Season-to-date record: 54-58-2, 48%
Betting Jazz's mental fatigue persists: backing Raptors +5
Thursday we had the Wizards to cover versus the Utah Jazz, the second best team in the NBA versus the number season-to-date. Consistent with our forecast, Washington jumped Utah early and never really looked back. In the end, the Wiz not only delivered a sweat-free cover as big, 10.5-point pooches, but also coasted to the straight up win, for a hefty +475 payday.
Our faith in the Wizards yesterday owed largely to the historical observation that bad teams on protracted home runs tend to beat the number facing solid, but relatively unfamiliar competition.
A system, that might be regarded as the inverse of the aforementioned set of criteria suggests fading Utah yet again Friday.
The Jazz at the Raptors will mark the fourth stop of a five-game road trip for Utah. After falling at Washington Thursday, the Jazz are 1-2 since leaving Salt Lake City a week ago. History implies it is unlikely Utah's ship gets righted at Toronto Friday (at least, versus the number).
Fading elite favorites on extended road trips has amassed an 11% long-term return on investment versus relatively unfamiliar opposition.
This system is 8-5 ATS so far this year and has suffered a cover rate below 50% in only two seasons since 2004.
Boosting our confidence in Toronto's ability to secure the cover Friday, good teams laying chalk when traveling outside their conference have delivered an even more impressive 31% long-term on investment off a loss as the favorite (on a 35-17 ATS record).
Finally, we note indications of value with the home dogs from objective third-party systems. For one, Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight's RAPTOR framework makes Toronto live dogs. Their Elo ratings-based system gives the Jazz an advantage of less than a bucket.
Similarly, ESPN's Basketball Power Index makes Utah less than three-point favorites on a neutral court--but AMALIE Arena will host 3,500 fans for tomorrow's action, so Toronto probably deserves a slight home court adjustment.
Thus, leading quantitative frameworks align with our reading of history to forecast the home dog cover at Toronto Friday. We are positioning accordingly.