There are the best teams in the NBA, and then there are the best betting teams in the NBA, which are those that consistently cover the point spread. The Utah Jazz fit into both categories, with the top record in the league at 27-9 and the best ATS record with a 25-11 clip. The Phoenix Suns (24-11) won four games in a row before the All-Star break and they’re now the second-best betting team in the NBA with a 21-11 ATS record.
If you take a look at the top five NBA teams against the spread, you might be surprised to see the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, and the New York Knicks. Yes, those pesky New York Knicks.
|NBA Best ATS Record|
|New York Knicks||19-18||21-16|
|San Antonio Spurs||18-14||18-14|
|Portland Trail Blazers||21-14||19-16|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||15-21||19-16-1|
The Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Oklahoma City Thunder round out the top 10 NBA teams ATS. Of those four teams, the OKC Thunder are the one squad that’s not occupying a playoff spot. The Thunder are ranked #12 in the stacked Western Conference, trailing the Dallas Mavericks by four games.
Best in the West: Jazz and Suns
The word is out about the Utah Jazz. Actually, it’s been out for over a month, ever since they went on a heater and won 20 out of 21 games. After starting the season 4-4, the Jazz went 23-3 in their next 26 games. They headed into the All-Star break with a two-game losing streak, including a tough loss against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly.
The Jazz have the best home record in the NBA at 15-2, but they begin the second half of the season with an easy schedule. They face only three winning teams in the next 14 games.
The Jazz are tough to beat straight up and ATS because they’re in the top five in both scoring and defensive efficiency. They can win a shootout or a lo-fi affair.
The Phoenix Suns have the same record both straight up and ATS at 24-11. The Suns have a middle-of-the-road offense, but they’ve been covering games at a high rate thanks to the third-best defense in the NBA, which allows just 107.1 ppg.
Under the Radar: Da Bulls
The Chicago Bulls (16-18) are two games under .500, but boast the third-best ATS record in the NBA at 20-14. The Bulls average 115 ppg, which is ranked #7 in the NBA.
The Bulls are in the thick of a playoff fight in the Eastern Conference, but that hasn’t prevented the spread of numerous rumors they will trade Zach LaVine. If the Bulls retain LaVine, keep an eye on them to continue to cover games.
The Bulls start the second half with five home games in Chicago, but four of them are against playoff-worthy teams. Then the Bulls play a difficult stretch with a baker’s dozen of games, including 10 road games and a four-game jaunt to the West Coast. Overall, the Bulls have one of the most difficult second-half schedules with 37 games in 67 days.
No More LOLKnicks, They Can Legit Ball
The New York Knicks get a bad rap because James Dolan is one of the most hated and universally loathed owners in all of professional sports. The Knicks flat-out sucked the last few seasons, so it’s hard to get that perception off the minds of the betting public. Bettors exploited all of the Knicks hate because they have a decent ball club for the first time in almost a decade.
If you’re a diehard Knicks fan, then you’re aware that they’re actually fun to watch this season thanks to MIP-candidate Julius Randle and rookie Immanuel Quickley. Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks are the best defensive unit in the NBA. The Knicks beat the spread with a 21-16 ATS record because of their stifling defense. If you like betting NBA totals, the Knicks are one of the best under teams in the league.
The Knicks start the second half with four road games, including tough battles against Atlantic division foes the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, who are also the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Pops and the Spurs
After missing the postseason for the first time in two decades, Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs are trying to get the franchise back on track. The Spurs have the same record straight up and ATS at 18-14 during the season’s first half that included multiple postponed games due to COVID-19 health protocols.
Pops and the Spurs sit in the #7 spot in the Western Conference playoff standings, but were as high as #4 this season. They were recently caught by the slow-starting Denver Nuggets and the surging Portland Trail Blazers.
The Spurs start the second half with six road games in the next 10 days. If you want to continue to back the Spurs and exploit their strong ATS record, then take note that five out of their next six games are against losing teams.
Check out the NBA teams with the worst ATS record in the league.