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Hoop and the Harm: Weekly NBA Betting Recap for December 1-8

Welcome to the Hoop and the Harm. This is a weekly feature on OddsShark where hoops bettors can uncover all the hottest need-to-know trends, stats and general info for the week that was on the hardwood.

Betting totals in the NBA isn’t always easy. A team might be averaging an eye-popping amount of points per game which will lead you to bet the OVER, but even if they drop 120 and their opponent only musters up 90, the game could still go UNDER depending on the number you got them at. That’s why it’s wise to pick your spots.

This week, I took a look at the best and worst offenses in the NBA and how that’s played out at the betting window. As always, keep it locked onto OddsShark’s NBA page for all the best basketball betting-related editorial content.

Best offenses

TeamPoints per gameOVER/UNDER record
Golden State12013-9
Houston112.212-10
Cleveland111.111-9
Toronto110.915-6
Portland110.116-7

Everyone knows about the firepower the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers possess. At sportsbooks they’re the two most public teams in the league, which is no surprise considering their epic battles in the NBA Finals over the past two years.

The Houston Rockets are another offense-first club, evidenced by their 112.2 points per game (second in the NBA) and 46.9 field goal percentage (third). While all three squads have posted profitable OVER numbers so far, it isn’t happening at an alarming rate.

The Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers are two teams to focus on in this regard. The Raps and Blazers are strikingly similar: both teams are anchored by dynamic backcourts, they’re each shooting the lights out this year and they play in markets that typically don’t receive much attention from sports bettors.

Portland is the best OVER bet in the NBA at 16-7, while Toronto is right behind them with an O/U mark of 15-6. The main reason they’re both so good at going above totals is a result of oddsmakers’ penchant for underestimating them. Neither side has historically been known as a sharpshooting team, so books are constantly tabbing them with lower totals than they should.

Worst offenses

TeamPoints per gameOVER/UNDER record
Dallas92.19-11
Orlando94.38-15
Miami97.310-12
Philadelphia97.512-10
Memphis9812-10

If you’re a fan of bad basketball, these teams are for you! Philadelphia has been putrid for years, so it’s no surprise to see them on this list. Miami is a newcomer to this category, but such is life without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh around. Hassan Whiteside can only do so much on his own in South Beach.

The Dallas Mavericks are the lowest-scoring club in the NBA, but it’s the Orlando Magic who have been an UNDER bettors’ dream in 2016-17. The Magic are in the bottom five in almost every major offensive category, including points (94.3), field goal percentage (42.3 percent), 3-point percentage (33.3) and free throws (71.2). As a result, they’ve gone UNDER in 15 of their opening 23 tilts.

Orlando has seen totals north of 200 seven times and proceeded to go 2-5 O/U. They’ve eclipsed the 100-point mark only six times. If this trend continues, the Magic will be the best UNDER bet around all year long.

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