The NBA’s Best & Worst ATS
Four teams have covered more than 60% of their games this NBA season. This quartet includes both conference leaders (as of Tuesday, March 30th), one team that’s in second place in its conference and perhaps the biggest surprise team of all. Let’s look at the four and what they’ve done right (so far).
Phoenix is 30-15 ATS through 45 games. Going back to last season’s “bubble,” the Suns are 38-15 ATS their last 53 games. That’s pretty remarkable. They are 19-6 ATS since Feb 5. No team has fewer double digit losses this season than the Suns’ three. They are 8th in offensive efficiency and 5th in defensive efficiency. Being the least “public team” among the top four in the West, the second place Suns should continue to cover games at a fairly high rate.
The team ahead of Phoenix in the West is Utah, who is 30-16 ATS. At one point, from mid-January to mid-February, they covered 19 of 21 games. Outside that one incredible stretch, the Jazz have a losing ATS record. They are third in both offensive and defensive efficiency. No team has more double digit victories than Utah’s 28. To be honest, it is not even close as the team with the next most is the Clippers (21). The Jazz have been underdogs in only two games all season. They are 17-5 ATS and +14.7 PPG at home.
Philadelphia leads the East (for now), though it’s fair to say most expect Brooklyn and/or Milwaukee to catch up to them. But the 76ers have a much better ATS record than those teams. They are 27-17-2 at the betting window entering March 30th, including 9-2-1 so far this month. This team has not lost a game all season when playing with two or more days rest (7-0 SU/6-1 ATS). They are 4-0 ATS as home dogs, a situation that probably won’t arise too many more times. The Sixers are not top 10 in offensive efficiency, but are second in defensive efficiency.
New York is 27-18-2 ATS and no one expected them to be challenging for a top four spot in the Eastern Conference. But by virtue of leading the NBA in points allowed, the Knicks are doing just that! Surprisingly, it’s when they are favored that they are a better bet. The chalk record is 12-4 SU/11-5 ATS. A word of caution: injuries have really begun to pile up and threaten to derail this surprising season. Mitchell Robinson just broke his right foot.
Our condolences if you’ve been betting the following teams this season …
Cleveland is 19-28 ATS. They aren’t good (17-30 SU) but should probably be worse off in the standings. The Cavs have the single worst point differential in the NBA, so expect high spreads and the losses to pile up. They are near the bottom of the Vegas power rankings, but oddsmakers have struggled to make the spreads large enough. Letting Andre Drummond walk certainly won’t help. Against the West, the Cavs are 5-17 ATS (-13.7 PPG).
Indiana is 18-26-1 ATS and an obvious disappointment. They have a losing SU record at home where they are 6-14 ATS. Things would be even worse if not for a league-high four overtime wins.
Miami is another disappointment and they are 18-27-2 ATS. There have been six games this season where the Heat have been held to 85 points or less, which is the most in the NBA. They are 8-15-1 ATS at home, but just snapped a six-game losing streak (overall) with a win in New York on Monday night. There’s been some bad luck on South Beach as the Heat are 0-4 SU in overtime games.
By far, the worst ATS team in the league is Houston (14-32 ATS). There are no words to describe the depths they have fallen to after the James Harden trade. The Rockets have lost 23 of their last 25 games and last Friday saw them become just the fourth team in NBA history to not score a single point over the final 7:30 of a game.