One thing Sports Handicappers do when preparing for an upcoming season is look at which teams made money last year and if that cash can continue. With the 2019-20 NBA schedule set to tip off later this month, basketball bettors will be sizing up these sportsbook successes. But can they do it again? We grade the best bets from the 2018-29 NBA season and if it will happen again:
Best ATS team: Milwaukee Bucks 47-31-4 ATS
With Kawhi Leonard leaving Toronto for Los Angeles, the Bucks are the hands-down favorite to win the Eastern Conference again this upcoming season. Giannis Antetokounmpo brings a lot of hype to Wisconsin as well, after winning the league MVP. The Bucks added some scoring around the Greek Freak and Milwaukee is still one of the better defensive teams in the Association, but books may bad their lines just enough – and the public may pound them – to erase the profits from this team most nights. Milwaukee was very strong as a road bet last season, going 28-18-2 ATS, so that’s where bettors may want to stay, when the Bucks aren’t as big a fave in the role of visitor.
Worst ATS team: New York Knicks 32-49-1 ATS
The Knicks were a disaster in 2018-19, losing 65 games and covering the spread at a mere 39.5% despite getting a pile of points from the bookies each and every night. New York may have a promising prospect in R.J. Barrett but the franchise struck out in free agency and didn’t add enough to change their fortunes for the upcoming season. The Knicks play in a very competitive Atlantic Division and won’t catch many breaks throughout the season. New York is a play against option most nights, especially if injuries start taking a toll on this talent-thin roster.
Best Over bet: Washington Wizards 50-32 Over/Under
The Wizards have been a blind-betting money maker for Over fans in recent years. Washington topped the total in more than 60% of its games last year, finished with a 58-35-2 Over/Under count in 2016-17 – a 62% winner for the Over. With John Wall and Bradley Beal headlining the backcourt and the Wizards looking at defense as more of a suggestion – allowing 117 points against per game last year – Washington was an automatic Over bet, But Wall is out of action for the entire season, due to an Achilles injury, and the Wizards will struggle to replace his numbers. The fun time is over for the Over in DC this season.
Best Under bet: Los Angeles Lakers 30-49-1 Over/Under
The Lakers success for the Under was more of a result of a lack of scoring support for LeBron James than the team’s defensive prowess. Los Angeles allowed 113.5 points per game – 21st in the NBA – while countering that with just under 112 points for. This season, James has Anthony Davis on board, giving the Lakers two of the premier defenders in the league. Los Angeles filled the gaps around those two superstars with some veteran talent and outside shooting, but could very well remain a solid Under play especially when matched up against the top teams in the Western Conference.