Another week down, another week in the green. Let’s keep it rolling with this week’s NBA totals to target and offensive/defensive rankings.

Last week saw us go 10-8, hitting on our first 2 unit bet of the year to finish +3u.

On the season, this system has produced a 26-19 record (+8u). Not the flashiest thing in the world, but it’s working. If sustainable, we should be looking at a solid record by the end of the season.

Exciting News! I’ve expanded this analysis to player props and DFS. I’ve consolidated rankings for offenses and defenses success in the paint and shooting the three. Check out the first weekly piece here: Best NBA Props/DFS Targets: Week of 4/5

I’ll summarize the process again below, for anyone new. 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. 

The Rankings

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

NBA Totals to Target This Week

We’re looking for stark differences between offensive and defensive units for our bets. Pace of play is heavily considered when breaking down the week’s slate.

Monday

Sacramento Kings-Minnesota Timberwolves OVER

This is simply a bet on two of the worst defenses in the NBA trying to slow down two offenses that play at a fast pace. This should be an ugly game with plenty of points.

Detroit Pistons-Oklahoma City UNDER

We’ve got two bottom-ten offenses in this game, both which play a slow brand of basketball. Each defense is middling, but at least better than the opposing offenses.

Tuesday

Chicago Bulls: 3 draft targets that would pair well with Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls-Indiana Pacers OVER

Pace has officially become my go-to metric for over/unders, with much of last week’s wins coming off the back of the rankings. Both the Pacers and Bulls are ranked inside the top-ten for pace, and each has a top-15 offense.

This line should be reasonable.

Milwaukee Bucks-Golden State Warriors OVER

This is a clear over, but I can’t imagine we’re alone in thinking that. This one should come in high. If it’s at 232 or under, I would jump on it. Otherwise, let’s turn our attention towards some player props.

Both teams come in ranked inside the top-ten in pace with efficient offenses for both teams. Golden State lives and dies by the three-pointer, and defending the three is the Bucks one glaring weakness on defense.

Denver Nuggets SPREAD vs. Detroit Pistons

Denver has the upper-hand on Detroit in each category, and in a soon-to-drop piece, you’ll see the offense should have its way with the Pistons defense in the paint and shooting from deep.

Wednesday

Nets star Kevin Durant out seven days due to COVID-19 protocols - Sports Illustrated

New Orleans Pelicans-Brooklyn Nets OVER

Damn, this line is going to be over 240, isn’t it? Especially with the expected returns of Durant and Harden. It doesn’t get clearer than this. Two of the best teams against overs this season thanks to their top-ten offenses and bottom-ten defenses.

New York Knicks-Boston Celtics UNDER

*Edit: This under is currently 209, one of the lowest I’ve ever seen. Likely going to stay away.

The Knicks are the league’s best defense and play at the slowest pace in the entire league. That alone makes any Knicks game a target for an under. The Celtics will be playing on a back-to-back here, and don’t have too fast of an offensive pace themselves.

Boston’s 14th-ranked defense should be able to handle New York’s 24th-ranked offense.

Houston Rockets TEAM TOTAL UNDER vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs’ defense has been dominant this past week, launching themselves all the way up to the number-eight spot in the defensive rankings.

Houston owns one of the worst offenses in the league. These team total unders where a bottom-ten offense match up on a top-ten defense were profitable last week, and it’s something to continue targeting.

Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns

I don’t have a pick here, but this is going to be a hell of a game on Wednesday. Two of the only teams to be ranked inside the top-ten for both offense and defense. I tend to believe strong offense will trump strong defense. We’ll keep an eye on this projected total.

Thursday

Los Angeles Lakers-Miami Heat UNDER

This will be my first Lakers game to target since LeBron went out with an injury. We’ve got a wonderful convergence of metrics here. Two extremely strong defenses, bottom-ten offenses and two of the slowest teams in terms of pace.

Friday

LA Clippers: Kawhi Leonard is the team's Weapon X - Page 4

Indiana Pacers SPREAD at Orlando Magic

The Pacers are better than Orlando on both sides, by a sizable margin. I don’t know what gives with the Magic this past week, suddenly winning games after their fire-sale at the deadline. I’m not buying it as legit, and will continue targeting them.

Philadelphia 76ers TEAM TOTAL OVER at New Orleans Pelicans

While the Sixers have a strong defense, the Pelicans most certainly do not. Instead of a typical over, given the Philly defense, let’s just focus on their 10th-ranked offense matched up on New Orleans’ 29th-ranked defense. The Sixers also have an uptempo attack, making this a favorite of the week.

Houston Rockets TEAM TOTAL UNDER at Los Angeles Clippers

Last week, the Cavs and Magic were the targets of team unders, playing against a couple of strong defenses. That honor goes to the Rockets this week.

Saturday

Donovan Mitchell wants his legacy to be about more than basketball - Deseret News

Utah Jazz TEAM TOTAL OVER vs. Sacramento Kings

This is a simple one. Donovan Mitchell has led Utah to one of the NBA’s best offenses. The Kings have the worst defense in the NBA.

 

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

Related reading: Best NBA Props/DFS Targets: Week of 4/5

2021 NBA Picks:

26-19, +8u