Don't expect McCollum's greatness to save New Orleans Thursday: Dallas -2.5
The New Orleans Pelicans (23-35) landed CJ McCollum earlier this month in a seven-player trade that saw the bonafide scorer part ways with Portland after a nine year stint in the City of Roses. McCollum's offensive credibility is undeniable (CJ has averaged better than 20 PPG in each of the last seven seasons), however, in four starts so far with his new Gulf Coast team, the Pelicans are only 1-3 SU/ATS. We expect more of the same when Luka Doncic and the Mavs come to town Thursday for a Southwest Division showdown.
Historically, over the last third of the regular NBA season, fading underdogs with less than 40% win rates playing host to Conference opposition that has won at least 48% of their games has proven solidly profitable.
(h/t to the analysts at The Action Network.)
This system has been good for a 14% return on investment since 2004-05, with only two seasons with a cover rate south of 50%. Further this angle is 4-1 ATS so far this season.
The rationale underlying this system is that bad teams have been incentivized to continue to lose down the stretch to maximize their odds of scoring the top pick in the next draft lottery. More recently, the NBA has attempted to address tanking, but this system's profitability has not diminished. This observation suggests that, once earlier-season kinks have been worked out, better teams are simply too much for bottom of the barrel organizations to handle.
In case anyone is wondering, this system is 89-59-4 ATS (60%) in division action.
As of the time of this writing, per Sports Insights, this contest represents the most heavily bet game on Thursday's NBA docket. Further, the Mavs have attracted the support of 71% of spread wagers and 83% of dollars bet versus the number. This is to say that the spread might widen as tipoff approaches. As such, inclined Mavs-backers might want to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.