NBA Handicapping: Miami Heat ATS Trends
by George Monroy - 2/8/2013
The Miami Heat are currently in the middle of their first title defense and are being led by their superstar LeBron James, who is having another juggernaut of a season. “The King” is currently averaging 26.8 points, seven assists, and 8.2 rebounds per game and is leading the league in player efficiency rating with a 30.64 mark. If a gambler did not pay close attention to the NBA ATS standings, it would be fair to assume that the Heat were blowing out opponents and covering most of their spreads. And it we did assume as much, we would be wrong. The Miami Heat’s ATS record has been under .500 all season and is one of the worst in the entire NBA.
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Let’s look at why this is the case. Miami just won a championship, has one of the better records in the league, and is being led by the best player in basketball — why don’t they have a better ATS record? There are rarely simple answers when it comes to sports betting, but let’s take a closer look at the Miami Heat’s ATS record and try and figure out why they are not covering spreads.
Miami’s ATS record
The Heat currently have a 22-24 ATS record and are below .500 in almost every ATS category except for home ATS record — where they have a 12-11 mark — and as an underdog. The team is 10-13 away, 20-24 as a favorite, and 2-0 as an underdog. Just by taking a quick glance we notice that Miami has only been an underdog twice in 46 games. No other team in the east has been an underdog less than nine times, while the Heat have been an underdog only five percent of the time. No matter how good a team is, it’s almost impossible for them to be an actual favorite every night. Even the 72-win Chicago Bulls team lost 10 games.
The Heat have been the favorite a whopping 95 percent of the time, and the only other team in the league to even come close to that mark is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami has been favored in 44 games this season by an average of 7.4 points but have only been beating their opponents by an average of 4.70 points per game. The obvious assumption to make, after taking a look at the team’s lines, is that oddsmakers are severely overvaluing the Heat. Miami is an NBA glamour team in the middle of defending a championship and has three of the best players in the league. The team is probably receiving a large chunk of the betting action, and the oddsmakers know that the public will continue to bet them even if their lines are a bit inflated.
Another area where the Heat are having trouble covering lines is with large spreads of six points or more. Miami has been favored by more than six points 30 times this season and have covered only 12 of those games for a 36-percent rate. The team has also been a favorite of eight points or more 19 times this season, which is a ridiculous 41 percent of the time.
The Miami Heat are having another very good season and could be on there way to another NBA title. However, this team is just not a good choice at the betting window. The team is giving up an average of over seven points per game to their opponents and not coming close to covering those lines. The Heat are in a position where they are getting their opponents best shot every night, and the bullseye on their collective back is stopping them from covering spreads. The best idea for gamblers is to stay away from the Heat or else find a large line and take the points. Remember to bet wisely, and may the spread be with you.
Read more articles by George Monroy