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NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Target Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics Over/Unders

NBA Totals & Betting Trends: Target Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics Over/Unders article feature image
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Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images. Pictured: Fred VanVleet (23) hugs Gary Trent Jr. (33) The Toronto Raptors.

It is NBA trade deadline week! With so much potential uncertainty, be on the lookout for trades, or players being held out that could impact totals.

From an overall viewpoint, Week 16 did not see much action to either side of the total as over/unders went 26-27 (49.1%). We are now seeing 220-221 as a consistent average in points scored and closing totals over the last few weeks.

Due to injuries, roster changes and recent level of play, there were some interesting team-specific trends that have popped out that I will highlight below.

Here is the weekly market update through Week 16 (week ending Feb. 6):

Key Totals Trends to Watch

  • Over/unders went 26-27 (49.1%) in Week 16. This takes the season-to-date over/under record up to 390-406-7 (49.0%).
  • The average closing total was 221.0 in Week 16, compared to the season average of 218.2. A few weeks ago, the market adjusted the closing totals higher due to the improved offense and scoring. The average closing total for the last five weeks is 220.8, while the average points scored has been 220.2. We are now seeing 220-221 as our new sweet spot in league-wide averages.
  • After a few weeks of increasing number of fouls and free throw attempts, that number regressed back to season-wide averages in Week 16.
  • The pace of play has slowed down a bit. In the last four weeks, the average Pace has been below season-wide averages.

Teams with highest scoring games (223 and above)

  • Hornets: Avg: 113.6 | Opp Avg: 114.2 | Total: 227.7
  • Rockets: Avg: 108.3 | Opp Avg: 117.0 | Total: 225.4
  • Kings: Avg: 109.9 | Opp Avg: 114.0 | Total: 223.9
  • Timberwolves: Avg: 112.4 | Opp Avg: 110.7 | Total: 223.1
  • Spurs: Avg: 111.5 | Opp Avg: 111.5 | Total: 223.0

Teams with lowest scoring games (208 and below)

  • Thunder: Avg: 101.0 | Opp Avg: 107.4 | Total: 208.4
  • Cavaliers: Avg: 106.5 | Opp Avg: 102.1 | Total: 208.6
  • Knicks: Avg: 104.4 | Opp Avg: 105.2 | Total: 209.6
  • Mavericks: Avg: 106.3 | Opp Avg: 103.4 | Total: 209.7

Best Over Teams

  • Heat: 33-20-1 (62.3%)
  • Rockets: 31-22 (58.5%)
  • Timberwolves: 31-22 (58.5%)
  • Raptors: 29-22 (56.9%)
  • Bulls: 30-23 (56.6%)

Best Under Teams

  • Mavericks: 18-36 (33.3%)
  • Cavaliers: 20-34 (37.0%)
  • Celtics: 21-33-1 (38.9%)
  • Pelicans: 21-32 (39.6%)

Recent Under Trends

  • Celtics: 9-1-1 to the under in last 11 games
    • The league’s best Defensive Rating (101.5) and 28th in Pace (95.7) since the beginning of January. Their entire starting line-up are excellent defenders. The Al Horford-Robert Williams frontcourt duo is great for unders.
  • Pelicans: 10-2 to the under in last 10 games (six straight unders)
    • Their pace has really slowed down as they feature line-ups with multiple big men: Jonas Valanciunas, Jaxson Hayes and Herb Jones. The recent absence to Brandon Ingram also affected their ability to score.
  • Cavaliers: 6-2 to the under in last eight games
    • Darius Garland’s recent absence really hurt the Cavaliers’ offense. The On/Off numbers show that their Offensive Rating dips by 7.5 points when he is off the court, per Basketball Reference. He is now back in the line-up.
  • Nets: 5-2 to the under in last seven games
    • With James Harden’s injury and name swirling in trade rumors, the Nets’ offense could continue to struggle if he does not play. In addition, Kyrie Irving is still not playing in home games due to his vaccination status and they are playing two out of their four games in Brooklyn this week.
  • Wizards: 6-1 to the under in last seven games
    • Bradley Beal’s absence has really hurt the Wizards’ offense. Not only have they gone 6-1 to the under, but they’ve also lost six of these seven games as well.

Recent Over Trends

  • Timberwolves: 12-3 to the over in last 15 games
    • First in Offensive Rating (120.5) and first in Pace (102.3) during this 15-game stretch.  They are 21-6 to the over this season on the road. All four of their games this week ae on the road.
  • Bulls: 12-3 to the over in last 15 games (six overs in a row)
    • In the last 15 games, they are dead last in Defensive Rating (119.5). Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso out for the Bulls has killed their defense.
  • Pacers: 7-0-1 to the over in last seven games
    • They played a few games without any legitimate big men. With Domantas Sabonis and Goga Bitadze missing time recently, the Pacers were forced to start 6’5″ Terry Taylor in the frontcourt.
  • Bucks: 7-3 to the over in last 10 games
    • The Bucks’ offense is finally looking into form as they have their “Big Three” healthy.
  • Clippers: 6-1-1 to the over in last eight games
    • Recent acquisitions of Norman Powell and Robert Covington could increase their scoring. Powell is a deadly 3-point shooter (career 38.2%), and they could feature Covington at center in some small-ball lineups and quickening the pace.
  • Magic: 5-1 to the over in last six games
    • They are playing at the league’s fastest Pace (101.7) during this timeframe.
  • Raptors: 6-2 to the over in last eight games
    • Now healthy, they feature a small-ball lineup with Pascal Siakam at center that plays faster and scores efficiently. Gary Trent Jr. has hit 44 3-pointers in his last nine games – 4.9 per game.

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