Season-to-date record: 36-39-1, 48%
Backing Philly in the Valley of the Sun: Sixers -1
The Suns have rattled off four straight wins and covers, to improve to 15-9 SU/ATS on the season. This better than 60% win/cover rate is a sharp contrast to last year's showing, when Phoenix managed a 34-39 SU record and finished the year little better versus the number at 37-35-1.
We think the Suns are due to come back down to earth, and hosting the Sixers Saturday strikes us a prime spot to fade Phoenix's recent success. To wit, as illustrated in the chart just below, the last time the Suns achieved the present level of near-term momentum a 3-7 SU/ATS stint followed.
But the expectation for reversion after particularly hot-streaks by fairly mediocre teams is not reserved for the Suns. Historically, it has proven consistently profitable to fade bad teams on extended winning streaks versus good competition from different divisions.
We have observed that, generally speaking, betting against teams (ATS) that collected three or more consecutive wins after not making the last playoffs has delivered a 9% long-term return on investment versus opposition from other divisions that did make post-season appearances.
This system has suffered only three seasons since 2005 of sub-50% cover rates and is 6-4-1 ATS so far this year.
Across the court, the Sixers too appear much improved versus last season's 43-34 SU and 32-41-4 ATS records. Philly is 18-8 SU this season, and 9-3 most recently. But the Blazers just stunned the 76ers in the Rose Garden Thursday, on the back of a 17-point fourth quarter explosion from Melo that ultimately dealt Philly a four-point loss despite their being favored by 5.5.
History says bet on the 76ers to right the ship Saturday, as good teams tend to rebound versus the number after upset losses when their next out is a close road game against the other conference.
Teams that made the last playoffs have been good for a 9% long-term ROI following upset losses when playing their next game outside their conference and the spread is a bucket or less.
This system has delivered only four seasons with cover rates below 50% and is 5-4 ATS so far this year.
Thus, we offer a contextual basis to back the Sixers and fade the Suns against the spread. We are positioning according: Philly -1.