The Oklahoma City Thunder are the best team to bet on in the NBA through the first 50 games of the regular season, with a 31-18-1 against the spread (ATS) record. The Dallas Mavericks are the worst team to bet on, or a team you should consider fading, with a 17-33-2 ATS record.
NBA teams with the best record don’t always cover the point spread because the public tends to overestimate their abilities. The Boston Celtics (36-15) and Denver Nuggets (35-16) are in first place in their respective conferences, but both teams are barely break-even teams at covering the spread this season. The Celtics are 26-25 ATS, and the Nuggets are 26-24-1 ATS.
|Best ATS Teams||ATS Record||S/U Record|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||31-18-1||24-26|
|Worst ATS Team||ATS Record||S/U Record|
The public often overlooks mediocre teams. The Thunder fit that description this season. They’re on the playoff bubble in the Western Conference with a 24-26 record straight up (S/U), but they exceeded market expectations with a 31-18-1 ATS record.
Oklahoma City Thunder (24-26 S/U, 31-18-1 ATS)
The top-heavy Western Conference has a 10-team cluster that’s separated by only four games. The Thunder are currently in 11th place and on the playoff bubble. They’re only one game away from qualifying for the Western Conference Play-In Tournament. At the same time, the Thunder are only three games behind the fourth-place Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder finally found their footing and are 9-2-1 ATS over their last 12 games. They have two upcoming games against the Houston Rockets, who are the worst team in the NBA and have the second-worst betting record in the league.
The young Thunder are led by exciting guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who averages 30.9 points per game and ranks fifth overall in scoring. He’s one of the betting favorites to win the Comeback Player of the Year.
Orlando Magic (20-31 S/U, 29-21-1 ATS)
The Orlando Magic is another young and talented team with a promising future. But they’re one of the worst three teams in the Eastern Conference, with just 20 wins. They have the second-best ATS record in the NBA at 29-21-1. The public hasn’t quite caught up to them because they’ve been quietly playing their best ball of the season over the last six weeks.
The Magic had a rough start in the first quarter of the season with a 5-20 record. After the Magic snapped an ugly nine-game losing streak in early December, they found their groove and went 15-11 over their previous 16 games. Over their last 11 games, the Magic are 8-3 ATS since early January.
Paolo Banchero, the #1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, is a huge betting favorite to win the Rookie of the Year. Banchero leads the Magic in scoring by averaging 20.7 points per game. He’s been improving every week and looks more like a seasoned veteran than someone who was in high school two years earlier.
Sacramento Kings (28-21 S/U, 27-21-1 ATS)
The Kings are one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season. After 16 consecutive losing seasons, the Kings are on pace to qualify for the postseason for the first time since the 2005-06 season. If the regular season ended today, the Kings would lock up the #3 seed in the Western Conference with a 28-21 record.
The Kings have the third-best betting record in the NBA this season with a 27-21-1 ATS clip. Over their last 11 games, the Kings are 8-2-1 ATS.
The Kings have a favorable schedule in the first two weeks of February. Four out of their next five games are against losing teams, with the fifth game against the New Orleans Pelicans (26-26). After that easy stretch, they play back-to-back games against the Dallas Mavericks, who are the worst betting team in the NBA this season.
Philadelphia 76ers (32-17 S/U, 27-21-1 ATS)
The 76ers rocketed into second place in the Eastern Conference for a couple of games before the Milwaukee Bucks passed them. The surging 76ers are now in third place but trail the first-place Celtics by only three games.
The 76ers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA, with a 12-3 overall record over their last 15 games. Over their last 25 games, the 76ers went 15-9-1 ATS.
They finally have a healthy backcourt after James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey missed time with injuries in the first half of the season. Head coach Doc Rivers inserted De’Anthony Melton into the starting lineup at shooting guard and moved James Harden over to point guard when Maxey was out. That rotation tweak has been successful, as Maxey has embraced his role off the bench as the sixth man and the leader of the second unit.
Dallas Mavericks (27-25 S/U, 17-33-2 ATS)
If you’re looking to fade teams that can’t cover the point spread, keep an eye on two teams from Texas. The Mavs have one of the best players in the world with Luka Dončić, but he’s been a one-man show in the Big D. Dončić is nursing a sprained ankle, and the Mavs are 0-6 when he’s out with an injury.
The Mavs are the perfect example of a team that’s failed to live up to preseason expectations, and the public overlooks their actual ability. With a 17-33-2 ATS record, the Mavs are the worst betting team in the NBA this season. They might have won 27 games, but they failed to beat the point spread 35 times this season.
The Mavs are only 27-25 this season and are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference standings. Teams on the playoff bubble only trail the Mavs by two games. The Mavs advanced to the Western Conference finals last postseason as one of the final four teams in the 2022 NBA playoffs. However, losing guard Jalen Brunson in free agency had a bigger impact than everyone anticipated.
Houston Rockets (12-38 S/U, 19-29-2 ATS)
With only 12 wins, the Rockets are the worst team in the NBA. A 13-game losing streak at the start of January dug the Rockets into a deeper hole. They’re now in a good position to finish among the worst three teams this season, which would give them the best odds at hitting the jackpot in the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery with the #1 pick. Victor Wembanyama, a 7-foot-3 phenom from France, is the best big-man prospect in a generation. Multiple teams are hoping to land Wembanyama with the top pick in the upcoming draft.
The Rockets have the second-worst betting record in the NBA this season with a 19-29-2 ATS clip. They failed to cover more than 60% of their games. If you faded the Rockets and bet against them every game, that system would have been a profitable venture over the first 50 games this season.
The Rockets are the worst road team in the NBA, with a 5-21 away record. Only the Detroit Pistons (6-19) have a worse home record than the Rockets (7-17)
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