NBA Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Point Spread
by Aaron Smith - 1/7/2015
It's time for the fourth edition of the NBA Hot and Cold Report here at Doc's Sports. Hopefully everyone had a nice holiday season and was able to make some money betting on the NBA over the past few weeks. The Atlanta Hawks have become the story of the Eastern Conference. Atlanta had little fanfare before the season, but the Hawks now have the best record in the East. Atlanta is attempting to run the team in a similar fashion as the San Antonio Spurs. I have to say, if there is a team that I'd want to follow in the footsteps of, it would certainly be the Spurs. Golden State continues to have the top record in the Western Conference, with Portland now owning the second best mark. All five teams in the NBA Southwest Division have a record of .500 or better.
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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 12/16 and 1/6.
Top Five Hot Teams
1. Phoenix Suns (10-1 ATS) Phoenix actually lost four straight against the spread right before their current run. The Suns are first in the NBA in free throw percentage at 80.1 percent. Phoenix is averaging 107.2 points per game. The Suns are a tough team to match up with thanks to their deep talent pool in the backcourt. This week brings a very tough road trip for the Suns, and that will tell us a lot about how much they can be trusted.
2. Atlanta Hawks (8-1 ATS) At this point in the season, Mike Budenholzer would certainly be the frontrunner for NBA Coach of the Year. He learned under the best in San Antonio, and he's putting those practices into the Hawks system successfully. Atlanta moves the basketball much better than most teams in the league, and that has helped them be extremely efficient on the offensive end. There continue to be doubters about these Hawks, but their road wins in the past two weeks have been nothing short of amazing. They are a contender.
3. Indiana Pacers (8-1-2 ATS) The Indiana Pacers have only failed to cover the spread in one game since George Hill returned to the lineup. Hill means more to this team than the oddsmakers believed, and his contributions are evident on both ends of the floor. Indiana's defense was slumping earlier this year, but they are starting to play defense like they have in the past once again.
4. Milwaukee Bucks (7-4 ATS) Jason Kidd has done a tremendous job with the Milwaukee Bucks. The oddsmakers have underrated this team all year long. It's hard to stay under the radar this long in the NBA, but Milwaukee has managed to do exactly that. They had the worst record in the league last year, and the Bucks are now in the playoff race in the East. The way this team competes on a nightly basis is really impressive.
5. Utah Jazz (7-4 ATS) Utah have done a good job competing despite being undermanned. The Jazz have pulled off several notable upsets this year. They are 11-7 ATS on the road so far this year. I'm not bullish on Utah's prospects in the next two weeks, though, because they have some major injury problems. Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood are both out for the time being, and Alec Burks is done for the year with a shoulder injury.
Bottom Five Cold Teams
1. Sacramento Kings (0-8-2 ATS) The Sacramento Kings got rid of Mike Malone despite the fact that he had overachieved with the roster given to him. Ty Corbin was named the interim coach, and despite the fact that Sacramento has struggled badly since he got the job, Corbin recently had the interim label removed by management. I'm not going to pretend I can figure out what is going on here, because this is all very confusing.
2. New York Knicks (2-7-1 ATS) What more could go wrong in New York this year? While there weren't a lot of people with high expectations for the Knicks this year, no one could have seen things going as badly as they have. How bad has it gotten? The Knicks now own the worst record in the league. When you are worse than the Philadelphia 76ers, you know you have some serious problems.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (3-8 ATS) The Clippers have been difficult to figure out this year. Los Angeles is just 14-21 ATS in their 35 games so far this year. This is clearly one of the most talented teams in the league, and Doc Rivers is an outstanding coach, but something just isn't clicking. They have plenty of time to get things going though, and four of their next five games are home at the Staples Center.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-7-1 ATS) Oklahoma City has dealt with more key injuries than any other team in the league this year. Kevin Durant had just hit his stride when he was injured again and had to miss a few more games. Durant is back now, and the oddsmakers will immediately adjust. Look for this team to do well against the number the rest of the year, because they should be very motivated to rise in the Western Conference standings.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (3-6 ATS) I don't think you can blame Brett Brown a bit for where the 76ers are in the standings. In fact, I think Brown has done a really good job getting this team to compete on a nightly basis. This 76ers team is running out a far less-talented team than the opposition on a nightly basis. This is a team that will likely frustrate bettors both ways for the rest of the year. It might be best to just stay away from their games all together.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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