NBA – Nuggets/Trail Blazers over 227 (-110) 7:00 PM CT on TNT
This series is 4-1 over this total, averaging 231.2 PPG even without the double-overtime points tacked on from Tuesday, so why haven’t the totals adjusted upwards in response?
The algorithm odds-makers are using is factoring in pace and the number of possessions is shockingly low at 94.3 per game, lower than the slowest-paced team in the NBA this season. But what books haven’t been able to square with the pace metric is red-hot shooting from both teams, particularly in the games that went over the total.
In those four games, these teams shot 47.9% overall and a ridiculous 42.6% from deep (to average 236.5 regulation PPG), whereas in the one under game that dropped to 41.6% and 32.5%, respectively. That strikes me as a significant outlier, and I don’t see any reason why the high-efficiency scoring wouldn’t continue here, especially with the Portland Trail Blazers’ advantage in the backcourt combined with their defensive limitations. Plus, coming off two overtimes in what’s already been a long series will impact defensive effort, so give me another over here.
Bonus Bet: Season on the line, facing elimination in front of the home crowd, off an epic performance, is 34.5 points too big of a player prop hurdle for Damian Lillard to clear? No, no it is not. You know what time it is, give me the over on this as well.
NBA – Suns/Lakers under 208.5 (-110): 9:30 PM CT on TNT
This series has the look and feel of old-school playoff basketball, and combined with the injuries to key players I just don’t see enough offensive pop to get this over the total. The Los Angeles Lakers have only been competitive in this series when Anthony Davis plays and does so at a high level.
With AD either out of this game or at best hobbled by his groin injury, their offense gets a serious downgrade. They’ve only scored 88.5 PPG in the last two games where he left early and then sat out. Additional injury issues for Chris Paul and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope create even more limitations for both offenses. Defense has reigned in this series anyway, with a slow pace and excellent defensive efficiency metrics from both squads that have led to a 4-1 under mark with an average of 199.2 PPG.
The Lakers know their top-rated defense is the best chance to extend this series, so I’m looking for another hard-fought and low-scoring affair here tonight.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 274-179 ATS (+83.5 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.