2020 NBA Action: Playing the Total for the Dallas Mavericks @ Denver Nuggets
NBA picks (Jan 6): 21-19 ATS (53%), 1% ROI
Fading the total, despite the altitude: Mavs @ Nuggets u226 -110
The Denver Nuggets rank 27th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency. Moreover, a long-term OVER bias is evident in games hosted by the Nuggets. Backing the OVER in games played in Denver has delivered 2.5% ROI since 2004.
Our thesis is that hooping at better than 5,000 feet above sea level drains the oppositions' stamina, leading to diminished defensive effort and consistently higher than expected combined totals.
Consistent with the combination of the Nugget's currently porous defense and Denver's wind-sapping elevation, the boys from the Mile High City boast a season-to-date home O/U of 4-1...yet, today we are betting the UNDER.
Validating our pick, our simulators strongly endorse the prospect of disappointingly low scores.
Additionally, the UNDER for this game was triggered for a system that is based on the idea that the public's expectations get ratcheted too high for teams that have consistently led OVER-backers to the cashier's window early in the year.
Fading OVER-prone teams at home early in the season has delivered an 11% long-term ROI, with only two losing seasons since 2005-06. This system is 17-7 so far this year.
By the way, altitude's impact on the aggregate scoring is strongest in Denver facing teams from the East (particularly when taking points from the East). This effect virtually disappears when we zero in only on Western Conference opposition from outside the Nuggets' Northwest Division.
We think the human body's physiological character explains the nuance surrounding the Nuggets' tendency toward the OVER at home. Eastern Conference teams playing in Denver generally require overnight stays, as a result of travel times and changing time zones. The CDC has found that sleeping in elevation produces more hypoxemia (oxygen deficiency in the blood), and requires a greater period of time for the body to adjust...perhaps a greater period of time than is often available, given the rigors of the NBA schedule.
The Mavs play in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, so, per history, we do not expect Denver's geographic character to meaningfully impact the outcome of tonight's contest. Dallas, off a win in Houston two days ago, could either take the mere two hour flight into Denver on gameday, or fly in early and get a jump on the acclimatization process.