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basketball | Friday, June 24, 2022 8:40 AM (Revised at: Thursday, June 30, 2022 8:06 PM)

NBA 2021/22 Regular Season Betting Recap: +56.49 Units Profit

NBA 2021/22 Regular Season Betting Recap: +56.49 Units Profit
Contributor: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

I know what some of you are thinking, what are the Oklahoma City Thunder doing at the front of the article? The team that finished 14th in the Western Conference with 24 wins and 58 losses? It might as well be me in that Rumble the Bison costume, but all will be revealed.

With the NBA regular season well behind in the rear-view mirror, we’ve had more than enough time to reflect on our betting record, wins, losses and most importantly – profit. We’ve compiled a spreadsheet with each of my bets during the 2021/22 NBA regular season, and crunched the numbers to give you a clear picture of how each team has fared this year.

Of course, I’m not talking about their win/loss record nor their injury issues, team chemistry or coaching – we’re talking cold hard cash. Betting! Against the spread, home/road games, Moneyline, Over/Unders favourites/underdogs – the whole shebang. So, without further delay, here’s what the magic spreadsheet has to say.

In this article: 

  • Overview
  • Betting On Teams
  • Betting Against Teams
  • Other Splits
  • Lessons Learned

Overview

In the 2021/22 NBA regular season, I placed a total of 180 Best Bets, staked 1347 units, and earned a profit of 56.49 units, for an ROI of 4.19%. We had 90 wins, 6 pushes and a win percentage of 51.67%. If you had used $100 for every stake throughout the season whilst following my best bets, you would have made a nice $5.649 o profit. Now imagine what you could buy with that kind of money.

That said, there have been certain markets and certain teams that have been more profitable than others. Let’s see who and what they were. To start, let’s take a look at each month from the beginning of the season.

MONTH Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
Oct -2.20 8 4 0 63 50.00% -3.49%
Nov 14.95 35 19 0 279 54.29% 5.36%
Dec 36.80 43 23 0 326 53.49% 11.29%
Jan -32.53 36 14 3 269 43.06% -12.09%
Feb 40.13 13 9 0 92 69.23% 43.62%
Mar 0.86 37 18 2 266 51.35% 0.32%
Apr -1.52 8 3 1 52 43.75% -2.92%
TOTAL 56.49 180 90 6 1347 51.67% 4.19%

As you can see, we were killing it until the New Year, when our profits took a dive with a loss of -32.53 units in January. We were still in the green, but in February we really bounced back nicely with +40.13 units of profit. We also took a marginal loss in March and April, but we did a great job cruising to the finish line with a solid profit margin.


Betting On Teams

The Golden Goose Thunder

It’s no secret that we here at bettingexpert love our dogs, and I had no problem backing the OKC Thunder almost every single night. Out of 29 total teams I bet on this year (I’ll save you the trouble of looking for the missing team – it’s the Wizards) – the Oklahoma City Thunder have been by far the most profitable one. Of course, I mostly backed them ATS as their handicap lines frequently went over +10.0 points, and they made it rain. The vast majority of bettors bet against the Thunder each night out, leaving more than enough betting value on this team all season long. The Thunder won 63.89% of my bets for an ROI of 31.50%. They were a cheat code this year.

The Spurs were my second most profitable team, winning 7-11 bets for 27.93 units of profit, followed by the Golden State Warriors who made a nice 21.20 units, winning 4/5 bets.

But on the other side of the coin, there have been some serious underperformers as well. The Dallas Mavericks shot me in the knee this season, winning just 1 of 6 bets for a total loss of -30.16 units. Ouch! The Hornets, Kings and Blazers have also been subpar, but their losses are only in the high teens – not even close! Here is the full list of all the teams I backed during the season, along with their profitability:

