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NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Target Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves Over/Unders This Week

NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Target Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves Over/Unders This Week article feature image
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Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Phoenix Suns standouts Chris Paul, left, and Mikal Bridges.

Week 15 did a sharp 180-turn from the week before and overs dominated. Totals went 30-19-1 (61.2%) to the over. Overall offense was up across the board.

There is a lot of variance that can occur week-to-week and these numbers can be influenced heavily by matchups. There were some matchups between some high-powered offenses. Seven games eclipsed 240 points this past week, including the 158-126 shellacking the Charlotte Hornets gave the Indiana Pacers. There was also a triple-overtime game between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors that ended 124-120.

Will we see a rise in offensive output again, leading to more overs? Players are getting healthier and there are less players in health and safety protocols. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out in Week 16.

Here is the weekly market update through Week 15 (week ending Jan. 30):

Key Totals Trends to Watch

  • Over/unders went 30-19-1 (61.2%) in Week 15. This takes the season-to-date over/under record up to 364-379-7 (49.0%).
  • After trending lower for four consecutive weeks, there was a sharp increase in points scored to 224.8 points per game in Week 15. As mentioned in the introduction, there were some high-scoring games between some strong offensive teams.
  • Offensive Efficiency, Pace and 3-point shooting were all higher across the board. Perhaps these teams are getting healthy and full rotations back in the lineup, reducing the amount of fatigue that has been plaguing the league in the last couple of months.
  • The average closing total was 221.0 in Week 15, compared to the season average of 218.0. A few weeks ago, the market adjusted the closing totals higher due to the improved offense and scoring. Because of the matchups in Week 15, the closing totals remained high, and they all delivered with high-scoring games.
  • Fouls and free throw attempts have gone up in the last few weeks. Even though it is not a huge increase, it still appears the officials are not swallowing their whistles as much as they did earlier in the season.

Teams with highest scoring games (223 and above)

  • Hornets: Avg: 114.5 | Opp Avg: 114.6 | Total: 229.1
  • Rockets: Avg: 108.3 | Opp Avg: 116.8 | Total: 225.1
  • Kings: Avg: 110.0 | Opp Avg: 114.2 | Total: 224.2
  • Lakers: Avg: 111.0 | Opp Avg: 112.6 | Total: 223.6
  • Hawks: Avg: 111.7 | Opp Avg: 111.3 | Total: 223.1

Teams with lowest scoring games (209 and below)

  • Knicks: Avg: 103.8  | Opp Avg: 104.8 | Total: 208.6
  • Thunder: Avg: 100.8 | Opp Avg: 108.0 | Total: 208.8
  • Mavericks: Avg: 106.1  | Opp Avg: 103.4 | Total: 209.5
  • Cavaliers: Avg: 107.1 | Opp Avg: 102.5 | Total: 209.6

Best Over Teams

  • Heat: 31-18-1 (63.3%)
  • Rockets: 29-20 (59.2%)
  • Timberwolves: 29-21 (58.0%)
  • Nuggets: 28-21 (57.1%)

Best Under Teams

  • Mavericks: 17-34 (33.3%)
  • Cavaliers: 19-31 (38.0%)
  • Warriors: 19-30-1 (38.8%)
  • 76ers: 19-29-1 (39.6%)

Recent Under Trends

  • Celtics: 6-0-1 to the under in last seven games
    • The league’s second-best Defensive Rating (103.4) and 29th in Pace (94.9) in January. Their entire starting line-up are excellent defenders. The Al Horford-Robert Williams frontcourt duo is great for unders.
  • Pelicans: 8-3 to the under in last 11 games
    • Recent absences to Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas have really affected their ability to score.
  • Suns: 7-3 to the under in last 10 games
    • I call this the “Bismack Biyombo” effect. The On/Off numbers show that Pace slows down to 94.2 with him on the court. He’s been getting a lot of playing time with DeAndre Ayton’s injury.

Recent Over Trends

  • Timberwolves: 10-2 to the over in last 12 games (20-6 this season on the road)
    • First in Offensive Rating (119.8) and second in Pace (103.4) during this 12-game stretch.
  • Nuggets: 8-2 to the over in last 10 games (11-2 in their last 13 games at home)
    • First in Offensive Rating (122.7) during this 10-game stretch. They’ve increased their Pace and their Assist-to-Turnover Ratio has been excellent.  The market is starting to take notice and their totals have increased.
    • Their offensive output in the first half has been even stronger. They are 9-1 to the over in the first half over the last 10 games.
  • Heat: 5-0 to the over in last five games
    • The market prices Heat totals extremely low because of their elite defense and slow pace. The recent return of Bam Adebayo is influencing the totals to stay low. However, they are the most profitable overs team in the league.
  • Pacers: 5-1 to the over in last six games
    • The recent absence of Myles Turner and Malcom Brogdon has had a huge impact on their defense. In their previous five games, they are 26th in Defensive Rating (116.6) and 9th in Pace (98.9). They have played smaller and ramped up the tempo with their lack of depth at the center position.
  • Mavericks: 4-0 to the over in last four games
    • Regression! After relying on their defense to win games for several weeks, it appears their offense has finally started to click.

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