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Early 2020-2021 NBA Betting Trends: Dogs, Road Teams and Unders cashing

January 14, 2021 12:06 AM

James Harden wanted out of Houston. Yesterday, he got his wish.

In a four-team blockbuster trade that sent shockwaves across the NBA, the Rockets dealt the disgruntled superstar to the Nets, receiving a package of players and four first-round picks in return. Harden now joins former teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, giving Brooklyn a fearsome Big 3 that they hope to ride to the NBA Finals.

The Nets' odds to win the NBA Title immediately skyrocketed following the trade, improving from + 600 to + 300 at BetMGM. This translates to an implied probability jump from 14.3% to 25%. The Nets now have the 2nd-best odds to win the Championship, trailing only the Lakers (+ 250). Brooklyn is now a -145 favorite to win the Atlantic Division and a + 125 favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Harden is + 225 to score at least 60-points in any game with the Nets the rest of the season.

Now we turn our attention to Thursday's betting action, where we have a loaded betting slate with 5 NBA games, 11 NHL games and 35+  College Hoops matchups. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, let's take a moment to look at early betting trends for the young NBA season...

Dogs Barking

We just went through an NFL season where dogs went 55.2% ATS. So far, this dog trend has continued in the NBA. Through 164 games, NBA dogs are 95-71 ATS (57.2%). Road dogs have been especially profitable, going 58-35 ATS (62.4%). Road dogs with inflated lines of at least 1-point have gone 18-9 ATS (67%). Think of a road team going from + 5 to + 6, or + 10 to + 11.5. These are unique contrarian betting opportunities where typically the public is loading up on the home favorite, providing added value in the form of extra points for the road dog.

No Home Court Advantage

One of the biggest changes this NBA season is the lack of fans in the stands due to COVID-19 precautions. Without a supportive home crowd to cheer you on (or intimidate the visiting team), home teams have struggled to cover numbers this season. Road teams are 92-72 ATS (56.1%).

Unders Cashing

The public is psychologically biased toward betting overs. After all, it's much more fun to root for points. No one wants to sweat a boring, low scoring game. The oddsmakers know this and will sometimes shade the total to the over. This typically creates value to back unders. This has been especially true so far this season, as Unders have gone 91-75 (54.8%).

Best ATS teams

Bulls 8-3 ATS

Pacers 7-4 ATS

Suns 7-4 ATS

Spurs 7-4 ATS

Mavs 6-4 ATS

Celtics 6-4 ATS

Worst ATS teams

Nuggets 3-8 ATS

Raptors 3-7 ATS

Rockets 3-6 ATS

Best Over teams

Nuggets 9-2

Wizards 8-3

Kings 8-4

Bulls 7-4

Nets 8-5

Bucks 7-5

Clippers 7-5

Best Under teams

Cavs 10-2

Hawks 8-2

Hornets 9-3

Knicks 9-3

Lakers 9-4

Mavs 7-3

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