NBA Betting Against the Spread Report Card: Grading the Phoenix Suns
by George Monroy - 3/5/2014
The Phoenix Suns have quietly been the best ATS team in the NBA for some time now. Entering the year Phoenix was expected to be one of the worst squads in the league and one of the few organizations to “tank” its season in order to get a premium spot during this summer’s NBA Draft. The Suns, however, decided to prove the experts wrong, and they are currently the eighth seed in a packed Western Conference and could move even higher up the standings before the season comes to an end.
Phoenix is sitting on a 35-25 record with 22 games left before the playoffs are set to begin, but what is even more impressive is the team’s excellent ATS marks in just about every category. The unfortunate truth, though, is that most bettors might have overlooked the under-the-radar Suns squad for most of the season, but it is never too late to find a good betting situation in sports. Let’s call in Phoenix for a performance evaluation and hand out a few grades in this edition of NBA ATS report card.
Overall ATS Record: A
Phoenix has the best overall ATS record in the league with a 38-21-1 mark and 64.4 covering percentage. The only other team with a 60-percent cover rate is the Toronto Raptors—the rest of the league covers 58 percent of the time or less. Phoenix, on average, covers their spreads by a margin of 3.3 points per game, which is also the best mark in the NBA.
Home ATS Record: B
The Suns are tied with Indiana for the best home ATS record in the league, but they only cover at home 59.4 percent of the time with a 19-13-1 mark. The team’s record is solid, but compared to its marks in other areas, 59 percent deserves a ‘B’. When at home, Phoenix wins by an average of 5.5 points and covers the spread by an average of 2.8 points per game.
Road ATS Record: A+
On the road is where the Suns truly shine as an ATS team. Phoenix currently has the second-best ATS record in the league on the road and covers on the road 70.4 percent of the time with a 19-8 record. The only other teams in the 70-percent cover range are Washington (73.3) and Toronto (70). On average the Suns lose their road games by 0.6 points but cover the spread by 3.8 points.
As a Favorite: A
Phoenix currently has a 17-8-1 ATS record as a favorite and covers 68 percent of the time. No other team in the NBA that has been a favorite more than five times has better than a 57 percent ATS record. Phoenix has given up 5.4 points, on average, during the 26 games it has entered as the betting favorite and has won those matchups by an average of 6.1 points per game.
As an Underdog: B
Playing as an underdog is one of the few ATS categories that Phoenix is not leading or sitting near the top of the standings. The team, however, still has a solid 21-13 record as an ATS underdog and covers 61.8 percent of the time. The Suns have the eighth-best record as an underdog, but they are still brining in a solid profit when receiving points.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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