NBA Betting Trends Past The Half-Season
Best NBA Teams Against The Spread
33-19-2 ATS, 63.5%
After the gruesome injury suffered by Gordon Hayward during the first game of the season, most wrote the Boston Celtics off. Without their prized free agent signing, nobody believed that the Celtics could compete. Cue the genius of Coach Brad Stevens, who has the uncanny ability of making the most of his players through creative offensive sets and stifling defensive strategy.
Kyrie Irving bet well when he bet on himself, averaging 24.9 PPG and 5.0 assists in his first campaign with Boston. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have become key contributors, while Al Horford provides all-star support as a stretch four. Despite a relatively weak offense, Boston’s top ranked defensive rating gives them a chance to win nearly every matchup.
32-21-1 ATS, 60.4%
The rise of the Boston Celtics may be directly linked to the myopic trade that the Nets pulled in an effort to fast track championship success, Instead, the Nets became the laughingstock of the NBA, one of the worst squads in the league while giving away lottery picks to their Atlantic Division rivals. Not anymore.
This season, the Nets have been surprisingly competitive, giving teams a strong challenge on a nightly basis. Yes, they still have a 19-35 record and will likely miss the playoffs, but the team’s played well above expectations, beating the spread in more than 60% of matchups. With a bit of luck, the Nets could use this momentum to fight for a playoff spot next year.
28-21-1 ATS, 57.1%
Joel Embiid and the 76ers are a team which no one wishes to play against during the playoffs. When healthy, a starting five of Embiid, Simmons, Covington, Saric and J.J. Reddick match well against any starting squad in the association. Philadelphia’s on the playoff bubble, but they’ll be a hassle against any of the east’s top seed.
The main issue with the 76ers lineup involves their youth and inexperience, which has been exposed mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Philly loves to play run and gun basketball, ranked fifth in the NBA for pace. Guarding Philly’s starters is next to impossible on many nights, making them one of the best ATS teams in the NBA.
29-23-1 ATS, 55.8%
Some observers believed that the Chicago Bulls would be the worst team in the eastern conference by far, but prospect Lauri Markkanen turned out to be the real deal. Chicago fans may feel hope for the first time since the Rose era, because Lauri does it all: shoot, defend and create plays. The Portis-Mirotic incident wasn’t as toxic as expected, with both players contributing to unexpected victories once the dust settled.
The Bulls will trade for as many picks and prospects as possible before the deadline, which will negatively alter their on-court product. Outperforming sportsbook projections during a down year bodes well for the future of Chicago, even if their season’s about to tank.
Los Angeles Clippers
28-23-1 ATS, 54.9%
Somehow, the Los Angeles Clippers survived injuries to Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Austin Rivers and Danilo Gallinari to challenge the NBA during the first half of the season. DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams put this team on their back for much of the year, and they’ll probably be traded soon.
The Clippers rode big performances from Sweet Lou and DJ to playoff contention in the western conference, beating the spread nearly 55% of the time. After the Blake Griffin trade was announced, the end of an era was declared. Let the fire sale begin.
Worst NBA Teams Against The Spread
21-26-5 ATS, 44.7%
The tide’s changing in Milwaukee. The Bucks finally let go of coach Jason Kidd after a string of poor play and pointlessly negative remarks about the quality of his lineup in the media. Since the installation of interim coach Joe Prunty, the Bucks have won six of seven games, which should increase their value as an ATS pick.
22-28-3 ATS, 44.0%
Nobody’s surprised about the location of the Sacramento Kings in the standings. When they traded DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, the team moved into full rebuilding mode, adding a few vets to teach the youngsters how to be a pro in the association. Currently, the team’s in the fourth-best spot for the 2018 draft lottery, and they’ll probably trade some vets, making them a terrible pick for the rest of the season.
Golden State Warriors
22-30-1 ATS, 42.3%
The best team in the NBA doesn’t have the best ATS record because of injuries to Curry, Durant and Green, along with shaky contributions from members of the bench rotation. They’ll still win another NBA championship, but they might not be the best ATS pick during the regular season.
Oklahoma City Thunder
22-32-0 ATS, 40.7%
After the Thunder finally became accustomed to Westbrook, George and Anthony forming their big three, Andre Roberson went down with a season-ending injury to throw everything in flux again. Oklahoma will probably make the playoffs, but they’ll need help at the trade deadline to avoid losing to the spread at a 59.3% rate.
13-37-1 ATS, 26.0%
The most stunning disappointment of the regular season has been the Cleveland Cavaliers, who look like the worst defenders in the NBA on a nightly basis. Isaiah’s yet to fit in, Kevin Love’s injured for another month or so, and even LeBron doesn’t seem to care anymore. A trade deadline deal should revitalize the Cavaliers, unless owner Dan Gilbert has given up.
NBA Betting Trends After The Trade Deadline
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive A Boost
Do the Cavs believe that they’re a player away from competing with the heavyweights of the west coast? If so, the Cavaliers will land a big trade at the deadline and slowly ramp up the quality of play until they’re ready for the playoffs.
Houston Gets Healthy
The combination of Chris Paul and James Harden turned out to be more potent than anyone expected, creating one of the least defendable offenses in the NBA. As Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon and Chris Paul round into shape, the NBA championship could come down to the Rockets and Warriors in the western conference finals.
San Antonio Embrace The Return Of The Claw
It might take a while, but Kawhi Leonard should eventually return to the lineup. The Spurs haven’t accumulated a terrific ATS record during a smattering of injuries which continues to deplete the lineup. Start betting on the Spurs again when this traditional powerhouse regains health.
Los Angeles Clippers Slip
Trading away your franchise superstar will make you lose more basketball games. Dealing DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams and Avery Bradley will only continue to deplete the quality of ball. The Clippers could be the worst team in the NBA after the trade deadline’s over.
Oklahoma City Thunder Need Roberson
Oklahoma City will have difficulty finding a replacement for Andre Roberson, the lynchpin to the Thunder’s superb defense. After using many of their assets to secure George and Anthony, it’s difficult to envision a team accepting a lesser offer from the Thunder over other contenders.
New Orleans Pelicans Overpaid For Mirotic
Nikola Mirotic is not going to help replace the incredible skillset and hustle of DeMarcus Cousins. Sure, having a stretch four open space for Anthony Davis sounds great on paper, but Mirotic hasn’t proven himself on the defensive end of the floor, and tends to be a streaky shot. Unless the Pelicans make another move, they’ll probably end up falling out of contention for the playoffs.
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