Jan 14 NBA Action: Playing Total on Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors
As is shown in the following graphic, the two sim programs in our stable point to a combined total of 193 and 197 when the Sixers face the Raptors at Air Canada Centre this evening.
A third quantitative factor, based on adjusted average scores, calls for an even lower total -- 188. Philadelphia averages a league-worst 86 points per game on the road, while, at 105, Toronto's output at home is ninth best in the NBA. These raw numbers point to a total of 191. However, we feel downward adjustments to these figures are warranted to account for the facts that the Raptors defense is more stingy than average on their home floor, and that the 76ers allow slightly fewer points per game than average when travelling. By our math, Toronto's defense should cost the Sixers four points. Similarly, Philly's style is likely to depress Toronto's offensive productivity by about a point. Subtracting five points from our previously estabished average of 191 leaves us with a quant-based estimate of 188.
Toronto is enduring a reversal of furtune of sorts. The Raptors have dropped five of their last six contests, and more importantly, have allowed more than 100 points in six of their last seven games. However, despite their better play of late (Philly won three of their last five games outright, and scored in the 90s in their last couple of games on the road), we are not concerned that the Sixers might shoot the lights out. Instead, this matchup might offer the Raptors a chance to right-foot their effort.
Bottom line: Each factor in our three-pronged NBA handicapping methodology advocates betting the UNDER -- with a significant margin for error. We find this value proposition quite enticing and are wagering accordingly.