Welcome to the Hoop and the Harm. This is a weekly feature on OddsShark where hoops bettors can uncover all the hottest need-to-know trends, stats and general info for the week that was on the hardwood.
When betting the NBA, riding the hot hand trends-wise can be a very profiting endeavor. Remember the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks? That group, who went 60-22 SU and earned the first seed in the Eastern Conference, covered the spread 15 straight times in the midst of a 19-game January winning streak – the best ATS number in NBA history. Good times.
I’m not saying a team is going to top that impressive run this year, but a few recent trends have become extremely profitable at the betting window. This week, we’re going to dive into who’s hot and who’s not for hoops bettors.
Hottest bet: Toronto Raptors
Within the last three years the Toronto Raptors have gone from non-factor in the Eastern Conference to perennial contender. Led by the dynamic backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the Dinos are turning it on in a big way lately and are 5-0 ATS in their last five games after facing some tough squads in mid-November.
The Raptors, who were the best bet in the Association at 12-5-1 ATS on the year at the time of writing, have a fairly easy schedule within the next few weeks as they’ll face the L.A. Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets before Christmas.
Coldest bet: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks started the campaign on an absolute roll, collecting victories in nine of their first 11 games. Since then, they’ve hit a wall and should be fade material going forward. Atlanta is 1-7 SU in its last eight while failing to cover the spread in six of those tilts.
Atlanta’s offense has fallen off a cliff after starting out red-hot. The Hawks eclipsed the 100-point mark 10 times in their first 11 affairs, but have done so just twice in their past eight. Until Mike Budenholzer’s crew can recapture their offensive groove, they’re a major stay-away group.
Hottest OVER team: Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets and cashed OVER bets go together like peanut butter and jam. Mike D’Antonio-coached teams have tended to be offensive juggernauts but less than stellar on the defensive end of the floor. That’s continued in the past week, as the Rockets are riding a four-game OVER streak into their matchup with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
James Harden and company are averaging 109.3 points per game – fifth in the NBA – while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor (third in the league). They’re coughing up 106.3 points per game but are allowing opponents to notch a 46.5 shooting percentage.
Hottest UNDER team: Los Angeles Lakers
The baby Lakers were on an OVER tear in mid-November, but that trend has reversed itself in the last week. Los Angeles’ last four games have gone below the closing total due to the fact that oddsmakers have been tabbing them with higher OVER/UNDERs of late.
The Lakers were being undervalued at the start of the year, but the positive impact of new head coach Luke Walton has been obvious already. Injuries are starting to pile up for this team, as starting point guard D’Angelo Russell is out for 2-4 weeks and Nick Young is sidelined for over a month with a strained calf muscle. L.A. is deep at guard, but they’ll miss the scoring touch both men possess.