NBA Odds & Over/Under Betting Trends: Will Pelicans Buck Low-Scoring Streak With CJ McCollum?

NBA Odds & Over/Under Betting Trends: Will Pelicans Buck Low-Scoring Streak With CJ McCollum? article feature image

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas, guard CJ McCollum

We have finally reached a huge milestone for NBA totals this season!

Overs have finally surpassed the unders for the NBA season after going 22-10 to the over in Week 18 and 15-13 to the over in Week 19. For the season, overs are now hitting at a 50.3% rate after starting out 104-148 (41.3%) in the first five weeks.

Offense has skyrocketed across the board and we have seen average scoring in the mid-220s in the previous two weeks, numbers reminiscent of last season.

Teams have appeared to adjust to the early-season struggles with new rule changes and fatigue from the prior season. Massive absences due to league health and safety protocols also affected scoring. With these protocols being loosened in the last month, we are seeing some high-scoring games.

Here is the weekly market update through Week 18 (ending Feb. 27):

Key NBA Over/Under Trends to Watch

  • Totals went 22-10 (68.8%) to the over in Week 18 and 15-13 (53.6%) to the over in Week 19. This takes the season-to-date over/under record up to 455-449-10 (50.3%). We are seeing a recent surge to overs in the last few weeks.
  • Average scoring in the first week post All-Star break is at 226.6 points per game, a huge spike versus the season average of 218.7 points per game. The average closing total last week was at 224, compared to the season average of 218.9. The market has been quick to adjust to this recent uptick in scoring.
  • We saw two games with a total into the 240s: The Timberwolves-Hornets (243.5) and Timberwolves-Grizzlies (240.5) matchups. We mentioned last week that you were going to start paying a huge premium for Timberwolves' totals and we are seeing that come to light.
  • The Pacers and Bucks have been the most consistent teams to the over. As highlighted below, the Pacers are 13-2 to the over in their previous 15 games and the Bucks are 16-3 to the over in their previous 19 games.

Teams with highest scoring games(224 and above)

  • Hornets: Avg: 114.2 | Opp Avg: 114.6 | Total: 228.8
  • Rockets: Avg: 108.4 | Opp Avg: 117.8 | Total: 226.2
  • Spurs: Avg: 112.8 | Opp Avg: 112.7 | Total: 225.5
  • Timberwolves: Avg: 113.1 | Opp Avg: 112.1 | Total: 225.2
  • Kings: Avg: 110.3 | Opp Avg: 114.7 | Total: 225.0
  • Hawks: Avg: 112.4 | Opp Avg: 111.6 | Total: 224.0

Teams with lowest scoring games(213 and below)

  • Cavaliers: Avg: 106.4 | Opp Avg: 102.3 | Total: 208.7
  • Mavericks: Avg: 106.7 | Opp Avg: 103.4 | Total: 210.1
  • Thunder: Avg: 101.7 | Opp Avg: 108.4 | Total: 210.1
  • Knicks: Avg: 105.0 | Opp Avg: 107.0 | Total: 212.0
  • Celtics: Avg: 109.2 | Opp Avg: 103.9 | Total: 213.1

Best Over Teams

  • Heat: 37-23-1 (61.7%)
  • Timberwolves: 37-24 (60.7%)
  • Rockets: 35-25 (58.3%)
  • Spurs: 34-26-1 (56.7%)
  • Pacers: 35-27 (56.5%)
  • Grizzlies: 35-27 (56.5%)

Best Under Teams

  • Mavericks: 21-40 (34.4%)
  • Cavaliers: 22-37-1 (37.3%)
  • Pelicans: 24-37 (39.2%)
  • Warriors: 25-34-2 (42.4%)
  • Celtics: 26-35-2 (42.6%)

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Recent Under Trends

  • Pelicans: 11-3 to the under in last 14 games
    • Their recent acquisition of C.J. McCollum has helped kickstart an offense that has been one of the worst in the league: The Pelicans are 22nd in Offensive Rating (109.1) for the season, but third (120.0) over their previous five games. I'm thinking this will flip pretty soon.
  • Cavaliers: 9-4-1 to the under in last 14 games
    • The Cavs are still one of the most dominant defensive teams in the league. With Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the middle, I expect them to keep games low-scoring. Also, recent injuries to Darius Garland and Caris LeVert hurts their overall offense.
  • Trail Blazers: 7-3 to the under in last 10 games
    • They’ve traded away McCollum and Damian Lillard is still out with an injury. Things look bleak at the moment on the offensive end until Lillard returns.
  • Lakers: 4-1 to the under in last five games
    • Where do I begin? Anthony Davis is injured, Russell Westbrook continues his decline into obsolescence and the Lakers are about to fall out of playoff picture in the Western Conference. Their offense is broken and at this point, I’m not sure what can be done to fix it.

Recent Over Trends

  • Pacers: 13-2 to the over in last 15 games
    • The Pacers are playing with a thin frontcourt after trading away Domantas Sabonis with Myles Turner still on the shelf with an injury. Their trio of Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Malcolm Brogdon have their offense looking sharp lately. Their defense is one of the worst in the league.
  • Bucks: 16-3 to the over in last 19 games (eight straight overs)
    • The Bucks offense is finally looking into form as they have their “Big 3” healthy. They’ve also been one of the league’s worst defensive teams and are 29th in Defensive Rating (118.1) in their previous 10 games.
  • Knicks: 8-2 to the over in last 10 games
    • The Knicks are 25th in Defensive Rating (116.5) and 13th in Pace (100.1) in their previous 10 games, which is uncharacteristic for a Tom Thibodeau-led team.
  • Nets: 7-1 to the over in last eight games
    • The market was bearish on the Nets after the James Harden trade. However, Seth Curry has given them a nice boost offensively and Kyrie Irving should be returning full-time soon.
  • Suns: 7-2 to the over in last nine games
    • Their offense doesn’t appear to be missing a beat after Chris Paul’s injury, but their defense has clearly suffered. They gave up 117 and 118 points in their previous two games.
  • Celtics: 4-0-1 to the over in last five games
    • The surging Celtics offense has looked a lot better in recent games. They are eighth in Offensive Rating (116.8) in their previous 10 games. Derrick White has been a strong addition and if they continue to limit Al Horford’s minutes, we could see the pace quicken.
  • Thunder: 4-0 to the over in last four games
    • I am not sure I make anything of this recent surge of overs. They played the high-scoring Spurs, Suns and Pacers during this timeframe.
  • 76ers: 4-0 to the over in last four games
    • The James Harden and Joel Embiid era has gotten off to a hot start with two convincing wins and easy overs. It is no surprise, but they’ve shot a total of 80 free throws in the last two games, which could be a good indicator of more overs in the short-term.

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