The San Antonio Spurs are 18-4 so far this year, and nearly no one has been talking about them. That's how amazing the Golden State Warriors have been to start the year. What Golden State is doing is truly historic. You don't have to be a Warriors fan to appreciate their perfection through this point in the season. Not only is Golden State unbeaten on the year, but they are also 16-7 against the spread.
Doc's Sports has done an NBA ATS Hot and Cold report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this year. We'll highlight the Top 5 hot teams and the Bottom 5 cold teams in each article. This will allow people to see which teams are streaking and which teams are slumping. In a league that is unquestionably a momentum-driven league, that can be extremely important. This report will be offered on a bi-weekly basis throughout the NBA regular season. The statistics listed for this article are for all games played Nov. 25 through Dec. 8.
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Top Five Hot Teams
1. Orlando Magic (6-0-1 ATS) Orlando is now 14-6 ATS this year. The Magic weren't supposed to be even close to as good as they are right now. It's entirely possible that Orlando isn't quite as good as they have shown thus far, but there is no doubt that this young team is maturing quicker than expected. They are fourth in field goal percentage defense in the NBA, and Scott Skiles has been a great hire for this franchise.
2. Dallas Mavericks (5-2 ATS) The Dallas Mavericks have been a great team to back on the road for the past few years. That hasn't changed in the early going this year. Now, we're going to find out how they do at home. Only eight of their first 22 games were at home, but the Mavericks now play four of their next five at home.
3. Brooklyn Nets (5-2 ATS) The Brooklyn Nets are a bad team, but they have been good to bettors. That's something that is important for NBA bettors to remember. Bad teams aren't always bad when it comes to covering the number. The Nets have been significant underdogs multiple times in the past few weeks, and they've done a great job covering most of those contests.
4. Golden State Warriors (5-2 ATS) You knew this one was coming! Oddsmakers have clearly adjusted Golden State upward a lot over the course of the season, but it still hasn't been enough. I think Golden State is a tremendous team, but I do worry that very soon the numbers are going to be too inflated. Every team hits a lull at some point during the season. It's only a matter of time until Golden State goes cold, at least when it comes to covering the spread.
5. Boston Celtics (5-2 ATS) After a bit of a slow start to the season, Boston has been playing some very good basketball of late. Brad Stevens is widely regarded as one of the better coaches in the league already, and this young team is relatively talented. Boston is covering the number largely because of their defense so far this year. The Celtics are shooting only 43.7 percent from the floor. Keep an eye on their home game this Friday night against Golden State. That one could be a really fun game to watch!
Top Five Cold Teams
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-6 ATS) LeBron James has made it clear that he hasn't been happy with the way this team has played so far this year. I don't think there is any doubt that Cleveland will be a much better team when Kyrie Irving and Ivan Shumpert return, and both of those returns are expected to be very soon. This is just a case of the oddsmakers being a little too high on a Cleveland team that is less than full strength. They should get on a big run at some point this year.
2. Chicago Bulls (1-4 ATS) The Chicago Bulls haven't necessarily been bad this year, but they are underperforming. There have been recent reports of team meetings to try to address their issues. Chicago's recent 103-101 home loss to Phoenix was definitely a worrisome sign. The Bulls were outscored a whopping 42-24 in the fourth quarter alone in that game. Defense hasn't been the problem most of the year, but it was in that quarter. I'm going to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks for the Bulls.
3. New York Knicks (2-5 ATS) There have been some major positives and some negatives so far this year for the Knicks. Obviously the play of Kristaps Porzingis has been a major positive, and it's been a surprise to the league as well. Remember that Porzingis is only 20 years old! The Knicks have been much better on defense than last year, but their recent slide has to be considered a little concerning. New York started the season playing faster, and now they are back to slowing the tempo down. What will be the identity of this team the rest of the year?
4. Memphis Grizzlies (2-5 ATS) The Memphis Grizzlies are 12-10 on the season but only 9-13 ATS. There is plenty of reason to worry if you are a Memphis fan, though. The Grizzlies have repeatedly been obliterated by the top teams in the Western Conference. While Memphis is likely to have a solid season overall, their inability to compete with the best teams is a bad omen for the playoffs.
5. New Orleans Pelicans (2-5 ATS) New Orleans continues to disappoint. This team shouldn't be this bad. It seems like firing Monty Williams was likely a bad move. The players respected Williams a great deal, and that move wasn't popular. New Orleans has beaten the Spurs and the Cavs this year. What does this prove? It proves that New Orleans has the talent to get the job done, but for some reason they aren't putting in the effort on a nightly basis.
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