Welcome to the Hoop and the Harm. This is a weekly feature on OddsShark where hoops bettors can uncover all the hottest need-to-know trends, stats and general info for the week that was on the hardwood.
When it comes to basketball betting, it’s important to focus on what’s happening in the moment. For example: you might see that a certain team is in the upper echelon of the NBA at covering the spread and place a bet on them, but they’ve gone ice-cold in that department of late and have been costing their backers in the process. Just because a squad has been good in one area doesn’t mean that trend will continue for the duration of the season.
At this point in the campaign, it’s all about betting on what’s happening right now. Here’s a look at the hottest bets in professional basketball right now:
On Wednesday I highlighted how the Philadelphia 76ers have sneakily been the best wager in the Association this year, which you can read here. In the Sixers’ last 20 games, they’re a sizzling 16-4 ATS. They did suffer a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday, but I’m going to keep riding them for the rest of the season.
Oddsmakers have overreacted to the season-ending injury to rookie sensation Joel Embiid, and they’re consistently giving the 76ers higher underdog spreads than they should see. This is not the same team that won 10 games last year; they’re a much better group now. Philly’s back in action in the Windy City against the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
The Heat are another team that’s quietly been getting the job done at the betting window of late. Miami has gone 12-3 ATS in its last 15 contests while finally reaching a postseason spot in eighth place as of this writing.
Handicapping motivation is incredibly important in the stretch run of the season. A lot of teams have a playoff position guaranteed and coast to the finish while not giving 100 percent efforts, while others have been out of the race for months and are simply looking forward to relaxing in the offseason.
The Heat are an example of a squad that is fighting for its life right now, which can pay huge dividends for bettors.
Golden State Warriors
Many people associate the Warriors with high-scoring games, and that’s not far from the truth. Golden State is used to lighting up scoreboards, but that doesn’t mean they’re an automatic OVER bet. Without the injured Kevin Durant, the Dubs haven’t looked like the same team and they’re clearly missing his 25.3 points per game.
That’s equated to a ridiculous number of UNDER payouts of late, as the Warriors were riding an eight-game UNDER streak ahead of Friday’s home tilt with the Sacramento Kings.
Sportsbooks consistently set Stephen Curry and company with huge OVER/UNDER lines, and they’re having a tough time reaching that level right now. Until the O/U numbers start to drop (which I don’t expect to see), tailing this run seems like a smart idea.