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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

April 26th NBA Action: Ample Context Supporting Lakers Cover at Magic

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Season-to-date record: 81-75-2, 52%

Backing Lakers to snap three-game SU/ATS skid at lowly Magic

The 35-25 Lakers have lost three in a row, including the first two games of Anthony Davis' return. The 18-42 Magic have dropped five straight and are 1-11 in their last dozen. We observe a couple of distinct history-driven systems that highlight the Lakers to beat the number as double-digit favorites at in Orlando Monday. Accordingly, we are laying the big chalk and backing the champs for the bounce back cover.

As the first contextual support for our pick, we point out that in matchups between solid teams with recent struggles against the spread, backing the road favorite has proven solidly profitable.

In clashes between teams that both saw the previous post-season but that have covered no more than one of their last five, backing road favorites has delivered a very statistically significant 16% return on investment since 2005.

This system has returned a cover rate below 50% in only five seasons over the observation period, and is 10-5 ATS so far this year.

We hypothesize that traveling favorites recent struggles against the number lull casual bettors into overvaluing home court from this an aside, ascribing value to teams playing from the comfort of home is a dangerous premise this season, given the potentially diminished value of home court related to reduced attendance to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Separately, the analysts at the Action Network have observed that bad home dogs have been great fades facing better opposition late in the season.

From about the two-thirds marker on, fading home dogs with win rates of less than 40% has delivered a 12% return on investment against teams with at least 50% win rates.

The (highly statistically significant) long-term profitability of this approach might owe to the reality that for years teams' odds of landing the top draft pick was, to some extent, inversely correlated with win/loss record. So the worst teams sported increased odds of landing the number one lottery pick. This setup inadvertently created incentive for teams unlikely to land playoff berths to maybe not mind losing so much--for the future of their franchises.

The betting system responded to the rule change that devalued the tank with a capital-sapping 9-14 ATS showing last year, calling into question it's value going forward. However, this approach is 5-3-1 ATS so far this season, so maybe teams forgot tanking has limits these days.

At any rate, despite it's questionable future applicability, this system has delivered solid, reliable gains, and is working at present, so we still regard this set of criteria as a support for our 'fade Orlando' play Monday.

On personnel, Lakers starting PG Dennis Schröder is questionable, while Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol are probable (LeBron James is still weeks away from returning to action). For Orlando, starting PF, James Ennis, is doubtful, as is backup Terrence Ross.

Happy betting!!

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