We’re back again for another look at the best NBA totals to bet on for the week. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know we had ourselves a solid inaugural week, finishing 5-1.

I’ll summarize the process again below, but for more detail, you can apprise yourself on my current system here.

To give each team one overall ranking for both offense and defense, I’ve averaged their league rank for three categories:

  • Points per game
  • Effective field goal %
  • Efficiency (off/def)

This has helped give a clearer picture on which offenses are strong and which defenses have been struggling. I’m also keeping tabs on pace, which is a combination of possessions per game and field goals attempted per game.

Shoutout to TeamRankings.com. The guys over there have organized such a treasure trove of statistics – I appreciate the availability and depth the site offers.

This is meant to be a resource. I’m focused on betting over/unders – but you can use this information to guide your spread picks or player props. Spoiler: I’ve buried a spread pick or two in this piece.

The Rankings

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

NBA Totals to Target This Week

Failure down the stretch costs Pelicans a chance at victory over Trail Blazers - The Bird Writes

I’m looking for two strong offenses going against two bottom-ten defenses, ideally. If one game has two poor defenses and just one strong offense, I’ll then take a look at pace to see if a team places highly there.

I’m quickly realizing it’s much more about the weak defenses – but the NBA is a star-driven league, so we need a sprinkle of strong scoring.

Let’s get started on the week’s picks.


Sacramento Kings-Charlotte Hornets OVER

Here’s a juicy one to start the week. Both the Hornets and the Kings find themselves 24th or worst in defense, with the Kings a resounding 30th in all three categories.

Sacramento is a top-ten offense while Charlotte isn’t far behind. It’s the perfect recipe and I’ll be jumping on.

On the year, the Kings are 25-13 against overs, and the Hornets are 20-16-1.

Milwaukee Bucks-Washington Wizards OVER

I recommended this over from these same two teams for Saturday, and it hit there, so we’re running it back. Note, as of this writing, the over is at 241 – five points higher than Saturday’s mark.

The reasoning for the pick remains the same. The disparity between Milwaukee’s offense (second) and Washington’s defense (28th) is egregious. That’s almost enough reason to pull the trigger. We’re supported by the Wizards pace, which is second in the NBA.

The Bucks are 22-15-1 against overs this season, while Washington is 20-17.


New Orleans Pelicans-Portland Trail Blazers OVER

I’m quickly realizing these two teams will be weekly staples on the list. This game in particular is a perfect chance to jump in, though I’d expect a high line.

Both offenses are in the top-ten, while these defenses are two of the four worst in the entire league. Need I say more?

The Pelicans are the best team in the NBA against overs, at 28-11. The Blazers are a respectable 21-17.

Miami Heat SPREAD vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

I’m breaking my rule, but noting this more for my own sake. If this spread is close, I’ll be taking Miami against Cleveland.

The Cavs are one of the worst teams in the above rankings in both categories. The Heat are rolling and with a top-five defense should have no issues against Cleveland’s 30th-ranked offense.


De'Aaron Fox gets max deal, possibly worth as much as $200m, to stay with Kings - The Boston Globe

Sacramento Kings-Washington Wizards OVER

Have you caught on to the strategy yet? Both of these teams defenses are atrocious, so one can assume the offenses will have their way. The Kings offense is ranked eighth, and the Wizards pace remains second-highest.

Miami Heat-Memphis Grizzlies UNDER

Be warned – my lone loss last week was an under pick, but I’m back to test the system once again. Both Miami and Memphis have bottom-ten offenses and defenses ranked 4th and 11th respectively.

This is also an interesting case-study in contrasting pace styles. The Grizzlies come in ranked fourth in that category, while the Heat are all the way down at 29th. I have no scientific evidence to prove this, but I feel like the slower pace team tends to bring the others down with it. We shall see.

Miami is 17-22 against overs this season, while Memphis is 17-18.


New Orleans Pelicans-Portland Trail Blazers OVER

They’re playing twice this week – see reasoning above.

New York Knicks SPREAD vs. Orlando Magic

One more spread pick this week, but New York has the advantage over Orlando in both categories. In particular, the wide disparity gap between the Knicks’ third-ranked defense and the Magic’s 29th offense has caught my eye.


Seven Games In, What Do We Know About Kyrie Irving And The Brooklyn Nets?

Brooklyn Nets-Orlando Magic OVER

We’ve got Brooklyn’s top-ranked offense finally making an appearance on the list, courtesy of Orlando’s bottom-ten defense. This game made it over the hump for me because Brooklyn’s defense is also in the bottom-ten. Yes, the Magic’s offense is poor, but with a team like the Nets scoring at will, it should give Orlando opportunities to at least score easy buckets.

On the season, Brooklyn is 25-14 against overs, while Orlando is 18-20-1.

Golden State Warriors-Memphis Grizzlies OVER

I’m mixing it up a bit with this pick, taking the over on pace rankings alone. Both defenses are strong, ranked inside the top-12. Both offenses play at a high pace, ranked 4th and 5th. Let me roll with that pace and see how valuable the metric truly is to an over bet.

Golden State is 17-22 against overs this season, and Memphis is 17-18. 

Dallas Mavericks-Portland Trail Blazers OVER

The last pick of the week is Mavs-Blazers, and yup, I’ve picked every Portland game this week. Don’t burn me, Blazers.

At this point, the reasonings are getting a bit repetitive, no? Both offenses are flirting with the top-ten, and both defenses are 20th or worst.

On the season, the Mavs are 17-20 against overs.

That will do it for this week’s picks! I will update these rankings every Sunday and get my picks out for the following week. Make sure you’re following on Twitter, @griffybets, so you don’t miss the latest. Hop on board, there’s plenty of room.

2021 NBA Picks:




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