We’re a little over a month away from the NBA All-Star break as teams continue to battle it out for postseason positioning. The Western Conference has been pretty clear cut at the top, with Golden State, Phoenix, and Utah leading the way.
The East, however, is beginning to see a bit of movement. The Brooklyn Nets have been atop the leaderboard in the conference standings but a current losing skid has their stronghold weakening. Still, they boast an NBA-best +260 odds to win the championship according to SugarHouse online sportsbook.
Before placing your NBA wagers, it’s important to look at who’s playing well and who’s been struggling. Check out this week’s edition of Hot and Cold at BetMaker.
Chicago is the NBA’s hottest team, ripping off eight straight wins to take a two-game lead in the Central division standings. The Bulls are an astounding 11-2 since the start of December, and they haven’t slowed down in the New Year.
Over this recent stretch, Chicago has been dominant on offense. The Bulls are scoring 119 points per game, leading to a 5-3 record for over bettors. That output is nearly 10 points above their season average. Their next chance to keep the train rolling comes Friday in a matchup with Washington. The Bulls beat the Wizards 120-119 on New Year’s Day.
Memphis now holds a 4.5-game lead in the Southwest standings thanks to a current five-game winning streak. The Grizzlies were just 9-9 heading into the Thanksgiving break but they’re 15-5 since Turkey Day.
Memphis has also been an NBA best bet over their last 19 contests, posting an impressive 13-6 mark against the spread. The defense has been lights out, allowing just 99.9 points a night over this 19-game run. The under is 12-7 over that span.
The Sixers are winners of four straight, taking full advantage of a three-game skid by the Nets to move closer to the top spot in the Atlantic division standings. Philadelphia, who was just 15-15 a couple of weeks ago, now sits just 3.5 games out of first place.
In their recent four-game run, the offense is clicking. They’ve notched 110 points or more in each of their four wins, leading to a 3-1 record for over bettors. They’ll get another opportunity to put points on the board tomorrow when facing a Magic team that allows 111 points a contest.
Speaking of the Magic, Orlando is losers of their last six games. They’ve now fallen to just 7-31 on the season and that porous defense is a big reason why. The Magic have allowed 110 points or more in four of their last six matchups, including back-to-back 125-point letdowns against Milwaukee.
Despite the current losing skid, Orlando has been able to cover massive spreads of late. They’re actually 5-3 against the Vegas betting lines in their last eight games. That awful defense has also led to the over hitting in four of these last six losses.
Brooklyn has been sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings for most of the season, but a recent three-game losing streak has seen them slip to No. 2. Chicago has overtaken the Nets for the top spot and the 76ers are creeping up in the division race.
Brooklyn has played poor on defense of late, surrendering 114 points per outing over their last five games. The over is 3-2 in that time while the Nets are just 2-3 against the spread. They’ll try to get back on track tomorrow night against the Pacers.
Those Pacers find themselves in a rut, too, losing four consecutive contests. Indiana is having trouble scoring, failing to notch 110 points in five of their last six matchups. With that lack of success on offense, the under is 3-1 in the last four Pacer games.
Indiana takes on the Knicks tonight as 1.5-point underdogs at SugarHouse. It may be their best chance to end this skid as matchups versus Brooklyn, Utah, Boston, and Phoenix await.