NBA Handicapping: Weekly Look at Key Betting Statistics
by Dave Schwab - 2/21/2012
This weekend’s all-star break in the NBA marks the halfway point of an abbreviated 66-game regular season schedule. With a wealth of information on all 30 teams covering every possible aspect and statistical measure known to mankind, it is very easy to bog yourself down to the point of overload when it comes to handicapping the games. Sometimes it is the simple things in the game of basketball that can provide the best insight into predicting the correct outcome of a particular matchup.
This week we will take a look at which NBA teams have shown the ability to win on the court, while consistently covering the spread. Often times this first-half success will carry through the rest of the season to provide an ongoing healthy return on investment from your NBA betting activities.
NBA 2011-12 Regular Season Overview
Through this past Monday’s games, the home team has won 58.6 percent of the time straight up and 50.3 percent of the time against the spread. The favorite has won 68 percent of its games SU and 50.7 percent of its games ATS. If you put these two numbers together, the home favorite has provided a minuscule edge by covering the spread in 50.7 percent of its games, which should give you a better appreciation for just how good the oddsmakers are in setting NBA point spreads.
The total has stayed ‘under’ in 55.5 percent of all the games played and in 56.5 percent of all games ending in regulation. The total has gone ‘over’ in 63 percent of the 27 overtime games this season.
Individual Team Results - Best Records ATS
The San Antonio Spurs have reeled-off 11 straight victories heading into Tuesday night’s game against Portland. What makes this streak even more impressive is the last six games have been on the road and the Spurs have covered the spread in nine of the 11 games overall. They are now 23-9 SU on the year and a NBA-best 19-12-1 ATS. San Antonio is 10-4 ATS at home and 9-8-1 ATS on the road. The total has gone an even 16-16 overall, but has stayed under in 10 of 14 home games and has gone over in 12 of 18 games on the road.
The defending champion Dallas Mavericks trail the Spurs in the Southwest Division by 2.5 games with an overall record of 21-12 SU and have the second-best record in the league ATS at 20-13. The Mavericks have risen this high on the list with a 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS record in their last eight games. They are 11-7 ATS at home with the total staying under in 12 of 18 games.
The third-best team ATS at 20-14 also happens to have the best SU record in the NBA at 26-8. The Chicago Bulls have jumped-out to a 5.5-game lead over Indiana in the Central Division and show little sign of slowing down with an 8-2 SU record in their last 10 games and a 6-3 record ATS in their last nine. The Bulls are 12-2 SU at home and an even 7-7 ATS, but solid all-around on the road at 14-6 SU and 13-7 ATS. The total has stayed under in nine of 14 home games and has gone ‘over’ in 12 of 20 games on the road.
A dose of reality may be setting in for the upstart Philadelphia 76ers with three losses both SU and ATS in their last three games, but they still lead the Atlantic Division by 4.5 games with a SU record of 20-12 and are still a profitable 18-13-1 ATS. Philadelphia is 12-7 ATS at home and 6-6-1 ATS on the road. It leads the NBA in fewest average points allowed, so it is easy to see why 19 of its 32 games this season have stayed under the total.
The Bottom Line
Going down the rest of the list of team’s records ATS, nine of the top10 have a winning record SU. While there are exceptions to every rule such as the Indiana Pacers at 19-12 SU and 14-17 ATS, for the most part you can conclude there is a direct correlation between winning on the court and covering the spread. The top four teams on this list can certainly attest to this with a 68.7 winning percentage SU and a 58.8 winning percentage ATS.
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