Profitable Spread, Over/Under NBA Betting Trends to Target After All-Star Break
Rich Graessle/Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The first half of the season is in the books, the All-Star break is behind us and the final stretch of the season is on the horizon as teams begin their push for the playoffs.
But before we jump too far ahead, it’s worth looking back to see what betting trends were most notable prior to the All-Star break and where bettors should be looking to find an edge using pre-All Star data from Bet Labs.
If you’ve been paying attention this season, the list of top moneyline teams won’t be much of a shock. The Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers have been the two most profitable teams to bet on the moneyline due in large part to the fact that they have blown past their preseason expectations.
Just behind them are the Miami Heat, a team with higher expectations but decimated by injuries for most of the season. The Heat have the highest return on investment as underdogs this season (72.5%) and are the second-most profitable team in the NBA behind the Grizzlies.
Last, but certainly not least, the Suns have the best record in the league by a comfortable margin and put together two separate double-digit win streaks this season, including their 18-game stretch from October through December.
Most Profitable ML Teams
(All dollar figures based on on $100 bets.)
- Grizzlies: 41-19 (+$1,790)
- Cavaliers: 35-23 (+$1,488)
- Heat: 38-21 (+$1,021)
- Suns: 48-10 (+$982)
Rolling the Dice on Moneyline Dogs
Underdogs that closed at +300 or longer have been surprisingly profitable this season.
Teams in this spot are 36-145 straight up and the return on investment these huge underdogs (13.8%) would be the fourth-highest ROI over a full season, according to our Bet Labs database, which dates back to 2004-05.
Among all the underdog teams that have won outright in this spot, the Portland Trail Blazers stand out with a 4-4 record this season and 4-1 record since late January.
Check out our free NBA odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Against the Spread Trends
Due to how well the Grizzlies and Cavaliers have been on the moneyline, it’s no surprise the pair have crushed it against the spread. But the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls also stand out as valuable ATS teams.
Most Profitable ATS Teams
- Grizzlies: 39-20-1 (+$1,570)
- Thunder: 35-19-4 (+$1307)
- Bulls: 35-23-1 (+$887)
- Raptors: 34-23 (+$821)
- Cavaliers: 34-23-1 (+$809)
Ironically, their respective successes against the spread fall on opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Thunder have been the most profitable underdogs in the NBA — 34-18-4 ATS in that spot — and would have netted a $100 bettor $1,316 per Bet Labs. The Heat have been sneaky-great underdogs to back in this spot — 13-5 ATS, $685 profit — with a 38.1% ROI in that situation, easily the highest mark in the league.
The Bulls, meanwhile, have cruised in the favorite role: 26-12-1 record ATS, netting $100 bettors a $1,163 profit. The Grizzlies (25-12-1) fall just behind them, with a net $1,090 profit as chalk this season.
The Dallas Mavericks have been at the top of this list for the bulk of the season. The combination of playing at the slowest Pace in the NBA (95.81) and a stout defense (107.2 points allowed per 100 possessions, fifth in the NBA) have turned the Mavs into an under machine.
Over a more recent stretch the Mavs have continued to separate themselves from the rest of the league in this category. Since Jan. 1, unders are 16-8 in Mavs games and profiting $100 bettors $655. Unders are 15-8-1 in Pelicans games over that same span with a $570 profit.
Most Profitable Under Teams
- Mavericks: 39-20 (+$1,576)
- Cavaliers: 36-22 (+$1,123)
- Celtics: 35-25 (+$724)
- Pelicans: 34-24-1 (+$717)
- 76ers: 33-24-1 (+$625)
On the other side of that coin sit the Timberwolves, who have surged as a consistently-profitable over bet. Since Jan. 1, overs are 18-6 in Wolves games and profiting $100 bettors $1,020. Pacers games have been equally high-scoring in 2022, with overs going 17-7 in those games and have netting bettors $837.
Most Profitable Over Teams
- Timberwolves: 36-23 (+$946)
- Heat: 35-23-1 (+$873)
- Rockets: 33-23-2 (+$692)
- Grizzlies: 34-25-1 (+$610)
First Half/Second Half Game Trends
Two of the top teams to bet for full-game spreads are also the best in the first half of games as well. This season, the Grizzlies and Cavaliers rank third and sixth respectively in first-half scoring margin, per NBA Advanced Stats, but are No. 1 and No. 2 ATS in that spot for bettors’ purposes.
First Half Spread
- Grizzlies: 38-22 ($1,153)
- Cavaliers: 36-22 ($1,060)
The first half over in Pacers and Nuggets games are in their own tier when it comes to ROI and profit. Bets on both teams in that spot have an above 19% ROI with the Utah Jazz (7.1%) as next-closest team. Both clubs can fill it up in the first half — the Nuggets lead the NBA in Offensive Rating in first halves, the Pacers fourth.
First Half Overs
- Pacers: 38-22 ($1,153)
- Nuggets: 37-21 ($1,124)
First Half Unders
- Pelicans: 35-22-2 ($897)
- Celtics: 35-23-2 ($796)
When it comes to first half unders, the Pelicans and Celtics are the two best in that spot with the Thunder, Wizards and Trail Blazers just behind them.
Surprise, surprise: The Grizzlies top yet another list. In the second half of games, they have been the best in the league ATS. Their 19.9% ROI is easily tops in the league.
Second Half Spread
- Grizzlies: 37-21-1 ($1,172)
- Suns: 33-22-3 ($770)
Second Half Overs
- Timberwolves: 35-22-2 ($967)
- Bulls: 35-23-1 ($918)
Second Half Under
- Mavericks: 36-21-2 ($1,171)
- Cavaliers: 34-21-3 ($985)
The Mavericks and Cavaliers clock in with the best records to the under in the second half of games and it isn’t surprising when you dig into the numbers. The Mavericks play at a Pace of 97.59 possessions in the first 24 minutes and that number drops by three possessions to 94.10 in the second half.
The dip for the Cavaliers is even more drastic, going from 99.98 (13th) in the first half to 93.93 in the second half.
Potential Live Betting Opportunities
It’s difficult to nail down profitability with live betting over the course of the season, but we can see that some teams are much better at coming back from a deficit at halftime than others.
Here’s a breakdown of the teams who have the best win rate when trailing this season, courtesy of NBA.com.
The league’s two best two teams are at the top of that list, and they don’t offer as many live betting opportunities due to their standing as elite teams.
Among the teams that trail at the half most, the Lakers and Raptors stick out as teams with win rates north of 35% when trailing at halftime.