One week ago, the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 22-point deficit (including a 26-5 run to end the game) in a 103-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. This trend of blowing leads isn’t exactly new for the Thunder, who have gone just 3-6 since the All-Star break.
Despite these recent struggles, the Thunder actually opened as 4.5-point favorites at CRIS and have received 72% of spread bets. The screenshot below displays the breakdown from our seven contributing offshore sportsbooks.
Although a majority of public bettors will typically pound the favorite, we have also noticed that these “squares” are prone to overreacting to recent results. With that in mind, it’s fairly surprising to see the Thunder receiving just overwhelming public support.
In addition to receiving 72% of spread bets, the Thunder have received 91% of total dollars wagered according to our newly added money percentages. This incredibly one-sided public betting has caused the line to move from Oklahoma City -4.5 to -5.5.
The line graph below, which is available to Sportsbook Insider subscribers, shows how public betting has affected the spread at CRIS.
Since there have been no steam moves triggered on Oklahoma City, we can safely assume that public money is responsible for this one-point line move. In other words, contrarian bettors are able to pick up a free point simply based on public perception by taking Clippers +5.5.
In addition to the value from this artificially inflated line, there are several betting systems which indicate that the Clippers are being vastly undervalued — most notably our 2015-16 NBA Betting Against the Public Report. This system, which examines the sweet spot for betting against the public, has gone 147-84 ATS (63.6%) all-time including an 11-7 ATS (61.1%) record this season.
This will be the second consecutive road game for the Clippers, who are receiving less than 30% of spread bets against a conference opponent. Assuming the public continues to overwhelmingly support the Thunder, the Clippers will fit as a current system match.
Recently there were several new statistics added to our Bet Labs software, but most notable were the addition of pace and efficiency filters. Using this data, we found that this season slow teams have been exceptionally profitable against fast teams. Once again, this trend points towards excellent value on the Clippers +5.5.
There also seems to be a perception that the Clippers can’t compete against elite teams without Blake Griffin, but the team has actually been significantly better since losing their franchise star in late December.
#Clippers performance this season
With Blake Griffin: 10-16 ATS
Without Blake Griffin: 21-11 ATS
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) March 9, 2016
These numbers are subject to change before tip-off, so bettors should be sure to visit our free NBA odds page for the latest lines, injuries, public betting trends and more.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.