The NBA All-Star Break is a couple weeks away. While it is hard to imagine, I'm starting to believe the Golden State Warriors still haven't gotten the respect they deserve. A reigning NBA Champion with the record they have right now should be even more highly thought of than Golden State is right now. The Warriors are 28-17-1 against the spread this year, which is crazy considering the books know they have to set Golden State's lines high because they are now a public team.
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 Jan. 13 through Jan. 28.
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Top Five Hot Teams
1. Denver Nuggets (7-2 ATS) It's a surprise to see the Denver Nuggets as the hottest team in the past couple weeks. Denver has typically been known as a team that excels at home and flounders on the road, but that hasn't been the case this year. Denver is 10-13-1 ATS at home this year, but they are 14-8 ATS on the road. Danilo Gallinari is quietly having a tremendous season for the Nuggets.
2. New Orleans Pelicans (6-2 ATS) They are finally playing at least somewhat close to their potential! New Orleans has been one of the biggest disappointments in the league this year. The Pelicans main problem now is the fact that they dug such a massive hole it will be difficult to recover. With the weaker bottom of the Western Conference, New Orleans has a chance to climb back in the playoff picture, but they are going to have to get stops more consistently.
3. Toronto Raptors (5-2 ATS) The Toronto Raptors are only two games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has won 10 games in a row! Toronto is 10-4 ATS as an underdog this year, but the way they are playing it is unlikely they will be an underdog very often in the coming weeks.
4. Philadelphia 76ers (5-2 ATS) The Philadelphia 76ers made some coaching changes and the front office has clearly sent a message to the team that it wants to win games. In the past, almost everyone assumed Philadelphia was tanking, but that isn't the case anymore. The oddsmakers are having a difficult time knowing what to do with the 76ers right now. There might be some value on the 76ers for a little while.
5. Portland Blazers (5-2 ATS) Portland has been surprisingly competitive of late. Early in the season, this looked like a bottom-feeder, but the emergence of C.J. McCollum as a star has taken pressure off Damian Lillard and made this a much better team. Portland plays their next four games at home. The Rose Garden is still one of the better home-court advantages in the NBA.
Top Five Cold Teams
1. Orlando Magic (1-6 ATS) The Orlando Magic were the single best team ATS early in the season, but this young team has hit the skids of late. I still believe Scott Skiles has done a nice job with this young nucleus, and the team as a whole is moving in the right direction over the longer-term. If you look at Orlando's recent results, the team has taken some rough beats ATS lately. They haven't been far off, and I think there's a good chance they will get back on the other side of this report soon.
2. Indiana Pacers (2-6 ATS) Indiana has slipped up lately, and it will be interesting to see what happens to this team between now and the break. Indiana has one of the easiest schedules in the league in the next couple weeks. Home games against the Lakers and the Hornets should be wins, and a game at Brooklyn needs to be a win as well. Can they use this schedule to help them bounce back and build some momentum for the second half?
3. Washington Wizards (2-6 ATS) Do players'-only meetings work? There's been a lot of debate about this for many years, and I don't think there is any real consensus. Washington is trying out the players'-only meeting test. The Wizards have some serious problems right now. John Wall put it like this by saying the issues are on one end of the floor, "We just can't guard a soul." He'll get no disagreement from me.
4. Los Angeles Lakers (2-6 ATS) The Lakers were on the other side of this report last time, but they have fallen apart once again in the last couple weeks. If John Wall thinks the Wizards defense is bad (it is), how bad is this Lakers defense? At this point it is a surprise if they don't give up 110 points in a game.
5. Phoenix Suns (2-5 ATS) Phoenix looks like they have completely given up in recent games. The Suns defense ranks second worst in the NBA (only the Lakers are worse). Phoenix has some major team chemistry problems that don't seem to be improving. The Suns now have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. I don't expect things to get any better soon in Phoenix.
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