Oct 26 NBA Action: Chicago Bulls @ Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets @ Chicago Bulls +10.5 (-105)
The Bulls (narrowly) managed to knock off the visiting Hornets Wednesday night, collecting the straight-up and against-the-spread wins as a 4.5 point underdog. These teams will re-match this afternoon, in Charlotte this time. The pros in Vegas are expecting the Hornets to exact revenge in a decided fashion, as the betting line was initially set at Hornets -8. Further, with a mere hours to go before tip-off, the spread has crept up to 10.5, implying that bettors are becoming more emboldened in their support of the home team.
Contrarily, we are scratching our head over the line change, as objective power rankings, for instance from The Action Network's (shown below) or FiveThirtyEight, estimate this game is much tighter than a double-digit affair:
Given what we perceive as a mis-priced line, we are content to take the "value" and back the road dogs to cover.
Consistent with our thinking, we note that double-digit home favorites on two-game skids have been a great fade during the first three calendar months of the season. This strategy has delivered an ROI of better than 15% since 2006.
In addition to empirical evidence to the effect that tonight's contest marks a tough spot for the Hornets, history also suggests the Bulls are in a favorable position this evening. Teams with a cover rate no better than 50%, a straight-up win rate of 25% or worse and backed by 50% or less of spread wagers are 65-53-2 ATS (55% cover rate, 7% ROI) since 2005 following a straight up win.
The cover rate and return on investment improve when considering only games fitting these criteria that took place between October and December: