NBA Betting Continues To Favor The 'Under'

By: Adam Markowitz | Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the 2010-11 NBA betting campaign, the league's scoring average was 99.6 PPG. There were four teams that averaged at least 105.0 PPG and 11 that averaged at least 100.0 PPG. The Milwaukee Bucks averaged 91.9 PPG, and that ranked dead last in the league.

This season, scoring has taken a dramatic turn downward and it has been biting 'over' bettors quite a bit. There are only three teams averaging at least 100 PPG, and the Miami Heat are the leaders of the pack at 103.8 PPG. Five teams are averaging less than 90 points per game, and there are several teams that would be in the playoffs right now, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic, that would have ranked in the bottom three in the league last year in scoring. The Lakers and Magic are averaging 93.4 and 93.5 PPG respectively.

With the season reaching its halfway point with Thursday night's games, it seems odd that there have been 49 more 'under' contests than 'overs' on the season. A somewhat stunning 54.7 percent of games have stayed beneath the total.

Leading the way are the New York Knicks. Mike D'Antoni typically has teams that are racing up and down the court, and this year wasn't supposed to be an exception. Instead, this offense has been marred by injuries to its stars all season long, and the end result is that New York is averaging just 95.4 PPG.

The team is shooting just 43.3 percent from the floor and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc, and both numbers rank in the bottom third of the league.

The Knicks have been particularly bad on the road offensively this year. They are averaging just 93.5 PPG away from Madison Square Garden this year, and their games are only averaging 186.2 PPG. New York is 12-3 'under' on the road, and 24-10 to the low side overall making the Knicks the most profitable NBA squad for 'under' bettors.

New York took on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in a game that just screamed as though it should have been an 'under' performance. Atlanta was 19-12-1 'under' for total bettors this year, and the end result was no real surprise, a 99-82 win for the Knicks that stayed below the total by a half-dozen points.

Atlanta improved to 14-5 for 'under' bettors in its road games on the season, and just finished up a five-game road trip with a 4-1 mark towards the 'under.'

Six NBA teams, three in each conference, have at least 20 'under' games this year, and there is just one, the Detroit Pistons, with at least 20 'over' contests.

The Pistons have clearly been a bit of an oddity this year. They are averaging just 89.3 PPG, and they don't have a player on their team scoring anywhere near 20 PPG. Detroit has played eight of its last 10 – and 11 of the last 14 – 'over' the total, with the Pistons going 12-6 'over' at The Palace at Auburn Hills.

The hottest 'over' team in the league at the moment is San Antonio.  The Spurs have played five straight past the total, which has pushed their mark to 17-16 'over' on the season.

San Antonio has clearly been a different team at home, though, where the 'under' is 10-4 than on the road where the 'over' is 13-6.   Much of this is thanks to the annual rodeo road trip, which wraps up with its ninth game on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets. The 'over' went 6-2 in the first eight games of this roadie, including when the team allowed a season-high 137 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

 
 
 
 
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