Rank Betting On… Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
1 Oklahoma City 43.47 18 11 1 138 63.89% 31.50%
2 San Antonio 27.93 11 7 0 79 63.64% 35.35%
3 Golden State 21.20 5 4 0 42 80.00% 50.48%
4 Detroit 16.58 12 7 1 87 62.50% 19.06%
5 Atlanta 7.76 1 1 0 8 100.00% 97.00%
6 Phoenix 7.30 3 2 0 23 66.67% 31.74%
7 New York 7.20 1 1 0 8 100.00% 90.00%
8 Houston 3.67 5 3 0 38 60.00% 9.66%
9 Brooklyn 2.61 4 2 0 36 50.00% 7.25%
10 Memphis 2.58 10 5 0 80 50.00% 3.23%
11 New Orleans 2.37 6 3 0 51 50.00% 4.65%
12 Orlando 2.16 8 4 0 60 50.00% 3.60%
13 Cleveland 1.58 10 5 0 78 50.00% 2.03%
14 Toronto 0.00 1 0 1 6 50.00% 0.00%
15 LA Clippers -0.17 5 2 1 31 50.00% -0.55%
16 Boston -0.79 7 3 1 46 50.00% -1.72%
17 Minnesota -5.00 1 0 0 5 0.00% -100.00%
18 Denver -5.32 5 2 0 37 40.00% -14.38%
19 Philadelphia -6.00 1 0 0 6 0.00% -100.00%
20 Utah -6.00 1 0 0 6 0.00% -100.00%
21 Milwaukee -7.70 3 1 0 21 33.33% -36.67%
22 LA Lakers -8.00 1 0 0 8 0.00% -100.00%
23 Indiana -8.42 4 1 1 29 37.50% -29.03%
24 Chicago -9.80 3 1 0 25 33.33% -39.20%
25 Miami -9.94 7 3 0 51 42.86% -19.49%
26 Portland -16.14 6 2 0 39 33.33% -41.38%
27 Sacramento -19.74 5 1 0 35 20.00% -56.40%
28 Charlotte -19.76 5 1 0 36 20.00% -54.89%
29 Dallas -30.16 6 1 0 46 16.67% -65.57%

Betting Against

By far the best team to bet against this year have been the Washington Wizards. Yes, they won 35 games this year which isn’t exactly the worst record in the league, but they covered the spread in just 33 – which puts them 26th in the NBA. When I bet against them, the Wizards earned me a hefty 73.76 units of profit, for an outstanding ROI of 73.76% in 13 bets. Incredible. 

Second in Line are the Utah Jazz. Despite finishing 5th in the Western Conference and making the playoffs, the Utah Jazz have had a very disappointing season. I bet against them 9 times this season, winning 6 bets for 27.20 units of profit and an ROI of 40.60%. 

However, there are also teams I backed far too often and paid the price for it. The team that hurt me the most are none other than the defending champs the Milwaukee Bucks. It made sense to bet against them as the spread was usually in double digits, but the Bucks had no mercy, allowing me to win just 4-13 of those bets and taking away -32.20 units of profit. 

The Celtics were second in line, winning just 3 of 10 bets and costing us a hefty -30.54 units, followed by the Bulls who won just 1 of my 6 bets, costing a total of -24.00 units of profit. Here is the complete list of teams I bet against this season and their performance, including stakes, win percentage and profit. 

Rank Betting Against Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
1 Washington 73.76 13 11 0 100 84.62% 73.76%
2 Utah 27.20 9 6 0 67 66.67% 40.60%
3 Brooklyn 15.67 5 3 1 37 70.00% 42.35%
4 LA Clippers 15.12 2 2 0 16 100.00% 94.50%
5 Phoenix 12.81 9 5 0 64 55.56% 20.02%
6 Orlando 12.60 2 2 0 13 100.00% 96.92%
7 Denver 12.32 4 3 0 30 75.00% 41.07%
8 Portland 10.60 5 3 0 41 60.00% 25.85%
9 LA Lakers 8.92 13 7 0 101 53.85% 8.83%
10 Minnesota 7.75 4 2 1 34 62.50% 22.79%
11 Toronto 1.58 2 1 0 12 50.00% 13.17%
12 Atlanta 1.39 11 5 1 74 50.00% 1.88%
13 Indiana -0.32 4 2 0 32 50.00% -1.00%
14 Golden State -3.14 6 3 0 38 50.00% -8.26%
15 San Antonio -5.56 3 1 0 21 33.33% -26.48%
16 New Orleans -7.80 3 1 0 23 33.33% -33.91%
17 Dallas -7.82 8 3 1 62 43.75% -12.61%
18 Miami -7.88 5 2 0 39 40.00% -20.21%
19 Detroit -8.00 1 0 0 8 0.00% -100.00%
20 Cleveland -8.48 3 1 0 24 33.33% -35.33%
21 Sacramento -10.00 1 0 0 10 0.00% -100.00%
22 Memphis -13.00 2 0 0 13 0.00% -100.00%
23 New York -14.00 2 0 0 14 0.00% -100.00%
24 Charlotte -15.00 2 0 0 15 0.00% -100.00%
25 Philadelphia -18.51 7 2 0 47 28.57% -39.38%
26 Chicago -24.00 6 1 1 46 25.00% -52.17%
27 Boston -30.54 10 3 0 76 30.00% -40.18%
28 Milwaukee -32.20 13 4 1 98 34.62% -32.86%

Other Splits

Don’t even think about skipping this part of the article, you’ll miss out on a gold mine. We crunched the numbers some more to give you a clear picture of which markets and venues have been the most profitable.

Home/Away

Okay, we all knew that home advantage goes a long way in the NBA, but if you want to know exactly how much, take a look at the table below.

