NBA Spread Betting Strategies

Updated: 139 Basketball

In this NBA betting systems blog, we are going to focus on spread betting, whether it is with the spread or against the spread, we are going to look for profitable betting strategies.

NBA Spread Betting Strategies
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

What is NBA Spread Betting?

Probably one of the most popular markets in US sports betting is spread betting when the sportsbooks attempt to even the playing field between the two NBA teams.

The favorite in the game will be given a deficit (-) to overcome whilst the underdog will be given a headstart (+) to defend.

For example, the Celtics are hosting the 76ers, the Celtics are favorites and have been set a handicap of -5 which means the 76ers handicap would be +5 as the numbers are always the same.

This means that the Celtics must win by 6 or more points for them to be successful whilst the 76ers can afford to lose by no more than 4 points to be successful, should the Celtics win by 5 points then the market is a Push and stakes are refunded.

Below we are going to look at the spread betting statistics broken down by season and then look at which teams to follow for this market.

Once you have read this blog then we have other NBA strategy blogs that may be of interest to you also to help you become an expert NBA handicapper.

Statistics by Season

Here are the season-by-season statistics for how many times the games went in favor of with the spread (WTS) or against the spread (ATS).

NBA - With The Spread

Betting 'With the Spread' means that you are siding with the favorites, you are wagering on them to cover the spread and win the wager, this is a favored wager with favorite backers who believe the team can cover the spread as the odds will be better than the moneyline odds.

For example, if you back the Celtics with a -5 handicap, that means that the Celtics would need to win the game by at least 6 points for the wager to be successful.

Top 5 Most Successful WTS NBA Teams

Twelve of the thirty teams have a success rate of 50%+ with the spread, the top ten all have a success rate of 51%+ with nine of those showing a profit, and the other twenty-one all showing a loss.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies - 110-87-2 (55.28%)
  2. New York Knicks - 71-56-2 (55.04%)
  3. Los Angeles Clippers - 141-115-1 (54.86%)
  4. Chicago Bulls - 77-63-2 (54.23%)
  5. Milwaukee Bucks - 183-151-6 (53.82%)

Most Profitable WTS NBA Teams

Only three NBA teams show a profit of over $100 when backing them with the spread over the past five seasons, the Bucks are only the fifth most successful team but show the best profit which is $155.30.

All three teams that show an overall profit of over $100 show a profit both at home and also on the road and are the only three teams in the league to achieve this.

  • $155.30 - Bucks (Overall)
  • $133.10 - Clippers (Overall)
  • $131.00 - Grizzlies (Overall)

NBA - Against The Spread

When you are backing 'Against the Spread' it means you are backing the underdog with the positive headstart that the sportsbooks have given them.

An example of this would be backing the 76ers with a +5 handicap, if the game finishes with the 76ers not losing by more than 4 points the wager would be successful, so they can lose the game and your wager is still successful!

Top 5 Most Successful ATS NBA Teams

The Celtics are the most successful team when ATS with an impressive 61.29% success rate whilst the Jazz return a win rate of 60.82%, those two are clear of the rest with the next best being only 55.51%.

Twelve of the thirty teams have a success rate of 50%+ ATS, and fourteen teams for home-only games with the Jazz having the best success rate at home which is 73.91%.

  1. Boston Celtics - 57-35-1 (61.29%)
  2. Utah Jazz - 59-35-3 (60.82%)
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder - 146-110-7 (55.51%)
  4. Brooklyn Nets - 98-80-2 (54.44%)
  5. Dallas Mavericks - 85-69-4 (53.80%)

Most Profitable ATS NBA Teams

The Thunder and Jazz both show good profits, the Thunder on the road where they have covered the spread in 94 of their 154 road games while the Dogs for a profit of $295.40.

The Jazz overall show a profit of $186.90 covering the spread in 59 of their 97 games when dogs, $94.70 of that at home, and the other $92.20 on the road.

  • $295.40 - Thunder (Road Only)
  • $186.90 - Jazz (Overall)
  • $168.70 - Celtics (Overall)
  • $122.20 - Grizzlies (Home Only)

*Statistics only include regular season games, the home team is the official team listed as hosting, and closing lines are used in the figures for seasons from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with theoretical odds of -110 for both under/over, and all profits are shown to $10 wagers.

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