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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Mar 1st NBA Action: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Houston Rockets

Updated: Mar 1, 2021


Season-to-date record: 42-46-2, 48%


Done fading the Rockets (for now): Houston -2.5


We bet against the 11-21 Rockets to cover to Sunday, as we were hard pressed to expect Houston to turn around their ten-game losing streak, particularly without their best player, Victor Oladipo. The boys from H-Town essentially performed as expected, giving up the cover to Memphis in no sweat fashion, in what turned out to be a blowout loss.


We are flipping the script and siding with the Rockets as short favorites versus Cleveland Monday!


The Cavaliers have rattled off three wins in a row, all from the underdog slot, to improve to 13-21 on the season. We regard the present as a solid sell high spot for Cleveland (even against Houston), and we are backing the Rockets for the win and cover.


Fading bad teams on fruitful runs, against less familiar, less bad teams has proven a profitable long-term strategy, good for a 9% ROI since 2005, with only three years with cover rates below 50%.


Teams that failed to land a seed in last year's playoffs but that have rattled off a strung of consecutive wins have tended to not cover in non-division play versus teams that did see the previous post-season.



This system is a nominally profitable 9-8 ATS so far this season, however statistical inference validates it's long-term value above the 52.3% cover rate required to break even at the standard -110 vigorish.



Separately, consistent with our inclination, ESPN's NBA Basketball Power Index makes the Rockets roughly six points better than the Cavs on a neutral court Monday (but the Toyota Center will accommodate up to 25% capacity for Monday's action, or 4,500 fans, so Houston probably deserves some modest adjustment for home court). Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight gives Houston a 3.5 point edge, also implying value with the Rockets Monday.


The Action Network lists the Rockets John Wall as doubtful (rest) Monday, while Andre Drummond (undisclosed) and Kevin Love (calf) are unavailable for Cleveland.


Happy betting!!




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