Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Two weeks into the new NBA season, we’re seeing many surprises of both the good and bad variety. Mainstream media pundits are shocked that some of the teams who were supposed to be horrible are actually pretty good. And, they’re also shocked that teams who were supposed to contend have been sluggish.
And, since oddsmakers get most of their information by reading and watching the mainstream media (which you can tell by the points they make whenever they’re getting interviewed), they’ve stayed behind the curve with many of these developing stories.
Let’s take a quick glance at the best and worst teams ATS so far this season…as they represent the biggest misreads from the legal betting markets.
BEST ATS TEAMS IN THE NBA (thru Monday Night)
The Suns were supposed to be one of the teams “tanking” all season so they would have a shot to win the draft lottery next year. Instead, they enter tonight’s game in Portland LEADING the Pacific division ahead of the LA Clippers and Golden State! They’re 5-2 straight up, and unblemished against market prices (though it’s possible some bettors lost the game that pushed depending on their personal line). This is a team that’s come out playing very tough defense on one side of the court, while moving the ball intelligently on the other. They’re probably not as good as the early math suggests. It’s common for teams who bring passion to early action to impress against opponents who are pacing themselves for the long haul. Still, This is MUCH better than anyone was expecting. Handicappers who noticed that improved defense early have been able to churn out a nice profit.
Here’s another example of a team that was supposed to be hopeless. They had “D-League talent” and a college coach who would take awhile to adjust to the pro game. Brains and effort can go a long way even if you don’t have any All-Stars on your team. What was supposed to be a train wreck of a team is 4-4 straight up heading into tonight’s game with Charlotte. NOBODY in Boston (except maybe the young hotshot head coach) saw this coming.
Indiana was supposed to be good. So, quality play isn’t a surprise. What IS a surprise was the dominance they’ve achieved so far. Statheads are showing the Pacers as the best team in the NBA right now…performing at a level that only truly great rosters can accomplish. Is Miami in danger in the East? Oddsmakers need to start treating the Pacers like they’re the new Miami.
It’s easy to forget how good Minnesota is when everyone’s healthy. That’s happened so rarely in recent seasons. Right now, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio are on the floor together. And, other pieces are fitting in very nicely. The Timberwolves are going to be a nice sleeper in the loaded West if they can keep their stars off the injured list.
WORST ATS TEAMS IN THE NBA (thru Monday Night)
Kyrie Irving gets so much media run as an individual star that his team is prone to get overrated as a result. He’s been subpar in the first two weeks…and the team as a whole has been fairly dormant on offense. The Cavs are also 2-6 to the Under…which makes it clear that a lack of scoring is fueling that poor ATS record.
Wow…this team closed so well last year that it was assumed they’d be a real threat in the West. It’s not happening so far. Veterans are playing at three-quarter speed. Newcomers are having their weaknesses exposed. And, the early schedule didn’t do them many favors. Hey, it’s a long season…and this team is likely to peak late. A tough division with improved Dallas and New Orleans won’t allow for much margin for error.
Here’s a case where a team expected to be horrible is even WORSE than expected! Here’s your D-League team…thus far doing a very bad job of disguising how much they want to lose in advance of next year’s draft. Oddsmakers misread the intent of a few teams…then was slow to fully realize how far things had fallen with the Jazz.
A team of head cases has a new head coach who doesn’t have much patience for head cases. That’s either going to lead to an implosion…or a new attitude that launches the team toward respectability. So far, it’s been an implosion. It’s as if the individuals on this team are only in uniform to compile personal stats.
They started slow last year, because there’s no price for being the best team in November and December. Oddsmakers can find it tough to properly price a team that purposely plays below its talent level to pace itself for the long haul.
There’s a lot going on right now in the world of sports. Don’t lose sight of potential profits in the NBA just because college football is racing toward the BCS…pro football is racing toward the playoffs…and college basketball has frontloaded its schedule for maximum media impact. Make money wherever oddsmakers are giving it away!
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Our big game previews for football resume Thursday. Here’s the upcoming schedule:
Thursday: Indianapolis at Tennessee on the NFL Network
Friday: Early look at Georgia at Auburn
Saturday: Stanford at USC in a prime time game with potential BCS ramifications
Sunday: Green Bay at the NY Giants on NBC
Monday: New England at Carolina in a blockbuster edition of MNF on ESPN
You’re going to watch all the big games every night. Be sure you GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!