One of the biggest debates when handicapping the second game of back-to-back game situations is: which will suffer more, offense or defense?
According to the betting stats for back-to-back NBA games this season, teams tend to lack offensive pop when playing in the second half of a back-to-back.
Heading into the All-Star break, teams are 203-186-10 over/under in the first game of back-to-back contests and 188-207-4 over/under when playing for the second straight night.
This trend was especially evident during the lockout-shortened NBA season last year, where teams taking the court for the second game in two nights posted a 278-324-15 over/under count.
A few teams are trending toward the over and under in the first game of back-to-backs this season (Houston 11-5 o/u, Utah 4-10 o/u), but the real value lies with betting totals in the second half of two-in-a-rows.
Here are the NBA’s best over and under bets in the second game of back-to-backs:
Stats and records as of Feb. 15.
Golden State Warriors (12-4 over/under, 10-6 SU)
The Warriors are mainstays when it comes to the over, posting a league-best over mark of 33-18-1 ATS heading into the All-Star break. It's a one-eighty from last season when Golden State was 6-13 over/under in the second game of back-to-backs last year.
Los Angeles Clippers (11-4 over/under, 10-5 SU)
A recent nine-game “Grammy” road trip had the Clippers playing back-to-back games twice, with the over cashing in both times in the second stop, at Washington and Philadelphia. Los Angeles heads into the All-Star break off back-to-back games, going over the number again in the second night with a big win against the Lakers Thursday.
Denver Nuggets (10-3 over/under, 4-9 SU)
The Nuggets have been the hottest over bet no matter what the situation. Denver has topped the total in nine of its last 10 including the second game of back-to-backs at Brooklyn Wednesday. The funny thing: The Nuggets are just 6-7 over/under in the first game of back-to-backs this season.
Chicago Bulls (3-10 over/under, 6-7 SU)
Without Derek Rose putting the offense on his back, the Bulls have dug in with defense in the second night of back-to-back games. Chicago is the third best under play in the NBA at 22-29, and recently stayed below the number in the second-game situation at Utah last Friday.
Washington Wizards (3-9-1 over/under, 2-11 SU)
Washington and the under is a profitable parlay when handicapping the second stop of back-to-back outings. The Wizards are 11-2 ATS in that situation and have stayed below the total most nights anyways, at 20-28-2 over/under.
Los Angeles Lakers (3-8 over/under, 4-7 SU)
Betting against the struggling Lakers has been profitable so far this season, so why not double-down on the under the next time the aging “Super Team” takes the court for the second night in a row? Los Angeles recently went under at Charlotte in this same situation last Friday.