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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Mar 4 NBA Action: NY Knicks @ Sacramento Kings

New York +11.5 @ Sacramento

Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

March 4, 2019, 7:30 PM PST

We are backing the Knicks to cover at the Kings this evening, primarily on the basis of strong indications from our simulation systems. Our computers see a solid potential for this contest to be decided by no more than a couple of buckets. The implication being that bookmakers are overly generous with the current line of +11.5.

We note too that our assessment that the betting line is too wide would not be at odds with the historical norm. At 477-416-16 ATS (53%) since 2005, double-digit road dogs in non-conference action have exhibited an edge versus the number.

Our guess is that the NBA schedule has something to do with this bias. The current formula, for instance, requires each NBA team to play all teams in the opposite conference twice (2 X 15 teams = 30 games). Thus less than 40% of total regular season play must feature east vs west action (or vice versa). This inter-conference skew produces less data to evaluate for non-conference match-ups, which might contribute to higher relative error pricing such games.

But whatever the rationale, the tilt appears statistically significant, and therefore exploitable...and that's enough for us.

As is indicated in the graphic above, the profitability of backing big dogs traveling to the other conference improves when considering only games played late in the NBA season. Over the last third of each year since 2005, road teams receiving at least 10 have beat the number 55% of the time they faced the other conference. This revised strategy is 3-1 ATS this season.

Happy betting!!

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