NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Bucks, Jazz Among Teams to Target For Over/Unders This Week

NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Bucks, Jazz Among Teams to Target For Over/Unders This Week article feature image
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Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The holiday season has passed, but overs season is still in full effect.

Last week, NBA totals went 30-19 (61.2%) to the over, which marked the highest rate of overs this season. Overs are now 48.8% for the season inching closer to that 50% mark.

The NBA has updated their COVID-19 protocols, reducing the number of days these players are required to quarantine provided those players are asymptomatic and meet other testing standards. This is great news for teams so they can get their players back on the court sooner.

With so many games canceled and the unpredictable nature, continue to proceed with caution when betting these games and watch closely for injury and COVID news.

Here is the weekly market update through Week 11 (week ending Sunday Jan. 2):

Key Totals Trends to Watch

  • Overs went 30-19 (61.2%) in Week 11. This brings the season-to-date over/under record to 262-274-4 (48.8%) as it continues to inch closer to 50%.
  • Week 11 saw a sharp increase in scoring to 221.1 points per game.  This is contrary to Week 10, where we saw a huge dip in scoring. A large cluster of players entered into health and safety protocols for some high-scoring teams around that timeframe: Hawks, Kings, Raptors, Timberwolves and Hornets. Also, there was a high concentration of star players out with COVID-19 or injury, such as Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Paul George.
  • Our season-to-date average points scored per game is 216.4 and the average closing total is 217.0.
  • Fouls and free throw attempts continue to go up. This has been a consistent pattern as these numbers have continued to trend upwards for the past five weeks. It appears the officials are not swallowing their whistles as much as they did earlier in the season.
  • Lastly, 3-point shooting has returned to form. After seeing a decline in 3-point shooting for several weeks, the league average in Week 11 was 35.5%, compared to the season-to-date average of 34.9%.

Teams with highest scoring games (222 and above)

  • Hornets: Avg: 114.7 | Opp Avg: 116.5 | Total: 231.2
  • Kings: Avg: 110.2 | Opp Avg: 113.0 | Total: 223.2
  • Lakers: Avg: 111.0 | Opp Avg: 112.0 | Total: 223.0
  • Rockets: Avg: 107.2 | Opp Avg: 115.2 | Total: 222.4
  • Jazz: Avg: 116.0 | Opp Avg: 106.2 | Total: 222.2

Teams with lowest scoring games (210 and below)

  • Thunder: Avg: 99.8 | Opp. Avg: 107.0 | Total: 206.8
  • Mavericks: Avg: 105.2 | Opp Avg: 104.4 | Total: 209.6
  • Cavaliers: Avg: 107.7 | Opp Avg: 102.4 | Total: 210.1
  • Knicks: Avg: 104.7 | Opp Avg: 105.7 | Total: 210.4

Best Over Teams

  • Heat: 22-14-1 (61.1%)
  • Raptors: 20-13 (60.6%)
  • Rockets: 22-15 (59.5%)
  • Spurs: 20-14-1 (58.8%)
  • Hornets: 21-15-1 (58.3%)

Best Under Teams

  • Mavericks: 12-24 (33.3%)
  • Warriors: 12-22-1 (35.3%)
  • 76ers: 13-21-1 (38.2%)
  • Thunder: 14-22 (38.9%)

Recent Under Trends

  • Hornets: 4-1 to the under in last five games
  • Nuggets: 4-1 to the under in last five games
    • The Hornets and Nuggets, both teams that have been prominent for overs, have regressed recently. This is due to the market catching up to their totals and both teams going through issues with players in health and safety protocols.
  • Knicks: 4-1 to the under in last five games

Recent Over Trends

  • Rockets: 15-2 to the over in last 17 games
  • Raptors: 7-0 to the over in last seven games
    • Their roster is finally back to full health. In addition, they are playing home teams in front of an empty arena, which could lead to better offense.
  • Jazz: 16-5-1 to the over in last 22 games
  • Wizards: 12-4-1 to the over in last 17 games
  • Pelicans: 6-1 to the over in last seven games
  • Bucks: 5-1 to the over in last six games
  • Heat: 5-1 to the over in last six games

Matchups in the Totals Spotlight

With all the uncertainty I’m specifically targeting one game I think has value based on recent trends and statistics. It should be noted that things could change at any point throughout the week so keep an eye on FantasyLabs newsfeed for real-time updates.

Monday, Jan. 3 – Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks — Over

The Bucks have been scoring in bunches recently. They’ve averaged 124 points per game and have gone 5-1 to the over in their past six games. Their Pace and Offensive Rating have trended upwards week-by-week for the past three weeks. They are second in Offensive Rating (122.2) and third in Pace (101.3) during that timeframe, per NBA Advanced Stats.

The Pistons have had a number of their key players clear health and safety protocols: Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saben Lee, Trey Lyles and Rodney McGruder. Having their point guard and the No. 1 overall pick back in the lineup should revitalize their offense.

Cunningham had an excellent month of December and will look to continue that strong play. The Pistons play at a fast Pace as well. They rank 10th (99.4) in Pace for the season and fourth (101.4) in their previous five games.

The Bucks have shown they will run and keep the pedal on the gas against these bad teams. I see another high-scoring game and I like this game to go over the total of 226.5 (up to 227).

Monday, Jan. 3 – Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans — Over

The Jazz continue to be one of the league’s hottest over teams, registering 16-5-1 to the over in their last 22 games. In their last 10 games, they are first in the league in Offensive Rating (115.7) and second in the league in Pace (101.8), per NBA Advanced Stats. In addition, they are averaging a league-best 30.3 free throw attempts during this same timeframe.

The New Orleans Pelicans have trended to the over lately, as well. They’ve gone 6-1 to the over in their last seven games. Their Defensive Rating has trended downwards week-by-week for the past four weeks. This will work to their disadvantage against the run-and-gun Jazz. The Pelicans don’t defend the 3-pointer very well and the Jazz shoot the 3-pointer at the highest rate in the league.

Their last nine matchups have gone 7-2 to the over dating back to the 2019-2020 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog. Keep an eye out for Brandon Ingram’s status as he is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. If Ingram suits up, I like this game to go over the total of 228 (up to 230).

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