The Golden State Warriors came into the 2017-18 season as overwhelming favorites, but did no favors for against-the-spread (ATS) bettors. Similarly, Cleveland completely reshaped its roster midseason while also reshaping the bankrolls of bettors backing them, and not in a positive way.
Using the data available at BetLabsSports.com, we’ve highlighted key betting results from the 2017-18 NBA regular season, as of April 11.
Visiting teams outperformed market expectations this season, posting an ATS record of 52.2%. Favorites and underdogs were much more balanced, both hovering right around the 50% mark.
Unders proved to have the edge in 2017-18 as 51.5% of all games went under the closing total.
Most profitable teams
The Celtics led the way for bettors, providing a monster profit of +17.24 units. After Gordon Hayward was injured in the first game of the season, Boston went 18-4-1 ATS in October and November.
Bettors trusting the process also padded their bankrolls to the tune of +10.73 units.
Least profitable teams
Fading last year’s NBA Final participants was a gold mine. If you bet against the Cavs and Warriors in each game, you would have gone 96-66-1 (59.3%) ATS with a $100 bettor returning a profit of $2,608.
Most profitable over teams
Before DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending injury, Pelicans’ overs were hitting at a 59.6% clip. While still profitable, New Orleans’ overs fell to 54.5% in games without Cousins.
Most profitable under teams
Surprised to see Houston as the second-most profitable under team this season after scoring 112.7 points per game (second overall) and attempting the most three-pointers (42.3 per game)? All that scoring led to some high totals. Every Houston game featured a total of at least 200, which helped under bettors.
Not only were the Warriors one of the least-profitable teams to back against the spread, they were also on the losing end of two of the biggest moneyline upsets of the season. Betting against Golden State in these two games would have netted a cool 17.4 units, combined.
Betting against the public was profitable this season, highlighted by a +7.4% return on investment (ROI) for NBA teams that received fewer than 30% of spread tickets.
Comparing actual wins to preseason win totals, the Pacers were the biggest surprise team in the NBA this season.
This is about the only metric in which the Warriors would be on par with the Grizzlies and Mavericks. They failed to meet the massive preseason win total of 67.5 by 9.5 games.
- The Warriors won 17 straight games from January 28 to March 7
- The Grizzlies lost 19 in a row from January 31 to March 15
- The 76ers and Blazers both had ATS winning streaks of 10 games
- The Raptors, Cavs and Thunder all failed to cover in nine straight games
Top Photo: Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) defends Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30)