NBA Totals Betting: Handicapping Trends Report
by Aaron Smith - 3/20/2013
Less than a month left in the NBA regular season. The Western Conference Playoff participants and standings are completely up for grabs. In the Eastern Conference the eight teams are pretty much locked in, but they are still fighting for position. At Doc’s Sports, we like to take a closer look inside the data to help find valuable betting trends. The bi-weekly NBA Hot and Cold Report helps keep bettors up to speed on hot and cold teams as far as covering the number. Totals are another popular way to bet on the NBA, so we are now tracking which teams are trending “over’” and which teams are trending “under” versus the posted total.
As the end of the season nears, keep an eye on teams that are still battling for a playoff spot versus those teams that are ready to pack it in for the rest of the season. Please note that all statistics used in this article are for games played from March 6 through March 19.
Top Five Over Teams (Over listed first then under)
--Indiana Pacers (6-2) Indiana has had the best field goal percentage defense almost all year, but the Pacers offense has been very good of late. The oddsmakers have been lining Indiana’s games a little bit too low in the last couple weeks. Indiana has scored 95 points or more in five of their last nine games. While the Pacers do play very good defense, they are the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the league, which can make their games a little higher scoring because of second-chance opportunities.
--Detroit Pistons (5-2) Here is one of those teams with nothing to fight for over the last few weeks of the season. Detroit has been getting blasted on a nightly basis of late. The Pistons have lost nine straight games overall. Detroit has given up at least 102 points in each of their last six games. Earlier this year the Pistons defense was improved from a year ago, but it seems they have reverted back to not trying on the defensive end.
--Portland Blazers (5-3) Portland is right on the fringe of playoff competition, but this team is really going to have to get on a run to catch teams like the Rockets and Lakers. Portland’s upcoming schedule is brutal. The Blazers play five straight games against teams who have better record than them. Can the Blazers hold it together enough to stay within range of the eighth seed in the Western Conference?
--Milwaukee Bucks (5-3) Since Jim Boylan took over as Interim Coach for the Bucks; this team has been a nice over play. It’s almost solely due to their faster pace. Boylan wants Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis to keep pushing the tempo, and that has led to higher scoring games for the Bucks. Don’t expect this team to slow down anytime soon.
--Atlanta Hawks (5-3) The oddsmakers can’t seem to get a handle on Atlanta Hawks games. Atlanta has been swinging back and forth from one side of this report to the other over the past month. The Hawks have been one of the streakiest teams in the NBA this year, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oddsmakers can’t get a good read on this team. Be careful putting too much on the Hawks until they show some consistency.
Top Five Under Teams (Under listed first then over)
--Memphis Grizzlies (6-2) The Memphis Grizzlies haven’t missed a beat since Rudy Gay went to Toronto. Tayshaun Prince has fit in well, and the Grizzlies continue to play terrific defense. Prince’s length allows him to bother outside shooters and block some shots around the basket. Memphis is giving up just 89.2 points per game, which is less than any other team in the league. Memphis is in the middle of a three-way battle with the Clippers and Denver for the third best record in the Western Conference.
--Minnesota Timberwolves (6-2) This was supposed to be the year when the Timberwolves contended for a playoff spot, but it hasn’t gone that way at all. Minnesota is only a couple games away from having the worst record in the Western Conference. Injuries have derailed this team more than any other in the NBA. When three or four of your best players are out for most of the season, you just can’t expect to win many games.
--Golden State Warriors (6-2) Mark Jackson’s team was really slumping badly a week ago, but they have picked up big road wins over Houston and New Orleans in their last two games. Golden State is a dangerous team when they play well on the defensive end. Warriors opponents have scored 78 points or less in three of their last five games. Golden State is third in the NBA in field goal percentage defense.
-Houston Rockets (5-1) The Rockets like to run more than any other team in the league, but the oddsmakers are setting some very high numbers on their games. Houston’s offense is still moving quickly, but they aren’t being very efficient. The Warriors defense has slowed this team down twice in the past two weeks, and that has to hurt since Golden State is a team the Rockets are battling with in the playoff race. Houston is now only a game ahead of the Lakers.
--Utah Jazz (5-2) The Jazz were in the playoff picture up until about a week ago when the Lakers bumped them back to the ninth spot. Utah has lost six of their last eight games. They aren’t getting blown out, but they can’t seem to get over the hump at the end of the game. The chemistry of this team doesn’t seem to be the best right now. Utah has to put it together now, or they are going to lose touch in the chase for the final playoff spot.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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