High Totals Don't Mean High-Scoring Games in These NBA Matchups

Charles Stark

Thursday, March 15, 2018 3:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 15, 2018 3:40 PM UTC

The totals are set high for tonight's Philadelphia-New York and Detroit-Denver games -- maybe too high. Is there betting value in backing the "under" in each matchup?

Thursday NBA: 76ers vs. KnicksFree NBA Pick: Under 217Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The NBA odds board came out with a very big 217 total for this contest, and with my NBA picks I’m going to back "under" the total. In their matchup on February 12, Philadelphia came away with a 108-92 victory with the total staying "under" the posted 210. This makes one wonder why tonight's number is so high, but I’m not going to bite. Although Philadelphia has been an excellent shooting team this season at 46.8 percent, they have been equally as impressive on the defensive side. They allow opponents to shoot just 43.8 percent, which ranks second in the league. As well, they rank fourth in opponent shooting efficiency and second allowing opponents to shoot just 34.3 percent from beyond the arc. New York also has shot well overall at more than 46 percent. But what most people will probably overlook is the fact the Knicks have been pretty steady on the defensive side. I like how they match up with Philadelphia as they rank ninth in opponent shooting percentage from the interior extended, a place where Philadelphia thrives. This shouldn’t be a super fast-paced game, so the posted total is just too high.

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Thursday NBA: Pistons vs. NuggetsFree NBA Pick: Under 216Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Once again I’m going to back the "under" with my NBA picks, as the NBA odds board came out with a 216 total for this game. These teams haven’t met since December and that was a low-scoring affair, with Denver winning at Detroit 103-84 -- "under" the 210.5 total. Despite that result it makes sense for this rematch to have a big total, considering that both teams push decent tempo, averaging more than 86 attempts per game. However, how they match up shouldn’t produce a high-scoring affair. Although Denver has been good, shooting 47 percent overall, Detroit is one of the better teams, allowing opponents just 39 field goals made per game along with allowing opponents just 84.4 attempts per game, which ranks them eighth in the NBA. This is a much different dynamic with the acquisition of Blake Griffin, and recently Detroit has been less than stellar on the offensive end, averaging just 99 points their last three games. Although the opposite is true with Denver’s recent uptick of points, I think these two teams combined simply won’t get there.

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