Five to Avoid Against the Spread

Charlotte's woes have translated from the basketball court to the betting book, as the Bobcats struggle to cover the spread this season.

As the halfway point of the NBA season looms ever closer, has taken an inside look and come up with the five teams bettors should avoid like the plague. Whilst some of these teams have fared well straight up, and others are on the verge of sending fans packing for good, all of these sides are a dud when it comes to covering the spread. Read on, then avoid!

Charlotte Hornets

After a relatively hot start to the season, Charlotte (9-26) has returned to ways of old, stinking the joint out on a nightly basis. Since starting the season 7-5, the Bobcats have won just two from 21, a streak that included an impressive – for all the wrong reasons – 18-game losing streak.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the league’s third worst team  – only Washington and Cleveland come up short of the Wizards – is the most futile side against the spread. Charlotte is 12-22-1 ATS this season, a record that equates to a paltry 35 percent success rate. Undoubtedly, this is the worst side in the league for bettors to back, and if you’re considering marking that particular box, you might want to question your own sanity.

Los Angeles Lakers

The woes and struggles of the Los Angeles Lakers (15-21) are never far away. From the back pages to news broadcasts, from websites to the barber shop, there’s just no getting away from the inadequacies of the latest NBA ‘Super Team’.

As well as being the biggest disappointment in the league this season – mitigating circumstances or not – the Lakers are the bane of bettors’ lives at the moment. Whilst most continually expect the purple and gold side to eventually pull out a win, the Lakers – in the midst of a six-game losing streak – not only continue to lose, but they get pillaged on the spread also.

The Lakers have compiled a miserable 14-22-0 ATS record this season, and are at a stage where avoidance is a bettor’s best friend.

Chicago Bulls

Without star point guard Derrick Rose, Chicago (20-14) has somehow managed to keep the wheels on the Bulls bus and continues to contend for a top four finish in the Eastern Conference. That top four finish could easily turn into a top two finish when Rose finally makes it back.

But despite the success on the hardwood, the Bulls are a dud against the spread. Tim Thibodeau’s side has amassed a 13-20-1 ATS record, the third worst of its kind in the league.

This one could be on the bookies though. The Bulls opened the season with 18/1 odds of winning the NBA title, a figure that ranked the side sixth in the league. That’s some high expectations for a side without an important piece. Perhaps bookmakers are putting too much on the Bulls? Alternatively, the ultra-defensive Bulls are keeping it close but winning out, a combination worth avoiding on your daily bet.

Phoenix Suns

Terrible on the court, terrible on the book. Phoenix (12-26) has struggled this season in the wake of Steve Nash’s (unsuccessful-so-far) departure for Hollywood. Not a pretty side to watch, bettors are warned off a Suns team that is 15-22-1 ATS.

Philadelphia 76ers

If Dwight Howard’s arrival in Los Angeles has been less than stellar, then Andrew Bynum’s entrance into the City of Brotherly Love has been a disaster of such epic proportions that FEMA ought to be called in. Bynum has yet to play a game for Philadelphia (15-22), and at this rate, he could well be a free agent before he does.

The Sixers have taken a hit on the floor. Losers of 13 of the last 16, Doug Collins’ side has slumped down the NBA ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. A 15-22-0 ATS record should be enough to propel bettors away from the Pennsylvania team in favor of, well, somebody better.

Surprise, Surprise…

We all know how poorly Washington (5-28) has played this season, but the D.C. side is actually a fairly smart bet when it comes to the point spread. The Wizards are currently 18-14-1 ATS, which ranks the side No. 8 in the league. With John Wall scheduled to return on Saturday, you might want to reconsider bagging on the Wizards so much, at least in terms of the spread.

Another surprise side scratching its way into the top 10 is New Orleans (11-25). Despite having the fourth worst straight up record in the league, the Hornets have tallied a 19-16-1 ATS record. This is another side not to be dismissed quite so quickly.

At the other end of the spectrum, Miami (23-11) may be leading the Eastern Conference, but Eric Spoelstra’s side is a near-bust when it comes to the spread. The Heat has put together a 16-18 ATS record, enough to rank No. 20 in the league. LeBron and Co.’s inadequacies are on Sportscenter nightly, yet bettors are still to bail on the side. It might be time to do exactly that, at least in terms of spread betting.

Not so surprisingly…

The three best teams in the league at covering the spread rank in the top four straight up. Memphis (24-10) is the best team at covering the spread (21-11-2 ATS), followed by Oklahoma City (28-8 SU, 22-13-1 ATS) and the Los Angeles Clippers (28-8 SU, 22-14-0 ATS).

Against the Spread Standings (End of play, Jan. 11)

  1. Memphis Grizzlies (21-11-2)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder (22-13-1)
  3. Los Angeles Clippers (22-14-0)
  4. Golden State Warriors (20-14-1)
  5. Houston Rockets (21-15-1)
  6. Denver Nuggets (22-16-0)
  7. San Antonio Spurs (22-16-1)
  8. Washington Wizards (18-14-1)
  9. New Orleans Hornets (19-16-1)
  10. Orlando Magic (18-16-1)
  11. New York Knicks (19-17-0)
  12. Toronto Raptors (19-17-0)
  13. Indiana Pacers (19-17-0)
  14. Minnesota Timberwolves (17-16-0)
  15. Milwaukee Bucks (17-17-1)
  16. Utah Jazz (18-19-1)
  17. Brooklyn Nets (17-18-1)
  18. Portland Trailblazers (17-18-1)
  19. Dallas Mavericks (17-19-1)
  20. Miami Heat (16-18-0)
  21. Detroit Pistons (17-20-0)
  22. Sacramento Kings (16-19-1)
  23. Cleveland Cavaliers (17-21-0)
  24. Boston Celtics (14-19-3)
  25. Atlanta Hawks (14-20-1)
  26. Philadelphia 76ers (15-22-0)
  27. Phoenix Suns (15-22-1)
  28. Chicago Bulls (13-20-1)
  29. Los Angeles Lakers (14-22-0)
  30. Charlotte Bobcats (12-22-1)
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