The NBA season is now more than a month old. There haven't been as many early-season surprises this year as there are in most seasons. Charlotte has been a bit of a surprise in the Eastern Conference as they sit atop the NBA Southeast. In the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies are a solid surprise at 12-8 on the year so far, but with Mike Conley going down with an injury you have to wonder how they'll do in the next few weeks. Who has the worst record in the NBA? The Dallas Mavericks at 3-15. Dallas wasn't necessarily expected to be good, but I don't think many expected them to have the worst record in the league.
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 Nov. 16 through Dec. 1.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Houston Rockets (7-2) The Houston Rockets were on the other side of this report the first time around. In the last article I said, "Here is a spot where I'll be looking for value playing the over with Houston moving forward." The value came quickly, as Houston now sits at the top of the over list in this report. Houston's tempo has sped up in recent games, and this team has some great offensive chemistry.
2. Toronto Raptors (6-2) Toronto has been very good so far this year. The Raptors are 12-5-1 against the spread on the young season. They are 7-2 ATS on the road. The over is 13-5 in the Raptors 18 games so far this season. Toronto is second in overall field goal percentage, and they are third in three-point field goal percentage. The Raptors are averaging 109.7 points per game.
3. Portland Trail Blazers (6-2) The way to play Portland games so far this year has been to take the over in their home games. The over is 9-1 in their home games so far this season. Portland's offensive efficiency has been much better on their home floor. The Blazers are second in the NBA in points per game at 110.8 per contest. On the other hand, they are 29th in points per game allowed at 113.5 per contest. They haven't allowed less than 107 points in any of their last eight games!
4. Brooklyn Nets (5-2) Brooklyn is playing at a really quick tempo under Kenny Atkinson. The Nets rank second in the league in tempo so far this season. The over is 5-5 in their home games. The over is 7-1 in their games on the road so far this year. The Nets are allowing 114.3 points per game this season. How bad has their defense been? In their last nine games, the fewest points the Nets have allowed in a single game is 111. That's some terrible defense!
5. Sacramento Kings (5-2) Sacramento started the season out playing at a slow tempo. Apparently, they decided to change it up in the past week. Sacramento ranked in the bottom five in the NBA in terms of tempo in the first three weeks of the season. What about their tempo in their last five contests? They rank in the top ten in the NBA in tempo in those games. That is the biggest reason for their swing toward the over.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Atlanta Hawks (8-1) The Atlanta Hawks rank first in the NBA in defensive efficiency this year. The Hawks play at a quick pace, but their defense has been good enough to keep games under the total. It isn't only their defense, though, because their offense has been a big disappointment so far this year. Atlanta ranks in the bottom five in the NBA in offensive efficiency.
2. Orlando Magic (6-2) The under is now 13-6 in Orlando's 19 games this year. The under is 7-2 in their nine road games. The Magic are struggling to find an identity. This is a young team with some solid talent, but it doesn't seem like the pieces are fitting together very well right now. Orlando is shooting only 41.3 percent from the floor on the year. The Magic are shooting a miserable 31.3 percent from three-point range on the season.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-2) Minnesota may be the biggest disappointment of the year thus far. The Timberwolves had high expectations with some great youngsters and a new defensive-minded coach coming to town. The defense still needs a lot of work, though. Minnesota ranks 28th in the NBA in field goal percentage defense. Expect this team to get quite a bit better in the coming months.
4. Chicago Bulls (4-2) The Bulls are much better on defense so far this year. Chicago ranks sixth in the NBA in defensive efficiency. The Bulls are also toward the bottom of the league in tempo. Chicago has had a really light schedule in the last couple weeks, but that changes in the weeks ahead. The Bulls have five games in the next seven days.
5. Milwaukee Bucks (5-3) Milwaukee's defense has been tremendous in the early season. The Bucks are second in the NBA in field goal percentage defense. They are first in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage defense. Opponents are shooting only 31.6 percent from long range against Milwaukee. If the Bucks offense can get more consistent, this is a dangerous team. Milwaukee starts a stretch of four straight home games on Saturday night against the Nets.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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