One week until the NBA All-Star Break. The Golden State Warriors are back on pace to best the Chicago Bulls record of 72-10. As someone who has been high on Golden State for a long time, this Golden State team is surpassing even my highest expectations. Oklahoma City has quietly won 12 of their last 13 games. The Thunder still have two superstars on their roster and they won't be an easy out in the playoffs. Even with the Warriors looking totally dominant, I think there is plenty of competition to make things exciting in the Western Conference the rest of the way.
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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. 22 and Feb. 4.
In the past month, the 'over' has cashed at an impressive 55.45 percent clip. In the past week, the over is at 60 percent. For the year, the 'under' now has a tiny edge of 370 (50.14 percent) to 368 (49.86 percent).
Top Five Over Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Brooklyn Nets (6-1) Anyone have a guess why this team is on the top of this side of the report? It's certainly not a powerful offense. It's the fact that the defense is awful. Despite Brooklyn being one of the slower-paced teams in the NBA, the Nets continue to give up huge point totals. The oddsmakers are struggling to adjust quickly enough. For the year, the Nets are still 27-23 to the under, but things have changed drastically lately.
2. Orlando Magic (6-1) Early in the season, Orlando was a great team to back against the spread. Lately, they have struggled a great deal. The difference has been their defense. Scott Skiles had this young team playing great defense early in the year, but they have slacked off a bunch on that end in recent weeks. To be fair to Orlando, they have played a lot of great offenses in the past couple weeks, so a return to the other side of the report wouldn't be a big surprise.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (6-1) Oklahoma City's offense is clicking right now. Durant and Westbrook are as healthy as they have been all season. The Thunder have scored at least 106 points in each of their last nine games. In their last five games, they have scored at least 114 points. Until something changes, expect the posted totals on Oklahoma City's games to be extremely high.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-1) The over is now 17-8-1 in Minnesota's road games this year. Interestingly, the under is 15-10 in their 25 home games. Karl-Anthony Towns is playing some exceptional basketball of late, and he looks like a guy ready to be one of the best players in the NBA before long. Minnesota is such an inconsistent team that I hesitate to make too much of any of their trends right now.
5. Memphis Grizzlies (4-1) The Grizzlies were at the top of this report last time, and here they are just continuing that over streak. Memphis has played much better of late, and their frontcourt has been dominating as has been the case in the past few seasons. Memphis' totals are now climbing quickly though, and I believe this Grizzlies team will end up on the other side of this report very soon. Look for a regression to the mean coming soon.
Top Five Under Teams (Under Listed First)
1. New York Knicks (6-2) The Knicks toyed with the idea of running early in the season, but they have played very slow for the past couple months. They just don't have the guards who want to push the ball consistently. This is a team that has a fairly favorable schedule both right before the break and after the break. Can New York get hot?
2. Phoenix Suns (5-2) Phoenix has been the worst team in the NBA in the past month, and it hasn't been even close. While the 76ers are playing much more competitively, Phoenix is completely tanking. The Suns have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Phoenix is 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games. The Suns have a new coach in Earl Watson, and he has talked about looking to push the tempo, so we'll see if the offense can get things going for Phoenix.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (5-2) The best time to bet the under in Clippers games this year has been when they are playing on no rest. In that spot, the under is 9-3 in their games so far this season. Blake Griffin will be out for a long time, but the Clippers have been playing well without him. Los Angeles has four road games against Eastern Conference teams before the break, and this is always a tricky spot for them. If they can finish the first half strongly, that will be a great sign for Clippers fans.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (4-2) The oddsmakers have done a good job pegging Portland's totals this year. The Blazers are 26-25 to the over for the year. Portland has won five of their last six games, but the schedule is about to get a lot tougher! Portland has two key games against Houston before the break, and then they start the second half by hosting the Golden State Warriors.
5. Boston Celtics (5-3) Just like the Clippers, the under is 9-3 in the Celtics games so far this year when playing on zero days of rest. While the Celtics do play fast, Brad Stevens has this team working very hard on the defensive end. Particularly when they play in a game with a very high total, I wouldn't be afraid to look to back the under.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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