Who was the most profitable team in professional or collegiate sports this past season? Let’s take a look at the teams with best and worst ATS Records in their sports and crown some percentage sports betting champs and chumps.
As the calendar year ends, 2016 begins its last week and 2017 gets ready to come crashing in like Ezekiel Elliott on a power sweep, now is the perfect time to crown some 2016 ATS (Against The Spread) champs and chumps, basing results from single source TeamRankings.com and the recent past Regular Seasons and Playoffs for teams from the NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NCAAB and MLB.
And what the numbers show—as they always do—is that in the sports with less number of games in their individual seasons (NFL, NCAAF, NCAAB), riding specific teams all season-long can be profitable as opposed to trying to consistently bet on one team in sports with longer seasons (MLB, NBA).
Trying to bet on one team for 162 games in an MLB Regular Season (on the Moneyline) usually reveals just a handful of the league’s teams showing a profit, and usually just a minimal one. And even on the run line, it’s still hard to back one team all the time, proving MLB is a sport of picking your spots whereas blindly betting against the Cleveland Browns or the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL—both 11-36 ATS since 2015 (23.4%)—is something anyone can employ as a rational sports betting approach. Let’s see who fared best and worst for bettors in their past seasons, noting that ATS winners in football and basketball must cover point spreads while winners in MLB must just simply win.
2016 ATS Champs and Chumps
NFL ATS Champions
New England Patriots 12-3-0 (80%)
Tom Brady and the Patriots could get caught in this category, if New England falter ATS in Week 17 and lose one or two in the NFL Playoffs, but for now, the 8-straight time AFC East champions get the nod and with an 80% winning clip ATS and just 3 Losses for bettors, this team deserves crown, won by the Minnesota Vikings last season (14-3 ATS, 82.3%).
2016 NFL ATS Chumps
Cleveland Browns 3-12-0 (20%) or San Francisco 49ers 3-11-1 ATS (21.4%)
This will come down to Week 17 ATS results with the Browns in Pittsburgh to face the Steelers (PIT -16½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Advanced) while the 49ers welcome Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to Santa Clara on Sunday for their finale (SEA -12½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Advanced). Last year, the NFL ATS Chumps were the Browns and Tennessee Titans, both finishing at 3-13 ATS (18.8%).
2016 NCAAF FBS ATS Champions
Temple Owls 12-1 (92.3%)
#24 Temple (W12 straight ATS) will face Wake Forest in the Military Bowl from Annapolis on Tuesday in a Bowl matchup of AAC and ACC teams. Eastern Michigan, Colorado State, and Colorado are all 10-3 ATS (76.9%). Toledo was last year’s NCAA Football ATS Champ, going 9-2-1 (81.8%).
2016 NCAAF FBS ATS Chumps
Arizona Wildcats 2-10 (16.7%)
Poor Arizona. The Pac-12’s Wildcats L7 straight ATS in conference play this season and have been an Underdog their L9 games. Much-improved Central Florida (6-7 SU, 8-5 ATS in 2016) were last year’s NCAA Football Chumpions, registering an equally poor 2-10-0 ATS record against the line (16.7%).
2016 NBA ATS Champions (2015/16 Regular Season, Playoffs)
Golden State Warriors 59-45-2 (56.7%)
Class act Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors might not have won the NBA Championship after registering the NBA’s best Regular Season Record ever (73-9), but this team rewarded it’s bettors more than 4% above that notorious betting break-even point (52.4%)—the Boston Celtics were 2014/15 NBA ATS Champs (50-35-1 ATS, 58.8%). And anyone who saw Curry’s response to one of the late Craig Sager’s questions after a game against the Washington Wizards last March truly witnessed one of the top class moments in Sports in 2016. Much respect to Dell and Sonya Curry—you have truly created and raised one beautiful human being.
2016 NBA ATS Chumps
Houston Rockets 38-49-0 ATS (43.7%)
The Rockets, who are playing much better in 2016/17 with James Harden at PG (22-9 SU, 22-11 ATS), edged out the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls (all 36-46-0 ATS, 43.9%). The season before, it was the Sacramento Kings (33-47-2 ATS, 41.2%) who took this title, edging out the New York Knicks (33-46-3 ATS, 41.8%).
2016 NCAAB ATS Champions
Oakland Golden Grizzlies 21-8-1 (72.4%) and IPFW Mastodons 21-8-0 (72.4%)
Co-champs? And from the Summit League and the Horizon League? What in the name of James A. Naismith are we to make of this, defending (real) champions Villanova’s Kris Jenkins? That schools like Oakland and IPFW can be money-makers. And all serious NCAA Basketball bettors know of these so-called Mid-Major wonders. And in the 2014/15 season, Curry’s former college Davidson (22-7-0 ATS, 75.9%) were the NCAA Basketball ATS Champs with Mr. Jenkins (above) and Villanova (25-10 ATS, 71.4%) second among teams with more than 10 ATS results.
2016 NCAAB ATS Chumps (2015/16 Regular Season)
Rice Owls 7-19-1 (26.9%)
Rice wisely proves Owls can also be bad to bet on, edging out Georgia State (8-19-1 ATS) and Cal-Poly (8-19-0 ATS) who both registered a 29.6% winning clip. Not good. The previous season, it was Pittsburgh (8-22-1 ATS, 26.7%) who were College Basketball’s worst team against the Point Spread.
2016 MLB ATS (Run Line) Champions
San Diego Padres 94-68-0 (58.0%)
A surprise of sorts, with the Friars winning bettors the most money last season either giving or taking the 1½ runs in the run Line market. The Oakland A’s (90-72, 33.6%) finished second in this category, chosen because as at least three teams—the Detroit Tigers were 86-75 (53.4%) on the R/L—were even or ahead compared to our 53.4% break-even mark in sports gambling. Of note, a new record $1 billion had been bet on Baseball through October at Nevada’s regulated sportsbooks in 2016.
2016 MLB ATS (Run Line) Chumps
Arizona Diamondbacks 67-95-0 (41.4%)
The NL West also provides the team which was worst on the Run Line in the Arizona Diamondbacks, who finished third in the division with a 79-83 record. The Houston Astros (72-90-0, 44.4%) were second-worst R/L team last MLB season while in 2015, it was the Pittsburgh Pirates (73-90-0 44.8%) who were the worst with the Texas Rangers (98-69-0, 58.7%) being the best on the Run Line, edging out the Minnesota Twins (94-68-0, 58%).
Football Produces Best ATS Win Percentages Because Of Fewer Games
With around 12 to a maximum 19 or 20 games (in the NFL), football—both the NFL and College Football—appears to be the ideal sport in which to try to back or fade a specific team and/or totals trends, as the 11-game Over streak NCAA Football squad the Pittsburgh is currently on displays.
And the mathematical reality of playing 16 games in a Regular Season as the NFL does to the 162 they do in MLB, or the 82 they both play in the regular seasons of the NBA and the NHL affects who looks good (or bad) in these seasonal ATS Records and it will always appear the best money-makers (and faders) will be in Football. So this means picking one’s spots in the other, longer game-season Sports becomes much more important, as does choosing when to stay off certain games or risk ending up over-betting these leagues (and their teams) which, in the end, can easily become a frustrating juice-churning process for the sports bettor.