The NBA season grows another week older and some interesting betting trends are peaking the interest of anyone wagering on the nightly NBA numbers. Here are some patterns and NBA handicapping tips to pay attention to as we head into the weekend:
The Los Angeles Lakers are the top team in the Western Conference, exploding out of the gates on a 7-1 SU start. After losing to the rival Clippers in the opening game of the schedule, the Lakers have won seven in a row while posting a 6-1 ATS record during this winning streak.
Los Angeles is already one of the more public teams in the NBA and sees its nightly spreads inflated with one-sided money. Eventually, that will push the pointspreads out of reach for LeBron James and Co. The Lakers are getting the job done with defense and currently sit in the middle of the road in terms of offensive production.
Rather than betting on the Lakers against the spread, bettors should be looking to the totals when it comes to L.A. games – specifically in the first quarter. The team is among the lowest scoring first-quarter offenses in the NBA, putting up only 25.5 points in the opening 12 minutes while allowing just 24.9 points against in that first frame. Those segmented odds markets will hold be value and hold it longer that full-game sides and totals.
How Low Can You Go?
The 2019-20 NBA season is off to a slower start in the points production department. The league average is 220.8 total combined points per game through the opening weeks, which is slightly down from the 222.4 collective points averaged in 2018-19.
That downturn in scoring has led to some solid results for Under bettors, enjoying a 55-69-2 Over/Under count so far – almost 56% Under winners to start the schedule. Three teams have led the charge for Under players: the Utah Jazz 1-8 O/U, the Atlanta Hawks 1-7 O/U, and the Orlando Magic 1-7-1 O/U.
Bettors expecting these trends to continue shouldn’t hold their breath. The pace of play is up from last season, with NBA teams averaging a collective pace rating of 102.6 possessions per 48 minutes – an increase from the 100.0 average pace of last year and the highest pace rating since the 1985-86 season.
The Phoenix Suns are easily the biggest surprise to start the new NBA campaign, opening the year with a 5-3 SU mark and covering the spread in all but one of those games. The Suns shocked elite teams like the L.A. Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers but have run up against some easier opponents during this opening stretch.
Offense is the key driver of those results, with Phoenix scoring more than 114 points per game on 46.8% shooting – third best in the NBA. There’s a good chance those profits could continue, at least for the next while, with the team home for a four-game span that runs to Nov. 18. The Suns are hitting at a near 48% rate at home, including 37% from beyond the 3-point line.