NBA Odds: Hornets and Bulls 'under' achievers

By: Brad Young | Thursday, March 3, 2011

The best month of the sporting calendar is upon us, but while most of the focus will be on the NCAA Tournament there are plenty of tickets to cash concerning pro basketball.

The National Basketball Association’s regular season continues through April, and there are plenty of bankable trends concerning totals.

The Central Division alone features four of teams with prominent ‘over/under’ records.  Chicago currently enjoys the biggest lead of any division leader at 14 ½ games, and has seen the ‘under’ go a solid 35-24.  The ‘under’ is 17-12 when the Bulls are playing on the road, and 18-12 at United Center.

Chicago begins a stretch of playing four of its next five games at home starting with a March 7 contest against New Orleans.

Second-place Indiana and third-place Milwaukee have also been solid ‘under’ plays this season.  The Pacers have seen the ‘under’ go 34-26, while the ‘under’ is 37-22 for the Bucks.  Indiana has a nondescript 15-14 ‘over’ record when playing on the road, but the ‘under is 20-11 at home.  It might take awhile to cash in on the Pacers however, as nine of their next 12 games are away from home.

Milwaukee has seen the ‘under’ go an incredible 21-8 on its home court, with the ‘over’ going 16-14 on the road.  The Bucks continue of playing a stretch of 10 of their next 13 games at Bradley Center that extends to a March 23 matchup with Sacramento.

Not all the teams in the Central Division maintain exceptional ‘under’ records, with lowly Cleveland sporting an ‘over’ record of 37-23.  The Cavaliers’ season ended shortly after LeBron James uttered the phrase ‘taking my talents to South Beach,’ but this team has been cashing ‘over’ tickets compliments of a porous defense.

Cleveland ranks 29th in the league on defense allowing 106 points per game, and cashing tickets are equally divided between home and away games.  The ‘over’ is an appealing 18-12 at home, while going 19-11 on the road.

But don’t just focus on the Central Division while trying to find an advantage concerning totals.  It’s rare that a public team such as the Los Angeles Lakers would have knack for consistently cashing tickets.  While the two-time defending league champions are 30-31-1 against the spread this season, they have seen the ‘under’ go a solid 37-25.

Los Angeles has seen the ‘under’ go 18-11 at Staples Center, and 19-14 when playing away from home.  The Lakers embark on a tough four-game road trip starting this weekend at San Antonio before traveling to Atlanta, Miami and Dallas.

Dallas is another contending basketball team has a pronounced totals record.  The Mavericks have seen the ‘over’ go 35-25, that includes a 17-13 ‘over’ ledger at home and an 18-12 road mark.  Dallas is currently second in the Western Conference standings behind a potent offense that produces an average of just below 100 points per game.

Oklahoma City is another playoff participant with a money-making totals record.  The Thunder have actually seen the ‘under’ go just 15-14 on the road, but the ‘over’ is an inducing 20-10 at home.  Oklahoma City has a stretch of playing three of its next four games on the road, but the team has a March 6 home date with Phoenix.

Lastly, New Orleans has seen the ‘under’ go a league-best 42-21, going 19-11 at home and 23-10 on the road.  The Hornets continue to battle for one of the Western Conference’s last playoff spots, so seeing an increased defensive effort is a likely occurrence.  New Orleans continues a five-game road trip through March 7 before returning home for five games.

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