NBA Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
The trade deadline has passed, and there were quite a few big moves. The Cavs trading away half their roster seemed necessary, and through two games the results look great. Time will tell on those deadline deals. The NBA All-Star Break is this coming weekend. I'd be cautious making too many wagers in the last games before the break and once again in the first games out of the break.
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 438-406 in the NBA. Of the 37 games that have gone to overtime, only five have stayed under the total. In non-overtime games, the under is hitting at 53.66 percent. That's something to keep in mind when handicapping totals in the NBA. An under would have more value in game that you don't think could go to overtime.
The statistics listed below are for games from February 1 through February 13.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Denver Nuggets (5-1) A few weeks ago, the Nuggets offense was consistently underachieving. Those days are long gone, and this offense is back to its usual high-octane status. Denver ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency in the last 10 games. The Nuggets are third in the league in assists per game in their last six games. Denver is also 27th in the NBA in defensive efficiency during this time. They'll continue to have a lot of high-scoring games.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves (5-1) Minnesota is second in the NBA in field goal percentage at 51.3 percent in their last six games. Only the Warriors have been better. Minnesota is at the top in the league in free throw percentage at 86.3 percent from the line in their last six games. That's taking advantage of your opportunities at the stripe! Minnesota has struggled defensively in their last six games. They had improved on defense for a while, but the last few games have looked like earlier this season. They did play some tremendous offenses during this span, so let's see how the defense looks in the next few games.
3. San Antonio Spurs (5-1) The Spurs have strayed from their normal tendencies of late, and it hasn't helped them at all. They have lost five of their last six games. San Antonio has played much faster than normal of late. The Spurs rank 11th in the league in pace of play in their last six contests. For the season, the Spurs rank second to last in tempo. The Spurs rank second in defensive efficiency for the season, but they are only 19th in their last six games. I expect a return to normal after the break.
4. Utah Jazz (5-2) The Utah Jazz have run off 10 consecutive victories. This team was never as bad as their record. They just needed to get healthy. They finally did. The Jazz are shooting a whopping 46.6 percent from beyond the arc in their last seven games. That won't continue, but Utah is likely a team you'll see in the top eight in the Western Conference playoff standings soon.
5. Phoenix Suns (4-2) From a team red hot in the Jazz, down to a team that has been the worst in the NBA. The Suns have been embarrassing themselves with these 40-point blowouts this season. Phoenix looks like the image of a team tanking to get a better draft pick. They are allowing a mind-boggling 1.205 points per possession in their last six.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Los Angeles Clippers (5-0) The Clippers have been a great under team since Blake Griffin was dealt. Should it surprise us? No. The Clippers have been a little less efficient on offense, but they rank seventh in the NBA in defensive efficiency since this deal. Let's see how much the oddsmakers adjust their numbers downward.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (6-1) Who is first in the NBA in defensive efficiency in the last 10 games? It is the Milwaukee Bucks. Their improvement on the defensive end since Jason Kidd left is staggering. Milwaukee continues to play at a slow pace, but their defense has gone from a Bottom 10 defense to the best in the NBA. Expect this to regress some, so I'd be careful taking extremely low unders with the Bucks.
3. New York Knicks (5-1) The Knicks haven't been an under team of late because they slowed down. In fact, their pace of play ranks ninth in the NBA in the last six games. New York has been shooting the ball terribly. The Knicks are averaging a miserable 0.93 points per possession in their last six contests. They are shooting only 23 percent from three-point range during that time. These numbers can't stay this bad. At least, I don't think they can.
4. Philadelphia 76ers (5-1) Philadelphia ranks first in the NBA in defensive efficiency in their last six games. The 76ers continue to surprise this season. Philadelphia plays a lot of fast-paced offenses in the next few games, so expect a lot of high totals in their games in the near future.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (4-1) The Lakers have been a good under team of late, but their roster looks a little different now. How many minutes will Isaiah Thomas get? We know he is a defensive liability, but he is very capable on the offensive end. This is a team I'd like to sit back and watch for a little while. No need to try to be a hero on the Lakers.
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