NBA Betting Tip: Road Favorites Undervalued Late in the Season
uss Isabella-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell
- The end of the NBA regular season is in sight and motivation varies among teams trying to reach the playoffs or tanking for draft position.
- Using the Bet Labs database, we share a profitable against-the-spread system for exploiting late-season motivation.
By this point in the NBA season, teams are either jockeying for postseason position or playing for ping pong balls. Motivation matters and in April teams clearly have different incentives.
There are currently 12 teams eliminated from the playoffs and 11 of them have a winning percentage below 45%. These teams with nothing to play for aren’t likely to give it their all on a nightly basis, which makes them targets to bet against.
Since 2005, teams facing an opponent with a winning percentage of less than 45.0% in April have gone 684-649-24 (51.3%) against the spread (ATS) per Bet Labs. While it has not been profitable to blindly bet against every bad team late in the season, this supports our theory that teams eliminated from the playoffs do not give 100% effort down the stretch.