VENUE Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
AWAY -20.97 91 41 4 681 47.25% -3.08%
HOME 14.44 64 32 2 474 51.56% 3.05%

Markets

You probably already know that I only focused on 3 of the most common betting markets this season, so let’s have a look at which one was the most profitable.

BET TYPE Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
Moneylines -7.83 17 7 0 114 41.18% -6.87%
Handicaps 1.3 138 66 6 1041 50.00% 0.12%
Point Totals 63.02 25 17 0 192 68.00% 32.82%

Point totals, and it’s not even close! 63.02 units of profit in this market, whilst handicaps and Moneyline bets are either barely profitable or negative.

Dogs/Favourites

You already know that backing underdogs is my favourite thing in the world, and now you know why. Backing favourites simply isn’t profitable.

SELECTION Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
UNDERDOGS 33.24 109 52 6 789 50.46% 4.21%
FAVOURITE -39.77 46 21 0 366 45.65% -10.87%

As you can see in the table, I backed dogs more than twice as much as favourites this season, and they earned a nice 33.24 units of profit. The favourites on the other hand… I’m not even going to talk about it. Just look and try not to repeat the same mistakes. The difference in profitability gets bigger as you increase the handicap lines, and as you can see in the table below, backing dogs means making money.

LINES Profit/Loss Bets Wins Pushes Stakes Win Pct ROI
DOGS 6 pts or higher 64.73 59 31 5 438 56.78% 14.78%
FAVES -2.5 pts or higher -38.33 37 17 0 294 45.95% -13.04%

Lines

Since there have been more than 40 different lines I backed this regular season, I’m not going to talk about each of them separately, but I will single out some of the most and least profitable ones. Fair enough?

The Good

  • +7.5

The +7.5 handicap line was definitely my best friend this regular season, earning a hefty profit of +39.39 units with a win percentage of 80%. 

  • -1.5 

This one honestly came as a surprise, but it seems that the bookmakers have a tough time finding the true favourite when the betting pool is all even. In just 4 bets, this line produced +21.28 units of profit, going 3/4.

  • 6.5

This is one of the rare favourite markets that came up big when it comes to overall profit, winning 3/4 bets and earning a nice +16.18 units. 

The Bad and the Ugly 

  • 5.5

Since we’re talking about ugly, this line was as ugly as it gets. 8 bets, and  1 win, a resounding loss of -37.68 units, to go along with an ROI of -69.78%. That said, the +5.5 line was volatile this season, as teams went for 23-34 for a measly 40% win rate. Interestingly enough, its next-door neighbours the +5 and +6 line were both profitable all season. We’ll chalk that one up to bad luck. 

  • 3

We didn’t do a lot of losing this year, so the second-worst line we backed was -3.0 which lead to -18.28 units of profit. We only played it 4 times, and with 1 win it had an ROI of -57.13%. Not great, not terrible. 

  • 1.5

As good as its twin brother has been to us this season, the +1.5 line was definitely Mr Hyde. We only backed this one twice all season, but it managed to lose both times, resulting in a loss of -13.0 units.


Lessons Learned

Now that we’ve covered all of our bets from the past season, let’s draw some conclusions in preparation for the 2022/23 NBA season. Ready?

The Value is With the Dog

This is something I’ve been repeating all season like a broken record. Bookmakers constantly overestimate the ‘big’ teams, and bettors flock to back the teams they think have the biggest chance to win. As a result, the betting lines shorten even more, and we’re left with a juicy underdog at +10.0 or more to exploit. This doesn’t mean that they’re always riddled with value, but you should always keep your eyes open for those dogs.

Over/Unders are Worth It

This market was the absolute MVP for our betting numbers this season, with an ROI of 32.82% and a record of 25 wins and 17 losses. Although the margins can sometimes be high, the market is slow to adjust and if you just keep your eyes on the points totals and how the teams match up, you can find a ton of value here. I sure did. 

Home is Where the Money Is

Now, we all know that home court provides a certain advantage, but some teams simply can’t win away from home. This is something you can easily find and exploit, whilst other bettors don’t even know it’s happening. Remember the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors? Yeah, the Dubs were the second-best home team in the league with a record of 32-19-2 ATS, but their record fell to 22-27-2 in road games, ranking them 24th in the league. Fading the Warriors in road games was definitely a good idea this season, and I bet we can find even more situations like this in the coming season.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

Probably the most important thing to take away from this season is that things change fast. The Wizards and Cavs started the season as one of the most profitable teams in the league, but they quickly dropped off after a few dozen games. I have at least 10 more examples of how things can change throughout just 5 games, but the most important thing to remember is to never let yourself get comfortable with a team, market or line. Keep your eyes open at all times and track your results.


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