2020 New Year's Eve NBA Action: Sixers @ Magic
Betting the u220 (-110) when Philly Goes to Disney World Thursday
We think the 76ers at the Magic represents a good spot to bet on lower than expected scoring. We discuss below the historical basis for this play.
In a dramatic turnaround, the Orlando Magic's offense is greatly improved versus last year. Orlando managed 107 points per contest a season ago, on average, good for 24th in the League. The Magic are averaging over 120 per contest and are fifth in points per game and forth in offensive efficiency so far this year.
Conversely, the Sixers' scoring is actually down about six points YTD compared to last season, dropping last year's 20th ranked offense by absolute productivity to the 28th spot this season (Philly is 26th by scoring efficiency).
Consistent with these teams' individual scoring trends, Orlando's first four games of the season have all exceeded the betting total, while Philly's action has finished consistently below the number. These setups hint that lower scores are likely Thursday.
First, we note that home teams with a penchant for higher scoring affairs have proven profitable for UNDER-backers.
Back to 2005, betting on the UNDER in games featuring home teams with at least a 75% O/U rate has been good for a 55% cover rate and a 7% return on investment (ROI).
The profitability of this system is amplified though early in the NBA year...
Over about the first 15% of regular season play, this system delivers double-digit ROI. Further, the early-season version (reflected in the graphic below) accrued losses in only two of the last 15 completed seasons, and is 10-5 so far this year.
Additionally, the tendencies of prolific offenses tend to dominate at home, versus road teams with the worst O/U records.
The UNDER has returned 24% since 2005 in situations where home teams with OVER rates of at least 75% host guests that exceed the betting total no more than 25% of the time. This modified system is 7-3 so far this year.
Thus conditions appear consistent with the expectation for disappointingly low scores in Orlando Thursday. We are positioning accordingly.