Bank shots: NBA's weekly betting news and notes
Each week, we look back on the NBA betting scene and give you the
best - and worst - basketball bets, as well as some spots to keep an eye
on with the upcoming schedule.
For the week of Dec. 22 to 28.
Hottest ATS - Indiana Pacers (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS)
The Eastern Conference's hottest ATS play was at it again last week, taking care of business with a one-sided victory over the Boston Celtics and consecutive routs of the Brooklyn Nets. Indiana is now 21-8-0 ATS on the season, providing terrific value despite dealing with increasingly larger spreads along the way. The defense remains one of the stingiest in the NBA, and the Paul George-led offense has proven capable of matching up with the league's other top units. Expect the good times to continue this week with home games against Cleveland and New Orleans and a road date in Toronto.
Coldest ATS - Denver Nuggets (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
The Nuggets have fallen off a cliff in December, losing six straight overall and six in a row ATS. This past week was a particularly galling one for Denver, which managed just 81 points in a home loss to the Golden State Warriors before being blown out in back-to-back road games at New Orleans and Memphis. The week proved to be a microcosm of the season for the Nuggets, who no longer boast one of the league's premier offensive attacks and can't defend to save their lives. The Nuggets have a three-game homestand against Miami, Philadelphia and Memphis before facing the Lakers in L.A.
Best Over play - Atlanta Hawks (2-1 SU, 3-0 O/U)
The Hawks' success as an Over play last week is certainly skewed by the fact that they played three consecutive overtime games - but hey, an over is an over. And bettors shouldn't ignore the fact that Atlanta was a terrific Over bet even before the OT spree as it has now gone over in eight-straight games and is 20-10 O/U for the season, the second-best mark in the conference. However, the loss of leading scorer Al Horford to a torn pec may make it difficult to maintain that pace. Atlanta plays road games against Orlando, Boston and Chicago and hosts Golden State this week.
Best Under play - Chicago Bulls (1-1 SU, 0-2 O/U)
The holiday week provided the Bulls with some much-needed rest - and bettors with a solid under play in a week where the over dominated. Chicago opened the week with one of its trademark defensive efforts, holding the Brooklyn Nets to 35.2 percent from the field in a 95-78 triumph. The Bulls then followed it up with one of its worst efforts of the season, a 105-83 setback to the Dallas Mavericks. Chicago has been a consistent Under play - going 3-7 in the last 10 - and will be a decent bet to continue that trend this week with games versus Memphis, Toronto, Boston and Atlanta.
Surveying the schedule
Apparently the Detroit Pistons have jelled more quickly than oddsmakers had anticipated. The retooled Pistons have been one of the best Over plays so far this season, though that trend has shifted with Unders in each of their previous two contests. Part of that could be attributed to a packed schedule as no team in the East has played more games through Saturday than the Pistons (32). That's what makes the coming week a pivotal one - Detroit plays just once in the next seven days, hosting the Washington Wizards Monday night. Expect a well-rested Detroit team to return to form in January.