Alright people – it’s time to start making money betting NBA totals together.

I’ve taken a bit of time off to study the NBA from afar and figure out a system that I think can work. For my regular followers, the key for my bets has always been to find disparities between offense and defense. It seems obvious, but getting a clearer view into how teams perform both offensively and defensively goes a long way when making picks.

I’ve articulated my foundational approach on our first Sports 2.0 Show this past Wednesday – give it a watch if you’d like, I’ll summarize below. (I enter around the 11 minute mark).


Moving forward, I’ll be aggregating team’s offensive and defensive rankings using three metrics, equally weighted to give a ranking from 1-30.

The Approach


I’m averaging each team’s rankings for the following: total points per game, effective field goal percentage and offensive efficiency – all courtesy of

I average these rankings to give each team a singular ranking across the NBA landscape.


On the offensive side, I’m also averaging possessions per game rankings and field goals attempted per game to gauge how team’s stack up for pace of play. The logic is simply built around volume and opportunity. The faster a team plays, the more likely more shots go through that bucket.


Similar approach here. I’m averaging each team’s rankings in the following categories: opponent’s points per game, opponent’s effective field goal percentage and defensive efficiency.

I then average the rankings to find the best and worst defenses in the NBA.

The strategy

I’ll be primarily focusing on over/under picks each week. For what it’s worth, my two picks from the show above were both correct – so we may just be on to something.

Ideally, we’re finding two strong offenses going against two weak defenses for an over. Conversely, two poor offenses against two strong defenses will lead to an under.

We may not always get a perfect overlap, but to get even one clearly superior offense will usually be enough for me to consider taking that over.

Without further ado…

The Rankings

I’ll be updating this every week, but as of 3/9, here is how each team stacks up in the NBA in these categories.

Defensive RankingsOffensive Rankings
  1. New York
  2. LA Lakers
  3. Utah
  4. Phoenix
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Miami
  7. Okla City
  8. Golden State
  9. San Antonio
  10. LA Clippers
  11. Memphis
  12. Milwaukee
  13. Boston
  14. Denver
  15. Houston
  16. Atlanta
  17. Toronto
  18. Indiana
  19. Detroit
  20. Dallas
  21. Chicago
  22. Cleveland
  23. Orlando
  24. Brooklyn
  25. Charlotte
  26. Minnesota
  27. Portland
  28. Washington
  29. New Orleans
  30. Sacramento
  1. Brooklyn
  2. Milwaukee 
  3. Utah
  4. LA Clippers
  5. Denver
  6. New Orleans 
  7. Phoenix 
  8. Chicago
  9. Sacramento
  10. Portland
  11. Toronto
  12. Philadelphia
  13. Charlotte
  14. Indiana
  15. Dallas
  16. Atlanta
  17. Boston
  18. Golden State
  19. LA Lakers
  20. Washington
  21. Memphis
  22. San Antonio
  23. Miami
  24. Detroit
  25. New York
  26. Houston
  27. Okla City
  28. Minnesota
  29. Orlando
  30. Cleveland
Pace Rankings
  1. Minnesota
  2. Washington
  3. Golden State
  4. Milwaukee
  5. Memphis
  6. Chicago
  7. San Antonio
  8. Indiana
  9. Sacramento
  10. Houston
  11. Charlotte
  12. Brooklyn
  13. Orlando
  14. Portland
  15. Okla City
  16. Philadelphia
  17. New Orleans
  18. Toronto
  19. Denver
  20. Utah
  21. Detroit
  22. LA Lakers
  23. Cleveland
  24. Boston
  25. Atlanta
  26. Dallas
  27. Phoenix
  28. Miami
  29. LA Clippers
  30. New York


NBA Totals: Weekend Targets

Use the above as a resource for your own betting picks – but these rankings have helped shine a light on a few juicy targets for this weekend.

While I’m focusing on totals at this point, this should help inform your decisions for spreads, player props – the works. Let me know if you notice something I might have missed over on Twitter, @griffybets.


Knicks' Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson Get Support From Popular Instagram Account |

New York Knicks-Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER

This is the perfect overlap of metrics that this system was designed to identify. Both the Knicks and Thunder have top-ten defenses and bottom-ten offenses. Does it get more clear than that? Betting unders is never fun, but I won’t be watching so I won’t have to hijack the viewing experience.

The Knicks are 15-23 against overs this season, while the Thunder are 18-19.

Milwaukee Bucks-Washington Wizards OVER

This is the pick for me solely because of the egregious difference between Milwaukee’s second-best offense and Washington’s third-worst defense. It also helps that both are in the top-four of our pace rankings above. Lock it in.

The Bucks are 21-15-1 against the overs this season, while Washington is 19-16.

Portland Trail Blazers-Minnesota Timberwolves OVER

I’m rolling with an over in this game thanks to both teams finding themselves in the bottom-five of defensive rankings. Portland is a top-ten offense and Minnesota is number-one in pace. So, an overlap of a few different metrics – since Minnesota’s offensive efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. We ride.

The Trail Blazers are 20-16 against overs, while the Timberwolves are 19-18.


New Orleans Pelicans: The stat that is killing the Pels' offense

LA Clippers-New Orleans Pelicans OVER

The only game I like on Sunday is this Western conference battle. The Clippers and Pelicans are two of the best offenses in the NBA. Yes – LA has a strong defense, but New Orleans certainly does not. My expectation would be a high-scoring affair because of it.

No one is better in the NBA against the overs than the Pelicans, at 27-10. The Clippers aren’t far behind, at 23-15-1.

That will do it for the inaugural NBA study, a new weekly feature here on Knup. Excited to dig in more, and we’ll keep a running log below of the picks success – here’s to many profitable nights.

For more, make sure you’re following on Twitter, @griffybets.

2021 NBA Picks



Sports 2.0 Discord Community