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 Al Horford departed Atlanta for the Boston Celtics in the offseason and the Hawks filled that spot by signing hometown boy Dwight Howard, many people questioned the Hawks’ motives. On the heels of a six-game winning streak, it’s the Hawks who are laughing now.
As of November 17, Paul Millsap and company were tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best record in the Eastern Conference at 9-2. Who saw that coming?
Out west, the excitement surrounding the Oklahoma City Thunder’s hot start has all but disappeared. OKC edged Houston on Wednesday to halt a four-game losing streak that saw them fall to Toronto, Orlando, Detroit and Los Angeles Clippers. The loss of Kevin Durant is clearly being felt, as the Thunder are severely lacking secondary scoring options behind the otherworldly play of Russell Westbrook.
This week we’ll take a look at the best and worst squads against the spread both at home and on the road.
Top ATS teams at home
The confines of the Palace of Auburn Hills have been more than friendly to the Pistons early in the year, as Stan Van Gundy’s crew own a spotless ATS record in the Motor City.
Detroit isn’t just covering the spread at home – they’re doing it without making their backers sweat. The Pistons own the top ATS margin in the Association in that department at a fantastic +13.6. Detroit’s next home date is on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.
Worst ATS teams at home
- Portland Trail Blazers 1-6
- Cleveland Cavaliers 1-5-1
The Trail Blazers are no strangers to lighting up the scoreboard in Oregon, but that hasn’t translated to the betting window quite yet. Portland owns only one meager cover at the Moda Center – a 113-104 triumph of the Utah Jazz as six-point favorites in the season-opener.
LeBron James will tell you “If you’re not from Cleveland, it makes no sense for you to live”, but King James hasn’t been doing his part for spread bettors in Northeast Ohio. Cleveland toppled the New York Knicks 117-88 while tabbed as 9.5-point chalk on opening night, but they haven’t done it again since. Fading Bron Bron at Quicken Loans Arena looks like a safe play going forward.
Top ATS teams on the road
The Denver Nuggets have been road warriors so far in 2016-17, covering by a +4.4 margin on six of the seven occasions. Due to their underwhelming recent history, the Nuggets don’t get much respect from oddsmakers, which leads to big underdog spreads – especially when they hit the highway.
This team is young, well-coached and surprisingly deep. It’s time to pay attention to them.
Worst ATS teams on the road
- Minnesota Timberwolves 1-4
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird shuffled the deck on his roster in the summer, and the early results have been a mixed bag. Fading the Pacers on the road has been the best bet you can make in the NBA so far, as Indy owns a league-worst -15.5 margin ATS.
The Pacers have yet to even win a game outside of Indiana after falling to Brooklyn, Chicago, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Philadelphia. In that span, they’ve been losing by an average of 14 points. Paul George’s club are back in action on Saturday in Oklahoma City.