As we head into December in the NBA, one tried and true handicapping method is running hot. To this point of the NBA season, home underdogs are showing plenty of bite and are a money-making 63-49 ATS, 56.2%. (Thru Nov.30)
Why the uptick thus far? Let's examine some of the reasons.
Elite Teams Not Putting Up Elite Results
Coming into the season, we expected the best teams to mostly be who they were last year, outside of Cleveland. That's how the NBA has always worked. But so far, that has not been the case.
Golden State, Houston, Boston, and New Orleans have not assembled records close to what expected to this juncture of the season. That does not mean these teams will not reach their expected watermarks by 82 games, just the fact at this time they have not. Here is how these teams have performed as road favorites.
That is a collective 6-16 ATS, which accounts for a large portion of the deficit and has been a real boost to home underdogs facing these clubs. To say these teams have gotten off to a disappointing start for their backers is an understatement.
The remainder of the negative performance comes from the Eastern Conference, thanks to Philadelphia and Washington. The Sixers are 0-4 ATS handing out digits to home pooches and the Wizards are jackals at 0-3 ATS.
Sportsbooks Also Having Impact On Home Underdogs
In talking to other big NBA bettors and handicappers, they have noticed the same thing, but have different explanations for why it has turned out this way.
Literally, since the start of the season, the posted odds have been very aggressive from the sportsbooks. We have seen a myriad of underdogs at 10 or more. In addition, games and teams that are normally at 3 to 4.5 point spreads, are now at 4.5 to 6 points on a regular basis. These type of aggressive odds are usually something you see starting after the All-Star game when a great deal of information been collected and it's given who most of the playoff teams are and who has no shot at the postseason and might be in tank mode.
Some of those I talked to believe sportsbooks have consistently shown better results after the All-Star break and as opposed to just inching numbers up as the season moves along and not be as obvious, they have decided to create a "new norm" from the start of the season which makes changes later less noticeable.
Others have expressed that the difference between the best teams and those in the bottom 40 percent has never been greater in terms of team talent and cohesiveness. They are of the opinion this is accounting for larger than anticipated spreads, with oddsmakers just setting values on power ratings and factoring in everything else afterward.
Whatever it is, home underdogs have benefitted enough and its noticed, making it be something you should on the lookout for as an NBA bettor.
Doug Upstone has been involved in sports handicapping
in some form or another his entire adult life. NOBODY watches and studies games
more than he does. Whether it is live or going back and watching
later, Doug has game notes and observations dating back two decades. (Yes,
somehow he’s still married to his original wife.)
Doug is process person, meaning he’s developed his own power
ratings in different sports to determine if the lines are accurate from his
perspective, yet always follows the fundamentals when handicapping games.
Doug has been heard on various sports radio talk shows (Tony
George Radio Show on Sirius radio the latest) around the country for years and
never has a shortage of opinions. Plus, his Line Moves article is one of the
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Doug has been writing articles for over a decade and doing
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Doug has had 21 No. 1 rankings at documented sports monitors
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