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NBA 2/22/2019

INDIANA/NEW ORLEANS UNDER 222

The trend is your friend!  That is a saying my dad always use to tell me about how he would go about trading in the stock market.  Don’t fight the trend.  The same can be very true with the sports betting markets.  Following the trends alone is not simple enough to have an edge.  However, if you are able to identify which trends are significant and which are basically worthless you might find some good value. 

An example of a worthless trend to me would be the Chicago Bulls are 1-8 ATS the spread on Tuesday night games.  How is Tuesday any different than any other night of the week?  Trust me it isn’t.  But there could be some merit if a team plays poorly against the spread on Sunday road games.  Maybe some of the players can’t resist but stay out late on Saturday nights in cities they rarely get to be in.  Some trends I personally value more than others are how teams perform on short rest vs long layoffs.  Teams that travel from coast to coast can impact their play. Home vs away is a given factor.  Head to head matchups from the same year.  The previous performances from the last 5 games or so etc.

I actually had the Pacers game under as an easy winner the last game before all-star break for a lot of the following reasons I’m about to talk about now.  Since losing Oladipo they have had to rely more on their defense as a primary factor to be successful.  The previous 4 games before the all-star break were all home games for Indiana and they held their opponents to just 94.4ppg during that stretch and each game went under the total.  They have been playing great team defense most of the year but it has really stepped up a notch since Oladipo going down.  Also, the Pacers have not had to travel in over two weeks including the all-star break.  They have been comfortable at home, should be very well rested which to me means two things;  Generally the defense will improve because typically when players get tired they start becoming lazy on defense first.  If you ever played basketball personally you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s easy to have energy and be motivated on offense when the ball is in your hands but when you begin to fatigue more often than not defense gets lazy and will suffer the most.  Secondly, the rhythm for the offense will probably be a little off for both teams not having played a competitive game in over a week.  It takes some time to shoot off some of that rust, once again I know personally 🙁

Some more key stats are the Pacers home defense is allowing just 98.8ppg for the entire season.  That is a full 2 points lower than the next best Memphis, and 5 points better than Denver who rounds out the top 3 home court defenses in the league.  Indiana is 8 vs 22 for Over/Unders at home.  And even more staggering 5 against 19 for Over/Unders as home favorites!  I think this is a significant stat because when they are favored they are more likely to be able to dictate the pace of the game when playing vs an inferior opponent particularly at home. 

Finally, there isn’t a lot to say about the Pelicans.  Sure they are one of the higher scoring teams in the league and most of their statistics have them going over the total a shade more than under.  However they are going into a very hostile environment where the Pacers defense has been thriving.  Also, with all the uncertainty on a day in day out basis with trying to figure out if Anthony Davis will play, won’t play, how much will he play, and his motivation to play.  I think it is going to be very challenging to prepare a good offensive game plan with so many lineup uncertainties for New Orleans.  This all leads me to believe the Pacer’s defense will do enough to keep this game under the total.  Good luck!

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