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NBA betting: Trail Blazers, Jazz paying early-season dividends

Portland and Utah are a combined 21-6-1 ATS to start the season; Lakers and Heat are both 3-10 ATS

Damian Lillard (right) and the Portland Trail Blazers are an NBA-best 11-2 ATS so far this season, while Caleb Martin (left) and the Miami Heat are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the worst point-spread record at 3-10. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard (right) and the Portland Trail Blazers are an NBA-best 11-2 ATS so far this season, while Caleb Martin (left) and the Miami Heat are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the worst point-spread record at 3-10. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)Read moreMegan Briggs / Getty Images

While you’ve been busy handicapping the World Series, college football and the NFL, the 2022-23 NBA season has been zipping right along. In fact, by the end of this week, several teams already will have completed 20% of their 82-game schedule.

So how do things look from a betting perspective a month into the NBA season? Put it this way: The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz have financed a lot of recent purchases. So, too, has pretty much every opponent the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat have faced.

Of course, Portland and Utah haven’t been the NBA’s only early-season moneymakers. Nor are the Lakers and Heat the only teams sending bettors to the poorhouse.

We explain more in the following NBA betting trends breakdown.

Note: All statistics via Action Network and updated through games played on Nov. 13.

NBA betting: Best ATS teams

Trail Blazers
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The Trail Blazers have played eight of their first 13 games away from home, something that usually spells disaster. Especially for teams projected to finish under .500, as Portland was entering this season.

Well, Damian Lillard and his cast of (mostly) unknown teammates have bucked the proverbial odds, winning six of those eight road games while going 7-1 ATS. Toss in a 4-1 ATS mark at home, and the Blazers find themselves perched atop the NBA point spread standings at 11-2 ATS.

As surprising as Portland has been, the Jazz have been reach-for-the-defibrillator shocking.

During the offseason, Utah general manager Danny Ainge oversaw an everything-must-go fire sale. It included shipping away leading scorer Donovan Mitchell and reigning NBA rebounding king Rudy Gobert (followed by head coach Quinn Snyder walking out the door).

NBA oddsmakers responded with a 25.5 win-total projection for the Jazz, a precipitous drop for a franchise that finished 49-33 last season. And yet, just 15 games into the season, Utah is nearly halfway to its win total with a 10-5 straight-up record.

That record is accompanied by a 10-4-1 ATS mark, which ranks second to Portland. Directly below the Jazz are the Milwaukee Bucks (10-2 SU) and Sacramento Kings (6-6 SU), who are both 9-3 ATS.

As profitable as that quartet of teams has been, none are hotter than the Indiana Pacers right now. Since starting the season 1-4 SU and ATS, the Pacers have won five of seven on the court and cashed in all seven.

The only team within two games of Indiana’s current 7-0 ATS run is Washington, which has covered in five straight.

Other positive NBA betting trends:

  1. The Bucks and Orlando Magic are a league-best 6-1 ATS at home

  2. The Blazers (7-1) and Kings (5-1) are the only teams more than two games over .500 ATS on the road

  3. Milwaukee owns the best mark as a favorite (8-2 ATS)

  4. Cleveland started out 6-0 ATS as a favorite but has failed to cover its last three as a chalk

  5. Portland and Utah are 9-2 ATS as an underdog, while Sacramento is 7-1 ATS as a pup

» READ MORE: Inside Sixers: The aftermath of Joel Embiid’s career night, Matisse Thybulle’s journaling and more

NBA betting: Worst ATS teams

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Unless you’ve been in hibernation, you know the Lakers’ season has gotten off to a disastrous start.

Despite pummeling Kevin Durant and the Kyrie Irving-less Nets, 116-103, at home Sunday, Los Angeles is still just 3-10 SU and ATS. That includes an 0-for-5 SU and ATS effort on the road.

As brutal as the Lakers have been, though, one could argue Miami has been even more disappointing.

After finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, the Heat are under .500 through 13 games (6-7 SU). And they’ve been just as bad of a bet as Los Angeles at 3-10 ATS (including 2-7 ATS at home).

The only other NBA team with as few as three ATS wins is Dallas. The Mavericks got spread-covers in their first four games but are 0-6-1 ATS since. That includes an ongoing 0-6 ATS slide, currently the worst in the league.

Another early-season disappointment: The defending champion Golden State Warriors, who are 5-8 SU and 4-9 ATS. The Warriors have yet to win in seven road games (going 1-6 ATS).

Other negative NBA betting trends:

  1. Miami (2-7), Dallas (1-5-1), Charlotte (1-4-1), Brooklyn (2-5), the Clippers (2-5) and Minnesota (3-6) have the league’s worst ATS marks at home

  2. In addition to the Lakers and Warriors, Orlando (0-5-1), Memphis (1-6-1) and Detroit (1-5-1) have been terrible bets on the road

  3. The Heat are an NBA-worst 3-8 ATS as a favorite

  4. The Lakers (3-8 ATS) and Detroit (4-8-1 ATS) are the biggest money-burners as an underdog

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

NBA betting: Over/Under trends

Dallas ranks fourth in the NBA in team defense (107.2 points allowed per game) and just 20th in in scoring (110.5 points per game). Yet the Mavs have been the most profitable Over team at 8-4.

Six other squads — Atlanta, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Oklahoma City and New Orleans — are right behind Dallas with 8-5 Over marks.

Of that bunch, Boston (5-1), as well as New York, Oklahoma City and Dallas (all 5-2), have trended Over at home. Conversely, New Orleans (6-2) and Atlanta (5-1) have trended Over on the road.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers have been money in the bank for Under bettors. The Clippers have stayed below the total in 11 of 13 games, including seven of the last eight overall, six of seven at home and five of six as a visitor.

Other teams that have trended low this season include Milwaukee (8-4 Under), Portland (8-4-1), and Brooklyn, Chicago and Minnesota (all 9-5). Chicago is 6-2 Under at home, as are the 76ers; Charlotte is 6-1 Under at home; and the Blazers are 6-2 Under on the road.

Other NBA Over/Under trends:

  1. Milwaukee has stayed low in six of its last seven overall

  2. Brooklyn had a seven-game Under streak snapped (barely) in Sunday’s loss at the Lakers

  3. Chicago has fallen short in four straight games and six of seven

  4. Philadelphia and San Antonio are on 4-1 Under runs

  5. Boston is 5-0-1 Over in its last six

  6. The Lakers are 5-1 Over in their last six at home, but 3-1 Under in their last four on the road

  7. Oklahoma City is 7-2 Over in its last nine

76ers playing in the middle of the road

If you’ve been wagering on or against the Philadelphia 76ers all season — or gotten involved with them from an Over/Under standpoint — you’ve been spinning your wheels.

Philadelphia is 7-7 straight-up and ATS overall, including 4-4 ATS at home and 3-3 ATS on the road. The Sixers also own a middling 6-8 Over/Under record.

That said, Philadelphia does have one mini totals trend worth mentioning: It has stayed Under the total in six of eight games as a visitor, while four of its six home contests have gone Over.

Otherwise, there’s nothing trend-worthy of note for the 76ers — at least not yet.

» READ MORE: Joel Embiid’s 59-point game against the Jazz showed his greatness and the Sixers’ familiar shortcomings

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.