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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Feb 22nd NBA Action: Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Season-to-date record: 39-42-2, 48%

Betting on pace and a porous Chicago defense: Rockets @ Bulls o226.5

Offensive output tends to flourish in games featuring rested home teams playing outside their conference after tough patches. Contests involving teams facing the opposing conference in their own building after at least three days off and three or more consecutive losses have marked solid opportunities to back the OVER.

This set of criteria has delivered a 12% return on investment since 2004, including a 2-1 run so far this year. Further, this system has amassed sub-50% cover rates in only five seasons over this timeframe.

We hypothesize that the efficacy of this approach owes to several sources: 1) time between games facilitates both physical recuperation and more thorough game-planning for upcoming action; 2) professionals athletes at the highest level muster added resolve to bolster offensive output and avoid extending losing streaks; and 3) the relative lack of familiarity inherent in non-conference play lends to higher scoring, as defenses are less aware of other team's offensive tendencies.

Triggering this system Monday, the Rockets dropped seven straight before contests slated for Friday and Saturday were ultimately postponed. Houston will hit the hardwood today for the first time in the last five days, as one-point underdog hosts to Chicago.

Separately, the Rockets and Bulls rank 3rd and 4th by pace, so, consistent with our forecast that plenty of points will be registered, expect an up-and-down affair Monday. And Chicago's defense is a bit worse than average overall on the year, allowing a point better than the League average per 100 possessions.

Also worth mentioning, Houston is highly reliant on the longball. In fact, threes have accounted for 38% of the Rockets' total offense so far this year. Only four NBA teams shoot from deep more effectively. Thus, Houston's style of play also fits with the potential for higher than expected offensive productivity (the Rockets last three games have all gone OVER the betting total, in spite of Houston managing to knock down only 31 of 127 three-pointers over this span).

Finally, expected close games (i.e. those characterized by low spreads) have also exhibited an ever so slight edge in favor of the OVER, likely driven by the increased potential for overtime in contests involving fairly evenly-matched competition.

For all of these reasons, we are comfortable betting on the OVER when Bulls host the Rockets Monday.

Happy betting!!


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