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Mitch S
The first half of the NBA season is officially over, and as we head into the NBA All-Star Break, let's take a look back at the top trends for the NBA's first half!

The first half of the NBA has been a wild roller coaster, with unexpected teams making their leaps into playoff positions while some teams are floundering - and the All-Star Break couldn’t have come at a better time.

As far as our first half, we started off incredibly hot, and then evened out as the season progressed. Since the start of the new year, we’re only up a couple of units, to add on to the 35-unit banger we started off with, to give us a total of around 40u gained this season. Could be better, could be worse, but we’re always profitable in some capacity every month.

When we look at the top teams against the spread, Orlando runs away with it record-wise; but the team that’s impressed me the most has been the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are not only covering in 62% of their games this season, but are doing it by a margin of four or more. It’s the best margin in the league - meaning that when they’re favored, they blow teams out, and when they’re not, they keep it close.

In fact, OKC runs the table when they’re the underdog, covering in 67% of total games ATS. The team to stay away from when they’re dogs? The Bucks, who lose those games by an average of 16 points per game. The Bucks have proven that they cannot win games against good teams.

One of the more impressive teams to be as well has been Utah, who have come on strong as the second half of the season has progressed, and we’re seeing it; when they’re the home favorite, they cover 70% of the time; but be weary of home favorites, because as a league, we’re seeing the away team win that battle in most of the games so far this season.

A team that has surprised me this season has been the LA Lakers, who have stayed around .500 on the season against the spread; in conversations throughout my colleagues associated with the NBA, many of them projected LA to be one of the top ATS teams this season, and that just hasn’t come to fruition yet.

The teams that have played spoiler on the road ATS this season? The Warriors and the Pelicans, who both share a cover percentage over seventy this season – and the complete opposite of this next team from North Carolina. The Hornets have been, in my opinion, the absolute worst ATS team in the league (narrowly behind Atlanta, who have also been an ATS dumpster fire). The Hornets cannot cover in any capacity, but especially when they’re the away underdogs; among those 25 games so far this season, they’ve only covered 8. Fading them would give you a win 68% of the time.

So, Mitch, what do we do with this information?

Well, in my NEXT articles (which will come out next week), I’ll break down the trends that I think will continue, and the trends I think will fold as the season progresses. There, we’ll talk about the best bets moving forward, teams to target, and the best teams to stay away from in the second half of the season.

We’ll do an individual breakdown of every team in those articles, being sure to highlight the projections for the rest of the season for each team. See you next week. 

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