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The Best NBA Teams Against The Spread So Far This Season
The pseudo-half point of the NBA season has passed, so it’s time to reflect on what a few months of basketball it’s been. We’ve seen it all so far: there's been drama, breakout stars, and slumping shooters galore–and while that makes for good entertainment, what does it mean for the NBA bettors out there?
In an attempt to dissect the 2021-2022 NBA season through a bettors lens, I calculated and ranked every team in the NBA by their cover percentage (the percentage of time the time covered, net of pushes). What resulted was a complete shakeup of the NBA landscape.
Before we get into things, if you want to bet on any of these teams make sure to check out the best sportsbooks that are available in your area! As the NBA Finals approaches, be sure to get in your future bets while the odds are still hot! Right now on BetMGM Sportsbook, the Memphis Grizzlies are +2500 to win the finals–and they’re my pick to hoist the trophy at the end of the season–so place your bets today!
Okay, now onto the fun part.
1. Memphis Grizzlies (41-19, 40-20 ATS)
The Memphis Grizzlies are your pre-All-Star break against the spread champions, covering 66.7% of their games. They win their games by an average margin of 4.9 points, and cover the spread by an average of 3.1 points per game. Ja Morant has been the driving force for this team's success, scoring almost 27 points per game at a 50% clip.You don’t just become the pre-All-Star break against the spread champions because of one player though–that takes a complete team effort, and that’s exactly what this Grizzlies squad puts into every game. Joining Morant in this journey are Desmond Bane (17.9 PPG), Dillion Brooks (18.4 PPG), and Jaren Jackson Jr (16.7 PPG), who when are all clicking create one of the most dangerous (and youthful) starting fives in the NBA.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (18-40, 35-19-4 ATS)
While the Thunder only have 18 wins on the season, they’ve covered the spread by almost a point per game, and have covered almost 65% of all their games. Similar to the Grizzlies, the Thunder are led by youth–star guards Shai Gilgeous Alexander (23), Lugentz Dort (22), and Josh Giddey (19) are ready to take the league by storm, but need a bit of help first. Outside of those three youngsters, no one on the team is averaging more than 10 points per game, which is a formula for disaster.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (35-23, 34-21-3 ATS)
A theme is beginning to emerge here. The Cavs are led by Darius Garland (22), Evan Mobley (20), and Jarrett Allen (23) and are one of the strongest teams in the NBA. They have nine players who are averaging over 10 points per game, and while they have youth they also have a deep set of veterans that have built a solid base for this team.
4. Chicago Bulls (38-21, 35-23-1 ATS)
Demar DeRozan is continuing to have the season of his career, averaging 28.1 points per game while shooting over 50% from the floor. He was named an All-Star this year, and joining him in Cleveland was Zach LaVine who is scoring almost 25 points per game.
5. Toronto Raptors (35-25, 33-23-1 ATS)
The Raptors are one of the most surprising success stories so far this season, bolstering a roster with five great offensive talents and a top-10 defense. They cover the spread by an average of 1.2 points per game, and look to continue their success late into the season.
6. Miami Heat (38-21, 33-25-1 ATS)
The Heat had struggled with some early season injuries that hindered their success, but they now sit atop the NBA East with a 38-21 record. They covered the spread by an average of 2.1 points per game, and are looking to make another push towards the finals.
7. Phoenix Suns (48-10,32-26 ATS)
Undoubtedly the best team in the NBA in the first half, the Suns come in at seventh on this list after only covering 55.2% of their games. This happens a lot with teams that are often favored to win, seeing as though Vegas sometimes overestimates the top teams abilities. Regardless, they’ve been able to cover their games by an average of 1.6 points per game.
8. Charlotte Hornets (29-31, 32-26-2 ATS)
The Hornets lose their games by an average of -0.9 points per game, but have still managed to cover well more than half of their games. Led by sophomore guard LaMelo Ball, this Hornets team has one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but struggles greatly on the defensive side of things.
9. Dallas Mavericks (35-24, 32-26-1 ATS)
The Mavericks kind of shocked the world when they dealt Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards before the trade deadline, but have remained one of the best teams in the NBA thanks to Luka Doncic.
10. Golden State Warriors (42-17, 29-26-4 ATS)
It’s been a weird year for the Warriors, but in typical Golden State fashion, they’ve been able to turn things around and keep on their winning ways. They’re still dealing with a few injuries, but I expect the Warriors to make a deep run towards the finals this year.
Here’s how the rest of the league lines up against the spread
11. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-28, 30-28-1 ATS)
12. San Antonio Spurs (23-36, 30-28-1 ATS)
13. Boston Celtics (34-26, 29-29-2 ATS)
14. Philadelphia 76ers (35-32, 29-29 ATS)
15. LA Clippers (30-31, 30-31 ATS)
16. New Orleans Pelicans (23-36, 28-30-1 ATS)
17. Indiana Pacers (20-240, 28-30-2 ATS)
18. Denver Nuggets (33-25, 27-21 ATS)
19. Detroit Pistons (13-45, 27-31 ATS)
20. Utah Jazz (36-22, 26-31-1 ATS)
21. Sacramento Kings (22-38, 27-33 ATS)
22. Atlanta Hawks (28-30, 26-32 ATS)
23. LA Lakers (27-31, 26-32 ATS)
24. New York Knicks (25-34, 26-33ATS)
25. Milwaukee Bucks (36-24, 26-34 ATS)
26. Orlando Magic (13-47, 26-34 ATS)
27. Portland Trail Blazers (25-34, 25-34 ATS)
28. Houston Rockets (15-43, 23-34-1 ATS)
29. Washington Wizards (27-31, 23-34-1 ATS)
30. Brooklyn Nets (31-28, 22-36-1 ATS)