2019-2020 NBA Regular Season ATS Report

The NBA regular season is in the books, and it’s time to take a look at the trends that occurred this year when it comes to ATS investments. 

Who were the best teams against the spread? Did the trends that we reported midway through the season continue? Read on to find out. 

If you are unfamiliar with how the spread works, have a look at our article on investment methods in sports trading.

Overall regular season ATS records

Let’s begin with the overall records of all 30 NBA teams against the spread this regular season:

Team

ATS Record

Cover %

Okla City

44-28-0

61.1%

Boston

41-27-4

60.3%

Toronto

41-30-1

57.8%

Indiana

40-30-3

57.1%

LA Clippers

41-31-0

56.9%

New York

35-30-1

53.8%

Milwaukee

39-34-0

53.4%

Charlotte

34-30-1

53.1%

Sacramento

37-33-2

52.9%

LA Lakers

36-34-1

51.4%

Dallas

37-35-3

51.4%

Brooklyn

37-35-0

51.4%

Phoenix

37-35-1

51.4%

Miami

36-35-2

50.7%

Memphis

36-36-1

50.0%

New Orleans

35-35-2

50.0%

Orlando

35-36-2

49.3%

Washington

34-36-2

48.6%

Utah

34-36-2

48.6%

Denver

33-36-4

47.8%

Golden State

31-34-0

47.7%

Cleveland

29-34-2

46.0%

Houston

33-39-0

45.8%

Chicago

29-35-1

45.3%

Portland

32-39-3

45.1%

Philadelphia

31-38-4

44.9%

Atlanta

29-36-2

44.6%

San Antonio

30-40-1

42.9%

Detroit

26-39-1

40.0%

Minnesota

23-39-2

37.1%

Oklahoma City have retained their top spot on the list and can now be officially crowned the champions against the spread. Hooray! 

But in our mid-season report, OKC were covering the spread at a 66.7% rate. After that, they went 10-11 (or 47.6%), which brought their overall record down by quite a bit.

The story was similar to the rest of the mid-season leaders as well. Boston’s record fell from 64.6% to 60.3%, while Miami’s plummeted from 59.6% to 50.7% and Dallas felt all the way from 57.5% to 51.4%

In other words, jumping in on these mid-season trends would have ended up in losses for investors.

Home ATS records

Next up, records against the spread in home games:

Team

ATS Record

Cover %

Philadelphia

19-10-2

65.5%

Miami

20-11-1

64.5%

Milwaukee

19-12-0

61.3%

Toronto

19-13-0

59.4%

Atlanta

19-13-2

59.4%

Boston

18-13-1

58.1%

Memphis

19-14-0

57.6%

LA Lakers

17-13-1

56.7%

LA Clippers

18-14-0

56.2%

Washington

18-14-0

56.2%

New York

18-15-0

54.5%

Brooklyn

17-15-0

53.1%

Denver

16-15-2

51.6%

Okla City

17-16-0

51.5%

New Orleans

16-16-0

50.0%

Charlotte

15-15-0

50.0%

Indiana

15-15-2

50.0%

Houston

15-17-0

46.9%

Utah

13-16-2

44.8%

Chicago

15-19-0

44.1%

Portland

13-17-2

43.3%

Dallas

14-19-1

42.4%

Sacramento

12-17-2

41.4%

Golden State

14-20-0

41.2%

Cleveland

14-20-2

41.2%

Detroit

13-19-0

40.6%

Phoenix

13-21-0

38.2%

Orlando

11-19-1

36.7%

San Antonio

10-20-0

33.3%

Minnesota

7-24-1

22.6%

When looking at these records, one should note that the games in the bubble count as neutral-site games and are therefore not a part of these statistics. 

There is a similar trend happening here as well in terms of the ATS records of the leaders of the category. Miami’s record went down from 70.8% to 64.5% from mid-season, while Boston’s also fell significantly from 64.0% to 58.1%.

Interestingly though, Philadelphia’s record climbed up from 59.1% to 65.5% and Milwaukee’s jumped from 53.8% to 61.3%.

