NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 3/28/2013
The NBA regular season ends on April 17, so jockeying for playoff position is in full swing right now across the league. Some teams are down to just nine games remaining in their regular season, while others still have 11 or 12 games remaining. The Lakers and Jazz have company in the Western Conference race for the eighth spot as the Mavericks are now within striking distance. Miami’s amazing winning streak finally came to an end, but the Heat are firmly entrenched as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs and the Thunder look like they’ll be battling it out for the top seed in the Western Conference right up to the end of the season.
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 March 14 and March 27.
Top Five “Hot” ATS NBA Teams
--New York Knicks (7-1 ATS) A couple weeks ago, it looked inevitable that the Knicks were about to lose the top spot in the Atlantic Division to the Brooklyn Nets. New York has now covered seven straight games and extended their lead once again in the division. During that streak, the Knicks have picked up big wins on the road at Utah and Boston. Carmelo Anthony is healthy again, and he and J.R. Smith have teamed up for some impressive offensive performances of late.
--Utah Jazz (6-1 ATS) The Utah Jazz have been one of the worst road teams in the NBA this year and one of the best home teams. Utah is 22-13 ATS at home but just 15-21-1 against the number on the road. This team’s margin for error is extremely small right now. Six of their final 10 games will be at home, so a nice little run at the end of the year shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
--Chicago Bulls (5-1 ATS) The Bulls were the team that finally snapped Miami’s winning streak at 27 games. Chicago’s physical basketball irritated LeBron James and the entire Miami Heat team. The key to the game was Chicago’s 43-31 edge on the glass. Chicago has one more regular season game against the Heat on April 14 in Miami. The Bulls have been holding up without Joakim Noah so far, but they definitely need his energy back in the lineup as soon as possible.
--Minnesota Timberwolves (6-2 ATS) A lot of credit has to be given to the Timberwolves for continuing to battle despite being near the end of a “lost” season for the team. No team in the league has had more injuries than Minnesota, but Timberwolves fans have to be happy to see Ricky Rubio playing the best basketball of his young career down the stretch this season.
--Atlanta Hawks (6-2 ATS) The Hawks are fighting for position with the Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings. Atlanta has been extremely inconsistent this year, but the Hawks have enough talent that most teams wouldn’t want to have to square off with them in the postseason. The Hawks are now 35-35-2 ATS this year, so the books have been right on the mark with their numbers this season.
Bottom Five “Cold” ATS NBA Teams
--Memphis Grizzlies (1-7 ATS) In this report two weeks ago, the Grizzlies were near the top of the “hot” list with a 6-1 record against the number. They top the “cold” side of the report this week with a dismal 1-7 ATS record. The team’s normally tremendous defense has let them down of late. John Wall scored 47 points on them in a blowout at the hands of the Wizards. The Knicks put on an offensive show against them in their most recent game. Memphis is losing ground to the Clippers and Nuggets in the battle for third in the Western Conference. The schedule is rough for the next week, so Memphis is going to have to find a way to turn up the intensity.
--Milwaukee Bucks (1-6 ATS) Milwaukee will be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but it is looking more and more likely that they’ll play the role of the sacrificial lamb in the first round by drawing the Miami Heat. Brandon Jennings was benched in the team’s most recent loss, and he wasn’t a bit happy about it. The Bradley Center hasn’t been very friendly to the Bucks this year. Milwaukee is just 12-23 ATS on their home court.
--San Antonio Spurs (1-5 ATS) Tony Parker’s absence showed how important he is to the San Antonio Spurs. He absolutely deserves some consideration for MVP. Under Parker’s leadership, the Spurs have the best record in the Western Conference. San Antonio has won five of their last six games, but they have failed to cover the number in all but one of those contests. Parker has healed from his ankle injury, but now he has a minor finger injury that might force him to miss a game or two.
--Toronto Raptors (1-5 ATS) Toronto covered the spread on March 15, but they have dropped five straight against the number since then. Toronto has only scored more than 94 points one time in their last seven games. The Raptors are a little more exciting to watch now with Rudy Gay on the team, but they are still a long ways from being competitive against top teams.
-Phoenix Suns (2-5 ATS) Phoenix now has the worst record in the Western Conference. Phoenix is one of those teams who is looking forward to the NBA lottery at this point. Lindsay Hunter may be a good coach for this team in the long run, but he’ll need a little more talent in the desert to make some real progress.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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