NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
The Cleveland Cavs are only 26-17 on the year. The Cavs defense has been a major problem all year. They have been burning money in a big way. Cleveland is a miserable 12-30-1 against the spread so far this season. It's hard to believe that a team with LeBron James on it is that bad ATS on the season. It will be interesting to see how this team plays in the next month or two as Isaiah Thomas tries to get accustomed to being on the floor with Cleveland.
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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 to date, the under is 341-315 overall in the NBA. That's 51.98 percent of the games staying under the total.
The statistics listed below are for games from January 4 through January 17.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. New York Knicks (6-1) The Knicks have played three overtime contests in their last seven games. New York has been playing slowly, and they have lacked offensive firepower, but the return of Tim Hardaway Jr. to the lineup will help in that area. It has been a bit of a fluke that they are 6-1 to the over in their last seven, but I still believe the over could have value on this team going forward with the return of a key scorer.
2. Portland Trail Blazers (6-1) Portland had been in the top five in the NBA in defensive efficiency early in the season. They have fallen apart on that end of the floor. Portland ranks 26th in the league in defensive efficiency in their last seven contests. They are fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency during that time. Damian Lillard is getting healthier, and this offense should continue to be strong.
3. Los Angeles Clippers (6-2) Who has been the fastest-paced team in the NBA in the last eight games? It's the Clippers, and it isn't even close. The Clippers are averaging 105.2 possessions per game in their last eight. The second-fastest-paced team in the league during that time frame is averaging 103.01 possessions per game. They are also 10th in the NBA in offensive efficiency in the past eight games. The Clippers have changed their stripes, and they have been great to over backers.
4. Chicago Bulls (5-2) In their last 10 games, the Bulls rank dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency. They are allowing 1.138 points per possession during that time. Chicago is playing at an above-average pace as well. The Bulls play several fast-paced teams in the next few games, so expect to see some very high posted totals on Chicago games in the near future.
5. Toronto Raptors (5-2) Toronto's offense has been superb this season. DeMar DeRozan has taken that next step, and the guys around him are benefitting in a big way. Toronto is seventh in the league in tempo in their last seven games. Toronto is shooting 80.1 percent from the free throw line for the year, and this is a team that has several guys who get to the line frequently. Also note that Toronto is third in the NBA in offensive rebounding. Those second-chance points are critical to their success.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Denver Nuggets (7-1) The Denver Nuggets have turned into an under machine of late. What happened? Surprisingly, Denver has struggled badly on the offensive end. The Nuggets are averaging only 0.987 points per possession in their last eight games. Denver has also slowed down the tempo drastically. They rank 24th in the league in pace during that span. This offense shouldn't be this bad. I think they are changing up the lineups too much here.
2. Indiana Pacers (5-1) Who has been the slowest-paced team in the NBA in the last 10 games? The Indiana Pacers. Indiana was actually one of the fastest-paced teams early in the year, but they have changed things up in a big way. Indiana continues to be above average offensively, though, and they aren't very good on defense. I'd be careful taking unders with this team as the numbers get lower and lower.
3. Phoenix Suns (4-1) The Suns have played the fewest games in the NBA in the past two weeks. Phoenix is another team who has changed a lot from early in the season. Phoenix ranks 19th in the NBA in tempo in their last five games. They are 24th in offensive efficiency. They are settling for bad jumpers and not getting to the line much at all. Injuries have caused some of the problems here, too. Keep an eye on the status of T.J. Warren and Marquese Chriss in the next few days.
4. Milwaukee Bucks (6-2) You could see this one coming. Milwaukee plays extremely slowly, but because their offensive efficiency numbers were off the chart and they weren't guarding anyone, they had a big string of overs. That made the numbers get too high, and they couldn't keep up those extremely high numbers. Milwaukee is shooting only 31.9 percent from beyond the arc in the last eight games.
5. San Antonio Spurs (5-2) The Spurs are second in the NBA in defensive efficiency in the last seven games. San Antonio is struggling on the offensive end as well. They rank only 21st in offensive efficiency. The best time to take unders with San Antonio has been when they are away from home. The Spurs are rank second to last in the NBA in offensive efficiency in road games. They are second best in defensive efficiency in road games.
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