As good as the Golden State Warriors have been, the San Antonio Spurs are only two games behind them for the top seed in the Western Conference. San Antonio and Golden State meet for the first time this coming week, and I know I'm pumped to see those two teams square off. It's being reported on Friday afternoon that David Blatt has been fired by the Cleveland Cavs. The Cavs have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but their play against the best teams in the Western Conference has been awful. Apparently, management thought a move needed to be made to give Cleveland a chance to win it all. The Cavs are all about winning right now with LeBron still in his prime, and it will be interesting to see who leads the team moving forward.
Doc's Sports has done an NBA Totals Trends report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this season. We'll highlight the Top 5 'Over' teams and the Top 5 'Under' teams in each article. Because of the streaky nature of the NBA, it can be profitable to look at these totals trends and try to jump on a winning streak before the oddsmakers adjust. This report will be offered on a bi-weekly basis throughout the NBA regular season. The statistics listed for this article are for games played between Jan. 5 and Jan. 21.
For the year, the 'under' is down to 51.26 percent overall in the NBA after dominating early in the season. The 'over' is 28-22 in the past week in the NBA.
Top Five Over Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Memphis Grizzlies (7-1) It certainly feels odd to have Memphis at the top of an over list. The Grizzlies have been one of the most consistent low-scoring and solid defensive teams in the league for the past few years. What has changed this season? Primarily it has been their defense getting worse. Memphis is a little bit worse than the league average when it comes to defensive efficiency numbers so far this year. The over is 14-8-1 in Memphis' 23 home games this year.
2. Houston Rockets (7-1) The Houston Rockets have been great to over bettors of late. Houston is a tough team to figure out, and I'm not going to pretend I understand them at all. One thing that is important to note is the fact that Houston is 20-9 to the over this year when they are the favorite. Also, Josh Smith was traded back to the team, and time will tell how much of an influence that has on the team.
3. Chicago Bulls (7-2) This is the second time in a row the Bulls have ranked highly on this side of the report. The Bulls have been playing against a lot of teams that like to play quickly, and that has played a role. Additionally, Chicago's offense was dreadful early in the year, and now they are playing a bit more like most expected them to play from the start.
4. New York Knicks (7-2) Like the Bulls, New York has now been on this side of the report two times in a row. The over is 6-2 in the Knicks eight games so far this year against the NBA Atlantic Division. They'll be playing a lot more games against those teams in the next month, so we'll see if that trend can continue.
5. Phoenix Suns (5-2) The Suns are playing at the fourth-quickest tempo of any team in the NBA. Phoenix is a mess right now, but they continue to try to win high-scoring games. The Suns are second to last in the NBA in defensive efficiency, with only the Lakers being worse so far this season. The Suns have been a great over bet when they are well-rested. The over is 5-0 this year in the Suns five games where they have two days of rest or more.
Top Five Under Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Miami Heat (6-3) Miami has some serious injury problems right now. No team in the NBA has been more banged up recently than Miami. The Heat are also in the middle of a really tough stretch of their schedule. The under is 13-5-1 in Miami's 19 road games this year. Miami's numbers are being adjusted down so far now that it might be hard to continue to find value on the under, though.
2. Brooklyn Nets (6-3) The under is a solid 26-17 in Brooklyn's first 43 games. Brooklyn has all sorts of trouble finding enough scoring from their backcourt to make them be competitive. There is too much pressure on Brook Lopez and the rest of the frontcourt. The Nets are about to enter a difficult portion of their schedule, so expect to see this team as significant underdogs many times in the next couple weeks.
3. Orlando Magic (4-2) Scott Skiles has made this Orlando team competitive by getting them to work hard on the defensive end. The Magic are inconsistent on offense, but they have been good to against the spread bettors this year because of their defense. The under is 17-9 in Orlando's games this year when playing on one day of rest.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-3-1) Minnesota is one of those teams that I expect to alternate back and forth between the two sides of this report. The Timberwolves aren't playing quite as fast as they have in previous years, but they still have a poor defense. While I try to find good angles to watch for each team, I don't see anything terribly predictive for Minnesota as they continue to be as inconsistent as any team in the league.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (5-3-1) The Lakers have the worst defense in the NBA, and they are second to last in offensive efficiency. The big change lately has been the tempo slowing down. No longer are the Lakers looking to push the pace. Interestingly, the under is 8-1 in the Lakers nine games following a straight up win this season.
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