The madness continues amid the league-wide COVID-19 outbreak that has led to multiple canceled games and countless players forced out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Christmas Week looked like it was going to go way under at the beginning of the week. Unders went 12-4 from Monday through Wednesday. Overs made a huge comeback in the latter half of the week, going 17-7 to the over from Thursday through Sunday.
Christmas Day unders have been a popular angle in years’ past. All totals that day saw significant steam lower; yet, overs went 4-1 on that day by a considerable margin.
With so many games canceled and the unpredictable nature, continue to proceed with caution when betting these games and watch closely for injury and COVID news.
Last week, the two matchups I featured both did not materialize as I expected. I caught the Nuggets and Hornets both during their regression, but let’s hope to turn it back around this week.
Here is the weekly market update through Week 10 (week ending Dec. 26).
Key Totals Trends to Watch
- Overs went 21-19 (52.5%) in Week 10. This brings the season-to-date over/under record to 232-255-4 (47.6%) as it continues to inch closer to 50%.
- Week 10 ended up as we expected, with both average points scored (217.4) and average closing total (216.3) hovering around the 216-217 range we’ve been seeing as the market has become more efficient over the last few weeks.
- Fouls and free throw attempts continue to go up. In the past three weeks, the weekly averages have exceeded the season averages. It appears the officials are not swallowing their whistles as much as they did earlier in the season.
- 3-point shooting has gone done for the fourth consecutive week. For the past several seasons, we were seeing averages in the 36%-37% range. It was looking like it was getting to that point with these players shaking off some of the early season rust, but overall, the league shot 34% from behind the arc in Week 10.
Teams with highest scoring games (220 and above)
- Hornets: Avg: 114.9 | Opp Avg: 116.8 | Total: 231.7
- Kings: Avg: 110.7 | Opp Avg: 113.7 | Total: 224.4
- Lakers: Avg: 110.0 | Opp Avg: 112.3 | Total: 222.3
- Jazz: Avg: 116.0 | Opp Avg: 105.7 | Total: 221.7
- Spurs: Avg: 111.8 | Opp Avg: 109.8 | Total: 221.6
- Rockets: Avg: 106.8 | Opp Avg: 114.0 | Total: 220.8
Teams with lowest scoring games (210 and below)
- Thunder: Avg: 100.1 | Opp Avg: 107.7 | Total: 207.8
- Cavaliers: Avg: 107.9 | Opp Avg: 101.4 | Total: 209.3
- Mavericks: Avg: 104.8 | Opp Avg: 105.1 | Total: 209.9
- Clippers: Avg: 105.4 | Opp Avg: 104.7 | Total: 210.1
- Heat: Avg: 107.0 | Opp Avg: 103.1 | Total: 210.1
Best Over Teams
- Hornets: 20-13-1 (60.6%)
- Spurs: 18-13-1 (58.1%)
- Heat: 19-14-1 (57.6%)
- Raptors: 17-13 (56.7%)
Best Under Teams
- Warriors: 11-21-1 (34.4%)
- Mavericks: 11-21 (34.4%)
- Cavaliers: 12-21 (36.4%)
- 76ers: 12-20-1 (37.5%)
Recent Under Trends
- Clippers: 8-2 to the under in last 10 games
- The Clippers have been the hottest unders team in the league. They’ll be without Paul George for the next three to four weeks. Expect their offense to suffer if their 3-pointers aren’t not falling.
- Cavaliers: 5-1 to the under in last six games
- Nuggets: 3-0 to the under in last three games
- Hawks: 3-0 to the under in last three games
- With so many key players in health and safety protocols (such as Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Danilo Gallinari), expect more unders if those players continue to be out.
Recent Over Trends
- Jazz: 13-4-1 to the over in last 18 games
- Rockets: 13-3 to the over in last 16 games
- Timberwolves: 12-3 to the over in last 15 games
- The Timberwolves have recently been hit by the COVID bug. The list of players includes key players: Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Jarred Vanderbilt. I would consider staying away from betting their overs in the meantime.
- Pistons: 8-3 to the over in last 11 games
- Spurs: 8-2 to the over in last 10 games
- Suns: 5-1 to the over in last six games
- Raptors: 5-1 to the over in last six games
Matchup in the Totals Spotlight
With all the uncertainty I’m specifically targeting one game I think has value based on recent trends and statistics. It should be noted that things could change at any point throughout the week so keep an eye on FantasyLabs newsfeed for real-time updates.
Monday, Dec. 27 — San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz: Over 230
As mentioned above, the Jazz have gone 13-4-1 to the over in their last 18 games and the Spurs have gone 8-2 to the over in their last 10 games. The Jazz are first (116.0) and the Spurs are third (111.8) in average points scored per game.
Both teams have been playing at a feverish tempo. In their last five games, the Jazz are 3rd (103.1) in Pace and the Spurs are second (103.6) in Pace, per NBA Advanced Stats.
In their last 10 games, the Spurs lead the league in Offensive Rating (120.5) and are 4th in Pace (100.6). Point guard Dejounte Murray is in health and safety protocols, which is a big blow to the Spurs. Murray has really stepped his game up this season (17.8 PPG | 8.4 RPG | 8.8 APG).
However, I think their defense will suffer as a result and I think they can still continue their excellence on offense with their balanced attack. Their Assist-to-Turnover Ratio has been excellent — they’ve registered a ratio of greater than two in their past four games. I expect this offensive efficiency to continue in this fast-paced matchup.
The Spurs won their last matchup 128 to 126 (254 total points). I like this matchup to go over the total again at 229.5 and would bet it up to 230.