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Nov 7 NBA Action: Line Movement Offers Compelling Opportunities


Minnesota Timberwolves @ Chicago Bulls u201.5 (-105)

According to VegasInsider, the total for the Wolves at the Bulls was installed at 198 in several Las Vegas sportsbooks. Supporters of the over have since driven the number 3.5 points higher though to 201.5. Our models suggest cumulative offense will be capped at 193-199 this evening, so the herd behavior has created value, in our judgment.

In support of our quantitative assessment, consider that both Minnesota and Chicago are standout defenders. The Timberwolves are 4th in Opponents True Shooting Percentage, while Chicago is 6th. As further evidence of the Bulls' defensive prowess, Chicago also ranks 9th in Blocked Shots per Game and 7th in Least Fouls Committed. Also, both teams average about one possession more per game than average, so we do not expect a break-neck pace tonight.

For all of these reasons we see the potential for tonight's Timberwolves @ Bulls matchup to be more of a grind than the over/under line reflects. As such, we are backing the under.

Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks u206.0 (-105)

An opening total of 203 was prevalent in Las Vegas for the Wizards @ the Hawks. Thanks though to a wave of cash coming in on the over, an appealing proposition for under backers has materialized. Our work anticipates a final score of 99-102 Atlanta. We see a combined total of 203 at the high end, making the under quite attractive.

Both Atlanta and Washington will play tonight after competing on the road last night. Covers.com has observed evidence of offensive slippage in the second game of back-to-backs. Specifically, the authors note that the over is significantly less likely to cover in the back game of two-in-a-row stints. This effect might be particularly evident tonight as both teams are older than average (Washington by about a half year, and Atlanta by more than a year).

Further, Washington suffered a 20 loss at TD Garden in Boston yesterday, which might be deflating in its own right, but of special interest to us, that game featured 19 possessions more than an average NBA game. Similarly, Atlanta was also forced to assume a more brisk pace than the Hawks would naturally adopt in order to keep up with a young New Orleans team designed for get up and down (the Pelicans average five more possessions per game than the Hawks). Thus, tired legs might be on display Saturday after both teams expended more than a usual amount of energy just a night ago.

Also, New Orleans committed 24 fouls against Atlanta, while the Hawks are only accustomed to receiving contact about 20 times per game. The increased physicality of last night's affair might also sap a bit of vigor from tonight's offensive effort.

Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings u221.5 (-105)

Most shops opened the total for the Warriors at the Kings at 218, but bettors have since driven the number up by 3.5 points. We regard this move as excessive, as our work anticipates a combined total of between 214 and 219.

The Warriors boast the best defense in the NBA by Opponents True Shooting Percentage. Golden State is also 9th by points allowed, 5th in blocks and 11th in steals. Against this level of competition, it does not appear a stretch to imagine a subpar offensive outing for the Kings' 16th ranked offense (by True Shooting Percentage).

Also, Sacramento just entertained the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena last night, so the Kings will play Saturday without a night off. The Warriors too compete for the first time this season in the second of back-to-back games. Further, tonight's game will be Golden State's 4th game in 6 nights. As such am offensive letdown both ways certainly appears a plausible assumption.

We see Golden State winning 114-102. Thus there appears ample value on the under.

Happy betting!!

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