By Dave Golokhov | | 4 mins
Who Were the Best NBA Over Under Teams of 2018-19 Season?
It was a fascinating year for totals in NBA betting as points per game shot up through the roof. The average score per game was 222 points compared to 212.6 the year before – a difference of 10 points per game.
Changes to the game including limiting the shot clock to 14 seconds on offensive rebounds and just an increased pace of play in general led to way more points.
Let’s take a look back at the NBA over/under betting during the season.
NBA Teams That Went Over the Most
These 3 teams had the best over records:
Washington Wizards (50-32)
It was surprising to see the Wizards finish as the best over bet because they played most of the season without All-Star point guard John Wall. One would think their scoring would have gone down, but they actually averaged 7.4 more points per game last season. On top of that, they were the league’s second-worst defensive team.
Why They Played So Many Overs: In this case, it was basic math. The Wizards finished the 2017-18 season with an average combined score of 212.6 points per game. In 2018-19, their average combined score in their games was 230.9. Bookies were blindsided as their scores jumped by a whopping 18 points.
Boston Celtics (47-35)
Seeing the Wizards and Hawks on this list makes some sense – they were the two teams who allowed the most points per game in the NBA last season – but why are the Celtics here? They were eighth in points per game allowed but still ended up being the second-best bet for overs.
Why They Played So Many Overs: The answer here is the same as the Wizards: The oddsmakers just weren’t expecting such a leap. Boston’s games saw an average of 16.0 more points per game in 2018-19 over 2017-18.
Atlanta Hawks (47-35)
The Hawks are now one of the most exciting, young teams in the league. However, entering last season, not much was thought of them. They entered the year with the second-lowest regular-season win total (26.5) but turned some heads. It wasn’t with the wins, though; it was with their offensive prowess, as they finished 12th in the league with 113.3 points per game.
Why They Played So Many Overs: They were a quality offensive team and a lousy defensive one. Nobody allowed more points than them (119.4) and the average combined score in their games was 232.7. It was tough to make totals high enough for this team.
NBA Teams That Went Under the Most
These 3 teams had the best under records:
Los Angeles Lakers (32-49-1)
The Lakers entered the season with such high hopes after signing LeBron James. However, the season went bad quickly. After an 18-11 start, the team only won 19 of their final 53 games. That led to them shockingly being the best team to bet for unders. They were also one of the worst bets against the spread at 35-45-2 on the year.
Why They Played So Many Unders: The story was quite simple as the oddsmakers expected them to be a high-scoring outfit. LeBron’s 2016-17 Cavaliers were fourth in the NBA in scoring with 110.3 points per game. The Lakers averaged 108.1 last season, and keep in mind that they were at 113.2 in the first 29 games; they averaged just 105.3 the rest of the way.
Denver Nuggets (34-47-1)
The Nuggets were one of the biggest surprises of the 2018-19 season with 54 wins, the second-most in the Western Conference. What few people were expecting was that they’d play so many unders.
Why They Played So Many Unders: Scoring was way up in the NBA this season but one of the teams that didn’t experience a huge leap was Denver. That’s what led to so many unders for the Nuggets.
Nuggets were sixth in the NBA in the 2017-18 season, averaging 110.0 points per game. They actually scored 110.7 points per game last season but dropped all the way down to second-worst on this list. As totals rose, their points per game didn’t, so they ended up playing more unders than expected.
Indiana Pacers (36-46)
The Pacers were the best under bet in the 2017-18 season, so it’s a little bit of a surprise they managed to be in the Top 3 two years in a row. Their record was 32-49-1 two years ago, and they only played four more overs last season.
Why They Played So Many Unders: Indiana has been an excellent defensive team the last couple of seasons, so it makes sense that their games have shaded under. They allowed 104.2 points per game two seasons ago and led the league at 104.7 this past season.
Like the Nuggets, the league-wide scoring went up but the Pacers stood still. While the totals rose around the league, the Pacers’ numbers continues to fit in under the elevated marks.
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