The NBA Odds have the Sixers as +20 ½ road underdogs with a total of 215. Houston is still very much fighting for playoff position in the West right now, but they should have no incentive to have their foot on the gas against the Sixers if the game is in hand. If the Rockets have the lead in the game late in the third quarter, Kevin McHale might pull the plug on his starters, which would limit the offensive upside of the Rockets in this game.
Obviously it might not matter if the Sixers allow 90 points through three quarters tonight, but I don’t think they’ll be that bad. However if they are, the Sixers’ offense still might not even get to 90 points.
Philadelphia is averaging only 92 points per game in their last 10, and it’s even worse in their last five games where they are averaging 89 points per game. The Rockets aren’t a great defensive team, but it doesn’t take much to stop the Sixers. Dwight Howard alone will take away a lot of the Sixers’ drives to the hoop, and that is half of their offense. If their shots aren’t falling, the Sixers won’t get that far into the 90s tonight.
The Sharp Pick
With Houston having no need to score 120+ against one of the worst teams in NBA history, I think the total of 215 is just slightly overvaluing the offense of the Sixers here. Even if they do get past 100 points, it would take a lot, and it still doesn’t guarantee the over will cash.
This season, the Sixers are 18-8-2 cashing the under against the Western Conference, and a big reason for this has been totals that are too high. The Sixers have been even worse at scoring the ball ever since they traded Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, and it has shown in how much they are cashing the under.
They have cashed the under in five straight inter-conference games, as well as seven of their last eight overall games. In fact since the trade deadline, the Sixers are 17-9-1 cashing the under, simply because they don’t have enough NBA talent to score into the upper 90s or 100s. This is a story going under reported in the betting world this last half of the NBA season, but the Sixers have went over 100 points only twice this month, and if they don’t get above 100 tonight, this total is likely going under.
Although Houston is 18-15-1 cashing the over as home favorites this season, the Sixers are 19-13-2 cashing the under as road dogs. In the month of March, the Sixers are 10-3 cashing the under, and I see no end in sight for this team. The Rockets will play long enough to get a 20-point lead going into the 4th quarter, and then the nights of their stars will likely be over if they haven’t ended before the end of the 3rd. 20 points is a ton for a spread, however at 215, I think the under has real value tonight for our basketball picks.
NBA Pick: UNDER 215