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Feb 28th NBA Action: Golden State Warriors @ LA Lakers

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Season-to-date record: 40-45-2, 47%

Betting two of the League's elite defenses will combine for disappointing scores Sunday: Warriors @ Lakers u224

The Lakers boast the best defense in the NBA by points per 100 possessions. LA is also third by opponents effective field goal percentage, fifth by opponents free throw rate, ninth by offensive rebounds allowed and 11th by opponents' turnover ratio. The Lakers' stinginess has translated to a stellar season for UNDER-backers, as the defending champs' O/U is 12-22...tied for best UNDER team honors in the League.

Importantly, there is a case to be made that the Laker's top-tier defense and inclination toward the UNDER have not suffered without Anthony Davis, who is out for the foreseeable future due to a right calf strain. Sure the Lakers' elite power forward's presence strips 1.86 points per 100 possessions from opposing offenses, per ESPN's Real-Plus Minus statistic, but this impact is essentially offset by Davis' almost equal contribution on offense of 1.49 points/100 possessions.

Also consistent with the idea that the Laker's stifling defense is about more than AD, reports that the Lakers' points allowed is roughly the same in the 1,689 possessions this year without Davis, as when the uber-talented big man has graced the court.

Further, the Lakers' 4-7 O/U in the 11 games Davis has missed so far this season is remarkably similar to their season-to-date record.

The Warriors too are among the NBA's premier defensive talents. Golden State ranks 7th by points allowed, 4th by opponents' effective field goal percentage and 7th by opponents' turnover ratio. Relatedly, DubNation's 19-15 UNDER record is fifth best in the League.

Thus, the context for this contest seems to scream "UNDER". Additionally though, we cite empirical support for our expectation for a relatively low scoring affair this afternoon.

First, we have observed evidence of a home team momentum effect in NBA totals markets in games featuring teams that are relatively familiar with each other.

Games have tended strongly toward the UNDER historically when the host team's last two outs both produced disappointing aggregate scoring and the opposition is from the same the division.

This system has delivered a 13% return on investment since 2004 (including a 6-2-1 run so far this year) with only four seasons with a cover rate below 50% over this span.

Further, generally speaking, divisional action featuring broad enthusiasm for the OVER from the betting public has likewise proven a solid spot to go contrarian and back the UNDER.

Divisional competition with at least 60% of O/U dollars down on the OVER has been profitable for the UNDER historically.

This system is only 10-10 this year, but has delivered a 9% long-term ROI, with only two losing seasons since 2015.

Worth noting, though the vast majority of O/U dollars are supporting the OVER for this game, this line has dropped precipitously since last night, suggesting that some respected players somewhere are getting down on the UNDER. We locked in 224 last night, but expect the UNDER to cash in versus the closing line.

Bottom line: The Lakers and Warriors represent two of the best defenses in the NBA. We are betting that these teams' miserly inclinations combine to suppress aggregate scoring at Staples Center Sunday. Inline with our expectation, we present a couple of generally reliable history-based systems that likewise endorse the UNDER this afternoon. Inclined bettors might want to jump on the bandwagon sooner than later, as the line is facing considerable downward pressure.

Happy betting!!


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