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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NBA Totals Biased Just After the Break: OVERs Have an Edge

Miami Heat @ Philadelphia 76ers o220.5

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

February 21, 2019, 4:00 PM PDT

February has been the best month of the regular season for O/U bettors backing the OVER. Per the following chart, (since 2005) the second month of the calendar is one of only two months of the regular NBA season with long-term cover rates north of 50% for the OVER.

The betting public's attraction to higher scores has been documented numerous times. For instance, Paul, Weinbach & Wilson (2004) observed that "bettors prefer the over to the under". In subsequent research, Paul & Weinbach (2008) concluded that in the NBA, OVERs receive a higher percentage of totals bets than do UNDERs, and the higher the total, the more support the OVER garners.

However irrational this general tendency may be, bettor's optimism seems to be justified in the month of February...especially immediately after allstar break. Since 2005, the OVER has cashed in at a 55% clip in the first game after the February lull.

Further, when the home team's previous game went OVER, the win rate improves to 60% in the first game back (33-22, 17% ROI).

One theory explaining this phenomenon is that the lack of defense that typically characterizes exhibition games bleeds over, for a short period, into the resumption of regular season action. Whatever the reason though, the tendency is undeniable. Bettors may be well-served to heed this trend.

Two NBA contests fit this bill Thursday:

  • The Heat @ The 76ers (O/U 220.5), and

  • The Kings @ The Warriors (O/U 239).

We are betting both games, as a matter of discipline, but must admit to some trepidation over the high total attending the Golden State game (to assuage our anxiety though, we remind ourselves that the Warriors OVER is 8-4 this season against totals of 235 or higher).

Happy betting!!

#heat #76ers #kings #warriors #nba #nba2018

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