NBA betting trends: Underdogs are off to a sizzling start

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January 7th, 2021

We've completed two weeks of the NBA season and now have a strong set of data to determine trends.

Let's break down the latest metrics from around the league and determine which trends you should take advantage as the 2020-21 NBA season continues.

Dogs have bite to their bark

Underdogs are off to a hot start in this NBA season. Currently, the underdog is an astounding 62-43 ATS for the season. That is a 59% winning percentage. If you wagered $100 on every underdog against the spread this season, you would be up $1,470.

Some teams that have been especially good this season as underdogs include the Boston Celtics (4-1 ATS), Chicago Bulls (6-3 ATS), Atlanta Hawks (3-0 ATS), San Antonio Spurs (5-2 ATS), Sacramento Kings (3-1 ATS), and Indiana Pacers (2-0 ATS).

The altitude advantage is real

Denver's mile-high home court advantage is real, and it's worth paying attention to. Since 2004, teams playing the second game of a back-to-back in any scenario have covered 50% of the time. However, when teams have played the second game of a back-to-back in Denver, the Nuggets have covered the spread at a 55% rate (154-124-9 ATS).

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Fade the public

When betting the NBA, look for big line movement. There are several factors that can move a line, but when the factor is because the public is betting heavy on one side, fade that side! Since 2004, when the spread moves by at least 2 points and less than 31% of the bets are on a side, the side with the lower amount of bets has won 58% of the time (268-198-8 ATS).

Thus far, this season, when the team gets less than 31% of the public bets against the spread, that team is 12-6 ATS. Continue to fade the public and continue to rake in the cash.

Road teams have been money

In a normal season, you would expect home court advantage to have a major impact. Typically, that is reflective in the lines. However, due to COVID-19, there are little to no fans at home arenas currently. This has shown to be an impact to the betting world as road teams are currently 65-51 ATS on the season.

Some of the worst teams against the spread at home include the Atlanta Hawks (0-4 ATS), Washington Wizards (0-4 ATS), Portland Trailblazers (0-3 ATS), and Denver Nuggets (1-4 ATS). Some of the best teams against the spread on the road include the Atlanta Hawks (4-0 ATS), Washington Wizards (4-0 ATS), Los Angeles Clippers (4-1 ATS), Chicago Bulls (4-1 ATS), Orlando Magic (3-0 ATS), and San Antonio Spurs (3-0 ATS).

Phoenix heat continues into the winter

The hottest team in the bubble and the only team to go undefeated, the Phoenix Suns are still red-hot. The Suns are 6-2 overall, but also 6-2 ATS. This includes wins over last year's playoff teams, Dallas, Utah, Denver, and Toronto. Their only two losses came to the Clippers and the Kings by a combined eight points.

Another interesting trend with the Suns has been their impact on total wagers. Games involving the Suns went Under in the first six games of the season. The last two games, oddsmakers made the total below 220 points and the Over hit in both.