NBA scoreboards have been humming over the past seven days, with big scores handing over bettors even bigger paydays. Since last Sunday, NBA games have posted a collective 31-22 over/under count.
While that doesn’t seem like much to the casual basketball fan, the betting public recognizes that the over is hitting at more than 58 percent in that seven-day stretch. And 58 percent is like striking oil for sports bettors. On the year, the NBA boasts a 377-369 over/under count (50.54 percent) heading into Monday’s action.
More than a few teams are trending toward the high side of the total in recent games - even some which have been steady under plays all season. Here are five clubs cashing in the most for over bettors in recent games:
Indiana Pacers (4-1 over/over last five, 6-2 over/under last eight)
When the Pacers are playing over, you know something is up. Indiana is the perfect storm of under plays, ranking among the worst in offense and best in defense. But the Pacers, who average just 92.8 points per game, are scoring 102.75 points a night in their last eight. That offensive surge could get a boost from the return of SF Danny Granger before the All-Star break.
Denver Nuggets (7-1 over/under last eight, 14-3 over/under last 17)
The Nuggets have been the hottest team in the NBA, coming up big not only for spread bettors but also fans of the over. Denver had its nine-game winning streak snapped Sunday, but has posted an 8-2 over/under mark in that span. The Nuggets are averaging an insane 114.5 points a night during that span and have topped the 120-point plateau three times in those games.
Golden State Warriors (4-1 over/under last five, 10-3 over/under last 13)
Winning over plays is nothing new to Warriors fans. The franchise has lived by an offense-first philosophy for the better part of a decade and 2012-13 is no different. The Warriors’ lack of defense is as much to blame for those high scores as well. Golden State has allowed opponents to score over 117.5 points during their recent four-game road trip. Most notably, they gave up 140 points to Houston earlier this week. A rematch with the Rockets is up next Tuesday.
Boston Celtics (4-0 over/under last four, 6-2 over/under last eight)
The Celtics weren't supposed to be better with PG Rajon Rondo out for the season. But bringing scorers Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee into the starting lineup has give Boston a potent punch in the backcourt. The Celtics have topped the total in four straight and are averaging almost 106 points per game since Rondo went down.
Memphis Grizzlies (4-0 over/under last four, 8-2 over/under last 10)
Memphis was the best under bet in the NBA and still owns a 20-29-1 over/under record on the year. However, a softening on defense has the Grizzlies playing over the number in recent games. Memphis, which ranked tops in the NBA with an average of 90 points against per night, has allowed 92.3 points per game in the last 10 outings - just enough to bump the final score past the total.