NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
Houston has won 10 straight games. It's clear that this Rockets team has at least narrowed the gap with Golden State. Could they beat the Warriors in a series? I don't think so. Still, I'd like to see that series. During their 10-game winning streak, Houston has scored 117 points or more eight times.
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 in the last couple weeks. The NBA season is a very long one, and that lends itself to finding changes in style of play that aren't yet noticed by the oddsmakers. We'll try to find some value in the totals market through this report.
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For the season, the under is 212-186. Things have normalized a bit of late, though it is important to point out that there have been a bunch of overtime games that have boosted the over in recent weeks. In the past week alone, there have been seven overtime games in the NBA, and all seven of those games have gone over the total.
The statistics listed below are for games from November 29 through December 12.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. New Orleans Pelicans (8-0) The New Orleans Pelicans have gone over the total in eight straight contests. That includes their 130-123 loss at Houston. The team made 18/33 from three-point range but managed to lose in that one. The most remarkable part of this eight-game streak of overs for the Pelicans is none of those games have even finished within 10 points of the posted total. There was one overtime game in that span. New Orleans has played at the fastest pace of any team in the league during this eight-game run.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (4-1-1) The Milwaukee Bucks can be a tricky team to handicap when it comes to totals. They play at a slow pace, but the Bucks are efficient on offense, and their defense is no better than mediocre. One interesting statistic about this team is their lack of second chances. Milwaukee is easily dead last in the NBA in offensive rebounds so far this year at only 183. On the other hand, they are fifth in the league in field goal percentage at 48.1 percent. Opponents are hitting 39.8 percent from three against Milwaukee.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-2) If you can figure out betting totals on the Minnesota Timberwolves, you are one of the few bettors who can. They have been on each side of the report. Minnesota has slowed down their tempo to try to help their defense, which has been terrible all year. They are still really good on offense, though, and their defense is still bad. This is a Top 5 offense and a Bottom 5 defense. They play a weak schedule in next couple weeks. Let's see if they can build on their lead in their division.
4. Atlanta Hawks (5-2) Atlanta has been much better on offense in the past couple weeks. They have also been much worse on defense. This team is going to be really bad all year, and I'll be hesitant to get involved in their games in the betting market. There is a lot of inconsistency when it comes to pace of play here.
5. Los Angeles Clippers (4-2) To say that the Clippers have been bad on defense of late is an understatement. They are last in the NBA in points per possession allowed in the last six games at 1.145 points per possession allowed. The tempo of this team isn't that fast, but they are pretty good on offense and terrible on defense. I would look to play overs with this team when the posted total is set at a relatively low number.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Brooklyn Nets (5-1) The Brooklyn Nets rank first in the NBA in points per possession allowed in the past six games! That has to come as a shock to everyone. Brooklyn is giving up only 0.998 points per possession. Brooklyn is now 17-9 against the spread this year. They are easily surpassing very low expectations set for them. Let's see how Jahlil Okafor looks when he gets on the floor with this group.
2. Miami Heat (5-1) It surprises me to see the Heat here when Hassan Whiteside is on the bench. What's made their games stay under the total? Miami ranks 25th in the NBA in tempo in their last six games. This was a team that had been playing at a league average pace or even slightly quicker, but they have slowed down drastically of late.
3. Detroit Pistons (6-1-1) Detroit has gone in the tank of late. This team was one of the biggest surprises in the league for a long time. Now, the Pistons have lost seven straight contests. The problem has clearly been the offense. Detroit is averaging a ridiculously low 0.951 points per possession during their seven-game losing streak. For comparison's sake, the lowly Chicago Bulls are averaging 1.07 points per possession during that period.
4. Washington Wizards (5-2) Be careful to read too much into the Wizards being here. John Wall has been out, and that made the team slow their pace down drastically. With him coming back now, I wonder if there might be some value on the over with this team. The oddsmakers will move their numbers up, but I'm not sure they'll adjust them enough.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (4-2) The Lakers have played about four possessions per game slower in their last six games than their average for the first 20 games. Only the Kings and the Bulls rank below the Lakers in points per possession for the season overall. Lonzo Ball has shown a lot of potential already this year, but his shooting numbers have to get a little better for this team to become consistently competitive. The Lakers are shooting only 70.4 percent from the free throw line, which is the worst mark in the NBA.
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