Among the four teams left in the NBA Playoffs, scoring is way down. Let’s take a look at each of them.
In the regular season, Milwaukee games averaged 234.3 points/game. That was the highest average in the league. But in the playoffs, that average has declined down to 212.3. Over the course of their second round series against Brooklyn, we saw the O/U line decrease by more than 20 points. The first round series vs. Miami saw the O/U line decline by six points from the first game to the last game. A quick note that the total for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals is set to be the lowest of the entire series. The Under is 9-4 in Bucks postseason games.
Speaking of the Eastern Conference Finals, Milwaukee's opponent (Atlanta) has seen its playoff games average 213.0 combined points. That’s down from 225.1 in the regular season. The Under is 10-5 in Hawks playoff games. Their regular season scoring average was 113.7. They’ve exceeded that number in just two playoff games. Both were Game 1’s.
Over in the West, declines are similar. Clippers games averaged 221.8 points in the regular season. That’s down to 218.4 in the playoffs. Of the four teams left, their decline is the smallest. The Under is 9-9 in their playoff games. But the last five games, four of them against Phoenix, have averaged only 204.2 points.
Suns games averaged 224.8 points in the regular season. Playoff games are down to 209.3. They have not scored more than 104 in any of their last four games. There have been four games in the playoffs where Phoenix has failed to break 100 points. Three of them have been at Staples Center, which is where they are playing their next game. The Under is 9-6 in Suns playoff games.
I point all this out because oddsmakers were initially slow to react to the big decline in scoring. They seem to have now adjusted better and I’d be shocked if we see another total above 220.0 for awhile.
Scoring always declines in the playoffs as defense tightens and the number of possessions decreases. But we’re reaching a point where there could soon be value in taking Overs.