Away ATS records

Moving on to ATS records away from home:

Team

ATS Record

Cover %

Okla City

23-8-0

74.2%

Dallas

20-10-2

66.7%

Boston

20-10-2

66.7%

Sacramento

21-12-0

63.6%

Orlando

20-13-1

60.6%

Indiana

19-13-1

59.4%

New Orleans

17-13-2

56.7%

LA Lakers

18-14-0

56.2%

Golden State

17-14-0

54.8%

Charlotte

18-15-1

54.5%

Phoenix

16-14-0

53.3%

LA Clippers

17-15-0

53.1%

New York

17-15-1

53.1%

Cleveland

15-14-0

51.7%

Toronto

16-15-1

51.6%

Minnesota

16-15-1

51.6%

Milwaukee

17-16-0

51.5%

Utah

17-16-0

51.5%

Memphis

15-16-1

48.4%

San Antonio

15-17-0

46.9%

Chicago

14-16-1

46.7%

Washington

14-16-2

46.7%

Brooklyn

14-18-0

43.8%

Houston

14-18-0

43.8%

Denver

13-17-2

43.3%

Portland

14-20-0

41.2%

Detroit

13-19-1

40.6%

Miami

13-19-1

40.6%

Atlanta

10-23-0

30.3%

Philadelphia

9-23-2

28.1%

Again, we are looking at mostly falling numbers for the top teams when comparing to their mid-season records. OKC were at 80.0% and came down to 74.2%, while Dallas’s record came down hard from 76.2% to 66.7%

Once more, investors would be looking at losses if they would have started investing in these mid-season trends.

Top ATS records against division rivals

Next, let’s look at the top ten teams against the spread in intra-division matchups:

Team

ATS Record

Cover %

Milwaukee

10-4-0

71.4%

San Antonio

9-4-0

69.2%

New York

9-4-0

69.2%

Sacramento

9-4-0

69.2%

Okla City

9-4-0

69.2%

Orlando

9-5-0

64.3%

Denver

9-5-0

64.3%

Dallas

9-5-0

64.3%

Washington

8-6-0

57.1%

LA Clippers

8-6-0

57.1%

Earlier in the season, we looked at some of the most profitable short-term ATS trends for the top teams and Milwaukee was a leader of the pack in this table back then as well. But, once more, this proved to be a fading trend, with the Bucks’ record coming down from 80.0% to 71.4%.

Top ATS records against conference rivals

Finally, let’s finish with records against the spread in conference games:

Team

ATS Record

Cover %

Okla City

29-17-0

63.0%

Milwaukee

27-17-0

61.4%

Sacramento

27-18-1

60.0%

LA Lakers

26-19-1

57.8%

Boston

23-17-3

57.5%

Indiana

25-19-3

56.8%

Charlotte

22-17-1

56.4%

LA Clippers

27-21-0

56.2%

Toronto

25-20-0

55.6%

New York

23-19-1

54.8%

Can you guess what happened here? Yep – even though the leaders of the pack have nice cover percentages, those rates were falling from mid-season.

Conclusion

The message is pretty clear here – following up on major trends that occur during a single season can be a difficult endeavor that usually ends up in losses. 

Sure, if an investor would have invested in all of the leaders from each of the categories we covered since the beginning of the season with an equal trade for each game, they would be looking at profits.

But how can one predict a short-term trend before it is already a trend, by the time which the bookmakers are adjusting and all of the suckers in the market are throwing their money at “this hot betting opportunity that you should not miss”? 

In that mid-season ATS report, we talked about some of the aspects that make these types of trends hard to capitalize on:

”NBA rosters often experience a lot of turnover year-to-year, and it might be hard to find relevant team specific patterns that last for a long period of time because of that. And that’s what we’re trying to achieve here at the ScoreMetrics Lab if we want to add something to be a part of our sports investment systems.

Oklahoma City are the ATS kings of this season. Last year they covered the spread in 50.6% of their games, but that doesn’t feel very relevant for assessing how the current trend might continue when they’re fielding a drastically different team. And with OKC looking to rebuild, their squad might be completely different again come next season.”

The investment cases that are worth our time are to be found in more elaborate long-term patterns.

To take advantage of the return of sports and to learn everything you need to know about smart investing in the sports betting market, check out our head trader John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get yours now!

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