NBA Basketball Betting: Top 'Over' Teams as of November 13, 2019

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

In two previous articles we looked at the NBA teams that had made—and lost—the most money for the betting public.  We’ll now turn our attention to totals starting with the teams that have played the most ‘Over’ games as of November 12, 2019.  By now, you’ve probably figured that we’ll hit the ‘Under’ teams in a subsequent write-up.

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Before we start, here’s some general strategy advice on NBA totals as it relates to O/U record data.  Obviously, when you’re betting NBA totals you’re trying to hit a moving target.  If a team plays a lot of games ‘Over’ the total, you’ll see the totals on their games increase.  If they go ‘Under’ the majority of the time, the total moves in the opposite direction.  For this reason, it’s not enough to just assume that a team that shows a strong bias toward the ‘Over’ or the ‘Under’ will continue to do so.  That being said, if a team that has played a lot of games ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ continue to do so you need to do some further research.  In theory, teams with a bias one way or another will eventually find some type of equilibrium as linesmakers adjust the totals they’re dealt.  When they don’t, the situation is worth investigating.

On balance, I’ve been surprised this season by how reticent oddsmakers have been to make wholesale adjustments in NBA totals.  Heading into tonight’s game at home against the Atlanta Hawks the most lopsided totals performance in the NBA has been the Denver Nuggets who had played only 1 game ‘Over’ the total this season.  What’s interesting is how little adjustment their totals have seen.  Denver played at Portland in their opening game with a 217.5 total.  That game went ‘Under’ as did 7 of the Nuggets subsequent eight games.  The only time they were dealt a total lower than 200 was against another defensively tenacious team, the Denver Nuggets.  Otherwise, adjustments were minimal.  On Sunday, they played at Minnesota with a total of 218.5.  Earlier this evening, Denver lost at home to Atlanta—the total on the game had opened at 214.5 and attracted a lot of action on the ‘Under’ eventually closing at 209 or 209.55.  In this case, the line movement was a loser as the teams combined for 246 points.  Clearly, this game was played at Atlanta’s preferred tempo—the Hawks would prefer to play uptempo and their points per game profile is lower than it should be as it took a big hit during Trae Young’s absence due to injury.

The takeaway from this—in theory, a team that plays a lot of games ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ will see their totals adjusted accordingly.  It practice, it doesn’t always happen that way.


GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (8 OVER, 3 UNDER):  The logic here is pretty simple—the rash of injuries suffered by Golden State this year have hurt their defense more profoundly than their offense.  They’re still a middle of the road offense team putting up 111.7 points per game which is #14 in the NBA.  Their team defense, meanwhile, is an awful #28 in the league allowing 121.2 PPG against.  Only Brooklyn and New Orleans allow more points per game.  Golden State also has the #28 points per game for/against differential in the league at -9.4 PPG.  Only Memphis and the New York Knicks have a worse differential.  Currently, it looks as if linesmakers are having a tough time coming up with an accurate valuation of just how badly the Warriors’ defense has atrophied in the absence of Steph Curry and others.  After their first six games of the season, Golden State had played 3 OV and 3 UN.  They’ve now gone ‘Over’ in five straight allowing 118, 129, 125, 114 and 122 points per game.  In their last game, they were dealt a total of 211 against defensively tenacious Utah in Salt Lake City.  The sad reality for Golden State at this point is that even a team that ‘wins with defense’ like the Jazz realizes that they can just outscore the Warriors by playing uptempo.  The Golden State ‘Over’ trend sure looks like something the totals will catch up to but it might take a week or two before it does.

DETROIT PISTONS (8 OVER, 3 UNDER 1 PUSH): The Pistons get the second place ranking for biggest ‘Over’ team by virtue of their push.  Unlike Golden State, it’s not readily apparent why the Pistons are playing so many games ‘Over’ the total.  Shoddy team defense is one thing though the Pistons are far from the worst in the league at #19 allowing 112.1 PPG.  They’ve got the #19 team offense as well scoring 109 PPG.  Even so, their profile has been very similar to Golden State in that they alternated ‘Over’ and ‘Under’s for the first four games of the year.  Since their 11/1/19 game at Chicago they’ve played 5 OV, 1 UN and 1 push.  The only thing I can figure at this point is that the totals overcompensated for Blake Griffin’s absence.  He played on Monday in the Piston’s home loss to Minnesota scoring 19 points and then sat out Tuesday at Miami in a second of back to back games.  The reality of the situation is that no one knows if or when Griffin will play, how many minutes he’ll play when he does and if (maybe when?) he’ll get injured again.  The Pistons look to be fairly adept at compensating for his absence so if you see a downward adjustment when Griffin doesn’t play it might be a good spot for a play on the ‘Over’.  Hopefully, I’ll have a better explanation when we do our next update. 

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