As the abbreviated 66-game NBA regular season closes things out this week, it is time to turn our attention to the postseason, which gets underway next week with first-round action in both the Eastern and Western Conference.
This betting guide takes into consideration a team’s performance on the court, but it is more concerned with what kind of return it has provided against the spread. The following is a brief preview of a couple a title contenders that could be a team to ride through the opening round of the playoffs not just straight-up but ATS as well.
San Antonio Spurs
There is no team in the NBA hotter right now than the San Antonio Spurs. They are riding a seven-game winning streak both SU and ATS into their final three games of the regular season and are very close to locking-up the No.1 seed in the West.
Overall, the Spurs are 47-16 SU and a very profitable 40-20-3 ATS. They have been especially potent at home with just five SU losses in 32 games and a 23-8-1 record ATS. San Antonio is 20-11 SU on the road and still a healthy 17-12-2 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in 37 of its 63 games overall and in 22 of 31 games on the road.
The Chicago Bulls remain the ‘beast in the East’ with an NBA-best overall record of 48-16 SU and a 37-26-1 record ATS. The Bulls are just 2-2 SU in their last four games and 2-3 ATS in their last five, but remain a viable play in the playoffs. They are simply resting some players down the stretch, especially Derrick Rose, who has been banged-up all season long.
Chicago is 25-7 SU at home but just 16-15-1 ATS. Its strength has been on the road where it is 23-9 SU and 20-12 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 17 of 32 home games and gone ‘over’ in 17 of 32 games on the road.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the current second-seed in the West with an overall record of 46-18 SU and also have the third-most profitable record ATS in the league at 35-29. The Thunder are 6-3 SU in their last nine games and 3-4 ATS in their last seven, but like many of the other top seeds are more concerned with starting the playoffs healthy as opposed to winning their final few games.
Oklahoma City is 25-6 SU at home and 21-12 SU on the road, but remains fairly even ATS no matter where it plays with a 17-14 ATS record at home to go along with an 18-15 ATS record on the road. The total has gone 16-15 at home and 14-19 on the road.
Other Playoff Teams ATS
A few other teams that have already clinched a playoff berth and have a positive record this season ATS include the Atlanta Hawks, who are battling it out with Boston for home-court advantage in a probable first-round matchup in the East. They are 38-26 SU and 34-28-2 ATS.
The Denver Nuggets, who are currently the sixth-seed in the West, are 36-28 SU with two games left to play and 34-30 ATS. The New York Knicks should enter the playoffs as the seventh-seed in the East and they are 34-30 both SU and ATS with two games left to play.
The Los Angeles Lakers control their own destiny for the third-seed in the West with a 41-24 SU record with just one game left on the slate. They have been a nightmare to wager on this season with a costly 28-37 record ATS overall and a dreadful 12-20 ATS record on the road.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.