NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 3/21/2011
The maneuvering for a playoff spot is really kicking into high gear across the NBA right now. Most teams only have about a dozen games left on their regular season schedule. Which teams are playing their best basketball as the season winds down? Which teams are playing like they are ready for the offseason? Here’s a look at the hot and cold teams in the NBA from the last two weeks. Please note that all statistics used are for games played between March 7 and March 20.
Top Five “Hot” ATS NBA Teams
-Denver Nuggets (6-0 ATS) The Denver Nuggets have been a covering machine ever since they let Carmelo Anthony go. How good have they been since the huge deal with the Knicks? The Nuggets are now 12-1 ATS since they moved Anthony. The Nuggets are playing team basketball and they are beginning to play better defense. Don’t underestimate the potential of this team the rest of the year.
-Oklahoma City Thunder (6-2 ATS) Kendrick Perkins is getting healthy and Oklahoma City is already seeing what a defensive presence he can be. The Thunder have still had problems with consistency, as evidenced by their home loss to Toronto on Sunday. This is still a young team that needs to get accustomed to being the favorite on a consistent basis. I expect a strong finish to the year from the Thunder.
-Portland Trail Blazers (6-2 ATS) The Blazers have shown a lot of heart again this year. Nate McMillan does a great job helping this team as they fight through constant injury issues. Portland is glad to have Brandon Roy back, but he doesn’t appear to be completely healthy quite yet. Nicolas Batum has been great lately for this team. They have a tough schedule coming up, so this will be a good test for the Blazers.
-Milwaukee Bucks (6-2 ATS) You might not have been surprised to see the first three teams on the hot list, but the Bucks are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Milwaukee is a competitive team when Andrew Bogut is healthy. Don’t be afraid to back this team, especially when they are at home. The Bucks are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
-Chicago Bulls (5-2 ATS) The Bulls continue to be one of the most impressive teams in the Eastern Conference. While most of the talk has been about the Celtics and the Heat, the Bulls are definitely capable of getting to the NBA Finals. Chicago plays solid defense at all times, which keeps them in every single game.
Bottom Five “Cold” ATS NBA Teams
-Orlando Magic (1-6 ATS) The Magic have been a little difficult to figure out this year. This certainly seems to be a better team after their major trades in December, but they continue to be extremely inconsistent. Orlando must improve on the defensive end, and they’ll need more of a contribution out of guys like Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson.
-Washington Wizards (1-5 ATS) The Wizards finally won a game on Sunday against the short-handed Nets, but this team is playing some bad basketball right now. Washington has still won just one road game all year, and they appear destined to break the record for fewest road victories ever by an NBA team. What’s the worst news for this team? Their next five games are all on the road.
-Cleveland Cavaliers (2-4 ATS) This season has been ugly all the way around for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland will play their next five games at home, but they are just 12-20-1 ATS at home this year. Don’t expect this team to turn it around anytime soon.
-New York Knicks (3-5 ATS) The Knicks are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games. The Knicks lost to Indiana twice in the past two weeks, and they also fell to the Pistons and the Bucks. Can the Knicks right the ship and be a dangerous team in the playoffs? I think the Knicks must find a way to improve defensively.
-Los Angeles Clippers (3-5 ATS) The Clippers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games. Eric Gordon is healthy again, but this team just can’t seem to find a rhythm on offense. Despite playing poor defensive teams, the Clippers averaged just 94 points per game in their last four contests.
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