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Best and Worst NBA Bets Entering the Second Half

With the NBA all-star break ending, hoops bettors are gearing up for what’s sure to be a torrid sprint to the finish in the regular season. With just over 20 games left for each team, some very profitable betting trends have emerged.

Here’s a look at the most important wagering information on the hardwood for the 2017-18 NBA campaign:

Best Teams ATS

The Boston Celtics’ season couldn’t have started on a worse note. When prized offseason acquisition Gordon Hayward broke his leg in the season opener against Cleveland, many pundits questioned if the Celtics could once again go toe to toe with the heavyweights of the Eastern Conference.

It hasn’t been a problem so far, as Boston is sitting second in the conference at 40-19 SU. More importantly for sports bettors, however, is the Celtics’ penchant for covering the spread. At a clip of 59.6 percent, the C’s have been securing the bag for those who backed them this season.

TeamRecord (%)
Celtics34-23-2 (59.6%)
Nets33-24-2 (57.9%)
76ers31-23-1 (57.4%)
Raptors32-25 (56.1%)
Clippers31-25 (55.4%)
Pacers32-26 (55.2%)
Hawks31-26-2 (54.4%)
Trail Blazers29-25-4 (53.7%)
Bulls30-26-1 (53.6%)
Jazz31-27 (53.4%)

Worst Teams ATS

It’s been a drama-filled year in Northeast Ohio. With the looming threat of hometown boy and wine connoisseur LeBron James departing the Cavaliers for a second time and rumblings that embattled owner Dan Gilbert is about to sell the team, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman opted to dip into the fountain of youth at the trade deadline by acquiring Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood and George Hill.

The Cavs went 2-0 SU and ATS in the first two games with their new players, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been a historically bad spread wager so far at 18-37-1 ATS. The likes of Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose are gone, but the wine and gold have a lot of winning to do to avoid ending the season with the worst ATS mark in the league.

TeamRecord (%)
Cavaliers18-37-1 (32.7%)
Hornets22-31-4 (41.5%)
Thunder25-34 (42.4%)
Grizzlies25-30-1 (45.5%)
Warriors26-31-1 (45.6%)
Bucks25-29-3 (46.3%)
Kings25-29-3 (46.3%)
Pistons26-29-2 (47.3%)
Suns27-30-2 (47.4%)
Wizards27-30 (47.4%)

Best OVER Teams

The best recipe for a consistent OVER wager in the NBA is to find a team that scores in bunches and has trouble defending at the other end of the floor. Case in point: the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pellies rank fourth in the Association in points scored (111.3) and have allowed the second most points (111.2). That’s equated to a fantastic OVER/UNDER record of 33-23-1 — easily tops in the league in that regard.

The season-ending Achilles injury to DeMarcus Cousins put a serious dent in the Pelicans’ playoff hopes, but the front office added more depth to the frontcourt by trading for long-range sniper Nikola Mirotic and signing the well-travelled Emeka Okafor.

TeamRecord (%)
Pelicans33-23-1 (58.9%)
Timberwolves33-27-1 (55.0%)
Kings31-26 (54.4%)
Cavaliers29-25-2 (53.7%)
Warriors30-27-1 (52.6%)
Raptors30-27 (52.6%)
Lakers30-27 (52.6%)
Bulls30-27 (52.6%)
Bucks29-27-1 (51.8%)
Clippers28-27-1 (50.9%)

Best UNDER Teams

The Brooklyn Nets have been the butt of jokes for years in the NBA, however they’ve been seriously profitable when used in the right spot. Brooklyn is tied with Miami as the top UNDER squad in the NBA at 24-33-2 O/U — a trend that likely won’t change any time soon.

TeamRecord (%)
Nets24-33-2 (57.9%)
Heat24-33-1 (57.9%)
Pacers24-32-2 (57.1%)
Trail Blazers25-33 (56.9%)
Mavericks25-33 (56.9%)
Magic25-32 (56.1%)
Grizzlies24-30-2 (55.6%)
Pistons26-31 (54.4%)
Thunder27-32 (54.2%)
Spurs27-32 (54.2%)

Best teams as an ATS favorite

Is there a bigger surprise team than the Indiana Pacers this year? I don’t think so. When Indy traded face of the franchise and all-around superstar Paul George to Oklahoma City in the offseason, it looked like the end of an era for the perennially competitive Pacers. That wasn’t the case.

Victor Oladipo, the centerpiece of the George trade, has thrived in his new surroundings and has led the Pacers to the fifth spot in the East at the all-star break. Their 17-9 ATS record as a fave has made them a favorite to bettors as well.

TeamRecord (%)
Pacers17-9 (65.4%)
Clippers18-11 (62.1%)
Lakers6-4 (60.0%)
76ers19-13 (59.4%)
Knicks9-7 (56.3%)
Hawks5-4 (55.6%)
Bulls5-4 (55.6%)
Hornets16-13 (55.2%)
Spurs21-18-3 (53.8%)
Raptors24-22 (52.2%)

Best teams as an ATS underdog

Even when books tab the Celtics as underdogs, they still cash tickets. Boston isn’t an underdog often, but when they are, they’re as close to a lock as you’ll find in the modern NBA. Covering the spread at an 84.6 percent clip is quite the feat. Books might overlook them from time to time, but the betting public certainly won’t.

TeamRecord (%)
Celtics11-2 (84.6%)
Raptors8-3 (72.7%)
Thunder5-2 (71.4%)
Cavaliers8-4 (66.7%)
Wizards13-7 (65.0%)
Heat19-12-1 (61.3%)
Nets28-18-2 (60.9%)
Pistons15-10-1 (60.0%)
Trail Blazers13-9-1 (59.1%)
Jazz20-14 (58.8%)

Worst teams as an ATS favorite

If you’ve been backing Cleveland as a favorite this year, you might want to avert your eyes. The Cavs have been downright atrocious as faves in 2017-18, and their 9-33-1 ATS record proves it. Let’s hope the aforementioned roster turnover bucks this trend, because you’d be in the poorhouse if you’ve been following them down this road.

TeamRecord (%)
Cavaliers9-33-1 (21.4%)
Magic3-7 (30.0%)
Suns1-2-1 (33.3%)
Mavericks6-11 (35.3%)
Pistons11-19-1 (36.7%)
Grizzlies7-12 (36.8%)
Wizards14-23 (37.8%)
Thunder20-32 (38.5%)
Heat9-14-2 (39.1%)
Kings3-4-1 (42.9%)

Worst teams as an ATS underdog

When it comes to performing poorly as an underdog, no team is worse than the Charlotte Hornets. At 6-17-4 ATS, the Hornets are covering the spread only 26.1 percent of the time when receiving the underdog label from oddsmakers. Not great, Bob.

The Hornets are only 5.5 games back of Miami for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but they’re simply far too inconsistent to be trusted at the betting window from here on out. Unless losing money is your thing, steer clear of Charlotte.

TeamRecord (%)
Hornets6-17-4 (26.1%)
Rockets2-3 (40.0%)
Spurs7-9-1 (43.8%)
Knicks19-24 (44.2%)
Bucks10-12-1 (45.5%)
Kings22-25-2 (46.8%)
Pacers15-17 (46.9%)
Clippers13-14 (48.1%)
Suns26-28-1 (48.1%)
Grizzlies18-18-1 (50.0%)