Sunday's NBA Odds favor the Lakers at -4 ½ against the Sixers, but the real question is, does anyone care enough to place a bet? In the midst of March Madness, trust this handicapper that there's still NBA profit to be had.
Battle of the Bads
These two teams are probably both a little better and have a little more room for optimism than the Knicks do at this point in time, but still they are both pretty terrible. So how do we go about handicapping this game? A good way to start might be to throw out the spread entirely. These late-season matchups between bad teams are always much more volatile than say a matchup between two teams destined for the playoffs. Coaches will be messing around with rotations a lot, and players might not be as tuned into the game as some of the teams playing for something.
However this really gives us an advantage in the total department. Teams that are not as tuned in are not good on defense, and these two teams are pretty good examples of this. The defense will be at a minimum tonight, and it could mean the over is the play that is most valuable for this late night NBA matchup.
A system I’ve created at Sports Insights tells this story well. In the months of March and April, the over has a rate of return of over 8% between home teams with a winning percentage of 25-40%, and the away team with a losing record as well. There are actually three games tonight that meet this criteria, and with a total tonight of only 194 ½, the over once again looks like a great play for these two very bad teams.
While the system has hit a snag early on this season, over the last 10 years it’s gone 227-182, and I think this is the right spot to trust with NBA picks here.
The Sharp Pick
With the Lakers struggling to score recently, the under has actually been the better play for them. However the Sixers on the other hand have actually been pretty good lately at cashing the over, especially on the road. The over has cashed in six of Philadelphia’s last seven road games, and somewhat true to our system, the over is 5-2 in the Sixers last seven games against losing teams.
The Lakers on the other hand are 5-2-1 cashing the over in their last eight games against losing teams, and after losing their most recent game against the Jazz ATS, they are also 5-2-1 cashing the over following an ATS loss.
The Lakers scoring has been sliding over their last eight games, but before that they had a streak where they scored into the 100s in six straight games. Guess what happened in all six of those games? You’d be right is you said the over cashed in all of them. Not only do I think it’s probably the safest bet for this game, it looks like the most valuable as well in the NBA odds.
NBA Pick: OVER 194 at Bovada