The NBA season is about a month and a half old and already trends are starting to develop when it comes to the nightly pointspreads. Underdogs are a profitable play, covering the spread 54 percent of the time, but which dogs bark the loudest? Here are the best NBA underdog wagers and what’s behind those profitable pups before you do some sport handicapping:
Toronto Raptors (8-1 ATS as an underdog)
The Raptors are among the top of the class in the Eastern Conference, which isn’t actually saying much. Toronto rules a weak Atlantic Division with a 13-9 record as of Tuesday and has covered in 14 of those 22 games.
Where the Raptors have really done damage is on the road, where they’ve gone 9-4 ATS including a 6-1 ATS mark when getting the points away from home. Toronto scores just 97.9 points per road game – nearly seven points less than at home – but limits host opponents to only 95.2 points against, which ranks fourth lowest in the league.
Utah Jazz (7-1 ATS as an underdog)
The Jazz have long been the punching bag in the Western Conference and when you’re playing against the top-tier teams in the NBA night in and night out, you’re going to get your share of points on the spread. Utah has picked up all but two of those underdog paydays on the road, where it’s 5-1 ATS as a pup.
The Jazz play a methodical offensive pace, which ranks slowest in the NBA, and that limits the amount of time opponents have with the basketball – panning out into a third-ranked defense giving up just below 96 points an outing. Favorites can’t cover if they can’t score points, right?
Indiana Pacers (7-2 ATS as an underdog)
The cat is already out of the bag on the Pacers, who are hot on the heels of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central Division standings. Indiana, despite back-to-back road losses to Utah and Portland (both as road favorites), has won seven of its last 10 and just two of those came as underdogs.
The Pacers have covered in seven straight when getting the points, but that value may be drying up as the betting public gets wise. Indiana was a 6-point pup at home to Golden State Tuesday, one of the rare times bettors will find the Pacers getting points in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.