Best over plays in the NBA

Best over plays in the NBA

Total domination: Best over plays in the NBA
By MATT SOUTHARD

Betting NBA totals can be a futile prospect. But when certain teams go on that special run where they can't help but hit every shot or have a player performing at an all-time clip, it makes hitting the over all the more enticing. And if you can find lines low enough with the right teams playing, an over bet might not seem like such a harrowing idea.

Indiana Pacers (25-12-1 over/under)

The Pacers abundance of overs shouldn't be a surprise. They seem as allergic to team defense as they do to success recently. At 13-25 SU, Indiana has been one of the worst teams in the league and much of that can be owed to anemic defensive play. Though the Pacers ranked third in the league in scoring (104.6 points), they allow 107 points per game which is slightly better than the 111.7 points that Golden State allows per contest.

Led by forward Danny Granger (26.5 points), Indiana has six players that average double figures in points. Since missing two games with a viral infection, Granger has been playing out of his mind. He's posted six 30-plus points performances and propelled the Pacers to nine overs in 11 contests. Even odds makers can't keep up with Granger's performance. In their last five games, the Pacers have gone over the total four times despite an average number of 225 points.

Indiana also has a penchant for overtime. The Pacers have been embroiled in four games with extra sessions and are 0-4 SU in each contest. Not surprisingly, all but one game went over the posted total.

Golden State Warriors (23-16 over/under)

If Golden State's inclusion on this list shocks you, then the pertinent question may be, "where have you been the last few years?" For the last two and a half seasons, the Warriors have been near the top of the list when it comes to high-scoring games.

Why? Their fast-pace style is the only type of basketball that coach Don Nelson preaches. Just twice this year has Golden State faced a total of below 200 points and in both instances the Warriors found themselves above the posted number.   

Led by the high-powered scoring trio of Jamal Crawford (19.4 points), Corey Maggette (19.3), and Stephen Jackson (19.0), the Warriors can run up points in gobs and frustrate teams right out of their defensive rhythm.

But that type of play comes at a cost. Golden State is 11-28 SU and has struggled in finding consistency all season. Even on the road the Warriors aren't a sure bet on the over, pulling in a 12-12 over/under mark.

Denver Nuggets (22-17 over/under)

The common misconception since the November trade for Chauncey Billups is that the Nuggets have become a defense-conscious team. But in the 34 games since Billups joined the starting lineup, the Nuggets have gone over the number 20 times.

As the totals drifted downwards due to the trade of Allen Iverson for Billups, and the venerable former Finals MVP became more accustomed to his new team, Denver picked up the pace. It ripped off seven overs at the end of November and beginning of December. Currently, the Nuggets are riding an 8-2 over/under streak in their last ten games.

Denver still commands a high total when squaring off against the highest-scoring teams in the league.  When playing the likes of Golden State, Phoenix, New York and Indiana in the past month, the total has been set at a staggering 220-plus points. The Nuggets have gone 2-2 over/under in those games.

But as is the case when betting the Nuggets against Western Conference playoff-contenders, they have struggled to remain consistent.  While going 7-6 ATS versus conference playoff foes and contenders, Denver is 6-7 over/under. Compare that to 16-9 against other teams on their schedule so far.     

Toronto Raptors (22-17 over/under)

The Raptors rank 22nd in the NBA in field goal attempts at 78.4 per game. They are 18th in the league in scoring at 97.3 points. They only attempt 16.7 three's per game, good enough for 19th in the NBA.  Even more interesting is the fact they allow just a tick under 100 points per game.

So what is it that has the Raptors producing more overs than unders? Combine all of those terrible offensive stats with low posted totals and you have your answer. In their last 10 games, totals in Toronto games have averaged around 193 points. The Raptors have gone over in seven of those games.

This isn't the first time a Raptors streak has chased off under bettors. Toronto went on a six-game over streak in November. Adversely, the Raptors went on a five-game under streak on a stretch in the middle of December. During that run the posted total was higher than the season average at around 202 points.

Milwaukee Bucks (22-18 over/under)

An anemic offense also haunts the Bucks and it is beneficial to over bettors. But with middling totals hovering anywhere between 180-190 points, it makes gauging Milwaukee's total value a difficult prospect.

A large portion of the overs were from the last six games where Milwaukee ripped off five-straight overs before cruising to the under against Washington Monday.  Prior to that stretch, the Bucks were 3-7 over/under and were sitting at 17-17 in that department.

With the Bucks struggling to put up points on a nightly basis and clinging to their defense as the best way to stay in games, Milwaukee should continue to grab low totals.  But a steely nerve and white knuckle grip might be required when tracking your bet. Milwaukee can go cold at the drop of a hat.

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