Hornets vs. Jazz, Nuggets vs. Thunder among key Over / Under games
It has been an odd week in the NBA amid the league-wide COVID-19 outbreak that has led to several canceled games and countless players sent off due to health and safety protocols. league.
As we move into Christmas week, here is the fifth weekly installment of this column where I present a weekly market update on how overs and unders play out in the NBA.
With so many games canceled and the unpredictable nature, continue to proceed with caution when betting on these games and keep a close watch on injuries and COVID news.
Last week I introduced the Washington Wizards as a target team for the overs. They went 2-2 last week as their attack seemed a bit lackluster at times during that long road trip.
The Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets, both of whom I introduced a few weeks ago as a target team for the overs, continued their streak. The respective games of these two teams last week ended 3-1.
Here is the weekly market update through week 9 (week ending December 19).
Trends in key totals to watch
- Overs fell from 28 to 20 (58.3%) in week 9, continuing the feverish pace of overs that started in week 6. This brings the over / under record to date at 211-236-4 (47.2%) as it continues to move closer to 50%.
- We see a sharp increase in the average number of points scored per game to 220.4 in week 9 against an average closing total of 216.7 in week 9. This is the most significant week of this week. season. This brings the average to date to 215.8.
- As mentioned in recent weeks, the totals market had become more efficient, closing the gap between total market points and points actually scored. However, in Week 9 we saw runs scored and offensive metrics continue to rise as they had in the previous four weeks leading to a successful week for the overs.
- Fouls and free throw attempts continue to increase. In the past two weeks, weekly averages have exceeded seasonal averages. It looks like officials don’t swallow their whistles as much as they did earlier in the season.
- Two teams that have led that charge of passing are the Denver Nuggets (15-2 at most in last 17 games) and Charlotte Hornets (10-1-1 at most in last 12 games). Both teams are hitting over 60% overs this season.
Teams with the most significant matches (220 and more)
- Hornets: Average: 115.3 | Opp Average: 117.3 | Total: 232.6
- kings: Avg: 111.3 | Opp Average: 114.4 | Total: 225.7
- Lakers: Average: 110.5 | Opp Average: 111.3 | Total: 221.8
- hawks: Average: 111.5 | Opp Average: 110.0 | Total: 221.5
- Jazz: Average: 115.6 | Opp Average: 105.1 | Total: 220.7
- Spurs: Average: 109.6 | Opp Average: 110.4 | Total: 220.0
Teams with the lowest scoring games (209 and under)
- thunder: Average: 99.1 | Opp Average: 108.1 | Total: 207.2
- Riders: Avg: 107.0 | Opp Average: 101.1 | Total: 208.1
- Mavericks: Avg: 104.4 | Opp Average: 104.8 | Total: 209.2
- piston: Avg: 100.4 | Opp Average: 109.4 | Total: 209.8
- Hornets: 20-11-1 (64.5%)
- nuggets: 18-11 (62.1%)
- Heat: 17-13-1 (57.7%)
- Spurs: 16-12-1 (57.1%)
Best teams under
- Warriors: 9-20-1 (31.0%)
- Mavericks: 9-20-1 (31.0%)
- Riders: 11-20 (35.5%)
- 76ers: 11-18-1 (37.9%)
- Mavericks: 8-1 or less in the last nine games
- Lakers: 8-2 or less in the last 10 games
- Riders: 5-1 or less in the last six games
- Roe deer: 4-1 or less in the last five games
On recent trends
- nuggets: 15-2 at most in the last 17 matches
- Hornets: 10-1-1 at most in the last 12 games
- Jazz: 11-3-1 at most in the last 15 games
- Wood wolves: 10-3 at most in the last 13 matches
- Rockets: 10-3 at most in the last 13 matches
Matchups in the spotlight on totals
With all the uncertainty, I’m specifically targeting two games that I think have value based on trends. It’s worth noting that things can change at any time of the week, so keep an eye on the FantasyLabs feed for real-time updates.
Monday, December 20 – Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz: over 236.5
The two best offensives in the league face off tonight. The 236.5 total for this game is currently the highest total of the season and for good reason too. As noted above, the overs on the Hornets games have been automatic.
They are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games with an average score of 246.5 points per game. During this period, they are No. 2 in offensive ranking (120.4), No. 30 in defensive ranking (124.6), according to advanced statistics from the NBA.
LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier recently returned to the roster after missing numerous games due to health and safety protocols.
They will face the Utah Jazz, who are ranked first in the league’s offensive standings (117.2) by a huge margin. By comparison, the No.2 Hornets are at 113.2, which is four points less per 100 possessions.
They are 11-3-1 in their last 15 games and have averaged 119.9 points per game during that span. It will potentially be higher against the horrible Hornets; defense. Donovan Mitchell has been amazing lately and the Jazz should be looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses.
Expect fireworks tonight. The total has been wagered against the opening total of 234 and continues to increase – 237 will be the limit I’m willing to push to play on top. The totals for the Jazz team (currently 124 at PointsBet) are also interesting.
Wednesday, December 22 – Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: over (up to 219)
Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets had a crazy streak of overs. They are 15-2 or more in their last 17 games.
The Nuggets started the season with a lot of difficulty scoring and established themselves as one of the slower and worst teams in the league. Michael Porter Jr. suffered from back injuries and never found his rhythm in the team’s offense. Things have really changed since then. Monte Morris and Will Barton have adapted extremely well to their roles in the back starting zone.
At the start of this race, the Nuggets got small with their starting lineup with Jeff Green joining Aaron Gordon and Jokic in the first zone. They’ve been playing faster lately and are fifth behind Pace in their previous five games. They are also fifth in offensive classification and 25th in defensive classification during the same period.
The Nuggets face the Thunder on Wednesday night. The Thunder have seen their defensive rating decline for three straight weeks now. Their attack has improved slightly over the past few weeks with healthy Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and Luguentz Dort truly becoming his as a goalscorer. Plus, they don’t have the tools to stop Jokic, who was a one-man wrecking team.
With the recent Denver streak, I’m looking to keep riding the wave. I think the perception of the market could potentially cloud this too low total. They continued to underestimate the Nuggets’ totals with Jamal Murray and Porter Jr. out of roster. I would be interested in the top of this game if it is at 219 or less.
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