The NBA went through an unexpected betting phenomenon that dates back to last February’s All-Star game. But from what I was able to decipher on Twitter, not many bettors are aware of it.
The circumstances of the pandemic, the load management, the careful approach to injuries and the lack of fans in the stands all resulted in a vastly improved performance led by outsiders. Since the NBA returned from the All-Star hiatus on February 20 last year, underdogs have set an overall record of 261-413 and 347-308-14 against the spread.
While these numbers are not leaping, they were good enough to produce 95.2 profit units, a 14.2 percent return on investment for money lines, and an ATS mark of 53 percent. Simply put, if you had played blind underdogs in the past calendar year, you would have a pretty large bankroll. To better understand the importance of this transformation, we need to look at the results of the last few seasons for comparison.
As you can see, Moneyline underdogs haven’t made a profit in any season in the past five years, let alone close to 100 units. I think the recent success of NBA underdogs can be attributed to several factors: COVID-19 pandemic circumstances; Load management strategies; Teams that handle injuries carefully; no fans.
These situations lead to a lack of motivation and chemistry on the pitch. Since these are professional athletes capable of playing at the highest level with only minimal differences in physical talent between teams, preferred teams must usually take advantage of these factors in order to earn and cover points. Any absence of either gives outsiders a much better chance of success. Given the uncertainty in the sports world over the past year, it’s no surprise that even the best teams fight regularly.
Here are some of the recordings of the underdogs in certain situations (as of February 20, 2020) that we want to keep an eye on:
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