With a full slate of NBA odds today, we focus our attention on totals in two of our NBA picks and hope to exploit a few weaknesses we see after reviewing the betting lines for Sunday March 22nd, 2015.
Miami Heat (29 O - 39 U) vs. OKC Thunder (33 O - 34 U)
The last time Oklahoma City scored below 100 points was on January 31st when they dropped an 85-74 decision to Memphis but since that time the Thunder has been rolling - is that nifty little double entendre the most overworked in all of sports? I think so. If you review the NBA odds and the totals assigned to games in which Oklahoma City has played you will undoubtedly notice that the Thunder has played 'over' in 10 of their last 12. Russell Westbrook has been immense in Kevin Durant's absence and is among the favorites to win the MVP this season.
Conversely the Miami Heat have played low in three of their last four contests. Miami is ranked 26th in points per game but 5th in points allowed. They are a team built for defense this season as evidenced by their recent performances when they limited the LeBron James' juggernaut known as the Cleveland Cavaliers to just 91 points and most recently shutdown the Nuggets in their last game which resulted in a 108-91 victory. Both those games took place in South Beach.
But today the Heat will be arriving at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and home of the Oklahoma City Thunder. And though the Thunder has been prolific offensively for a good long time they are facing a tough defensive team in Miami. In addition there are a few betting trends to consider:
- Miami has played under in 10 of their 12 Sunday games.
- After a non-conference game Miami has played low in 21 of 27 contests
- Miami games have gone under in 27 of 39 games in which their opponents average 99 points or greater.
- Miami has played under in 22 of 33 road contests this season while OKC has gone under in 18 of 32 home contests.
- The last two matchups between these teams have gone under the posted total in NBA odds.
Let all the squares jump all over the 'over' and watch that total rise. The Miami Heat road contests have averaged about 189 points while OKC's home contests have averaged 202 points per game. The average PPG of those two numbers is 195 ½ and we're looking at a total of 212 ½ . Makes sense to you? Not to me.
NBA Pick: Under 214 ½ at The Greek
Philadelphia 76'ers (27 O - 42 U) vs. LA Lakers (31 O - 34 U)
After putting up 105 points against Golden State the Lakers offense decided to take the night off in their last game in which they dropped a mind-numbing 80-73 decision to the Utah Jazz. Sure the Jazz has statistically the best defense in the league but 73 freakin' points?!! On the flipside of tonight's contest the 76'ers have played low in three of their last four. So why, oh why, would I advise you to include 'over' 193 ½ in your NBA picks?
Well let me state that this total has jumped two full points from an opener of 191 ½ which can be read one of two ways. Either we're getting a lousy number or we are firmly entrenched on the right side of the action. I believe it is the latter and I will tell you why.
LA's offensive performance three nights ago was nothing short of offensive. If you don't believe for one moment that they haven't taken heat from anyone and everyone over the past three days then you sir are mistaken. The Lakers have one of the worst defenses in the league, ranked 28th, while the Sixers are allowing an average of over 100 PPG. We're talking Swiss Cheese defenses here friends - without the cheese and only the holes. This is an opportunity for both offenses, as anemic as they may be, to get front and center for a change. Let's take advantage of this alignment of the moon and the stars and go over in our NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Over 193 ½ at Pinnacle.com.