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Totals Have an Overtime Hangover

Totals Have an Overtime Hangover

Totals Have an Overtime Hangover
By Sam Martin

Playing a game the night after taking part in an NBA overtime contest is not something that most players would care take part in, and that approach has been reflected in basketball handicapping over the past four seasons, based on the scoring output in the subsequent contest.

That ability to bounce back quickly surprisingly happens much more often on the road than it does when playing in front of friendly crowds. Most likely, the reason stems from the fact that, in the latter case, the team is usually coming back from a road game, as opposed to simply continuing a week or two of travel, where a consistent pattern has been established.

This NBA trend can clearly be noted by the fact that since the start of the 2009-10 season, there have been 39 games that fit such circumstances. In 27 of those contests, the game finished below the Las Vegas betting total for the home team.

The numbers are even more prominent when looked at from February 2012. Since that time, there have been 18 games under this sports handicapping umbrella, and in 14 of those contests, the number ended up below what oddsmakers had posted.

To a lesser extent, the side play has been on an equally torrid surge over the past 21 months in favor of the road team, with away squads putting up a solid 15-3 mark when it comes to besting the pointspread. Prior to this run, the record in this department was a nondescript 12-9 record for the visitors.

Returning to the totals aspect, when a team has been listed as home favorite, the under has been a winner 72 percent of the time with an 18-7 record. Breaking that down even further, when the home team is favored by four points or less, the under has virtually been automatic, with seven of the eight clashes ending up in that fashion.

Home underdogs have been successful, though not at the same pace, with nine of 14 games ending up winners for those wagering on the under. All but four of those games have been for dogs of less than three points, with teams managing to go under at a 60-percent clip at 6-4.

One additional note with regard to home underdogs: in those 14 games, the home team has put up miserable numbers against the Las Vegas betting line, only covering three times over the four-year span.

In the final analysis, it pays to look for back-to-back scenarios, and then watch to see if any of those matchups go to an extra session. Adherence to such nuances can often be the difference between cashing in and coughing up cash.

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