One of the most common bets to make in NBA betting is ATS. Players don’t have to calculate how much money they’ll win if they bet a number that isn’t $100. They just have to guess if their team will beat the spread once the game ends.
When I started writing this article, I thought that the guys making the NBA betting lines for the spread looked at how successful a team is at beating the spread. The line makers would increase the spread a bit if they’ve been too successful. I looked at some teams to see if that could be a factor, but I found something I didn’t expect.
But before I let you in on my finding, one thing you can consider when checking a team’s ATS record; if they have a streak of four wins or losses, it will rarely go to five (but the Lakers have done it several times). Maybe that’s when the linemakers say, “We’ve got to get better at picking these spreads.”
Oklahoma City Thunder beat the spread more often than any other team this year. Their record is 28-16-0 ATS, which is 63.6%.
NBA Betting and ATS
But if your players aren’t big Thunder fans, they can go to the next best team. The Boston Celtics have the second-best ATS record with 26-19-0 (57.8%). The Celtics are the top team in the NBA right now (34-12), so your players won’t make much money on a Moneyline bet, but they can still do well with an ATS or Over/Under wager.
Here’s something else to watch out for. The Celtics have only lost 12 games and didn’t make the spread in each one. That means they’ve only missed seven wins against the spread. That’s seven out of 34 wins. So if your players are betting for the Celtics to win ATS against a team they’ve beaten before, their odds are excellent to win.
Close behind the Celtics are the Milwaukee Bucks, with a 24-18-3 (57.1%) ATS record. They are second in the Eastern Division, right behind the Celtics. They’ve only lost 16 games this season and had an ATS loss or push in each of those losses. That means they beat the spread almost every time when they won their matches (when winning, they didn’t beat the spread three times and twice pushed).
In that sense, they’re doing even better than the Celtics. If you can predict which games they’ll win, you’re almost guaranteed they’ll beat or tie the spread. If you have many players betting on the Bucks, it should give you an idea of how to “play” those games.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are near the bottom of the Western Division with only 20 wins, but they have a similar ATS record, with all of the losses also being an ATS loss or tie, with one exception. They had one loss where they still beat the spread. That was against the Phili 76ers on Jan 15, for a 112 to 113 loss and a +5.5 spread.
Their ATS record this year is 20-23-1. They only missed the NBA betting spread once when they won. If you want to hedge all your Lakers’ ATS bets, make sure you have a separate Moneyline bet for them to lose for every time one of your players bets that they’ll beat the spread.
Golden State Warriors
They have a better ranking in the standings than the Lakers, with 22 wins and 23 losses, but they have the same ATS record (20-23-1 – 46.5%). They beat the spread in three of their losses, which makes it a little more challenging to predict when they can beat the spread. At the beginning of the season, they didn’t always beat the spread when they won, but since November 23rd, they have always exceeded the spread (or pushed once) when winning the game.
Oklahoma City Thunder
I wasn’t going to look at the Thunder, but after seeing the patterns with the other teams, I thought you might be curious about how their losses lined up with their ATS outcomes. Their standings in the Western Division are the same as the Warriors – 22 wins, 23 losses. So I checked the losses as I did with the other teams.
Sometimes they beat the spread, and other times they didn’t so tricky for NBA betting fans.
But their wins were a different story. Each time they won, they beat the spread – every time, no exception. Hmm. Interesting factoid. Remember how I said it was rare to have an ATS streak of more than four? Well, Oklahoma City is currently on a winning streak of seven games beating the spread. Maybe you can pass that one to your players to see what they want to do with it.
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