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NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Minnesota Timberwolves & Cleveland Cavaliers Among Teams to Target For Over/Unders This Week

NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Minnesota Timberwolves & Cleveland Cavaliers Among Teams to Target For Over/Unders This Week article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 and D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Week 17 was a huge one for overs, as they went 28-20 (58.3%). Scoring was much higher last week, and we saw a total of 13 games eclipse a total score of 240.

The Timberwolves played four games and those had an average score of 252, which included games against the Kings, Bulls and Pacers, three other high-scoring teams. The Grizzlies have also been scorching hot lately and averaged 130.7 points per game last week.

As teams are more relaxed heading into the All-Star Break, could we see some more high-scoring  matchups in this upcoming short week?

Here is the weekly market update through Week 17 (week ending Sunday, Feb . 13):

Key Totals Trends to Watch

  • Over/unders went 28-20 (58.3%) in Week 17. This takes the season-to-date over/under record up to 418-426-7 (49.5%). We are seeing a recent surge to overs in the last few weeks.
  • The average closing total was 225.6 in Week 17, compared to the season average of 218.1. A few weeks ago, the market adjusted the closing totals higher due to the improved offense and scoring. The average closing total since the start of the new year is 221.1, while the average points scored has been 221. We are now seeing 220-221 as our new sweet spot in league-wide averages.
  • The league-wide numbers are trending to the over, but there are some teams that still continue to run under, namely the Celtics, Cavaliers and Pelicans.
  • The Timberwolves are by far the hottest team to the over. They are an insane 25-6 to the over on the road. The market continues to try and adjust — their game against the Bulls closed at 241.5, the highest total all season. Expect to pay a huge premium on their totals going forward.

Teams with highest scoring games (223 and above)

  • Hornets: Avg: 113.8 | Opp Avg: 114.6 | Total: 228.4
  • Rockets: Avg: 108.3 | Opp Avg: 117.3 | Total: 225.6
  • Timberwolves: Avg: 113.3 | Opp Avg: 111.7 | Total: 225.0
  • Kings: Avg: 110.6 | Opp Avg: 114.4 | Total: 225.0
  • Lakers: Avg: 111 | Opp Avg: 112.6 | Total: 223.6
  • Hawks: Avg: 111.7 | Opp Avg: 111.7 | Total: 223.4
  • Spurs: Avg: 111.8 | Opp Avg: 111.6 | Total: 223.4

Teams with lowest scoring games (211 and below)

  • Thunder: Avg: 100.7 | Opp Avg: 107.4 | Total: 208.1
  • Cavaliers: Avg: 106.5 | Opp Avg: 102.1 | Total: 208.6
  • Mavericks: Avg: 106.3 | Opp Avg: 103.1 | Total: 209.4
  • Knicks: Avg: 104.7 | Opp Avg: 106.1 | Total: 210.8
  • Celtics: Avg: 108.3 | Opp Avg: 103.6 | Total: 211.9

Best Over Teams

  • Heat: 35-21-1 (62.5%)
  • Timberwolves: 35-22 (61.4%)
  • Rockets: 32-23 (58.2%)
  • Grizzlies: 33-25 (56.9%)
  • Raptors: 31-24 (56.4%)
  • Bulls: 32-25 (56.1%)

Best Under Teams

  • Mavericks: 19-38 (33.3%)
  • Cavaliers: 21-36 (36.8%)
  • Celtics: 22-35-1 (38.6%)
  • Pelicans: 22-34 (39.3%)
  • 76ers: 22-33-1 (40%)
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Recent Under Trends

  • Celtics: 11-2-1 to the under in last 14 games
    • They have the league’s best Defensive Rating (100.7) and 27th in Pace (96.3) since the beginning of January. Recently acquired Derrick White gives them another excellent defender off the bench.
  • Pelicans: 12-3 to the under in last 15 games (recently broke an eight-game streak of unders)
    • Their recent acquisition of C.J. McCollum could help kick-start their offense that has been one of the worst in the league: 25th in Offensive Rating (108.1) for the season.
  • Cavaliers: 8-3 to the under in last 11 games
    • The Cavs are still one of the most dominant defensive teams in the league. They traded for Caris LaVert, which could help with their scoring, but as long as Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are healthy, I expect them to keep games low-scoring.
  • Trail Blazers: 6-1 to the under in last seven 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.
  • Jazz: 5-0 to the under in last five games
    • Rudy Gobert may be one of the league's best defenders, but do not discount his impact on offense either. The On/Off numbers show the Jazz's Offensive Rating decreases by 5.1 points with him off the court, per Basketball Reference. The Jazz expect him back this week.
  • Nuggets: 5-1 to the under in last six games
    • The Nuggets are the streakiest totals team in the league. The market was slow to adjust their totals higher after their recent run of overs, but they have faced a few strong defensive teams in the last few games and their totals have fallen short. Monte Morris, their starting point guard, has missed their previous two games.

Recent Over Trends

  • Timberwolves: 16-3 to the over in last 19 games
    • First in Offensive Rating (120.9) and first in Pace (102.5) during this 19-game stretch. They are 25-6 to the over this season on the road.
  • Pacers: 10-1 to the over in last 11 games
    • The Pacers are playing with a thin frontcourt after trading away Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner still on the shelf with an injury. Their defense is one of the worst in the league.
  • Bucks: 9-3 to the over in last 12 games
    • The Bucks’ offense is finally looking into form as they have their “Big Three” healthy.
  • Clippers: 8-2-1 to the over in last 11 games
    • Norman Powell's injury will hurt the Clippers' offense; however, featuring Robert Covington at center in some small-ball lineups could still quicken the pace.
  • Grizzlies: 6-0 to the over in last six games
    • The Grizzlies have been running and gunning. They are fourth in Offensive Rating (120.8) and first in Pace (103.5) during this run, but keep your eye on Ja Morant's status for next game as he suffered an injury in Saturday's win against the Hornets.
  • Suns: 6-1 to the over in last seven games
    • The Suns have been relentless this season, playing at the eighth-fastest Pace (99.9) in the league, contrary to the slow, methodical pace they played last season. Their offense has been sharp as they look to make another run at the championship.
  • Kings: 5-0 to the over in last five games
    • Two games against the Timberwolves certainly help recent overs, but not sure what to make of this team just yet post-trade. A rotation centered around a healthy De'Aaron Fox should play quicker while their defense suffers.
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