About a quarter of this year’s abbreviated 66-game NBA regular season is already in the books and while most of the preseason favorites are playing true to form, there have also been a couple early surprises from teams that came into this season way under the radar.
This betting guide is designed to provide a weekly snap-shot of which teams are the top performers in the league, not necessarily on the court, but where it matters the most; against the spread.
The biggest surprise of the season continues its run at the top of this list with the Philadelphia 7ers coming in at 12-5 straight-up and a very profitable 12-4-1 against the spread. They bounced-back from a 113-92 loss to Miami as 6.5-point road underdogs this past Saturday with a 103-83 pasting of Washington on Tuesday night as 13-point home favorites. The 76ers lead Boston in the Atlantic Division by 4.5 games, but more impressive is their 8-1 record both SU and ATS at home this season. The Sixers are getting it done on both sides of the court with an offense that is generating an average of 99.9 points a game to go along with a defense that is holding opponents to an average of just 88 points a game. Their +11.94 point margin of victory is the best in the league. Balance is another strong point of this team with seven players scoring in double figures.
The next team on the list is the Denver Nuggets at 12-5 both SU and ATS. They extended their current winning streak to four games with a 119-114 overtime victory over New York as two-point road favorites this past Saturday and are now 4-2 ATS in their last six games. The Nuggets are 6-2 SU at home this season and 5-3 ATS. On the road they are 6-3 SU and a profitable 7-2 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in 10 of their 17 games overall and in seven of their nine games on the road. Denver is currently ranked first in the NBA in scoring with an average of 105.5 points a game. The only downside has been a defensive effort that is giving-up over 100 points a game, but so far this formula has worked. The Nuggets have six players scoring in double figures led by Danilo Gallinari’s 17.4 points a game.
The Chicago Bulls not only have the best record in the NBA at 16-3, they have also provided a solid return on investment with a 12-7 record ATS. The Bulls have also won four straight games and nine of their last 10 to open-up a three-game lead over Indiana in the Central Division. They are a perfect 8-0 SU at home and 5-3 ATS, while going 8-3 SU (7-4 ATS) on the road. This has all been accomplished with both Derrick Rose and Luol Deng missing time due to injuries. Rose is back in the lineup, but Deng is out until early February with a hand injury. Chicago is another team with a double-digit scoring differential with an average of 96.8 points a game verses a points-against-average of 85.8. The total has gone an even 9-9 in its first 18 games, but has stayed ‘under’ in five of the eight games played at home and has gone ‘over’ in seven of the 11 games on the road.
A few other teams that have been early money makers this season are the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at 11-7 SU and 10-6 ATS, the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second-best record in the NBA at 14-3 SU and a 10-7 record ATS, and the Indiana Pacers at 11-4 SU and 9-6 ATS.
A couple of early drains on the bankroll have been the New York Knicks at 6-10 SU and a dismal 3-13 ATS, the Milwaukee Bucks at 6-10 both SU and ATS, and the Los Angeles Lakers riding a three-game losing streak to fall to 10-8 SU and 7-11 ATS.
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.