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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2020 NBA Action: Fading Two New Year's Day Home Favorites

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Backing Suns +4, Hawks +6 for Holiday Covers

We have observed that early in the regular NBA season, betting against home teams off one or more consecutive ATS losses that are laying more than a bucket outside their division has been good for a 9% long term return on investment since 2005.

We theorize that the success of this system is attributable 1) to the betting public's over-optimism, which tends to manifest as a bias toward favorites, and 2) to a short-term momentum effect, a theory that is finding increasing empirical support (see here or here for examples).

This system delivered losses in only five of the 15 prior completed NBA seasons, and is 6-4 ATS so far this year.

Fitting this system, the Nuggets (Northwest) are off a loss to the Kings Tuesday, and are slated to face the Suns (Pacific) today. At 1-3 SU/ATS, Denver appears a far cry from the contenders of 2019-20 (to wit, about this time last season FiveThirtyEight's models gave the Nuggets a better chance of hosting the Larry O'Brien trophy than the Lakers!).

On the other hand, Phoenx is 4-1 SU/ATS and riding three-game win and thecover streaks.

Additionally, the Nets (Atlantic) beat the Hawks (Southeast) by four points Wednesday, but fell short of collecting the cover as 5.5 point favorites. This ATS let-down marked the third consecutive loss versus the number for KD and Kyrie and crew.

In addition to finding reason to fade the Nuggets and Nets, we have also identified a history-based rationale for backing Phoenix and Atlanta for the road covers.

Teams that failed to make the playoffs, then opened the next season with at least a 75% win rate have proven strong bets taking points from former playoff teams outside their division.

This system has been good for a 9% long term return back to 2005 and is 6-2 ATS this season-to-date.

Here again, we expect the a misguided predilection toward favorites (and last year's darlings) results in skewed lines, creating value for objective bettors.

Happy betting!!

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