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Nov 2 NBA Action: Houston Rockets @ Brooklyn Nets

- Photo credit - Kathy Willens, AP


Houston Rockets -3 (-110) @ Brooklyn Nets

Through the first six games of the season, the Rockets are a mere shadow of the team that gave the Warriors everything they could handle in last year's Western Conference Finals (until Chris Paul injured his hamstring, ending his season and letting the defending champs off the hook). Houston is off to a 1-5 SU/ATS this year, and their last win/cover came five games ago.

Given that the Rockets have so far only faced (mostly playoff caliber) teams from the tougher Western Conference, a trip East might be just what the doctor ordered.


Season-to-date record on

published ATS & O/U

picks: 11-8-1 (58%)


Basketball Reference's SRS (Simple Rating System) estimates that, on average, Eastern Conference teams are about a point worse than the West, lending some weight to the thesis that the Rockets' load will be more bearable tonight, in the east.

But data from BetLabs Sports adds definitive credence to this premise. Since 2005, Western Conference teams on four-game losing streaks have, in fact, been good bets when traveling east for their next out.

This system is 12-9 ATS through the first 21 games of each season. Or, when the Western Conference team also failed to cover the last four games, the framework is 26-18 ATS.

As a cautionary note, this approach has not been particularly predictive when the team is the favorite. However, a different (also highly effective) system that likewise backs the Rockets cover this evening does require the road team to lay points. This second layer of validation fortifies our conviction.

Road favorites that made last season's playoffs and that are coming off a three-game home stint have been good for a 12% ROI since 2005 (we identified the following set of criteria ahead of the Halloween day Spurs @ Suns game).

We found variations of this pattern to be similarly profitable, including limiting the examination period to the first quarter of each season, or looking solely at situations where quality road favs faced teams that did not make last year's playoffs.

Happy betting!!

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