NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
We're about one month into the NBA season. After Gordon Hayward went down in the first game of the season, I can't imagine many people would have expected the Celtics to have the best record in the NBA through the first month. Boston lost that first game in Cleveland, but they have gone 13-1 since that loss. Even more impressive is the fact that Boston is a whopping 12-2-1 against the spread on the season. Oklahoma City has been disappointing at only 6-7 overall on the year and 6-7 ATS. Cleveland is 7-7 on the young season, and they are just 4-9-1 ATS.
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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. 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.
For the season, the under is 109-91. That means the under sits at 54.5 percent on the season thus far. We'll keep track of the overall look of the totals market in the NBA through the season as well.
The statistics listed below are for games from November 1 through November 14.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Detroit Pistons (4-1) Detroit has carved out a niche for itself so far this season. The Pistons are third in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game. Those second-chance points combined with the team shooting 37.98 percent from 3-point range have meant a lot of overs for this team. The team does play at a pretty slow pace, so if their shooting numbers go down the over train will stop.
2. Toronto Raptors (5-2) The Raptors offense ranks third in the NBA in offensive efficiency. They are behind only the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. That's some pretty impressive company on the offensive end. Toronto torched the Houston defense in an impressive win on Tuesday night. Toronto is only shooting 34.5 percent from long range, but the Raptors are scoring in the paint at an impressive rate. They are also getting to the line often.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-2) As long as LeBron James plays for the Cleveland Cavs, they are going to be excellent on offense. That is unchanged this season. The reason the team is 7-7 so far this year is their terrible defense. Cleveland is dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency. They don't have to be elite on defense to be a really good team, but they can't afford to be this bad on the defensive end.
4. Atlanta Hawks (5-2) The Hawks are a miserable 2-12 so far this year. Atlanta is accustomed to being a playoff team, but things are looking a lot different this year. It's going to be a long season for Hawks fans. The Hawks have played 10 of their first 14 games on the road, so they'll be at home a lot in the coming weeks. They are 0-4 so far this year at home. I wonder if the team will keep playing fast. For now, they are pushing the pace and getting beat on a consistent basis.
5. Houston Rockets (5-2) In the first edition of this article, the Rockets were on the other side of the report. That wasn't going to last long. Houston is way too good offensively to have games consistently going under the total unless the number is set very high. Their shooting percentages have normalized in recent weeks, and the Rockets will continue to be an offensive juggernaut.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Minnesota Timberwolves (6-0) Wow! The Minnesota Timberwolves were 6-0 to the over at the time of the first report. They went 6-0 to the under during this last two week period. I didn't see this one coming. In their last six games, Minnesota ranks 12th in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Minnesota has a relatively easy schedule in the next few weeks. Let's see if the young Timberwolves can take that next step.
2. Boston Celtics (5-2) The Boston Celtics are allowing only 0.958 points per possession so far this year. That's easily first in the NBA. That's the reason Boston has the best record in the NBA to this point. Brad Stevens is a great coach, and I'm really impressed with the way they responded after Hayward went down with an injury. Their game against Golden State on Thursday night is must-see television.
3. Orlando Magic (5-2) The Magic offense hasn't been nearly as good in recent games. Elfrid Payton has missed a lot of time at point guard, and backup D.J. Augustin is out as well. Payton is back in the lineup now, and the team needs him to be healthy in order to keep up their hot start to the season. Orlando faces tougher competition in the next few weeks. Let's see if they can continue to surprise.
4. Dallas Mavericks (5-2) Dallas ranks in the bottom ten in the NBA in tempo. They also are 26th in the NBA in offensive efficiency. The Mavericks defense has been a touch better in recent weeks, and that has been enough to see some unders. Why? Their numbers started getting so high that it became hard for them to get to that number at the pace they play.
5. Washington Wizards (5-2) Washington is a bit of a hard team to figure out. The Wizards have plenty of talent. They should certainly be one of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference on talent alone. They have lost at home to the Suns and the Mavericks, but they have wins at Toronto and at Denver. Can this team find some consistency? Washington has a bunch of road games in the next few weeks. It will be a really good test for the Wizards.
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