a span of 208-216, likewise endorsing this selection. Away from the Moda Center, Portland's median score has been 107 points. New Orleans has recorded a median home score this season of 109. These stas sum to 216 and define the high end of the estimate (using average rather than median home/away scores results in the same 216 point figure). An examination of all games played, regardless of whether they were held in a friendly arena or not, highlights a total in the 208-210 zone.

Also in support of the idea that this game will be a barn-burner, both teams generally shoot better than the league average of 49% from the floor. However, SF Tyreke Evans is questionable for the Pelicans today due to a bruised right knee. If Evans can not go, his absence is likely to blunt New Orleans' offensive output somewhat (Tyreke averages 17 points, 6 dimes and 5 boards per contest). In this case, we would expect Portland to do the heavy lifting in elevating the scoring total above 201. Given the porousness of the New Orleans defense, we do not see this as much of a stretch. The Pelicans, for instance, rank 23rd in points allowed, giving up roughly two points more per game than the league average. Also, New Orleans enables their opposition to shoot about two percentage points better than average.

Of some concern, not only are the Blazers coming into the second game of a back-to-back tonight, but last last night's contest at the Spurs required three overtimes before ultimately being resolved in the Blazers favor. Portland has faced five sequences this year where they played two games in as many nights. The three November occasions saw higher scoring in the second game, while scoring was sub-100 in the back game of the two instances in December. Playing an extra 15 minutes could conceivably sap some of the Portland's energy tonight. Alternately, a quality win over a the champion San Antonio Spurs might invigorate the Blazers, espeially against the Pelicans' lower quality defense.

Bottom line: Given the indications from the computers and a look at the historical scoring of these teams, we are willing to play the OVER. The potential that Tyreke Evans is benched due to injury, and that Portland is gassed after playing extra periods last night constitute risks to this call, but we are counting on the Blazers to muster productivity against a relatively soft New Orleans defense.

Happy betting!!

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