By: PJ Guippone
Everyone knows who wins every night in the NBA. It’s what Sports Center talks about, it’s the score you see on Twitter. There is another score to every game, though. It is a score that maybe more people care about then the real game: the spread.
With sports gambling only legal in very limited parts of the country, it doesn’t often get the publicity that some would desire. Every night there is a backdoor cover that saves someone’s mortgage or a heart-breaking missed free throw that makes some poor chap lose his car (sorry for the depressing turn here), and much of it has to do with perceived standings and gambling standings.
The current top ten teams in the NBA in terms of record are:
- Golden State Warriors (50-10)
- San Antonio Spurs (45-13)
- Houston Rockets (42-19)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (41-17)
- Boston Celtics (38-22)
- Utah Jazz (37-22)
- LA Clippers (36-23)
- Washington Wizards (35-23)
- Toronto Raptors (36-24)
- Memphis Grizzlies (35-25)
For the purpose of this article, and for a lot of gambling in general, these standings are completely meaningless. Imagine they do not exist in any capacity, and we live in a world where the only thing that matters is the spread and the matchup in that game. Below are the top ten teams in the NBA against the spread. A full list can be found here.
- Philadelphia 76ers (37-22)
- Miami Heat (35-25)
- San Antonio Spurs (34-24)
- Houston Rockets (34-27)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (33-25-1)
- Toronto Raptors (33-26-1)
- Washington Wizards (32-25)
- Dallas Mavericks (32-27)
- Memphis Grizzlies (31-29)
- New York Knicks (31-29)
Of those teams, only six are currently in the playoff picture, only three are in the top four of their conference standings, and at least 3 (maybe 4) are perceived dumpster fires. I am going to focus on the Sixers because seeing them at the top of any list is really exciting to me, especially a list where they are making people money and making America a happier place.
So let’s imagine a world where you are a gambler, but a gambler with a lot of brain trauma and die-hard passion in favor of the Philadelphia 76ers. This brain trauma paired with your gambling addiction and unconditional trust of the process causes you to bet on the Sixers in every single game of the season, which takes some serious nuts or the aforementioned brain damage because they have been underdogs in all but four games this season. Also, let’s assume that you always put down a standard 22 to win 20 bet on each spread. This would make your net on the year +268. Also, you have not been in the red since November 17. That is a very relaxed betting season.
This season is special for the Sixers, though, because they are actually winning games. For a team that is always an underdog, and often times a heavy underdog, to have 22 real-life victories is great for really ballsy bettors. This time around, you are a Sixers addict with even more serious brain trauma and an even more serious gambling problem. For every single game this season you have put down a $20 money line bet on the Sixers. For this exercise, I will be using the money lines in the results history section of Oddsportal.com. If you had rocks this massive, even with a really rough go of it until the very end of December (peak debt of -224), your net on the year would still be +192, and you have not been in the red since January 11. Not quite as high and definitely way more stressful, but absolutely still lucrative.
There are three morals to this article. 1. Never go back and look at all the money you could have won because it is upsetting, 2. Bet on the Sixers more, and 3. (most important) forget about who’s “good” and who’s “bad” when betting in the NBA because it’s a long season, and every day is a new day