Denver Nuggets The NBA Hot Hand

Thursday Trend: The Hot Hand, Jan. 28

We may be degenerates here at but we are not degenerate enough to bet on whatever the hell the NFL is doing with the Pro Bowl this week so we are switching our focus to the NBA for a couple of bets that we’ve been analyzing. 

The oddsmakers in Vegas are smart. And when I say oddsmakers, I mean the storage rooms of computers that are 100 miles off the strip filled with computers that make Jeff Bezos’ operation look like an AV Club. If there is any trend that can be exposed, it can be seen in what the odds are doing and how they are changing. 

There are a couple of offenses in particular that are running hot in the Association right now. One belongs to the Brooklyn Nets and the other belongs to the Denver Nuggets. In the stat chart, they are ranked two and three, respectively. Turns out that when James Harden isn’t wearing a fat suit, the dude can move pretty well. 

The Nets and the Nuggets are two teams that I really want to focus in on in today’s trend because they do something really special for an OVER/UNDER bet: they score a ton and they give up a ton. I just told you that they rank second and third in the league in scoring, but they also rank 25th and 21st defensively. 

The Nets are a team that averages about 119 points a game while also giving up 115 points. It seems like when you have a team with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, you could give a shit about getting back down the floor to defend. 

The Nuggets average closer to 116 points a game while also allowing 112 points on defense. The margin isn’t as much as Brooklyn and the total is lower but the computers are able to make up for that when they create the totals. 

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Here is the kicker on these two teams. The Nuggets have the best OVER record in the NBA, they are 13-5-0 in every game this season when it comes to flying over the posted number. Brooklyn isn’t that far behind them, going 14-6-0 when it comes to the OVER. These teams love scoring points and they hate coming in on the UNDER. 

Don’t mistake this for taking the OVER on these two every time you get a chance. What it means is that Vegas is about to make corrections for these teams and it could come at a huge advantage if you really study the numbers and make a good bet because of it. 

Here are a couple of trends that can help you decide when to take the OVER for the Nuggets. In four of their five UNDER games, the Nuggets were playing at home. That seems odd, but sometimes they perform better on the road in these scenarios. If you’re going to spend the money, wait till they pack their bags. They consistently cover when the total is posted between 216 to 223 and their margin for victory over the O/U sits at about 7.1 points. You can basically assume that if the total is 216, they should be coming in around 223. If you see a number in between there, you currently have a 76 percent chance of hitting the win. Another important thing to remember is that injuries happen. The guy who fuels this Nuggets team is Nikola Jokic. He averages six more points than the next closest guy, Jamal Murray, which means if Jokic sits, you sit out the bet. 

The Nets are an easier team to determine a trend on. Four of their six unders came in the first four games of the season. Their last under was just this week but the total was posted at 236. If you take out those first four games, the Nets consistently hit the OVER when the total range is anywhere from 217 to 226. That’s a ton of games to have success on considering the total is usually somewhere around 224. With their margin of OVER victory being around 4 points, you know that as long as it stays under 226, there is a good shot at winning. For our money, anytime a Nets total is under 220, take the bet. If it is over 228, shy away. 

Bonus Prop: 

Per usual, you are welcome that we are throwing in a nice little prop bet at the end here. We are taking it from a team we just talked about. Michael Porter Jr. is a top-10 three-point shooter this year, connecting on 47 percent of his shots taken. Per game, he takes an average of 6.3 three-pointers a game and hits about 3 of them. If there is a 2.5 O/U prop for Porter, it’s a good bet to take.

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