Golden State comfortably has the best record in basketball . It's hard to imagine anyone other than the Warriors being the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Cleveland has the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but Boston is only 2.5 games back. You can't say enough about the way Isaiah Thomas is playing for the Celtics right now. If Boston starts playing defense the way they have in the past, they'll be an even more dangerous team.
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For the year as a whole, the 'over' has cashed at a 52.19 percent clip. In games that have gone to overtime, the over is 41-6. In games that finish in regulation, the 'under' is 365-364. We'll keep tabs on this the rest of the season.
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 January 20 through February 7.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-2) The Cavs are second only to the Warriors in offensive efficiency in their last nine games. There have been a lot of rumors about Kevin Love of late, but it hasn't hurt his production. Love is playing the best basketball he has played in Cleveland, and it has been key for this team turning things around in the past few games. The Cavs have a relatively easy schedule in the coming weeks , so it is a chance for them to pad their lead in the Eastern Conference.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-2) Karl-Anthony Towns has been on fire of late. Towns has scored at least 23 points in 13 of the Timberwolves last 14 games overall. This guy is already excellent, and his upside his tremendous. Zach Lavine is out for the season with an injury, so Towns and Andrew Wiggins will have to carry even more of the scoring load. I continue to be surprised that Minnesota isn't any better than they are on defense. Tom Thibodeau has to be really frustrated at their lack of cohesion on the defensive end.
3. Detroit Pistons (6-2) Detroit played six straight games that went over the total before their last two stayed under. The Pistons have moved up to the middle of the pack in the NBA in offensive efficiency when you look at only the last 10 games. Detroit has played a lot of teams that play at a quick tempo of late, though, and that is going to change with their schedule in the next week. There might be value looking to go back the other way here.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (6-2) The Clippers rank dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency in the last eight games, and it isn't even close. I realize that number is somewhat skewed thanks to Golden State's 144-point outburst against the Clippers, but this team is playing some terrible defense even in their other games. They are allowing 1.20 points per possession in their last eight games. That lack of defense will certainly led to a lot of overs!
5. Philadelphia 76ers (8-3) For the season overall, the 76ers rank ninth in the NBA in tempo. In the past 11 games only, the 76ers rank fourth in the league in pace. Philadelphia is dead last in offensive efficiency for the year, but their offense has improved by a few points per game in recent weeks. This team is a tough one to bet when Embiid isn't in the lineup, because you don't know what you are going to get on a nightly basis.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Indiana Pacers (8-2) The Indiana Pacers defense has come and gone throughout the season. Recently, though, the Pacers have been working really hard on the defensive end. Indiana ranks second in the NBA in defensive efficiency in their last 10 games. Indiana has a huge home/road split in their defensive efficiency numbers. At home, the Pacers are allowing only 1.008 points per possession. On the road, they are allowing 1.087 points per possession. Keep that in mind moving forward.
2. Brooklyn Nets (8-3) Here's a case where the numbers just got too high. Brooklyn is still playing faster than anyone in the NBA. I'm not sure why they are, because it doesn't make a lot of sense for a bad team to want to play as fast as possible. Still, they continue down the same path. The oddsmakers have started setting the Nets totals in the 220s on most nights, though, and this is still a team that shoots only 44.1 percent from the floor.
3. Golden State Warriors (6-3) The Warriors rank second only to the Spurs in defensive efficiency on the year. While they can obviously win really high-scoring games, the Warriors are capable of winning with their defense as well. I think Golden State is a very tricky team to try to figure out from a totals perspective.
4. Toronto Raptors (7-4) Toronto ranks in the Bottom 10 in the NBA in tempo. They are very good on offense, but it is dangerous to take high overs with a team that plays as slow as Toronto. All it takes is one low-scoring quarter and your bet is dead in the water. Toronto has had one of the best offenses in the league on the year as a whole, but in their last 11 games they rank in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (5-3) The Lakers have been playing a lot of low-scoring games against bad teams in recent weeks. The under is 13-3 in the Lakers last 16 games vs. a team with a losing record. The next four teams they play have a losing record. The Lakers defense hasn't been good of late, but it has been better than it was earlier in the season. I don't mind taking Lakers unders when the number is really high, but be careful if the oddsmakers adjust the numbers down by too much.
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