The NBA season tips tomorrow night. It is common knowledge that the Cavs are the defending champions and that Golden State is the favorite to win the title but here is everything else you might not know.

2015-16 Betting Trends

Most Profitable Teams

  • Dallas Mavericks 45-36 ATS, +6.88 units
  • Orlando Magic: 45-36 ATS, +6.67 units
  • Golden State Warriors: 45-36 ATS, +6.42 units

Least Profitable Teams

  • Chicago Bulls: 36-46 ATS, -12.01 units
  • Phoenix Suns: 36-46 ATS, -11.93 units
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 36-46 ATS, -11.77 units

Home favorites: 403-388 (50.9%)

Big Favorites (15 or more points): 18-25 (41.9%) ATS

Teams getting <35% of the bets: 239-214 (52.8%) ATS

Road teams getting <30% of the bets: 39-29 (57.4%) ATS

Unders went 612-603 (50.4%)

Most Profitable Head Coaches


The Washington Wizards hired Scott Brooks back in April. During his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder the team went 338-207, had four 50-plus win seasons and advance to the NBA Finals. Most importantly, Brooks was a covering machine going 295-240 (55.1%) against-the-spread.

Stan Van Gundy and Gregg Popovich aren’t far behind. Combined, these two coaches have had just three losing seasons against-the-spread in their last 14 years at the head of their respective NBA teams.

Where is the Money Going?

(percentage of money per

2016-17 NBA Title

  • Golden State Warriors 38.4%
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 15.6%
  • San Antonio Spurs 8.7%
  • Boston Celtics 5.3%
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 4.4%

Surprise, surprise, the Warriors have taken nearly twice as much money as the next most popular team. Golden State added Kevin Durant and returns the core of a team that has been to the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons. The four teams with the most money wagered are also the squads with the best odds to win championship (weird how that works).

Popular Over/Under teams

  • Lakers (Over): 92%
  • Blazers (Over): 90%
  • Rockets (Over): 87%
  • Heat (Under): 88%
  • Pistons (Under): 82%
  • Grizzlies (Under): 81%

Bill Simmons and Joe House both agreed the Pistons and Grizzlies would go under on their annual NBA season over/under podcast. Simmons and House are squares so their opinions lining up with public money is to be expected.

Sharp plays are the Rockets’ over and the Heat’s under based on real plus-minus.

MVP Favorites

  • James Harden: 9.2%
  • LeBron James: 5.2%
  • Kawhi Leonard: 4.8%
  • Russell Westbrook: 3.0%
  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 3.0%

James Harden isn’t the favorite (that is Russell Westbrook +200) but at 10/1 odds the Rockets guard has garnered the most money to win the MVP. Harden was the runner-up to Stephen Curry two years ago. The biggest surprise is longshot Karl-Anthony Towns (33/1). Expectations are high for the second year player. In a survey of NBA general managers Towns was picked as the player they’d most like to build a team around. The reigning Rookie of the Year has a chance to finish as a top ten player in the league, maybe more.

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