The Differential Between League Median And Totals

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One of the most overlooked aspects of sports betting strategy by beginner players is the Differential From League Median. Often referred to as DLM, this tool is used to establish the difference between a team’s offense or defensive average when compared to the league median. Here is a look at the differential between league median and totals.

What's The Differential From League Median?

When the line on a total is released the sportsbook has already factored in the DLM to an extent. However, that doesn’t mean they have factored it into their numbers as much as they should have. That opens the door for the handicapper to gain an edge if they have followed the numbers close enough.

Let’s use a made up game between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors as an example. The Hawks enter the game averaging 97.9 points per game while allowing 100.8 points per game. Meanwhile, the Raptors enter the game scoring 101.0 points per game and have allowed an average of 94.7. The average of those four numbers is 98.6. If we multiply that by two, we get 197.2. If the posted total for the game is 204.5, then we know the total is a little higher than it should be based on the DLM.

However, if the total is 195.0, then we know it is a little lower than it should be. This is a very easy system to follow as the equation is easy enough even for beginner bettors to calculate. It’s an easy way to gain an edge betting on totals.

Is There An Edge To Gain With DLM Betting?

Yes, sharp sports handicappers can also use the differential from the league median as a tool for gaining an edge. An offense that scores more than the league median will receive a plus figure, just as the offense that scores less than the league median will receive a minus figure. For defense, it’s the opposite as a team that allows less than the league median will receive a minus figure, because they are expected to allow fewer points than an average defensive team. If we use the example above then the numbers will look something like this:

Atlanta offense 97.9 + 0.55

Atlanta defense 100.8 + 3.45

Toronto offense 101 + 3.65

Toronto defense 94.7 -2.65

We already calculated the average of the four numbers, which was 98.6, and multiplying that by two provided us with a total of 197.2. The next step is to add up all of the plus and minuses that were looked at based on the differential from the league median. That gives us .55 + 3.45 + 3.65 + 2.65 -5, which should be a simple enough equation. Now, we have 197.2 +5 =202.2, which is our predicted total of the game factoring in the DLM numbers.

Cross-Reference With The Sportsbook Numbers

If the best sportsbooks agree with our projected total then it makes sense to pass and look for value elsewhere. However, if there is a substantial enough differential between our number and the sportsbook then we have now have opportunity to cash in with an edge when it comes to the betting total.