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Prior to the start of the 2015-16 NBA Regular Season, the majority sportsbook reviews and online sportsbooks pegged last year’s NBA Finals participants – the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors – as the favorites to come out of their respective conferences. So far that prediction has held true, as the Cavs are alone in first place in the Eastern Conference while the Golden State Warriors are unbeaten and in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
But although these teams are both sitting atop the NBA Standings, they have fared much differently at the betting window. Golden State isn’t just a perfect 11-0 straight up, but their average ppg difference of +16.3 is easily the best in the league and has helped the Warriors jump out to a winning 7-4 ATS record.
The Warriors will be asked to cover even bigger pointspreads going forward and now it may be time to start to fade the Warriors – especially when they begin their seven-game road trip at the end of the month.
From a straight up basketball betting win/loss perspective, Cleveland has played extremely well. The Cavs have won eight of ten games overall (including all five at home) and their two losses have come by close margins – missing a chance at the buzzer in their season-opener at Chicago and then falling in double-overtime at Milwaukee. And while their +7.2 ppg scoring difference is the best in the Eastern Conference, the Cavs have not done well against the pointspread going just 3-7. That poor showing at the betting window has led to lower lines for Cleveland, who should have an easier time covering the number in the near future.
The best team in terms of ATS record (through Monday’s action) continues to be Orlando, who despite a losing 5-6 record is a league-best 8-3 against the spread (4.7 units of profit). In fact, only two of the top five ATS records belong to teams with a winning record – that being San Antonio (8-2) and Phoenix (6-4), who are both 7-3 against the spread.
At the other end of the spectrum is New Orleans and Houston. The Pelicans are a poor 1-9 straight up and 2-8 against the spread, with New Orleans backers down 6.8 units on the season. That awful 1-9 straight up record is no excuse for their poor 2-8 ATS showing, as winless Philadelphia is a near-even 5-6 ATS. Houston is right behind the Pelicans, going 3-8 against the spread and they have come nowhere close to preseason expectations out of the gate with a losing 4-7 record. That includes five outright losses in the role of the favorite, including outright favored losses in each of their last four games overall.
We’ll be back next week to check in on the state of NBA from a betting perspective and more great basketball betting tutorials.