In this article we look at two Eastern Conference teams stand out as under-the-radar ATS money makers that can provide betting value to your NBA picks.
If you’ve been paying attention to the mainstream media through the first five weeks of the young NBA season, there’s only one really good team in the league right now – the record setting Golden State Warriors. Bettors are certainly familiar with how good Golden State is; the single best pointspread team in the league so far this season, on the heels of a Top 5 ATS finish last year.
But the Warriors are on TV all the time, and they’re getting all the headlines. It’s hard to picture the Warriors extended run of pointspread success continuing on indefinitely. But there are a handful of other teams that, while not having Golden State’s pedigree, are clearly undervalued in the current betting markets. Every year, I look to isolate these under-the-radar ATS Money Makers early – like Atlanta and Boston last year, the top two spread teams in the NBA in 2014-15; both of whom stayed under-the-radar for months before they started attracting attention.
ATS Money Makers
So what teams stand out as under-the-radar ATS money makers for your NBA picks right now? How about two from the Eastern Conference; both of whom were lottery bound teams last year. If you talk to a non-bettor and tell them ‘I’m going to be betting on the Nets and the Magic repeatedly for the next month’, they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. Yet Brooklyn and Orlando have already been major money makers, and there’s no reason to expect either squad to drop off in the weeks to come.
I had the Nets power rated as the 2nd worst team in the NBA coming into the season – only the truly hapless 76ers were rated lower. And for the first few weeks of the campaign, the Nets lived up to those very low expectations, going 0-7 SU, 1-6 ATS against the NBA odds at sportsbooks like Bovada, their lone cover coming in a ten point loss as twelve point dogs at Memphis.
But make no mistake about it – since that disastrous start, the Nets are playing good basketball, and they’re catching too many points on a nightly basis. ow do we know? Look no further than the NBA’s most under-the-radar pointspread run, with Brooklyn going 10-1 ATS in their last eleven contests; covering the spread by an average of more than seven points per game. How about their under-rated home court, where Brooklyn has pulled the outright upsets over Phoenix, Detroit, Boston and Atlanta in their last four tries. They lost by only two at Cleveland and took Golden State to overtime, proving that they are capable of stepping up in class.
Lionel Hollins’ Grizzlies teams were known for their defensive intensity. The Nets defense has been positively smothering in each of their last three games, shutting down the pick and roll, eliminating penetration into the paint and communicating well on the floor. And their confidence level seems to increase by the day, notching yet another SU win as an underdog last night, making all the key plays down the stretch of a tight game, something they couldn’t do a month ago at this time.
Scott Skiles has engineered more than one turnaround throughout the course of his coaching career. And his Orlando Magic—a team, like Brooklyn, that you never see on national TV, without an All Star or a household name on the roster – are making money for anyone who’s been betting on them in recent weeks.
The Magic opened up the season by covering the spread in each of their first seven games. They had some injury problems and Skiles spent a few weeks trying different rotations and altering his allocation of on-court minutes, resulting in a 1-6 ATS run. But Skiles settled on a new rotation four games ago, brining Victor Oladipo off the bench and inserting Channing Frye into the starting lineup. And the results have been rather dramatic: 4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS, covering the spread by more than 14 points per game during that span.
Forward Tobias Harris: “We're playing with a lot more energy, focusing on a lot of the little details, especially defensively. We're just letting our defense dictate our offense. I think that's been the biggest difference." An Orlando/Under parlay has cashed three times during this four game hot streak; surely worth noting as the Magic head to face another strong Under team, Utah, on Thursday.