Rovell: 2 Classic NBA Under Teams Go For 3rd Straight Over

Rovell: 2 Classic NBA Under Teams Go For 3rd Straight Over article feature image

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good under.

And for Game 4 of the first round of the NBA playoffs for the Nuggets vs. Timberwolves, my initial thought was that tonight would be no different.

The Timberwolves are the seventh-best under team in the league this season (46-41, 52.9%), while the Nuggets are eighth-best (44-40-1, 52.3%).

But sometimes, as you look into the data more and more, things just don't make sense.

Game 1 was absurd because Minnesota just couldn't score. They never scored more than 23 in a quarter and had one quarter (the third) where they scored just 14. The total finished 36 points under (189 total points on a total of 225).

With the total down to 222 for game 2, the Nuggets and Timberwolves scored 235 (+13 to the over). And for Game 3, the two teams combined to score 232 points on a 222.5 number (+9 to the over).

Tonight's number is up to 223.5. And while that figure doesn't bode well recently for the over — in the last two years in the playoffs, games with a closing total of 223.5 are 54-37 to the under — the Wolves are interestingly 9-2 to the over on a number of 223.5, while the Nuggets are 8-4 this season.

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A reminder here is that records against the total are not absolute. You must always ask: What is the number?

Tonight's total assumes the Nuggets win 119-115.

The Nuggets have hit 119 points 46% of the time this season and the Timberwolves have hit 115 points 45% of the time. I would like to be a bit more comfortable.

I'm gonna buy a point to get it down to 222.5. Nuggets have hit 118 points about 50% of their games this season, while Timberwolves have put up 114 points about 47% of the time.

Bet the over on the alternate total of 222.5 (-120) at BetMGM tonight.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 12, 2024 UTC