There have been some interesting storylines during the first half of the NBA season. Some of these narratives have been tragic while others have been very exciting.

Before the league’s best players gather for their annual All-Star classic, there are NBA betting trends to pay attention to for the second half of the season.

Who to Bet On

Milwaukee Bucks

The obvious team to bet on winning is the Milwaukee Bucks. They are winning at an incredible rate that some are saying could rival the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors.

Winning 70 games in an 82 game season is rarified air, and the Bucks already have six games in the loss column.

Still – betting against the Bucks to lose isn’t the smartest idea. Reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has averaged 30.0 ppg, 12.9 rpg, and 5.6 apg to lead the Bucks.

Surrounded by crafty guards in George Hill and Eric Bledsoe and sharpshooter Kyle Korver, it’s easy to see why this team is in first place in the East.

The Bucks aren’t a flashy team that will turn your $20 into $1,000, but they are a safe bet that can build your nest egg.

Luka Doncic

It’s easy to forget that five years ago Luka Doncic was a 15-year-old kid playing professional basketball against the Boston Celtics in the preseason.

Now, he’s an early favorite to win the NBA MVP award. Not even 21 yet, Luka is picking opposing team’s defenses apart. Luka followed his Rookie of the Year campaign with 28.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, and 8.7 apg so far.

He has more triple-doubles this season than LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, and Russell Westbrook. More importantly, he has his team firmly in 6th place in the West. A meteoric improvement from a second-to-last place finish last season.

Luka isn’t without his flaws. He has been known to fade away in the fourth quarter of close games. Luka also missed a stretch of games due to injury.

Overall, there is tough competition for Luka to win MVP, but that’s every year. LeBron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kawhi Leonard could all win the award.

Quin Snyder

It’s been a roller coaster journey for Quin Snyder, head coach of the Utah Jazz. After becoming a rising star at the University of Missouri, Snyder found himself sharpening his professional coaching teeth in the shadows of the NBA G-League (formerly known as the D-League).

Snyder eventually joined the ranks of NBA head coaches. He was even a finalist for the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2018.

If the pattern holds, Quin Snyder will be a finalist for the award again this year. The Utah Jazz roster is dotted with one star among a sea of role players.

Donovan Mitchell carries the load for the players while the leadership is burdened by Quin Snyder. The coach has been able to guide the team to fourth place in the West with a combined zero all-stars on the roster.

The Utah Jazz rank among the top teams in the league in rebound percentage and limiting second-chance points.

If the Jazz continue their first-half success, Quin could finish the season with a coaching trophy.

NBA Betting Trends to Ignore

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers are undoubtedly one of the more exciting storylines this season. Carmelo Anthony was brought back from exile to join power dynamo, Damian Lillard.

The team’s record isn’t horrible at 20 wins and 27 losses, but they’re struggling to cover their spreads.

Opponents they should beat are putting up bigger fights than the numbers and records should predict.

Injuries, turnovers, and offensive rebounds have hurt the team and made them an unsafe bet to cover spreads. Adding Trevor Ariza should give them a defensive punch, but his age could have him wear out towards the end of the season.

Surprisingly, Carmelo Anthony’s trigger happy isolation plays haven’t cost the team a game yet but don’t hold your breath.

You can learn more about what teams can beat spreads and make you money.

James Harden

His numbers are gaudy, but his percentages and the Rockets’ chemistry has suffered since adding Russell Westbrook.

Both Harden and Russell require the ball in their hands to be effective. James has averaged 36.1 ppg. If his average holds, it’ll be the highest scoring average for a season since Michael Jordan scored 37.1 ppg during the 1986-87 season.

James Harden has a vast array of skills that make him one of the most efficient scorers in the game, but you shouldn’t place any bets on him to win MVP.

In an analytics world, experts are looking at more than just points. They want to see team wins, how efficient those wins are, who are you beating, and true field goal percentage.

If the Houston Rockets can’t figure out how to gel soon, Harden is a hard sell for MVP of the NBA.

Nick Nurse

It might seem like Nick Nurse is a top choice for NBA Coach of the Year, but is it fool’s gold?

Nurse captured the Great White North and the world winning an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. He’s back with the Raptors but without a huge component.

Kawhi Leonard left during free agency and left the team with a lot of questions and voids to fill.

Luckily, the team is off to another hot start and competing for the East title. Shouldn’t Nick Nurse be considered for NBA Coach of the Year without one of the best players in the world in Kawhi Leonard?

He’s undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the league, but he benefits from an extremely deep bench. The Raptors were good enough last year to win the title without Kawhi Leonard.

It’s more of a compliment to the team and management that Nick Nurse is not a good bet to receive a coaching award. His chances to reach another title are better because of it.

Second Half

The All-Star Break will provide much-needed levity and rest for NBA players after the tragedy of losing the iconic Kobe Bryant.

If you’re looking to make money in the second half of the season, try these NBA betting trends.

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