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.
Despite what many non-basketball fans will tell you, any team can win on any given night in the NBA. While the playoffs can lack parity (hello, Golden State and Cleveland), the regular season is quite the opposite and hoops bettors would be wise to pay attention.
Take Wednesday’s contest between the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers for example. On paper, the reigning champion Cavs are better than the Kings across the board yet DeMarcus Cousins and company were able to beat the mighty Cavaliers 116-112 in overtime.
Oddsmakers in Vegas and offshore clearly expected the wine and gold to take care of business, as Cleveland closed as 12-point favorites on the spread and astronomical -750 chalk in moneyline markets. When you consider the Cavaliers had dropped five of their last seven heading into the tilt, those numbers are absurdly inflated, and the Kings’ +575 moneyline number turned out to be extremely lucrative as a result.
But the fact of the matter is Cleveland is one of the best teams in the league and Sacramento is not, therefore star-studded squads like the Cavs will perennially be overvalued. Need more proof? In spite of its 30-14 SU record, the Cavaliers are the sixth-worst bet in the league at 18-24-2 ATS.
It’s the same story in Monday’s Golden State-Miami matchup in South Beach. The Warriors closed at -13.5 but lost outright by a score of 105-102, failing to get the job done as -700 faves and paying out Heat bettors who grabbed the +535 moneyline.
These types of performances from top-tier clubs are not uncommon in the NBA. We’re at a point in the schedule where fatigue is starting to set in, and many players are already looking ahead to the extended All-Star break in a few weeks. Professional athletes are just like you; they mail it in at their jobs every now and then as well.
If your gut is telling you to back the underdog going forward, it may be wise to stay away from the spread and take the value on the moneyline. Here’s a look at the biggest straight-up upsets of the campaign:
Biggest moneyline upsets of the 2016-17 NBA season
|04-Nov-16||Golden State||LA Lakers||97||117||-810||610|