NBA Betting Trends to Consider Headed Into February
Sun, Feb 6, 2022
By Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports
With January in the books for all of sports bettors and just the Super Bowl for football, (and no, we are not counting the Pro Bowl as football) we can truly focus our attention on basketball.
Specifically, the NBA since we bypassed the midpoint of the season last month and thoughts of the playoffs start coming into the minds of all the contenders. Keep in mind from a betting perspective, February is the last so-called “pure” month of NBA betting before the oddsmakers at sportsbooks start putting out seemingly outrageous lines. These numbers might be accurate, yet, in many contests, though it is a 50-50 betting proposition, the last thing it feels like is a good wager to make.
Every season has its own flavor and this year, scoring is down roughly four points a game. This is largely due to how the game is being called by the referees, per league request, and how teams are defending the three-point shot. Because the oddsmakers are on top of this, its impact has not been felt in the marketplace.
Nonetheless, there are other elements that those making NBA picks should at least ponder and let’s go over some here.
NBA Best Bets – Play On
Play On: Memphis (34-19 ATS) – Oklahoma City (31-17-1 ATS) – Cleveland (29-18-3 ATS)
Outside of Phoenix and Golden State, Memphis has blazed a trail to move up the NBA leaderboard and is better than anyone in the Eastern Conference and has the third-best record overall. Outside of the Suns and Warriors, the Grizzlies are third in the league when you blend the offensive and defensive efficiency statistics. The Grizz are 17-8 ATS on the road.
Oklahoma City is one of the worst teams in the Association. This means they are catching a lot of big numbers and often, their opponents might take for granted that a victory can be earned without having to play four quarters and the Thunder beat the spread. OKC is 21-8-1 ATS off a spread winner, but we are a little nervous with guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out.
Memphis being this good is surprising but Cleveland as one the top teams in the East, that was unfathomable. The Cavaliers had the makings of an improved roster with Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio, but when both got injured, the Cavs were supposed to go away. That’s when Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and rookie Evan Mobley all took a larger role in production and leadership and Cleveland has not missed a beat. The Cavs are money at 23-11-2 ATS with a day or two of rest.
NBA Best Bets – Play Against
Brooklyn (19-29-1 ATS) – Washington (19-28-1 ATS) – Houston (20-29-1 ATS)
Brooklyn still has among the better records in the East, but with no Kevin Durant for weeks, Kyrie Irving a part-time player (away only) and James Harden rumored to be on the trade block, this feels like the 2006 VH1 TV show 'Supergroup', with Sebastion Bach, Ted Nugent and others that was doomed to failure. The Nets are a worthless 5-19 ATS at home thus far.
Washington was going the wrong direction to close January, which included losing a home game to the Clippers after leading by 35 points. The oddity is they are as healthy as they have been all season, yet, find ways to lose and not cover spreads because their breakdowns come in varied ways. Maybe the Wizards will come up with a magical way to turn their season around, but consider playing against them on the road (7-15-2 ATS).
Houston has the worst record in the Western Conference and only Detroit is beaten worse on a nightly basis, with the Rockets losing by 8.6 points a contest. Houston’s matador defense is last or close to it in most important metrics and the offense ranks in the lower third of the league. Watch for when the Rockets have lost and failed to cover exactly two straight, as they are 2-11 ATS in their next contest.