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TOP Western Conference NBA Trends | NBA of the Day

Mitch S
Coach Mitch breaks down the second half of the NBA season in the Western Conference.

The Western Conference is shaping up to be one of the tightest races we’ve seen in years, as only six games separate the 1st seed from the 6th seed - and there are plenty of teams vying for the elusive top seeds. We’re going to break down the top team trend or player prop that I’m looking at for the rest of the NBA season. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves currently hold the number one seed in the West, but truth be told, their defense has been the one doing the heavy lifting. They’re 29-24 ATS this season, and they’ve been shaky on the road ATS, going 11-10 so far this season when they’re an away favorite. They’ll continue to be away favorites for the rest of this season, and I’ll be looking at every chance I can get to fade them as they come back down to earth. This team just isn’t worthy of a #1 seed.

Oklahoma City Thunder: The second half of the season can be up-and-down for a lot of MVP candidates, as some players feel like they have it locked up by this point in the season. That just won’t be the case for SGA, who is needed to carry this OKC team through the trenches of the West. OKC will continue to be Overs machines, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wins his first MVP trophy.

Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers have been Unders machines, and it’s on the backs of their stellar defense – they’re hitting the under as the favorite this season at a 62% clip, one of the best in the league. Look for them to continue to defend well, but drop a game or two here during the last stretch because of resting their star players. And PS: I think that the Clippers will make it to the NBA Finals. Oops!

Denver Nuggets: This team, like the Clippers, are a team that needs to stay healthy and keep healthy. It’s been a big reason for their Unders spell, as well - they’re hitting the under at an enormous rate as the favorite this season, at nearly 64% of the time. Unlike the Clippers, I expect that to regress to the mean, though; the Nuggets will be scoring machines as we enter the second half, despite currently hosting the 29th-best-scoring in the league over their last five games. I expect them to turn it around.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns are a team that started off really slow, and it led to a really poor ATS record. Yet, over their last ten games, they’re 7-3 ATS and have improved drastically at beating bad teams. That was their one kryptonite from a betting perspective - they just couldn’t close out games. But now they’ve shown that they can, including a 6-2 ATS record the last seven times they’ve been favored. They’re able to close out games now, as we’ve seen against Detroit, Sacramento, and Utah. But be careful, as the Suns have the toughest strength of schedule out of any team in the NBA left.

New Orleans Pelicans: One of the best trends in the NBA has been New Orleans as an away underdog, as they’re 10-4-1 on the season ATS when they are projected to lose away from home. In fact, they’re actually covering those spreads by a whopping seven points so far this season, and they’ve shown that they can be a surprising team - in fact, they’re 5-1 straight up in their last six away games.

Dallas Mavericks: But if we’re talking about dominant away teams, look no further than the Dallas Mavericks, who are 11-2 ATS when they’re an away favorite this season. And, they just got a whole lot better, with the additions of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford. While the books will definitely adjust to this, when they’re favored, it’s so hard to bet against them. I bet that they not only make the playoffs, but they end up as a top-six seed in the West by the time the season ends. Luka Doncic looks like he’s on a mission, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit his over on points more often this season.

Sacramento Kings: The Kings are a tale of two trends when it comes to their totals, and something we should follow religiously as we enter the second half of the NBA season, and it’s simple: they’re hitting the Over 70% of the time when they’re at home, and they’re hitting the Under 60% of the time when they’re away. That’s profit, baby. Let’s look for these trends to continue, as I believe the Kings have a long road ahead of them to get back firmly into the playoff race. But that being said, look at Domantas Sabonis to have a stellar second-half – and throw some triple-double bets in there every time he’s on the court.

Los Angeles Lakers: The top trend in the NBA right now might be Lakers away dog Overs, as they’re 13-5 in this scenario so far this season. But the craziest part is by how much they’re clearing this line: they average the over by seven points per game in this scenario this season. I also think that they take off parts of this upcoming second half, and coast to a play-in spot. I don’t think they really care if they make the top six or not; it’s just about getting an invitation to the party.

Golden State Warriors: I don’t think the Warriors are going to make the playoffs. There, I said it. The only thing that’s a saving grace for them is that they’re 9-2 ATS as an away favorite, and they’ve been pretty solid on the road this season; but I would just stay away from them altogether to be honest. They’re that volatile to bet on.

Utah Jazz: Utah has among the toughest strength of schedule for the rest of the season, and it’s going to be an uphill climb for them to get into the playoffs; but a climb that I think they make, on the backs of Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton. That being said; the break could not have come at a better time for the Jazz, as they have dropped four straight, including a close one with Golden State before the break. They’ve got Charlotte and San Antonio coming to town, in two must-win games when we return.

Houston Rockets: At home, Houston can kick it - they’re 19-9 straight up and 18-9-1 ATS this season. They cover the spread by over five points consistently, and they’ve been stellar. On the road, on the other hand, has been the most atrocious team in the league; they’re 9-16-1 ATS and even worse straight-up. I expect them to average some of that out, and begin to get some wins on the road, and lose a bit more at home; in fact, they’ve won five straight away games entering the break. Change is coming, friends.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson, Jr. has obviously been one of the only bright spots this season, but the surprising part about him is that he just can’t rebound. I would look at his unders in what many in the public would expect to go over. Him and GG Jackson II are the ones that are going to propel the Grizzlies for the rest of the season in what has been a disappointment. They do have one of the easier schedules the rest of the way, and as a reminder: if they’re at home, the total is probably going under.

Portland Trail Blazers: This team has lost six straight coming into the break, and have been just plain bad across the board. They literally have not been favored on the road this season. They don’t have any trends that I’ve been able to spot; they’re pretty much average in every sense of the word. There’s no real rhyme or reason to their season. I don’t know, I would just stay away from them altogether.

San Antonio Spurs: Tough news, Spurs fans; it’s been bad, and it’s going to get a lot worse, as the Spurs have the second-highest strength of schedule to face for the rest of the season. But here’s the thing: they just keep hitting unders. The under is 9-1 over their last ten, and they don’t have any scoring options outside of Wemby; look for him to improve offensively in this second half, and for the totals to continue to stay under, especially going into the second half of the season. 


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