NBA Betting: Correlation Between Team Age and ATS Record
by George Monroy - 2/4/2015
The NBA is a sport that is based on age and experience. Young teams simply do not win titles, and those battle-tested squads with multiple playoffs wins and disappointments seem to be the ones that break through every June. The San Antonio Spurs won their fifth title in a 16-year span last season, while the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers-all playoff-hardened veteran teams-have been the only other squads to win a championship in the last decade.
In the NBA youth is not enough to win a championship. However, the question on our minds is it enough to cover spreads? Do those fresh-legged youngsters excel ATS wise or do older, veteran teams have the advantage against the spread? Let's take a closer look at the first half of the 2014-15 NBA season and figure out what has been more beneficial to covering spreads, experience or youth?
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Oldest teams in the league struggle ATS wise
Washington Wizards : Average Age (AA): 29; ATS record: 20-28-1
Los Angeles Clippers : AA: 28.8; ATS: 20-29
San Antonio Spurs : AA: 28.7; ATS: 21-25-2
Cleveland Cavaliers : AA 28.6; ATS: 22-28
Dallas Mavericks : AA 28.5; ATS: 24-25-1
Total combined record : 107-135-4; 44 percent win rate
As the NBA season approaches the 50-game mark, two things have been abundantly clear-one is that oldest teams in the league win a lot games and rule the standings. The two oldest squads in the East are currently sitting in the third and fifth spots in the conference and could both end up in the Top 3 by the time the playoffs begin. Over in the West, the three oldest teams are ranked fifth, sixth and seventh and all are within a few games of the No. 3 spot.
The second thing that has been made clear over the first 50 games of the year is that those teams also struggle against the spread. The five oldest squads in the NBA currently have a combined 107-135-4 ATS record for a 44-percent win rate. One reason why these older teams win but do not cover spreads may have to do with the fact that veteran teams with playoff experience understand the pacing of a long season and win games without exhausting themselves.
Youngest teams in the league excel ATS wise
Philadelphia 76ers : AA: 24; ATS: 25-24-1
Utah Jazz : AA: 24.3; ATS: 25-22
Phoenix Suns : AA: 24.5: ATS: 26-22-2
Minnesota Timberwolves : AA: 24.7: ATS: 20-28
Milwaukee Bucks : AA: 24.9: ATS: 33-15
Total combined record : 133-110-3; 54 percent win rate
Four of the five youngest teams in the league all have a plus-.500 ATS mark, and Milwaukee has the second-best mark in the entire NBA. These young teams, which are not particularly good SU groups, have covered the most spreads in the league. Those squads are currently covering at a 54 percent rate, which is a solid rate for bettors to wager on. These young teams continue to lose games, but they have the energy to provide a maximum effort on a nightly basis and keep games close.
Those numbers only take into account the first 50 games of the season, and the trends could change during the last 30 games of the year. However, it seems like the older teams in the league are all being overrated in the minds of the oddsmakers, while the younger teams are being underrated. Outside of the Clippers, the four oldest squads in the league have a point differential between two to four points per game, which is not enough to cover those nightly five- and six-point spreads that the sportsbooks are giving them.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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