NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 3/27/2015
We're right in the thick of March Madness and the NCAA Tournament, but don't forget about the NBA. Things are getting interesting in the playoff races in both conferences. There are only three weeks left in the regular season. This can be a really tricky time to handicap games since there are a lot of teams pushing to improve seeding, but there are also plenty of teams ready to go home for the offseason. Motivation is a key factor the rest of the way during the regular season!
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 now be offered once every three weeks throughout the NBA regular season to allow for plenty of data in each sample. The statistics listed below are for games played between 3/5 and 3/26.
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Top Five Hot Teams
1. Houston Rockets (7-3 ATS) The Houston Rockets have been playing some really good basketball of late. Dwight Howard came back on Wednesday night. Can the Rockets get Howard back into the flow of things without disrupting what the team has been doing? Howard definitely makes this team better, but sometimes it can be difficult to work a player back into the rotation after a long absence. Patrick Beverly should be out quite a while with a wrist injury. Terrance Jones has a ribs injury. This next couple of weeks will be a good test for the team as they try to prepare for the playoffs.
2. Phoenix Suns (7-3 ATS) I've been impressed with what the Suns have done in recent weeks. Phoenix was left for dead by many a couple weeks ago, but this team continues to battle. They have been a streaky team all year long. As much as it seems unlikely they will make it, the Suns are still only three games out of the eighth spot in the playoff standings. They have plenty to be play for in the weeks ahead.
3. Golden State Warriors (8-4 ATS) It feels like the Golden State Warriors have been on this side of the report almost every time. Golden State is 42-28-1 ATS this year. They are just 17-18 ATS on the road, but they are a stunning 25-10-1 ATS at home this year. Keep in mind, they have been a big favorite in most of those games at home, so they have been thumping their opponents. When do the Warriors start resting more of their players? Stay tuned.
4. Boston Celtics (8-4 ATS) In a year where most people thought the Celtics would be tanking, they now sit in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Brad Stevens has done a great job coaching this team. Boston is 23-9-1 ATS in their last 33 games. They are entering a relatively easy scheduling period, so they have a good opportunity to gain more ground in the next week or two.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (7-4 ATS) Speaking of coaches who have done a great job this year, Brett Brown has been tremendous with this 76ers team. This is a team that was the butt of many jokes early in the year, but they have fought like crazy. They have actually been a Top 10 defense in the league over the past month, and that speaks volumes to the fact that these players want to work hard for their head coach.
Bottom Five Cold Teams
1. Dallas Mavericks (2-8 ATS) The Dallas Mavericks haven't been the same since the trade for Rajon Rondo. Is it Rondo's fault? That's a pretty hot debate on the airwaves in Dallas. The Mavericks have slipped all the way down to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. Their next five games are against teams who are likely to be in the playoffs, so Dallas needs to raise their game or they might lose even more ground.
2. Indiana Pacers (4-8 ATS) Last time we did this report, the Pacers were on the top of the opposite side of this list. Indiana's defensive woes from early in the year have come back lately. The Pacers are a team that doesn't have enough scoring firepower to win a bunch of shootouts. They need to get back to the basics of winning with defense. Will Paul George be back soon? Possibly, but it's unlikely he'll be close to his previous form for quite a while.
3. New York Knicks (4-8 ATS) The oddsmakers have had a difficult time with the Knicks all year. New York is 27-43-2 ATS this season. It's uncommon to see a team do that horribly against the number, but the Knicks are just awful this year. Currently, the Knicks have several of their best players out with injuries, and you can expect to have to lay some huge numbers if you want to fade the Knicks down the stretch.
4. Utah Jazz (4-7 ATS) Utah had been playing some very good basketball, but injuries have slowed them down of late. The Jazz have really missed Gordon Hayward in their last three games, but he is expected to come back Friday night. This is the team on the cold side of the report that I believe is most likely to end up on the opposite side next time around. Utah is playing some tremendous defense of late, and they show no signs of quitting.
5. Toronto Raptors (4-7 ATS) Toronto is a tough team to figure out. Earlier this year, the Raptors were a good defensive team. Now, Toronto has been one of the worst defenses in the league over the past month. Why has this team decided to quit working hard on defense? They still have the talent to make a bit of a run in the Eastern Conference, but they desperately need to get some positive momentum before the playoffs begin.
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