NBA Betting Advice: Hot and Cold Teams Against the Spread 1/18/2023
The second half of the NBA season is upon us, and the All-Star break is less than a month away. Over the last couple weeks, some teams have been exceeding expectations, while others have been falling short. Here are the hottest and coldest teams ATS, and the highest and lowest scorers in the last 10 games.
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The Denver Nuggets continue to surpass pre-season expectations and sit atop the Western Conference standings, having won 9 of their last 10 games. Against the spread, they are an impressive 7-2-1 over their last 10, making them one of the hottest teams in the league. Nikola Jokic continues to lead this team to victories. However, unlike last season, he has the supporting cast needed to succeed. Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter are all chipping in on the offensive end, but, make no mistake, it is Jokic leading this team to victories. Over the last 10 games, Jokic has posted 6 triple doubles, 2 of which were 30-point triple doubles. The dominance from the two-time MVP has the Nuggets clinging to a 1st place seed in the West. And now that Jokic has some help, there is no telling where this team will go.
Lebron James continues to chase down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s points record and is just 316 points away from taking down the ultimate crown. The Lakers have rallied around the chase and are one of the best teams ATS over the last 2 weeks, going 7-2-1, but only 6-4 straight up. James has repeatedly said that while chasing down Kareem is nice, playing winning basketball is the priority. The Lakers are expected to be an absolute disaster, but they are only half a disaster. They continually get free points on the road and at home and have been playing better basketball than expected. The Lakers are still 13th in the Western Conference but are just 4 games out of 4th place in a very crowded standings. At 38-years-old, James has defied father time and continues to play dominant basketball, and he will do his best to push the Lakers into a playoff position.
The Rockets have lost 11 straight games, going an abysmal 1-10 ATS during that span. The ship has sailed for meaningful basketball to be played in Houston, as the Rockets are looking ahead to a loaded 2023 draft class. Securing the best odds for Victor Wembanyama is the top priority in Houston, and the markets will need to adapt. The Rockets have been double-digit underdogs just once over the last 10 games, and bettors will need more free points in order to consider taking the Rockets. Until the spreads are consistently double digits, and are pushing 20 points against the top teams, the Rockets will be remaining in this column for the foreseeable future.
The Mavericks aren’t playing bad basketball, but they continue to be large favorites and have been failing to get covers. Luka Doncic leads the league with 33.8 PPG and has been putting this franchise on his back for the last few seasons. The Mavericks find themselves battling for their playoff lives and have gone 5-5 straight up, but just 3-7 ATS, over the last 10 games. This is the third time the Mavericks have found themselves in this column, as they have a league worst 15-28-2 record ATS. The Mavericks will continue to play solid basketball and edge out tight victories while failing to get the cover. Taking the Mavericks on the moneyline is always an option. However, until these lines come back to reality, I’m staying away from the Mavericks in the heavy favorite role.
The 76ers have been filling up the basket, surpassing their total in 8 of the last 10 games. This is largely due to the scoring tear Joel Embiid has been on, as he looks to capture his first league MVP award. The 76ers have won 8 of their last 10 games, scoring 110+ in every game, while their opponents have done the same in 9 of the 10 contests. Having both teams score 110+ is a great recipe for the Over, and the 76ers will not be too concerned about their defensive lapses as long as they continue to outscore their issues. If a team is winning, and finds themselves in this column, it is likely due to the fact their offense has been rolling rather than their defense collapsing. For the 76ers, both have been the case. and 30+ points from Joel Embiid in 9 of the last 10 games certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
The Utah Jazz have been one of the surprise teams of the season, largely due to their high-octane offense. The Jazz have cashed the Over in 8 of their last 10 games, as Lauri Markkanen continues to have a career altering season. The Jazz have managed to cash the Over despite the fact that the total has closed at 230+ in 8 of the last 10. However, considering both teams have scored 115+ at the same frequency, it is no surprise to see the Jazz here. The Jazz shoot lots of 3’s, play at a high pace, and have a terrible defense, all of which are recipes for Overs. The lines will stay in the 230 range, and the Jazz will keep sailing Over the posted totals.
One of the most Over-heavy teams of last season find themselves consistently playing solid defense and limiting their opposition's points. The Nets have gone Under in 8 of their last 10 games, including 6 straight contests. Kevin Durant has been injured, allowing their role players to step up on the defensive end. The majority of the ball handling is still done by Kyrie Irving, but the newfound defensive backbone Brooklyn has developed has led them to a surge into 4th place in the East. Nic Claxton leads the league with 2.7 blocks per game and has been critical in locking down the paint in Brooklyn. It’s not that this team has been incredibly low scoring. However, when their totals hover around the 230 range, and their opposition fails to score, the Under keeps hitting.
The Clippers have been notorious for slow paced, defense-first basketball under Ty Lue, and the last 10 games have been no exception. The Under has hit in 7 of the last 10 games involving the Clippers, but it hasn’t translated to wins, as they have gone just 2-8 in that span. The injuries surrounding Paul George have certainly hindered their chance at success, and their inability to fill the bucket has translated to a nasty string of losses. The Clippers have scored the second least points this season, but their totals remain in the 230 range. The bookmakers clearly expect the cold slump to snap in LA. However, until they can consistently fill the bucket, the Under is an easy bet in games featuring the Clippers.
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