Finding the Value in the Current NBA Betting Lines

Every time a month comes to an end in a sport with a season as long as the NBA, it is a good time to take a closer look at the current betting trends as well as the futures odds for the league as a whole. Betting opportunities quickly come and go in this world and you could be leaving some serious cash on the table if you are not dealing with “real time” information when it comes to betting on the games.

It is no big surprise that the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and the vanquished 2015 champion Golden State Warriors in the West are at the top of the standings after one month of play. I would get used to it because it is highly unlikely that things are going to change over the next fourth months of the regular season.

The problem with a sports league that has 30 teams but only two dominant powers is that the oddsmakers can stack the betting lines against both of them because they already know that the betting public will still gravitate towards betting on big favorites all season long. The Cavaliers are 13-3 straight-up through their first 16 games, but when it comes to covering the closing spread they fall to 6-9-1. They have closed as double-digit favorites in six games so far with a 2-4 record ATS. The Warriors have the best SU record in the NBA right now at 16-2 through their first 18 games, but they are just 9-8-1 ATS. Looking back at Golden State’s betting trends, it is an even 6-6 ATS in 12 games when it closes as a double-digit favorite. Betting either team on a regular basis is a crap shoot at best, but the books will keep padding the lines to get you to take the bait.

The NBA teams that you really want to focus your attention on right now are the ones drawing soft lines for one reason or another. The expectation level for the Chicago Bulls was set pretty low when Derrick Rose left town to go play for the New York Knicks, but through their first 16 games they are a respectable 10-6 SU with a profitable 11-5 record ATS. If this team continues to improve as the season wears on you can count on those soft lines getting razor sharp, but that could still take some time.

The New Orleans Pelicans got off to a dreadful 0-8 start SU while going 2-6 ATS, but behind the NBA’s top scorer Anthony Davis, they have turned things around with SU 5-3 record in their last eight games while going 6-2-1 ATS, This is another team to jump on now before these betting lines start to tighten up.

A good example of how things can quickly turn around when it comes to oddsmakers adjusting their lines would be the Los Angeles Lakers’ early season results. They jumped out of the gate with six SU wins in their first 10 games and their record ATS during this same span was 8-2. Going back over the Lakers’ last nine games, they have won three games SU while going 2-6-1 ATS.

Like I mentioned, the NBA is a long season that needs to be broken down into much smaller increments to get a true picture of what is going on at any given time. The best teams in the league will continue to win the majority of their games SU, but that does not always translate to wins at the betting window. You want to focus your attention on the teams that can draw the soft lines while staying way under the radar in the betting public’s eye. These runs do not last forever, but you can make some serious money if you are along for the ride at just the right time.