5 Sports Picks: Best NBA Bets
Some points to ponder as you plan this week’s hoops action.
- Tillman Fertitta’s happy to be taking bets. Fertitta owns both the Houston Rockets and the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City. Because of his team ownership—deemed a possible conflict of interest—until recently you couldn’t bet the NBA bets at the AC casino. That’s all changed now. You can wager on every team but the Rockets at the Nugget—a big break for bettors.
- The Houston Rockets started the week 0-6 against the spread. Yes, the team is 3-3 in the standings, but in the NBA world order, not all numbers are the same. Many good teams play well enough to win, but underwhelm against the spread, where they might be giving several points. Conversely, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough.
- The New York Knicks are 1-6 in the standings, but 4-3 with the bettors. Bottom-basement teams often receive double-digit points as an incentive for bettors to wager on them. When sub .500 teams play at home, they have a strong chance of covering the spread despite losing outright. We’ll track these numbers throughout the season and note the patterns that emerge.
- There are some correlations between top teams and the ability to cover the spread. The Philadelphia 76ers were 3-1-1 with bettors with a 5-0 start. The Miami Heat is playing well, just behind Philadelphia in the standings, and began as 5-0-1 against the spread.
- Speaking of Philly, the Sixers are in the midst of a four-game road swing, playing the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets this week. They have a chance to stumble in one or two of those games, then return to face the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers, weaker teams they could crush, cover and hit the over against. Overall, this is an important statement-making time of their season. The Sixers are breaking into an elite tier.