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April Fool's NBA Action: Backing Road Teams off Big Losses

Chicago Bulls +3.5 @ NY Knicks

Charlotte Hornets +11.5 @ Utah Jazz

Cleveland Cavaliers +2 @ Phoenix Suns

A highly profitable system on our BetLabsSports-powered dashboard likes the Bulls, Hornets and Cavs to each collect road covers Monday. This approach is based on the idea that traveling teams tend to right the ship (versus the number) after bad losses.

The underlying theory for this approach is that big losses have the dual effect of motivating capable, professional athletes to compete harder next out, while also sapping the public's confidence in the recently embarrassed teams--especially in more hostile, away environments. We expect this combination produces inspired play against easier betting lines, which should culminate in higher cover rates for teams in this position, if we are correct.

Data from BetLabsSports.com indeed supports this premise, as betting on road teams to beat the spread after a loss by at least 15 points has been good for a 2% return on investment (ROI), on a 53% cover rate since 2005. Relevant to today's action, this approach has delivered a much more exciting 15% ROI late in the NBA season, including an 11-1 ATS stint so far this year since game 72.

Consistent with the idea of the Bulls picking up the ATS win Monday, per the following chart, the Knicks have failed to cover their last ten home games by an average margin of greater than a point. Meanwhile, the Bulls' average cover margin is approaching a positive four points over Chicago's last ten away games. This comparison implies a difference in ATS proficiency of late of almost five points in Chicago's favor.

As is also clear from the chart, after the first few games of the season from these positions, the Bulls have consistently been better versus the number on the road than the Knicks have been at home.

While the average coverage differential for Cleveland at Phoenix is not as extreme as the number for Chicago at New York (and, frankly, does not even favor the Cavaliers), we note that the Suns' against the spread performance at home has been substantially more erratic than the Cavs' away showing. As such, we see scope for the Bulls to deliver the cover.

Also in the face of our pick, recent average cover differentials significantly favor the Utah over Charlotte this afternoon. The Jazz have beat the line in their last ten home games by an average margin of a quarter point, while the Hornets failed to cover their last ten road contests by more than 7.5 points, on average. However, the Jazz have proven inconsistent versus the spread at home, as is indicated by their 4-6 ATS mark at Vivint Smart Home Arena since the All-star Break. Utah is also only 6-6 ATS laying double-digits at in their own building this season, so, again, anything is possible tonight.

Happy betting!!

#cavaliers #suns #bulls #knicks #hornets #jazz #nba #nba2018