NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 12/4/2014
We're more than a month into the NBA regular season. It's time for the second edition of our Hot and Cold report. Golden State and Memphis are first and second, respectively, in the Western Conference. Golden State is no surprise to me; that team is loaded with talent and they are buying into Coach Steve Kerr's system. Memphis is a surprise as most people had them pegged as the seventh or eighth best team in the Western Conference. Toronto has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 15-4. Cleveland has started slowly, but they are showing signs of coming around. The NBA Atlantic is shaping up to be one of the worst divisions in NBA history, while the NBA Southwest is loaded with great teams.
Doc's Sports has done an NBA ATS Hot and Cold report in the past, and we will be offering it again this year. We'll highlight the Top 5 hot teams and the Bottom 5 cold teams. This report allows bettors to keep an eye on which teams are streaking and which are slumping. There's no doubt that the NBA is a momentum-driven league. Will these current trends continue, or will they change soon? This report will be offered on a bi-weekly basis throughout the NBA regular season. The statistics listed below are for games played between 11/11 and 12/3.
Top Five Hot Teams
1. Los Angeles Clippers (8-3 ATS) The Clippers are too talented to struggle for a terribly long period. After starting the year as one of the worst bets against the number, they are at the top spot of the best bets in the past three weeks. They have been a really bad bet at home, but they are playing well on the road. They have three straight home games this week, so we'll see if they can get things going at Staples Center.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (9-4 ATS) I'm really impressed by the job Jason Kidd is doing with this young Milwaukee Bucks team. Remember how horrible this team was last year? They had the worst record in the league at 15-67. It was the worst record in franchise history. Milwaukee sits at 10-10 through their first 20 games this year. Brandon Knight has been great at point guard, and I think his amazing production increase is in large part to Kidd's arrival. This team is a good one to back as an underdog because of their grit.
3. Dallas Mavericks (8-5 ATS) When are the oddsmakers going to realize how good this Dallas team is on the road? The Mavericks are a stunning 57-24 ATS in their last 81 road games. It's not very often you see long-term trends like that in this league. Dallas is a veteran team that isn't rattled by tough environments. Dallas leads the league in points per game at 110.3 per contest.
4. San Antonio Spurs (7-5 ATS) The Spurs were a little bit rusty at the start of the season. Who could blame them? After the brilliant performance they put on in the NBA Finals last year, it was going to take a while to get going during the regular season. The Spurs are just 2-5 ATS at home this year, but they are 6-5 ATS away from home.
5. Orlando Magic (8-6 ATS) There's no doubt that Orlando has been undermanned of late. They have suffered a rash of injuries to key players, but you have to respect the way this team continues to fight. It says a lot about their resolve and their respect for Coach Jacque Vaughn. Their biggest improvements this year have come on the defensive end.
Bottom Five Cold Teams
1. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-8-1 ATS) Minnesota can't stop anyone. The Timberwolves are allowing a ridiculous 111.2 points per game. Opponents are shooting better than 50 percent from the floor against Minnesota. Injuries to Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin have hurt this team's ability to win high-scoring games. If they don't improve defensively, the Timberwolves are in for a really long season.
2. New York Knicks (3-8 ATS) It's still early in the season, but you have to say the Derek Fisher experiment and running the triangle isn't working one bit for the Knicks. New York's offense has looked stagnant, and this team can't score at key moments in the game. New York hasn't scored more than 93 points in a regulation game in the past two weeks.
3. Charlotte Hornets (3-7-2 ATS) Charlotte hasn't won a game in the past three weeks. After starting out looking like a mediocre team, the Hornets have played like a bottom-feeder of late. The injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist definitely plays a role. I believe he is a big key to this team's success. He should return soon, and I believe that will help them start covering the number more often.
4. Miami Heat (3-7-1 ATS) Everyone knew this team was going to struggle to stay near the top without LeBron James, but the Heat really need Dwyane Wade to stay healthy. Without Wade, Chris Bosh has too much on his shoulders. The Heat start a key five-game road trip this Friday. Miami ranks 22nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency so far this year. That number has to improve for the Heat to be a contender.
5. Boston Celtics (4-6 ATS) It feels like this is just a list of the teams from the NBA Atlantic Division. The Celtics aren't having trouble scoring, but they are at coming up with stops. There are rumors that this team's chemistry is poor, and they don't have all that much talent to start with. Boston is in for a long year. I really don't think Brad Stevens is the problem here, and Celtics fans should hope the team is patient with him.
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