NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 3/1/2013
The all-star break is out of the way, and now it is time for the real contenders to separate themselves from the pretenders. It’s easy for teams to be a nice little surprise early in the season, but you have to have staying power to contend for a playoff spot in the NBA. It’s a long and tough season, and only the best teams can survive. The good news for bettors is that all teams go through plenty of hot and cold streaks throughout the course of the long year, and those can create great opportunities for NBA betting.
Who’s streaking and who is slumping right now? Doc’s Sports will be posting an NBA Hot and Cold Report every two weeks this year to help you stay ahead of the game. Please note that statistics in this initial report are from games played between Feb. 8 and Feb. 28.
Top Five “Hot” ATS NBA Teams
--Cleveland Cavaliers (7-2 ATS) The Cleveland Cavaliers top the charts as the hottest team against the number, primarily because they are 5-0 ATS since the break. Even without Kyrie Irving, they have won against the Bulls and the Raptors. They may have been able to win a couple without him, but the Cavs really need their star back. Cleveland might not have an impressive record this year, but this team has a lot of young talent. Don’t be afraid to back this team when they are at full strength the rest of the year.
--Miami Heat (7-2 ATS) Miami made a statement by finishing the first half on a huge run. It’s quite obvious at this point that the Heat are far better than anyone else in the NBA when they are highly-motivated. It’s the Miami offense that is firing on all cylinders of late. Miami has scored at least 100 points in nine of their last 10 games. LeBron James is shooting a ridiculous 57 percent from the floor this year. If he can keep that up, the rest of the NBA is probably playing for runner-up.
--Atlanta Hawks (6-2 ATS) The Hawks went through a stretch where they struggled badly, but they have bounced back nicely over the last couple weeks. Atlanta has been getting some great play from Al Horford. Horford has three straight double-doubles. He put up 34 points and 11 rebounds in their most recent win at Utah. This is a team that seems to be playing better now that there aren’t any more trade rumors swirling.
--Sacramento Kings (6-3 ATS) The Kings have been flipping back and forth between hot and cold for a while. Basically, this isn’t a team you can trust to bring their best effort on a nightly basis, but they do have the talent to keep games close when they are committed. Tread lightly with a team like the Kings, because you never know what kind of effort you’ll get from them.
--Los Angeles Clippers (6-3 ATS) The Clippers are healthy again, and they are back on the positive side of the report. When this team has been healthy, they have covered the number at a very high rate this year. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are as healthy as they have been all year, and both of them are playing at a very high level.
Bottom Five “Cold” ATS NBA Teams
-New York Knicks (0-6-1 ATS) New York started the season as hot as anyone, but that red-hot start is going to be a distant memory soon if this team doesn’t get it going. The Knicks offense that was so efficient at the beginning of the year has really struggled of late. New York has only gotten to triple-digits once in their last six games. They’ll host Miami on Sunday in what is probably the most anticipated matchup of the weekend.
--Charlotte Bobcats (2-7 ATS) Remember when the Bobcats started the season 7-5? Neither do I. It’s hard to find anything nice to say about the way this group is playing. Kemba Walker is the team’s leading scorer. Walker is a nice player, but I’m not sure he is the type of guy you can build a franchise around. To say that the Bobcats need some more talent is a major understatement.
--Portland Blazers (2-5-1 ATS) Portland was one of the biggest surprises in the NBA early this year, but their impressive first couple months have faded away over time. This team wasn’t as good as they played in the first two months of the season, and bettors who have gone against the Blazers over the last couple months have made a lot of money. The Blazers defense has let them down of late. Opponents are shooting almost 47 percent from the floor against Portland.
--Golden State Warriors (3-6 ATS) Golden State managed to lose 109-105 at New York on Wednesday night despite 54 points by Stephen Curry. Is the team’s defense starting to go back downhill? It will be something to keep a close eye on in the next few games. The Warriors can definitely shoot it from long range, but to be a force in the playoffs they’ll need to play solid defense.
--Orlando Magic (3-6 ATS) The Magic are going to be right down with the Bobcats fighting for the dubious distinction of the worst team in the NBA down the stretch. J.J. Redick had been a bright spot for the team for most of the year, but he is in Milwaukee now. Glen Davis is out for the season with a knee injury. Jameer Nelson has been in and out of the lineup with a plethora of injuries lately. Four of their next five games are against teams that should make the playoffs this year, so expect a lot of ugly losses for the Magic.
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