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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 12/23/15

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NBA Handicapping: Best and Worst Betting Teams after a Loss
by George Monroy

The NBA season can turn into a grind, particularly in the dog days of December and January when all eyes are focused on the football world. However, finding teams that display a bit of grit in the face of adversity can be a great way to make a profit before the season picks up steam in February and March. Let’s take a closer look at the best and worst NBA ATS teams after a loss and figure out the smartest way to wager on each squad.

San Antonio Spurs : 5-0 ATS after a SU loss

Margin of victory: +20.8

San Antonio is on pace for a 67-win season, yet the team can hardly get mentioned around the NBA world. Coach Gregg Popovich, however, has his squad clicking on all cylinders and dominating the NBA in the most under-the-radar fashion possible. San Antonio currently has a 5-0 ATS record after suffering a straight up loss and manages to win those games by a whopping 20 points per game. Popovich is notorious for his attention to detail and his obsession with playing perfect basketball, which allows San Antonio to come back hard after a loss. Expect this trend to continue.

Dallas Mavericks : 9-3 ATS

MOV: +3.2

Dallas is barely staying above the .500 mark with a 15-12 SU record at the moment, but where the veteran team continues to excel is after a loss. Overall, the Mavericks are only 7-8 ATS in other situations, but they cover lines after a loss at a 75-percent rate, which is a spectacular number for bettors. Similar to San Antonio, Dallas is a well-coached veteran squad that can learn from a loss and execute the next time the group steps on the court. The Mavericks haven’t dominated games by any stretch, but they are good enough to win by an average of 3.2 points per game. This is another trend that could continue.

Utah Jazz : 9-4 ATS

MOV: -0.6

Utah isn’t the typical team that a bettor would expect to excel in this situation-the squad is 11-14 SU-but for some reason they do. I am not going to pretend to understand all the reasons behind this trend–even though the team is loaded with young talent that may mature into something solid over the next few years-but the first thing that comes to mind is defense. The Jazz give up the second-fewest total points in the NBA and they play with a sense of urgency on the defensive end. Keep an eye on this trend, because Utah might just be a solid betting option.

The Worst

Oklahoma City : 2-7 ATS

MOV: +5.9

Oklahoma City being on the bottom side of this list is a bit shocking. The Thunder still employ one of the best one-two punches in the entire NBA, but they are barely on pace to win 50 games this season, which for that team is quite low. OKC has been a disappointing ATS team in just about every category, and the Western Conference contender has managed to cover only 44 percent of its game this season. In general, Kevin Durant and company win games SU after a loss but simply do not cover the spread (which has averaged 6.6 points in those situations). Stay away from OKC after a loss because this trend will probably continue.

Minnesota Timberwolves : 4-11-1 ATS

MOV: -3.3

Minnesota has a roster loaded with talent, and it should probably be much better than its 11-16 SU record, but that is the reality for a young and inexperienced team. Andrew Wiggins might turn into an NBA star, and Ricky Rubio is always fun to watch, but the team just does not cover many spreads. The Timberwolves are still young, inexperienced and do not have a coach to counteract those deficiencies. Skip the Timberwolves after a loss because things may only get worse as the year wears on.