Early Season NBA Betting Trends: Scoring And Pace On The Rise
The theme of the first week of the NBA has without questions been scoring and pace. Heading into Monday night, an amazing 27 of the league’s 39 games have gone over the total. Check out some of the offensive statistics thus far compared to last season.
2018 Scoring: 113.3 ppg
2017 Scoring: 106.3 ppg
2018 Pace: 102.1
2017 Pace: 97.3
2018 Offensive Rating: 110.0
2017 Offensive Rating: 108.6
One of the contributing factors to the increase in scoring has been the emphasis of freedom-of-movement. Referees were told to call more fouls on defensive players making excessive contact. The result has been nearly four more free throw attempts per game.
“The rule hasn’t changed, they are just calling it more,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “So it is like anything, it’s habits. A lot of big players in the league just naturally do it, whether it is a hand on a hip. We’ve taught for years that if somebody is coming off a pick, get in front of him, chest him, take him off their line. So these are all habits that are going to have to be broken and retaught again.”
Golden State’s Draymond Green, one of the NBA’s top defenders, has been frustrated by the number of whistles. The Warriors were called for 81 fouls their first three games.
“I don’t know,” Green said. “Some of them are questionable. Like Klay’s one, Gary Harris is a hell of a cutter, you got to be into his body. He’s flying off the screen to his right hand, he’s great at that. So you body up and then you get called for going over the screen, I don’t know what you do right there, but in the same sense, some of the fouls we have are just dumb as hell. Like we’re in the bonus like six, seven, eight minutes to go in every quarter, we’re still fouling — so I think some of [the calls] are a bit questionable, and then some of them are on us, just ridiculous.”
Oddsmakers and bettors have already made significant adjustments. Last year, the league trended slightly under the total at around 52%. The average closing total was 212.4. This season, the average total is up to 218.5. And tonight’s nine games are 222.7. I’ve already noticed a handful of matchups that are totaled more than 10 points higher than the average of last year’s meetings. So while it’s difficult to plays unders when you read about various “points of emphasis” and ace defenders complaining that is it virtually impossible to play physical defense, there will be a tipping point. I also feel that teams will start to adjust to what is being called and referees will eventually back off of their early season whistle heavy ways.
Erin Rynning has delivered 13 straight winnings seasons in the NBA. You can find all of his subscription options exclusively at BettorIQ.