This is the third part of the series of “Pound The Under In The NBA Playoffs” where Mike Lundin is examining totals trends throughout the playoffs.
In “Pound The Under In The NBA Playoffs Part 1” and “NBA Conference Semifinals 2016 Preview – Pound The Under In The NBA Playoffs Follow Up” we could see strong bias for the games in the NBA playoffs 2016 staying under the total.
I predicted that we should “not be surprised if the O/U is closer to 60 percent in favor of the under when the Conference Semifinals are over …”
As it turned out, I was right. The numbers are now O/U: 25-39-2, 61 percent in favor of the under as we enter the conference finals, compared to a 14-30-2, 65 percent on May 2.
That would mean that the O/U went 11-9 during that time period, and blindly betting the under in every game would have been a losing proposition.
Let’s take a look at the Conference Finals to determine if we can predict any totals trends to make us some easy money.
Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have impressed and are the only team to enter the Conference Finals undefeated. The Over/Under is 3-4-1 in their eight games so far and the over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings with the Raptors.
Toronto has had a rough path with each of their first two series in the playoffs going to seven games. Over/Under is 5-9 in games involving the Raptors and if they are to have a chance here against Cleveland they gotta bring it defensively, but the injury to Jonas Valanciunas should give the Cavs a huge rebounding advantage.
The total for Game 1 of the series opened at 202 points which is significantly higher than the average of 191.3 in the Raptors games here in the playoffs.
I don’t think Toronto will have much success against Cavs team that might very well sweep this series, and if the opening line in Game 1 is any indication I can see most of the games in this series going over the total.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors
I honestly did not give the Thunder any chance what so ever to upset the Spurs. I was obviously wrong as OKC brought down San Antonio in six games, giving up much less points than expected.
Watching the games though, I don’t really think the Thunder played a great defense but it was rather sloppy shooting from the Spurs that gave that illusion.
The Over/Under is 6-5 in the Thunder’s 11 games in the playoffs with an average of 201 points. The line for the total in Game 1 here against Golden State opened at 223, and for a good reason.
The Over/Under is 5-5 in the Warriors 10 games with an average of 215.6 points. Keep in mind, Steph Curry missed several of these games but came back in the last two against Portland in the last round, leading Golden State to 132-125 in OT and 125-121 victories.
The total set for the opener looks high at first glance, but these are two teams more than capable of driving up the score. If this is the line the bookmakers will use as a standard throughout the series I don’t see either the over or the under dominate.