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NBA Handicapping: Best and Worst Teams to Bet in Each ATS Category
by - 2/20/2013

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Washington Wizards' Jordan Crawford

Most NBA teams are more than 50 games into the season and are preparing to make a final playoff push before the postseason begins. And now that the basketball year is more than 60 percent complete, gamblers have a much clearer picture of which teams are covering spreads and which teams are not. Knowing and understanding ATS stats can give a solid edge to sports bettors looking to make the most of their wagers.

Some of the best and worst ATS teams in the league are much better or much worse than their straight-up records indicate. The Miami Heat are barely a .500 ATS team while the Washington Wizards have the best ATS record in the league. Let’s take a minute and go over the best and worst ATS bets in the NBA

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Best overall ATS:

Washington Wizards (32-19-1)
Oklahoma City Thunder (30-20-3)
Memphis Grizzlies (30-21-1)

Worst overall ATS:

Charlotte Bobcats (20-33)
Los Angeles Lakers (21-33)
Phoenix Suns (22-30-1)

Analysis: It’s completely surprising to see that the Wizards have the best record in the entire NBA and are brining in an actual profit for bettors. The top three overall ATS teams are winning between 58 to 62 percent of their games and are bringing in a profit of $15 to $23 for every $100 dollars that you bet on them. The worst overall ATS teams are only covering at a 37- to 42-percent rate and are losing anywhere from $16 to $27 for every $100 you bet on them.

(Note: All profit margins were calculated using a -105 vig from 5Dimes)

Best home:

Houston Rockets (17-9)
Denver Nuggets (17-9)
Oklahoma City Thunder (17-9-1)

Worst home:

Chicago Bulls (7-20)
Orlando Magic (9-19)
Charlotte Bobcats (9-17)

Analysis: The top three home teams are covering spreads at an astounding 65 percent rate and are a solid investment for sports bettors. The top home teams are winning a hefty profit of $29 for every $100 bet on them. The worst home teams are the usual suspects for worst ATS records with the Bulls, Magic and Bobcats. It would probably be wise to not wager on any of those teams.

Best road:

New Orleans Hornets (19-10)
Washington Wizards (16-9-1)
Chicago Bulls (16-10)

Worst road:

Los Angeles Lakers (9-18)
Portland Trail Blazers (10-18)
Boston Celtics (8-14-2)

Analysis: Playing on the road has been very kind to the Hornets and Wizards. Both teams are receiving a lot of points as road underdogs and have been covering at a 64 and 65 percent rate. On the road the Lakers, Celtics, and Trail Blazers are horrendous and are all losing more than 60 percent of the time.

Best favorites:

Indiana Pacers (20-11)
Oklahoma City Thunder (30-19-2)
Memphis Grizzlies (25-16-1)

Worst favorites:

Orlando Magic (2-10)
Cleveland Cavaliers (3-6)
Phoenix Suns (6-9)

Analysis: The Pacers are covering almost 65 percent of the time as a favorite and are showing great value as an under-the-radar team. Most gamblers are not looking to wager on the Pacers. The worst favorite teams are rarely favorites to begin with, so just stay away from the Magic, Cavaliers and the Suns. The Pacers are brining in a profit of $27.25 for every $100 bet on them as a favorite.

Best underdogs:

New York Knicks (7-2)
Washington Wizards (29-15-1)
New Orleans Hornets (25-19)

Worst underdogs:

Los Angeles Lakers (4-14)
Charlotte Bobcats (19-28)
Minnesota Timberwolves (13-19-1)

Analysis: The Knicks are rarely an underdog, but, when they are, the team has been covering spreads. New York is brining is a staggering $54.43 profit for every $100 bet on them as an underdog. The Lakers are the worst underdog in the league and are losing gamblers $59.44 for every $100 bet on them as an underdog. It might be wise to stay away from the Lakers and look into the Knicks whenever they are receiving points.

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