One of the most frustrating aspects of sports betting is having a team win a game but not cover the spread. It almost feels like we, as gamblers, are being cheated. If a team cannot muster up the energy to cover the spread, then they shouldn’t get the satisfaction of winning the game, right? I admit, such logic seems a bit spiteful, but that is only because having a team get a victory while failing to cover the spread hurts so darn much.
If we were to survey gamblers about which teams they like the least, the list would probably be filled with teams that win but do not cover the spread. So, in order to save you from endless frustration during your basketball bets, let’s take a look at the Top 4 NBA teams that win but do not cover this season.
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SU record: 27-18
ATS record: 21-22-2
The Brooklyn Nets have been playing extremely well this season — especially after their coaching change — and might actually be a contender in the Eastern Conference come playoff time. The only trouble with the Nets — for gamblers at least — is that they are not covering spreads. The team, which is nine games above .500, doesn’t even have a winning ATS record.
Many times sports bettors just assume that the teams with the best records are also the teams that are covering the most spreads, but that is not always the case. The Nets are simply a .500 team in every ATS category. They have an 11-11-2 home ATS record, a 10-11 away record, a 12-12-2 record as a favorite, and a 9-10 record as an underdog. So, even though the Nets are one of the better teams in the east, betting on them to cover the spread is a coin-flip at best.
SU record: 28-13
ATS record: 20-21
The defending champions are in the middle of their quest to repeat, and they have been playing quite well as of late. LeBron James is having another MVP-caliber year, and the team currently has the fourth-best record in the entire NBA. Unfortunately for gamblers, Miami does not have a winning ATS record and is a game below .500 in that category.
The Heat are one of the NBA’s marquee franchises and receive a lot of betting action during the year, so it is a bit alarming for the champs to have such a poor ATS record. Miami has only been an underdog twice this entire season, and they are being extremely overvalued by the oddsmakers. The team has been the favorite a whopping 92 percent of the time. But Miami’s major problem is their 8-12 away ATS record, which is probably a byproduct of the larger-than-average spreads they are seeing on the road.
SU record: 25-19
ATS record: 19-23-2
Over the last five years or so, the Atlanta Hawks have been one of those teams that have a solid regular season and put a very good numbers but are not ever a threat to actually make a deep playoff run. The Hawks are currently the No. 6 seed in the east and could possibly climb as high as the No. 3 seed. The team is good, but they do not cover spreads.
The Hawks have the eighth-worst ATS record in the entire NBA, and they seem to struggle with the spread when they are at home. The team has a home ATS record of 8-12-2, which means that their lines are probably a bit too high when they are the favorite and a bit too low when they are an underdog. Betting on the Hawks is probably not a good idea at this point in the season, as they are only covering 43 percent of their spreads.
SU record: 27-17
ATS record: 17-27
The Chicago Bulls are simply a mess at covering spreads. The team has one of the better records in the entire NBA and is currently the No. 3 seed in the east but is tied for the second-worst ATS record in the NBA — only the Boston Celtics have a worst ATS record.
Chicago has a horrendous 7-19 home ATS record and a 9-19 record as the ATS favorite. The Bulls average line when they are favored has been by nearly six points, but they are only outscoring their opponents by four points in those situations. The Chicago Bulls are a bit of a mirage, and they are the worst offender in the NBA at winning games but not covering spreads. I would advise to stay away from betting them as a favorite, at least, until the lines are adjusted or until Derrick Rose returns to the lineup.
Read more articles by George Monroy