NBL expected totals increase in 2013/14 season

nbldefensivepressureWith the Australian Basketball NBL Season 2013/14 set to start on Thursday, we thought we’d take a look at the new rules that should allow higher scoring matches to occur.

The NBL has always been under the pump with regards to low scoring matches ever since they reduced the length of each quarter. But now, whilst there has not been any actual rule changes per-se, referees have been told to be a lot stricter on physical defence. Essentially this means that any defence that gest slight physical pressure should be deemed a foul. This will be mean that there will be more foul shots made, and less pressure on attacking players. All in all, it means a higher scoring game.

Of course there are conspiracy theories that the new regulations have been put in place to curb the dominance of the New Zealand Breakers. But they could also be there to reduce the physical nature of last year’s finals series. And of course, spectators love a high scoring match.

But how high are we expecting the match scores to be? Shown below are the preseason and regular seasons average game scores of seasons gone past:


First thing to notice is the high scoring preseason for this year. At an average of 177.9 points per game, it is the highest of any previous preseason, a full 21.7 points higher than the year before. So there is no doubt that we will be expecting higher scoring come regular season. In the past, regular season has mimicked preseason average scores reasonably well, with regular season scoring on average only 1 point less than preseason since 2009/10.

So what are we expecting this year? Definitely higher scoring matches, most likely 20-25 points higher than normal. Whilst it will take some teams a bit of time to evolve to the new regulations, until they do, expect a more attacking style of each team’s game plan. Look to bet overs for totals early on, especially if the bookmakers are slow at adjusting their lines. On the other side, teams will over time I believe, form a more effective non physical defence, so as the season rolls on, the total match scores may well reduce, but not below that of last year.

Either way, Sportpunter will be keeping a very close eye on totals for the year and will be adjusting our models every day. Our subscriptions for the 2013/14 season are now open, so head over here to see all the details.

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