Is It Actually Profitable to Bet Overs in the NBA? Testing Bill Simmons’ Theory


Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox

Feb 26, 2019, 10:00 PM EST
  • Scoring, pace and efficiency is up in the NBA. The Ringer's Bill Simmons and Joe House theorize the extra points have made betting the over profitable.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze if it has been smart to bet overs and share a profitable over/under system that applies to four games on Monday night.

Scoring is up in the NBA. Teams are averaging 110.9 points per game, the most since the 1984-85 season when they averaged 110.8 points. Increased pace and efficiency are contributing factors.

Teams are also averaging 100.1 possessions per 48 minutes, which is the 16th most in NBA history. Players have never scored as efficiently as they are this season with the league’s effective field goal percentage at .524 per Basketball-Reference.

If you’re like Joe House, host of The Ringer’s House of Carbs podcast, you probably think increased scoring would lead to overs cashing. On Monday’s episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, House and Simmons were discussing the scoring bonanza, and House was confident that given the rise in scoring per game, bettors would have turned a profit wagering on every single over this season.

So to find out whether House was right, I dove into our Bet Labs database.