The NBA has some interesting scheduling spots this week, so keep an eye out for those. No one plays on Christmas Eve, and only a few teams play on Christmas. That means there are a bunch of games in the next few days.
Doc's Sports has done an NBA Totals Trends report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this season. This will be a bi-weekly article here on the site. We'll highlight the Top Five 'Over' and the Top Five 'Under' teams of the past couple weeks in each article. Because the NBA season is a very long, there can be some impressive streaks inside the season, and catching one of these can help build your bankroll. The statistics for this article are for games from Dec. 2 through Dec. 19.
For the year overall, the over is hitting at a 52.18 percent clip in the NBA. In the past week though, the under is 29-20. We'll keep an eye on the league trends as we move forward. Now, let's take a look at the top over and under teams since our last report.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Washington Wizards (9-1) Washington has been much more efficient on the offensive end of late. On the year, Washington ranks 11th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, but if you look at only their last five games they are fifth in the league in that category. Washington's defense is 21st in the league in efficiency, so the Wizards aren't putting in much of an effort on that end of the floor.
2. Denver Nuggets (7-2) Take a look at the Denver Nuggets scores in their last five games. All five of them have gone over the total, and most have soared well past the total. In their past five games, Denver ranks No. 1 in the NBA in offensive efficiency. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency. No wonder their games have been so high scoring! If you look at the total in their game tonight against the Clippers, it opened at 214 and has quickly been bet up to 218.5, so you have to wonder how much value is left here.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (6-2) Los Angeles will now be without Blake Griffin for a little while. The Clippers have had to play without him quite a bit in recent years, so I think they should keep playing good basketball. The Clippers play five games in the next seven days, including a game against the Lakers on Christmas. The over is 11-4 in the Clippers last 15 road games this year.
4. Brooklyn Nets (5-2-1) It's a surprise to me that the Brooklyn Nets rank first in the league in tempo. I would have expected it to be the Warriors or the Suns, but the Nets have played consistently fast all year. They are 28th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, and opponents have been putting up some massive point totals on this Brooklyn defense. Brooklyn plays Toronto, Golden State, and Cleveland in their next three games. Watch out for some really high-scoring games there!
5. Atlanta Hawks (6-3) The Hawks are a hard team to figure out this year. With Dwight Howard, I expected them to play a little slower. In reality, they are playing faster than they did last year. You would also expect Howard to help them on the defensive end, but after starting the season playing solid defense, the Hawks have been terrible on that end of the floor lately. They rank 29th, or second to last, in the NBA in defensive efficiency in their last nine games.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-1) Oklahoma City is 25th in the NBA in offensive efficiency in their last eight games. The Thunder absolutely need a consistent second scoring threat behind Russell Westbrook. You can't say enough about the way he has played so far this year, but he needs some help. Over the course of the season, there is a real possibility that Westbrook will wear down unless something changes.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (7-1) The Grizzlies have really impressed me of late. They are 18-11 on the year despite some major injury issues. The team did a great job while Mike Conley was out, but they certainly have a much higher upside when he is in on the court. Chandler Parsons is still out, but the team is hopeful he will be back on Wednesday against Detroit. The under is 13-3-1 in the Grizzlies 17 home games this season.
3. Golden State Warriors (7-2) Golden State looks dominant right now. I always hate saying things like this so early in the year, but it is hard to believe anyone in the Western Conference will dethrone the Warriors. The stage appears set for a rematch of last year's NBA Finals if the Warriors and Cavs stay healthy. The Warriors are the clear favorites right now. The addition of Kevin Durant gives them three elite scoring options, and Draymond Green is a tremendous facilitator.
4. Sacramento Kings (7-2) Sacramento has had a number of injuries of late. Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins are the two main guys for this team, and both of them are banged up. They are being listed as questionable on a nightly basis right now. I think that makes Sacramento a good team to stay away from in the near term. The unknown is never a good thing for bettors.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (6-2-1) Like last year, the 76ers are dead last in the NBA in offensive efficiency. They are middle of the pack in defensive efficiency. The change for this team has been their pace of play. Rather than being one of the fastest in the league as they were for a couple years, Philadelphia is now right at the league average in tempo.
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