Let’s look at the most shocking bet in the NBA season so far — thanks to Chris Paul
March 5, 2020 - Basketball
Look no further than the Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder as they continue to stun experts, talking heads, odds makers and even their own fan base.
Two teams in the NBA this season have already surpassed their projected Vegas NBA over under win total for the season. One of which is the upstart Memphis Grizzlies (30-31, projected win total 27.5 closed at DraftKings Sportsbook), who despite their under-.500 record are currently clinging onto the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The other team that bookmakers around the world swung and missed on was the Oklahoma City Thunder (37-23, projected win total 32.5 closed at DraftKings Sportsbook). Most all didn’t expect the Thunder to do much this NBA year, but is the breakout team of the 2019-20 season. While straight-up wins may not be as “stunning” as other surprise contenders in the past, the actual shocking trend is how well Oklahoma City has treated spread bettors this season.
With NBA All-Star point God Chris Paul leading the way coupled with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder currently lead the entire NBA in total wins against the spread (38-22-0), and are second in the NBA behind only the Boston Celtics in cover percentage. Their ability to not only surpass their projected win total before the month of March, along with leading the NBA in ATS wins is without question the most shocking betting trend of the 2019-2020 NBA season so far.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS BY THE NUMBERS
With the NBA headed towards their prospective fourth quarter of the regular season, the sample size for the year isn’t quite complete, but filled enough to the point where team evaluations are largely settled. Yet, the Thunder continue to exceed expectations against them when it comes to betting opportunities throughout the year.
It is surprising how the Thunder have been able to do this with a few aging stars and a handful of young players who were not top college basketball picks in any sense. With no rest on back-to-backs this season, Oklahoma City has covered the spread in just under 89% of their games (8-1-0). As a road underdog, the Thunder have gone 18-5-0, covering the spread 78.3% of the time. And as an underdog in general, OKC has gone 24-9-0, covering ATS 72.7%. Those are simply incredible numbers.
What’s also unique about how Vegas has projected the Thunder is in normal positively-correlated spots. It appears they tend to be overvalued in situations that supposedly favor them. For example, when OKC has entered a game with a rest advantage over its opponent, it’s the only time they’ve failed to own a winning record against the spread all season. The Thunder are just 6-7-0, covering 46.2% of the time when they have the upper hand in rest against their opponent. Oklahoma City is also just 14-13-0 as a favorite, as well as 11-11-0 as a home favorite.
LOOKING AHEAD FOR THE OKC THUNDER
The timing may be coincidental, but the Thunder as of Tuesday, March 3rd have lost their last three games in a row against the spread, despite going 2-1 straight up. In two of those games, they were 7.5 point favorites and were blown out by Milwaukee most recently despite being a road underdog of 10 points. Oklahoma City has 22 games left in the regular season, facing teams with a combined winning percentage of .499, keep your eye on BetQL for NBA expert picks to see when they think it’s best to bet the Thunder.
As more playoff seeding gets sorted out and teams looking in from the outside of the playoff race decide to go into full on “Tank Mode,” keep your eye on all the latest news, injury reports, projections, predictions and more from BetQL to help you make the most informed selections for each game.