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Best & Worst NBA Bets of First Half Of Season

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz were the best ATS bet of the first half of NBA season.

We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2020-21 NBA season and one of the best things to do as a regular NBA bettor is to reflect on betting trends you witnessed through the first chunk of the season. Some of them could be flat-out clunkers and some could be pristine money-makers that bettors can bank on for the remainder of the year.

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As always with trends, they’re never foolproof, so it’s important to do your research and use resources like the NBA Underdog Report or the 1Q and 1H Betting Report before locking in your bets. That being said, I’ve pinpointed a few cases that bettors should take note of and keep on their radar going forward.

NOTE: All figures below are based on $100 bets per wager.

Here are the most and least profitable bets across many different scenarios entering the second half of the 2020-21 NBA regular season:

Which NBA Teams were the Best Bets in the First Half of the Season?

Best & Worst NBA Bets Of First Half Of 2020-21 Season
Bet TypeMost ProfitableLeast Profitable
Full Game MoneylineHornets: $1,366.51Timberwolves: -$1,523.12
Home MoneylineKnicks: $1,027.34Rockets: -$692.28
Away MoneylineBulls: $1,005.29Timberwolves: -$888.57
Moneyline Favorite76ers: $165.49Pelicans: -$776.48
Moneyline UnderdogHornets: $1,491.24Timberwolves: -$1,440.00
ATSJazz: $1,272.72Rockets: -$1,300.00
ATS FavoriteJazz: $1,190.91Pelicans: -$845.45
ATS UnderdogNets: $527.27Timberwolves: -$909.09
First Half MoneylineKnicks: $1,222.50Timberwolves: -$1,670.00
First Half ML HomeKnicks: $599.61Lakers: -$910.95
First Half ML AwaySpurs: $963.48Warriors: -$1,066.38
Best OVER & UNDER NBA Bets Of First Half Of 2020-21 Season
Bet TypeOVERUNDER
Full GamePelicans (25-10-1, $1,272.73)Knicks (14-23, $690.91)
Full Game HomePelicans (15-3-1, $1,063.64)Rockets (2-12-1, $890.91)
Full Game AwayHornets (14-4, $872.73)Lakers (4-14, $872.73)
First HalfKings (22-13-1, $700.00)Grizzlies (10-22, $1,000.00)
First Half HomeKings (12-7-1, $390.91)Grizzlies (4-14, $781.82)
First Half AwayRaptors (14-6, $672.73)Clippers (4-15-1, $963.64)

Utah Jazz – Best ATS Bet

There have been lots of surprises through the first half of the 2020-21 NBA regular season but the Utah Jazz might be the biggest one so far. Oddsmakers tend to overcorrect a team’s spread to try to even out its ATS success but the Jazz, leading the NBA standings at 27-9 SU and 25-10-1 ATS, thumb their noses at sportsbooks.

The Jazz have been favored in 33 of their 36 games this season and still have managed to cover the spread in 25 of them. If you had bet $100 on the Jazz spread when they were favored this year, you’d be up to $1,190.91 in profit. They’ve done most of their damage at home and are 13-2-1 ATS in 16 games in Salt Lake City.

On the flip side, the team that is becoming an embarrassment to the league for its shortcomings has to be the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are the least profitable team in the league for spread bettors at -$1,300 and currently have the worst overall ATS record in the NBA at 11-23 ATS in 34 games.

New Orleans Pelicans – Best OVER Bet

A cash cow for totals bettors, the New Orleans Pelicans have easily been the best OVER bet in the NBA this season with an O/U record of 25-10-1 in 36 games. Part of the reason could be oddsmakers setting their totals too low and they may need to jack those figures up, especially when the games are played in the Bayou. The Pelicans own the best OVER record at home this season at 15-3-1 in 19 games.

How did this come to be? Well, low closing totals are the obvious answer but the Pelicans defense has been atrocious. The Pellies rank 26th in the NBA in scoring defense at 115.9 points allowed per game while having blue-chippers in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram to keep pace on offense to the tune of 115.5 per game (ranked fifth). 

The Pelicans and Nets are the only NBA teams that rank in the top five in points scored per game while also ranking in the bottom five in points allowed per game.

Charlotte Hornets – Best Moneyline Underdog

If you’ve been reading Odds Shark’s NBA Underdog Report, then you know the Charlotte Hornets are the darlings for underdog moneyline bettors this season. A longtime punching bag of the Eastern Conference, the Hornets continue to be the most successful when oddsmakers underestimate them. Charlotte has been an underdog in 27 games this season and has won 13 of those outright. Had you blindly bet every one of those games with $100 on the Charlotte moneyline, you’d have $1,491.24 in profit.

As to why the Hornets are playing with this new-found spunk, there’s no need to look any further than rookie LaMelo Ball, who is a huge favorite in NBA Rookie of the Year odds. Ball’s playmaking and pace have brought new offensive freedom to the Hornets and complemented the playing style of Gordon Hayward, who leads the team in scoring at 21.5 points per game. If you can hear that buzzzzzzzz sound, that likely means you cashed on the Hornets moneyline at least once this season.

New York Knicks -  Best 1H Moneyline and ATS Bet

After covering the first-half spread in 13 straight games and finally being mentioned in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the New York Knicks deserve some love for this resurgence. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has brought a defensive toughness to a squad that was mostly picked to finish in the basement again after striking out in free agency in the offseason. With Thibs’ arrival, the Knicks have the No. 1-ranked defense in the league, which seems insane given this roster is nearly identical to last season’s.

The Knicks lead the NBA in first-half moneyline and ATS profits and have come out of the gates firing in each game. They lead the NBA at 25-10-1 ATS for first-half spreads along with being the most profitable for moneyline bettors. Had you just bet on the Knicks first-half moneyline in all 36 of their games, regardless of being a favorite or underdog, you’d have $1,222.50 in profit.