A month into the 2019-20 NBA season, here’s a look at some of the league’s biggest early surprises and betting trends (through Thursday’s games).
— The Warriors were expected to regress this season after losing stars Kevin Durant to free agency and Klay Thompson to injury. But Golden State has completely collapsed after losing Steph Curry to a broken hand. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA, at 3-13, after getting blown out by 48 points in Wednesday’s 142-94 loss to Dallas.
Golden State is 6-10 ATS and has seen its 2020 NBA title odds at the Westgate sportsbook soar to 1,000-1 after it was 12-1 in the preseason. One Westgate bettor placed a $1,000 wager to win $1 million on the Warriors to win it all. But Jeff Sherman, Westgate’s vice president of risk, isn’t too concerned.
“When or if Curry or Thompson returns, they’ll probably be 20 games out of a playoff spot,” Sherman said. “Right now, they’re 5½ games out of a playoff spot after 16 games. They’re trending in a downward direction and it doesn’t look like there will be any improvement.”
— The Clippers opened the season as plus 350 favorites to win the NBA title and the Lakers were the 4-1 second choice. The Los Angeles teams are now plus 250 co-favorites, followed by the Bucks (6-1), Rockets (8-1) and 76ers (9-1).
The Lakers have the league’s best record at 12-2 (9-5 ATS) while the Clippers improved to 10-5 (8-7 ATS) after beating Boston 107-104 in overtime Wednesday in their first game with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in the lineup together.
“We had to lower the Lakers’ (odds) because they have such a soft schedule until December. They’re racking up all these wins and people are looking at their win-loss record and want to bet them based on that,” Sherman said. “I still think when the Clippers have Leonard and George healthy, they’re the the No. 1-rated team in the NBA.”
— The Celtics have started off surprisingly strong at 11-3 after losing Kyrie Irving (Nets) and Al Horford (76ers) in free agency. A Westgate bettor this week placed a $10,000 wager to win $200,000 on Boston (20-1) to win the NBA title.
— The Heat (10-3) have been the league’s top money team, going 10-2-1 ATS. Jimmy Butler leads Miami in scoring, averaging 18.7 points, but Miami has six other players averaging double figures, including rookies Tyler Herro (14.0 ppg) and Kendrick Nunn (17.3 ppg), who went undrafted out of Oakland.
“Kendrick Nunn has been a surprise on that team. He’s vaulted into the Rookie of the Year conversation. He’s (the) 6-1 (third choice) and wasn’t even listed in the preseason,” Sherman said. “He’s been contributing and Tyler Herro’s been contributing. They’ve been relying on young guys besides Butler.”
Ja Morant is the plus 175 favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award and Zion Williamson is the 5-1 second choice. Herro is at 12-1.
— The Wizards have the second-best spread record, at 8-3-1, followed by the Celtics (8-4-2) and four teams that are 9-5 ATS: Lakers, Thunder, Raptors and Suns.
— The Spurs have the worst ATS mark at 3-12, followed by the Pistons and Magic at 4-9-1 and the Jazz and Grizzlies at 5-9.
— San Antonio leads the way with an 11-4 over-under mark, followed by the Mavericks (10-4), Wizards (7-4-1) and Trail Blazers (10-6).
— Utah is the best under team at 11-3, followed by the Nuggets (9-4) and Rockets, Clippers and Knicks at 10-5.
— Systemplays.com handicapper Doug Fitz shared a profitable NBA trend that calls for a play on the under whenever two teams with a winning percentage of at least 60 percent each play each other. The trend is 156-104-4 (60.0 percent) in December.
Through Thursday’s games
Best over teams
Trail Blazers; 10-6
Best under teams