Odds Favorites Cashing Following Top Scorers

James Harden

Thursday, January 26, 2017 4:56 PM GMT

NBA stars are putting on a show this year. The number of 30-point plus efforts are at levels not seen in over a decade. In some situations, teams are proving a profitable bet following such a night.

The 2016-17 NBA season is incredibly exciting to watch. Just past the halfway point, scoring is way up. To date, the average game score is 210 points. Two seasons ago, it finished at 200. What's driving the increased scoring? Three-point attempts are higher than ever, better floor spacing and ball movement due to defensive rule changes, and scheduling tweaks implemented last year allow for more rest among squads.

The latter appears particularly relevant this year. There are fewer back-to-back contests, and no franchise is required to play more than two stretches of four games in five nights. As a result, fans are witnessing a surplus of strong individual performances. Players have recorded 350 30-point-plus games to date, soaring over last year's 244 total at this time. Those putting up 40 points or more in a night tally 52, which almost equals the last two seasons combined (56) roughly 45 games into the schedule.

What's interesting to note from a bettor's perspective is how teams are rallying the next game out off huge individual efforts. Interesting fact to take into account when looking into the NBA Odds board. Franchises following up a 40-plus point effort, for example, are 32-18-2 against the spread. Favorites are fueling the wins. Chalk has covered 22 of 28 contests with one push; underdogs, meanwhile, are 9-13-1 ATS. It is a similar pattern to last season where favorites covered at a 58 percent clip and dogs dropped to the number 32 percent of the time. A 40-point effort the previous game is perhaps a sign a good team is in a good place, ready to take care of business when expected.

The trend, this season, is not dominated by MVP favorites James Harden and Russell Westbrook either. The Warriors, Thunder, and Rockets are a combined 9-2-1 ATS in this situation, each serving as chalk in four games apiece, but nine other teams have tipped off favorites in this spot—some on multiple occasions. Only the Bulls post a losing ATS record out of the group, falling 110-107 at Denver as 2-point favorites in late November following Jimmy Butler's 40-point effort against the Lakers. Nor have the majority of contests come earlier in the season when the betting market may have proven more inefficient. Most (12) have occurred in the month of January.

It will be interesting to see if the trend maintains its torrid streak. Regression should be expected. One thing is for certain, expect more huge scoring nights from the game's biggest stars as teams make a push for the postseason. This season is gem to watch, and you can keep up with all the latest betting information in the NBA right here at SBR Picks.