Wed 07/12/2016 - 11:09 EST

NBA Best & Worst Defenses

NBA Team Defense Over/Under Analysis

By Dan Favale


Best Defenses

5. Detroit Pistons (+15000)


Credit the Detroit Pistons with treading playoff-level water while their starting point guard Reggie Jackson was on the shelf. The offense was bad in his absence, but the defense was phenomenal, making the Pistons great under plays.

Some of that has changed now. The Pistons' defense is still spectacular, but Jackson has returned, and the offense will improve as a result. Cautiously expect the Pistons to be more of a balanced attack, which means you should consider avoiding over and under plays on them altogether.

If you must place a bet, unders are still probably the way to go.


4. Utah Jazz (+7500)

Defense is what the Utah Jazz traffic in. It almost doesn't matter who they have on the court.

Here's the rub: When George Hill is healthy, they are actually quite efficient on the offensive end. That drives up scoring totals, putting their under status in jeopardy.

Here's the secondary rub: The Jazz play so slow it doesn't matter. They grind games down to a slow halt, removing possessions from both their and their opponents' grasp. That'll keep the total scores down by default.


3. Orlando Magic (+30000)

This is an easy one. 

The Orlando Magic are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They're also one of the league's worst offensive teams. 

Ergo, you should work the under in their favor on most nights.


2. Atlanta Hawks (+5000)


Here's another easy one.

Though the Atlanta Hawks started out good enough on the offensive end this season, they've quickly devolved into one of the Association's more unimpressive attacks. They haven't been able to score consistently since early November.

When you combine this with a defense that ranks second in points allowed per 100 possessions, the only thing you can do is bet the under like crazy. Make sure you're also on the lookout for an offensive renaissance, since the Hawks have the talent necessary to score. For now, though, Atlanta is an under play through and through.


1. Los Angeles Clippers (+650)

While the Los Angeles Clippers have the best defense in the NBA as of now, they are not a team that profiles as an everyday under bet. Their offense is too damn good.

Avoiding overs and unders altogether is the smartest play when it comes to them. But you can also play the matchups. Whenever they go up against teams with crappy defenses and good offenses, roll with the over. If they're playing squads with great defenses and cruddy offenses, you know to work the under.

All other matchup types shouldn't register on your over or under radar. It's just too risky given how balanced the Clippers play.


Worst Defenses

5. Houston Rockets (+3300)


The Houston Rockets are the consummate over bet.

Not only do they have a great offense and shoddy defense, but they play fast and furious, increasing the number of possessions both they and their opponent generate on a nightly basis. On top of that, they relinquish a fair amount of open threes and are on pace to shatter the NBA's all-time record for made three-pointers themselves.

So when it comes to the Rockets, the over is your friend more often than not.


4. New York Knicks (+7500)

The New York Knicks' defense might actually be worse than advertised. Joakim Noah has been injured and isn't playing many minutes of late. When he's on the floor, the Knicks are letting up even more points per 100 possessions. So if his role ever increases, they'll be liable to forfeit even more buckets.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek has also started rolling out the backcourt combination of Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose a little bit more. Those two on the floor together, while electric on offense, are a defensive disaster.

This is to say, the Knicks are quality over bets until they get their defensive act together—which, for the record, is unlikely.


3. Los Angeles Lakers (+10000)

Until D'Angelo Russell returns to the rotation, the Los Angeles Lakers are over bets.

And once he returns to the rotation, they are still over bets.

The point being: This Lakers team doesn't have a lot of plus defenders. The offense is good, but barring a trade, they also check in as one of the more reliable over wagers.


2. Brooklyn Nets (+100000)


This is a more complicated situation.

Although the Brooklyn Nets' defense is terrible, their offense isn't anything special, either. They hover around the bottom seven in points scored per 100 possessions, and that's not nearly good enough to use them as over plays.

Make no mistake, if they're going up against teams with crappy defenses and solid offenses, they are an over bet. All other kinds of matchups should be passed on. Once Jeremy Lin returns and the offense improves, the Nets will be up for re-evaluation. Right now, they are, at best, situational over and under plays.


1. Portland Trail Blazers (+7500)

No team in the NBA allows more points per 100 possessions than the Portland Trail Blazers. But while they are strong over plays, their offense hasn't stood up to tests against stingy defenses.

Whenever you see them matching up with any of the defenses on this list, you'll want to bail on over and under submissions. All other games should be considered over opportunities.

Category : NBA Betting Picks

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