NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
Things have cycled back around to Golden State having the best record in the NBA as of the new year. No one should be even a little surprised by that. Though other teams get on nice runs and get a lot of coverage, everyone knows the Warriors are the class of the NBA, and they will be very hard to beat in the playoffs.
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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The under still has the edge for the season, but recently the oddsmakers have evened things out. The over is 27-22 in the last week. In the last month, the under is 108-106. One interesting note: the over is a perfect 15-0 in overtime games in the past month. That's a lot of overtime games for one month in the NBA.
The statistics listed below are for games from December 13 through January 3.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Chicago Bulls (10-2) The Chicago Bulls have been an over machine since Nikola Mirotic returned to the lineup. They've also been a very solid team in general, and against the spread bettors have profited in a big way from the Bulls. Mirotic isn't the only guy stepping up for Chicago, though. Kris Dunn's point guard play has been excellent of late. The Bulls have committed the fourth-lowest amount of turnovers in the NBA in the past 12 games. Chicago has picked up the pace as well. The Bulls rank second in the NBA in tempo in their last 12 contests.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (9-2) Milwaukee plays slowly, so it can be hard to take relatively high overs with them, but it has been the way to go of late. Milwaukee ranks fifth in the league in offensive efficiency in their last 11 games. They also rank sixth worst in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Milwaukee's tempo for the year ranks in the bottom five in the league. In the past 11 games though, they rank in the top half of the league. Let's keep an eye on their pace of play.
3. Los Angeles Lakers (9-2) The Lakers have been atrocious on defense of late. The Lakers have allowed 1.208 points per possession in their last six games. This is a team that ranks third in the league in tempo in the last 11 games. The combination of high tempo and no defense can make for some really high-scoring games. Let's see what happens when Lonzo Ball rejoins the lineup. Does he help their defense?
4. Philadelphia 76ers (6-4) Philadelphia sits at 18-19 on the year. The 76ers are much improved from the past couple years, but they aren't quite as good as some thought after the first month of the season. Philadelphia needs to foul less. The 76ers are committing 23.9 fouls per game in the last 10 contests, which is easily worst in the NBA. That's certainly part of their being an over team during this span.
5. Sacramento Kings (6-4) Sacramento has played at the slowest pace of any team in the NBA in the past 10 games. How have they allowed so many points? This defense is the only one in the NBA worse than the Lakers of late. Sacramento has allowed 1.172 points per possession in the last 10 games. In their last five, they are allowing a mind-boggling 1.22 points per possession. The Kings will be on the road for much of the month of January, and things aren't likely to go well for them on that trip.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Orlando Magic (8-3) Here's a case of injuries playing a major role in a team having a bunch of unders. Orlando was without Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic for much of this time. That many injuries will throw off an offense in a big way. How bad has Orlando been on offense during this stretch? They are averaging 0.981 points per possession in their last 11 games. The second-worst mark in the NBA during that span is 1.003 points per possession.
2. Atlanta Hawks (7-3) The Atlanta Hawks have been a good under team of late, but there is one statistic that really tells you a lot about this Hawks team. Atlanta is dead last in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage at 73.6 percent. The second-worst team is 2 percentage points better than Atlanta at grabbing the defensive board. Atlanta is a team I would look to play unders with when they are against a weak offensive rebounding team. I would look for overs with the Hawks when facing a team that creates a lot of second-chance points.
3. Brooklyn Nets (8-4) For the season as a whole, Brooklyn ranks fifth in tempo. The Nets were really pushing the pace early in the season. In their last 12 games alone, Brooklyn ranks 16th in tempo. Brooklyn's change of pace hasn't been baked into the numbers enough as of yet. Brooklyn has a really tough schedule in the next week. Let's see how much the oddsmakers adjust their totals down.
4. Miami Heat (7-4) The Miami Heat have decided to play extremely slowly. Miami easily ranks as the slowest-paced team in the league in the last 11 games. Miami is averaging 94.53 possessions per game during that span. That is eight possessions fewer than the 76ers and Bulls are averaging. With Hassan Whiteside back in the middle, I would still lean to unders with the Heat in the near term.
5. Indiana Pacers (7-4) Maybe the biggest breakout star in the NBA so far this year has been Victor Oladipo. The Pacers being an under team of late just confirms how much he means to this team. Indiana ranks 27th in tempo in the last 11 games, and without Oladipo it is clear that this offense doesn't move in the same way. In their last four games, when Oladipo has been injured, the Pacers have been the second-least efficient offense in the NBA. Oladipo is questionable to return on Saturday. Keep a close eye on his status.
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