NBA Betting Results: Studs and Duds Against the Spread
We've just passed the halfway point of the NBA season, and teams are very much establishing what they are. We don't know what the playoffs will look like, but we mostly know which teams are really good, which ones are alright, and which ones have no hope. And we have also gotten a good sense of which teams have respect for bettors' money and which ones prefer to put it all in a pile and light it on fire. So, this is a good time to look at the betting studs and duds of the first half of the season.
Dallas (26-17 ATS): It's Luka's world, and we're just living in it. Doncic has been outstanding as a rookie, and the team has absolute faith in him. They are all in. This hasn't turned the team into a contender yet - there are too many holes - but they are playing well enough to clearly and consistently exceed bettor expectations.
Milwaukee (25-16-2 ATS): Heading into the season, the East was painted as a three-team race, and the Bucks weren't one of those teams. They were respected, but as a second-tier threat. But they are currently only a game behind the Raptors for the conference lead. They are dangerous. And yet they still aren't getting as much attention as other teams would in their situation - a result of Milwaukee not exactly being a major media market. That's a recipe for value.
San Antonio (26-18-1 ATS): The Spurs have traded away their highest-profile players and they are only barely holding on to a playoff spot right now. They have been a disaster on the road, but only two teams in the entire league have more home wins, and that has helped them reward bettors much more than you might expect.
Sacramento (26-18 ATS): People have expected the Kings to be bad for so long that it is just automatic at this point. So now that they are decent - not good yet, but decent - people have been slow to respond. And that means that the Kings are among the kings of the betting window as well.
L.A. Clippers (24-19 ATS): The Clippers have lost the Big 3 that they thought was the key to their success and have lost most of their national profile as a result. Now they sit right in the betting comfort zone - good enough to cover spreads, but not good enough to get a lot of attention for doing so. And that could continue for the rest of the year without too many problems.
L.A. Lakers (18-25-2 ATS): The hype was massive heading into the season - the LeBron factor at work. But the King hasn't played since Christmas Day, the roster around him has proven somewhat inadequate, and the team hasn't torn the league apart like the blindly loyal fans of the best player on the planet hoped. They are still in the playoff mix, but they aren't good - and aren't nearly as good as they need to be to exceed the expectations casual bettors have for them and deliver consistent profits.
Memphis (18-25 ATS): The Gasol-Conley era is likely coming to an end in Memphis, and it is unfortunately doing so with a whimper instead of a bang. They deserve more. But this team isn't good, they have tuned out their coaches, and it's time for a reset with a look towards the next generation.
Golden State (19-25 ATS): The Warriors have not been in killer mode for much of the season, and they don't seem to care at all. They have had some issues to deal with, and they are clearly not concerned about the regular season at all - and nor should they be. They completely humbled the Nuggets the other day to remind everyone who they are, but if you are expecting strong efforts like that from them every night you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Washington (19-25 ATS): The team says that they are willing to trade away anyone who breathes, and now they can't win games or cover spreads with any consistency. Who could possibly have seen that coming?
Phoenix (20-25 ATS): Devin Booker has been hurt repeatedly, missing a third of the season. He's by far their best player, so that's a real problem. And the rest of the roster is either not quite ready for primetime yet, or they never will be. If we are being kind, we'll call the team a work in progress. And not one worth betting on.
Toronto (20-25 ATS): The Raptors have the best record in the league, so you might expect better betting performance than this from them. But Kyle Lowry has been struggling to stay healthy, Kawhi Leonard doesn't play every game by design, and the team is much more focused most nights on winning than on how they do it. The lines can't be set too low because of how talented the team is, but the Raps often don't care about doing enough to cover the reasonable spreads even when they do win.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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