NBA Power Ratings vs. Spreads: How Much Is Westbrook Worth?

NBA Power Ratings vs. Spreads: How Much Is Westbrook Worth? article feature image

Apr 27, 2018; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) dunks the ball during the first half of game six of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

  • Sean Koerner, The Action Network's Director of Predictive Analytics, offers his proprietary NBA power ratings, which are made from a betting perspective. These will be updated throughout the 2018-19 season.
  • Using our power ratings, we analyze the 2018 NBA season's opening games between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics (8 p.m. ET on TNT), and Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET on TNT).

Monday we released our opening week NBA power ratings. The Action Network’s NBA Power Rankings were created by Director of Predictive Analytics Sean Koerner. These ratings mirror those used by Vegas oddsmakers and project NBA point spreads.

Let’s look at how they compare to tonight’s spreads.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Current spread: Celtics -5.5
Power rating spread: Celtics -2.5 plus home-court advantage

If you factor in home-court advantage as worth 2.5-3 points, our projected spread is right in line with the current number. The spread did dip to 4.5 at several books after opening at 5.5, but it’s now back up across the industry to 5.

That said, it could be argued that the Celtics deserve an even bigger bump for home-court advantage. Last season Boston was an impressive 32-18-2 (64.0%) against the spread (ATS) at home.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors

Current spread: Warriors -13
Power rating spread: Warriors -6.5 plus home-court advantage

Note that the power ratings should be used as a baseline and don’t factor in questionable players. Russell Westbrook won’t suit up in Game 1.

With his absence we have this as a spread of 10.8 in favor of the Warriors plus home-court advantage, which is in line with the current spread.

As mentioned in our Thunder-Warriors betting guide, both Westbrook and wing Andre Roberson (out) were immensely important for Oklahoma City last season. It’s possible 13 is still underrating their absences.