NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 4/11/2013
The NBA regular season ends in less than a week. The Eastern Conference playoff picture is just about set, so there isn’t much drama there. It’s a totally different story in the Western Conference. San Antonio has been slipping, and the Thunder are trying to take advantage by grabbing the top spot. The two teams head into tonight dead even for the No. 1 position in the standings. Kobe’s late-game heroics have the Lakers in position for the eighth spot in the conference once again, but Utah is still right in the thick of the race.
Who’s streaking and who is slumping right now? Which teams have packed it in for the season and which teams are fighting right up until the end? This will be Doc’s Sports last installment of the Hot and Cold Report. Please note that statistics in this report are from games played between March 28 and April 10.
Top Five “Hot” ATS NBA Teams
--Miami Heat (7-1 ATS) Miami’s stars have been sitting out most of the last two weeks, but the team is still rolling right along. What does this tell us? Even though the team’s stars are terrific, it is probably time for us to give the supporting cast of the Heat more credit. Guys like Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, and others are much better players than many believe. The oddsmakers have clearly overreacted to the big guns being out of the lineup. Coach Erik Spoelstra also deserves credit. He was nearly run out of town a couple years ago, but he is one of the best young coaches in the game.
--New York Knicks (6-1 ATS) No team will go into the playoffs hotter than the New York Knicks. They are 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games. Carmelo Anthony is scoring at will of late, and the team chemistry is the best it has been all season. The Knicks may be the only real threat to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. New York needs Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler to get healthy for the playoffs, because those two are the anchors of their defense on the interior.
--Orlando Magic (5-1-1 ATS) Orlando is one of the least talented teams in the league, but they haven’t quit on first-year coach Jacques Vaughn. The Magic have been battling game in and game out, which is a lot more than can be said about many other teams that are near the bottom of the standings. If this team wants to have any real success in the long run, they’ll have to find a player to build this franchise around.
--Denver Nuggets (4-1 ATS) George Karl’s Nuggets have been the hottest team in the Western Conference for the last couple months. Danilo Gallinari’s injury was a big hit to this team, but they do have a ton of depth. Denver can score points with the best of them, and they are also much better on the defensive end than they used to be. This is a team that no one is going to want to see in the playoffs.
--Detroit Pistons (5-2 ATS) The Pistons have surprised a lot of people by battling hard over the last couple weeks. Detroit has nothing to play for, but they do have several talented young guys who are looking to prove themselves in the league. This is a team that you could find some value on for the last few days of the season if they are a big underdog.
Bottom Five “Cold” ATS NBA Teams
--Portland Blazers (1-6 ATS) Portland put up a good fight against the Lakers on Wednesday night, but they haven’t been battling very hard against anyone else of late. Damian Lillard is a star guard for this team to build around, but the Blazers are going to have to play some defense to win in the long-term. Portland is allowing opponents to shoot 47.3 percent this season.
--Chicago Bulls (2-5 ATS) This season hasn’t gone as planned for the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose hasn’t been the only one injured, and Tom Thibodeau’s team just hasn’t been able to find a groove. Rose is reportedly close to a return, which is great news for the team. Chicago also needs Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to get healthy. The Bulls frontcourt is normally a major strength, but without those two they don’t have much of an advantage.
--Boston Celtics (2-5 ATS) Boston’s recent struggles show how much this team needs Kevin Garnett in the lineup. Garnett isn’t the player he once was, but he is still vital to this team’s success. After having a nice run right after Rajon Rondo went down with an injury, the Celtics are really limping into the playoffs. It’s hard to imagine this team doing much in the postseason at this point.
--San Antonio Spurs (2-5 ATS) Are the San Antonio Spurs injuries finally catching up to them? The Spurs have been on this side of the report two times in a row, and they have lost their grip on the top seed in the West. Tony Parker still isn’t 100 percent, and the team definitely misses playmaker Manu Ginobili. The Spurs could be dangerous in the postseason, but only if they are completely healthy. Expect Coach Poppovich to worry first about the team’s health rather than getting the No. 1 seed.\
--Philadelphia 76ers (2-5 ATS) It has been a very disappointing season in Philadelphia, and it seems clear that the 76ers are ready for the offseason. Oddsmakers are going to have a tough time making this team a big enough underdog in their final four games. If they are up against a team that is still battling, consider playing against the 76ers. Philadelphia has lost their last three games by a combined 63 points.
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