Offense might be the name of the game in the “new” NBA, but the UNDER has been the profitable basketball pick this year. Maybe this is all Stephen Curry's fault.
Jason's 2015-16 record as of Dec. 11: 8-10 ATS, 3-1 Total
Here's how you win in the NBA these days: 1. Shoot as many threes as possible; 2. Hit as many threes as possible; 3. Profit. That's how the Golden State Warriors are doing it. Going into Saturday's action, the Warriors were jacking up 31 trey attempts per game and nailing 43.2 percent of them. Their average margin of victory: 14.2 points. Deal with it.
Other teams are doing their best to keep up with the times. Everyone's firing away from long range, and it must be working: Scoring is at 100.7 points per team per game, up from 100.0 points last year. So how is the OVER doing at the pay window? Horribly. Six weeks into the regular season, and the UNDER has been a profitable blind NBA Picks at 181-158, or 53.4 percent.
The Golden Ticket
Here's the thing: Not everyone can do what Stephen Curry (34.0 PER, +12.7 BPM) does. It isn't just the sheer volume from outside (11.3 attempts per game) or the accuracy (46.3 percent); it's also the way Curry puts himself in position to get all those quality shots. And then you have Curry's eagle-eyed teammates:
Klay Thompson 7.0 attempts, 44.2 percent
Draymond Green 3.8 attempts, 36.3 percent
Harrison Barnes 3.2 attempts, 38.9 percent
Andre Iguodala 2.6 attempts, 42.9 percent
Brandon Rush 2.2 attempts, 48.6 percent
Leandro Barbosa 2.0 attempts, 46.2 percent
Ian Clark 1.3 attempts, 44.0 percent
If you can assemble a team of sharpshooters like this, you can hoist all the threes you want – and go OVER on a regular basis. The Warriors had the OVER at 15-9 heading into the weekend, which is even more amazing when you consider how much of a high-profile team they are right now. The market can see what's happening; Golden State hasn't faced a single total below 200 on the NBA Odds board this season.
Victory Lap Tour 2015-16
So what happens when you jack up a whole bunch of threes you have no business jacking up? You become the Los Angeles Lakers (UNDER 13-10), or the Detroit Pistons (UNDER 14-10). They're two of the busier teams in the league when it comes to perimeter shooting, but they're also near the bottom in accuracy: 32.5 percent for Los Angeles (No. 24) and 31.8 percent for Detroit (No. 26).
Of course, with Los Angeles, you get Kobe Bryant (10.0 PER, –5.5 BPM) and his magical retirement tour. Magical for your bankroll, that is. Bryant is on a mission, and that mission has very little to do with winning basketball games. He's good for 7.2 trey attempts per game, yet he's connecting just 22.2 percent of the time. I'm not going to tell him to stop. Far from it – I haven't been this entertained in quite a while.