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|by Bobby Smith
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FEBRUARY, 2019:NBA PARADIGM SHIFT: Big Favorites = Big Profit. You would not think that the success rate for NBA favorites in a certain pointspread range would jump from a five-season historical rate of only 45.5%, all the way up to 64.2% in the current 2018-19 season, would you? However, it is true. What is more surprising is that the particular range of favorites is, very simply, the largest favorites. This season, as the NBA heads into the All-Star break, favorites of -12 or more are 43-24-2 ATS, according to our records. From the 2013-14 thru 2016-17 seasons, NBA favorites in that range won at the above-mentioned rate, a serious losing proposition. However, the wheel began to turn last year, when favorites of -12 or more were 73-61 ATS, 54.8%. Big chalk has continued that momentum this season, rolling upwards by another 10 percentage points!
Why? Although the NBA, like the NFL, is supposedly set up for parity, the worst teams have not taken advantage. They are poorly managed, at least as far as winning games and being competitive are concerned. Lots of teams are making plenty of money while losing. The franchises not making a ton of money are probably generating nice tax write-offs for their owners. Won-loss records are often secondary to the bottom line, which fans and bettors are not looking at, but owners are.
While only a handful of teams account for the majority of -12 or more instances, a second tier of them have handled the role well. You have Golden State 7-4 ATS, Denver 5-1 ATS, Boston 4-1 ATS, Oklahoma City 4-2 ATS, Houston 3-1 ATS in the role for the majority of the action. But Utah is 3-0 ATS, Portland 2-0 ATS laying -12 or more. The Clippers, Lakers, Pelicans and Wizards are all 1-0 ATS. Were it not for the fact that Toronto (1-5 ATS) and Indiana (1-3 ATS) are still conforming to the old rules for the biggest NBA Favorites, the success rate would be better than 70%! MORE