The 2019-20 NBA season was one to remember for many reasons outside of basketball so the NBA Betting trends should be taken with a grain of salt.
For 22 NBA teams, eight of their final games were played within the bubble. This may have greatly impacted the norm, especially considering these teams stopped basketball for five months. Still, betting stats are betting stats as we look at the NBA basketball betting trends:
The 2019-20 NBA season was one to remember for many reasons outside of basketball so the NBA Betting trends should be taken with a grain of salt. For 22 NBA teams, eight of their final games were played within the bubble. This may have greatly impacted the norm, especially considering these teams stopped basketball for five months. Still, betting stats are betting stats as we look at the NBA basketball betting trends:
2019-20 NBA Betting Trends Report
Before getting into the NBA betting trends, it's worth noting this article includes the NBA playoffs but does not consider NBA playoff betting trends as a separate stat. Some of these teams played in the playoffs and some didn't hence the disparity in games played:
Best NBA Teams Against the Spread
These are the best NBA teams at beating the point spread according to NBA basketball betting trends:
Boston Celtics: 48-30-4 ATS, 61.5%
The Celtics proved that adding Kemba Walker in place of Kyrie Irving was a sharp move as they improved their team's chemistry and were on pace for five more wins in 2019-20. Boston was a tremendous underdog this season and consistently covered even against the elite teams.
Oklahoma City: 48-31-0 ATS, 60.8%
The Thunder were this year's overachievers as they smashed expectations by not just making the playoffs but even bettering their 2018-19 record. Chris Paul was reborn as an All-Star and the development of their young players helped spur them onwards.
LA Clippers: 47-35-0 ATS, 57.3%
PG with 46 points. Kawhi with 42 points. 💥
First pair of Clippers teammates to score 40+ in a game. pic.twitter.com/JcegpwMEzT
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 14, 2019
To no one's surprise, the Clippers performed like a true contender from start to finish despite the absence of Paul George in the first quarter of the season. The Clippers' depth pushed them to consistently beat both good and bad teams making them the most reliable among title favourites in 2019-20.
Worst NBA Teams Against the Spread
On the flip side, these NBA teams didn't do so well against the point spread per NBA betting trends analysis:
Minnesota Timberwolves: 23-39-2 ATS, 37.1%
Minnesota was the most disappointing team in 2019-20. Karl-Anthony Towns had another amazing season, but the hapless Wolves struggled to win or even cover. Their ATS record improved slightly after swapping Andrew Wiggins for D'Angelo Russell, but it's only because they started being lined as even bigger underdogs.
Detroit Pistons: 26-39-1 ATS, 40.0%
— Overtime (@overtime) February 6, 2020
The Eastern version of the Wolves, the Pistons were also a trainwreck through most of the season. Blake Griffin was mostly injured and the Pistons shipped out Andre Drummond to Cleveland. The silver lining is that their ATS performance improved following this deal granted they were always underdogs.
San Antonio Spurs: 30-40-1 ATS, 44.7%
It's the end of an era in San Antonio as the Spurs missed the playoffs and finished with a losing record for the first time since 1997 when dialup internet was still a thing. San Antonio's disastrous November was too much to overcome although they did finish strong in the bubble with a 5-3 ATS record.
Best NBA Teams to go Over in Totals
Moving on to the totals or the over/under, these NBA teams were the best at cashing the "over":
Dallas Mavericks: 49-32-0, 60.5% Over
Thanks to a historic offensive rating (and a mediocre defence), the Mavericks were the best bet for going over the team totals. The Mavs also finished third in pace and third in points per game. A lot of this is due to budding superstar Luka Doncic who has been magical both in the game and in the stat sheets.
San Antonio Spurs: 42-28-1, 60% Over
Thanks to an above-average offence and a below-average defence, Spurs' games went over the projected totals 3 out of 5 times. The public may still view the Spurs as a defensive stalwart, but they have been middle-of-the-pack for several years now and just get worse each time.
Best NBA Teams That Go Under in Totals
Alternatively, NBA betting trends indicated these NBA teams were the best at going under totals:
Houston Rockets: 48-34-0, 58.5% Under
— NBA (@NBA) February 27, 2020
The Rockets have been a "victim of their own success" in recent years as they've become notorious as a point-scoring machine. Houston still ranked 6th in the NBA in offence and 2nd in pace, but the totals they were usually lined with were just too high.
Boston Celtics: 45-36-1, 55.6% Under
Boston boasts a top-four offence and an abundance of scorers, but it's their defence (also top-four) that has been their biggest star. There have been stretches in the season where Boston holds its opponents to 100 points or fewer and had two separate occasions where they went "under" six consecutive times.
NBA Betting Trends for the Future
Going beyond the 2020 performances of NBA teams, we forecast the next coming seasons and which five teams to look out for - the good and the bad. Three of these teams will be trending while the other two will either stay put or decline.
Rising Stock for NBA Teams
Per our NBA betting trends analysis, watch out for these NBA teams as they look to make significant improvements in the next few years:
Kyrie Irving has been caught on video saying, “two max slots, it’s time” to Kevin Durant 👀 pic.twitter.com/BSdAytp1bY
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) February 18, 2019
The most obvious riser for the future is the Nets. The returns of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and the continued development of Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen means big things for Brooklyn. Even if Steve Nash is an inexperienced coach, his basketball savvy and good relationship with KD should more than compensate.
The Suns looked like an entirely different squad in the bubble going undefeated with victories over Dallas, Miami, and the Clippers. Devin Booker is now bursting as a new superstar and they finally found stability with Monty Williams as the coach.
Golden State Warriors
Just like the Nets, the Warriors will feature returning star players and improving prospects. On top of this, the Warriors have the second overall pick for the 2020 NBA Draft and can use it to trade for another star or to draft a future one. Consider 2019-20 an aberration as Golden State returns to contender status.
Lowering Stock for NBA Teams
On the flip side, here are the NBA teams that will take steps back in the next few seasons. NBA basketball betting trends' wisdom indicates not to expect much out of them:
Oklahoma City Thunder
It's all downhill for the Thunder now, at least, for the next few years. The 2019-20 season was a good fluke for OKC, but they may resemble more of their lottery expectations with a new coach and Paul turning 36. The Thunder could "blow up" half the team and be highly unpredictable moving forward.
Raptors closed out Game 6 with some clutch shots in 2OT 😤 pic.twitter.com/xDPqZb5qow
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2020
It was a tremendous run for the diehard Raptors who went deep into the playoffs and blew away expectations yet again. Many expect Toronto to land Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Bucks, but that's partly wishful thinking. What they will be is either the same or slightly worse given the advanced ages of half of their rotation.