The Super Bowl will dominate the sporting landscape on Sunday, with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers projected for a hard-fought battle that will be seen by more than 100 million people. Before kick off, though, the NBA does have a window to present itself to the sports world in the early afternoon and the league placed a match-up between the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans in a prime, nationally televised window. While a lot of intrigue can be assigned to the ongoing Zion Williamson experience, the game also features two incredibly high-powered offenses and that was on full display through the view of Las Vegas.
In short, the oddsmakers projected a ludicrous point total for the game, with 250.5 combined points as the over-under. The total was actually bet up from the opener of 245 and, by the time the game started, it was the highest over-under in the NBA for two decades.
The Rockets-Pelicans total closed at 250.5 at @CaesarsEnt.
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, it's the highest NBA total in the last 20 seasons.
Second-highest was 246 in Suns-Kings in 2009.
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) February 2, 2020
If there was ever a game for this kind of total, this was probably it. The Rockets are capable of explosive point totals, with James Harden and Russell Westbrook keying an offense that is No. 2 in raw scoring average. The Pelicans are also prolific in the scoring department, entering the day at No. 6 in scoring average, and both defenses rank in the bottom seven in points allowed, juicing up the opposition with sometimes shaky defense.
In addition, the Pelicans have been scalding hot in recent days. New Orleans started the season in ugly fashion but, after a 6-22 start, the Pelicans have been a scoring machine. In fact, New Orleans is averaging 119.0 points per game since Dec. 18, a figure that leads the NBA in that span, and that figure rises to a wild 122.1 points per game in their last 17 contests.
Ultimately, it is fun to root for points and that is a contributor to an over-under total that climbs to these heights. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see both teams zoom into the 130’s.