NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
January is in the rear-view mirror, and the NBA All Star Break is right around the corner. The big story this week is Blake Griffin being traded to Detroit. It will be interesting to see how the Pistons do with Andre Drummond and Griffin in the same frontcourt. The Clippers appear to be rebuilding once again.
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 to date, the under is 393-363 overall in the NBA. That's 52.19 percent of the games staying under the total.
The statistics listed below are for games from January 18 through January 31.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1) Oklahoma City seems to have fixed their problems on the offensive end. In their last six games, Oklahoma City ranks first in the NBA in offensive efficiency at 1.178 points per possession. The Thunder are a team I would continue to look to play overs with in the near future. Andre Roberson is out with an injury, and he is the best defender on the team. Roberson is also an offensive liability. The oddsmakers will adjust the Thunder's totals higher, but will it be enough?
2. Memphis Grizzlies (5-2) You have to feel bad for this team. Mike Conley has proven himself as a very good point guard, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Memphis was close getting to the next level a few years ago with a strong frontcourt, but now some of those guys are gone and Marc Gasol has been rumored in several trade deals. Gasol is now 33-years-old, and his shooting numbers are way down from last year. This team's injury report is lengthy, and the outlook for them isn't good.
3. Detroit Pistons (4-2) It's hard to say what Griffin in the lineup will mean to this team as far as totals. Will Detroit speed up or slow down their pace of play? Will it take some time for him to get integrated into the system, or will it be instant? I'd rather sit this one out and wait see what this team looks like for a few games.
4. Los Angeles Lakers (4-2) For the season, the Lakers rank 28th in the NBA in offensive efficiency. In their last six games, the Lakers are 11th in the league on offensive efficiency. Julius Randle is quietly having a very good season for the Lakers. Randle has scored at least 14 points in each of his last six games. He has nine rebounds or more in four of those games as well. The Lakers continue to push the pace. Can they continue to be this efficient on offense? They play several poor defenses in the next couple weeks.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2-1) It shouldn't surprise anyone to see Cleveland here. The Cavs offense is still very good, but this defense is atrocious. Isaiah Thomas may be able to make plays on the offensive end, but his defense sets this team back badly. Why do you think Boston went from having an average or below-average defense last year to having the top defense in the league so far this year? Cleveland has a lot of questions to answer. The numbers have gotten really high here, though, so be careful blindly taking overs.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Miami Heat (6-1) The Heat are much better on defense with Hassan Whiteside healthy. In the last six games, Miami has allowed only 0.963 points per possession, which is the best in the NBA in that span. They rank third in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage during that time. The Heat are shooting only 31.1 percent from long range in their last six games. The numbers are getting low here, but I still wouldn't be taking Miami overs.
2. Houston Rockets (6-1) The Rockets aren't playing as fast as they did in the past. Houston ranks 17th in the NBA in tempo in their last six games. The Rockets are No. 1 in defensive rebounding percentage for the year. In the last six games, opponents are getting back only 18.5 percent of their shot attempts. Houston has shot only 46.1 percent in their last six games, and I would expect that number to improve.
3. Milwaukee Bucks (4-1) Time will tell if this is a blip on the radar or if it is predictive for the future, but the Bucks have been a lot better on defense since Jason Kidd was fired. They rank fourth in the NBA in their last five games in defensive efficiency. On the season as a whole, the Bucks are 20th in defensive efficiency. Milwaukee plays five of their next six on the road, and this trip should tell us a lot about the team.
4. Phoenix Suns (5-2) The Suns are playing at a pace that ranks in the middle of the NBA of late. They are no longer running and gunning to the extent they were earlier in the year. Phoenix also ranks 28th in the NBA in offensive efficiency in their last seven games. No team has turned the ball over as much as Phoenix in the last seven contests. Phoenix is shooting only 44.4 percent in this seven-game span as well.
5. Dallas Mavericks (5-2) Dallas is difficult to figure out from a pace standpoint. The Mavericks have typically been a relatively slow-paced team, but they appeared to tinker with speeding up about a month ago. In the last couple weeks, they have slowed down drastically once again. Dallas has been the second-slowest team in the NBA (only the Spurs have been slower) in the last seven games. The Mavericks also rank as the second-least-efficient offense in the league during that span. Dallas is shooting a miserable 40.8 percent from the floor in their last seven contests. No one else in the NBA is shooting lower than 42.7 percent in that time frame.
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