The NBA’s Pacific Division has been equal parts predictable and equal parts frustrating. On the downside, the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league both on the court and on NBA betting lines.
Predictably, the Phoenix Suns are close to the top in terms of their betting performance. We examine the division in this midway point of the NBA season beginning with a franchise that is recapturing its best form since it won three titles in four seasons …
Golden State Warriors
With a 57.5% cover rate (26-19-3), the Golden State Warriors are the best team to bet online in the division. However, it’s close between them and the Phoenix Suns as Golden State has slowed. The Warriors are 5-8-1 against the spread (ATS) since the start of the year partly because of injuries and partly because of Stephen Curry’s shooting slump.
The two-time MVP was the frontrunner to win this season’s award but has been shooting 36.5% from the field and 29.1% from deep in 2022. Still, when looking at the bigger picture, Golden State has the second-best record in the league, is 20-10 against teams at .500 or better, and covers on 66.7% of their home games. This team is still elite.
The Phoenix Suns have a legitimate argument as the best team for sports betting online. Phoenix has the best record in the NBA (38-9) and are just slightly worse than Golden State on the spread with a 55.3% cover rate (26-21-0). As the “B-side” to Golden State, Phoenix is one of the best road teams to lean on.
Devin Booker is shooting 62.5% in the clutch, 45.5% from three.
Chris Paul is +64 in the clutch, the highest +/- in the NBA.
The Suns are 15-3 in clutch games this season. pic.twitter.com/Q8I2L62LwK
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 21, 2022
The Suns are 15-8-0 ATS (65.2%) as a visitor and 12-6-0 (66.7%) as a favorite. However, they have a losing record ATS (11-13-0) as a host. Phoenix has also had the advantage of being one of the healthier NBA teams. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Mikal Bridges have stay relatively healthy as they appear destined to capture the division crown.
Unlike the Suns, the L.A. Clippers have been without their two best players for a while, Shorthanded, Tyronn Lue has L.A.’s “other” team competing. This team has actually covered on seven of their last 10 games and have gone 5-4 straight-up as an underdog.
The Clippers maintain their underdog spirit and are 12-10 ATS as one. The team can hold off long enough and maintain a playoff spot until Kawhi Leonard and Paul George return, which is after the All-Star break per reports.
The Sacramento Kings are the worst team in the division and one of the most depressing team in professional sports. It’s hard to bet on this team with its 21-29-0 (42%) spread record. However, as an underdog, the Kings aren’t half bad. As a home underdog, Sacramento is 7-9 straight-up and 8-8 ATS.
The latter isn’t that great, but there is angle where the Kings are decent: when getting plenty of rest. The Kings are 6-3-0 ATS when they’ve had at least two nights’ rest and they are 5-4-0 ATS when they have a rest advantage over their opponent. Parlay that with their home games and you may just squeeze some gold out of these paupers masquerading as Kings.
Los Angeles Lakers
It has been a long season for LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and the Los Angeles Lakers. At 24-24, the Lakers sit at ninth in the West and are 20-28 (41.7%) ATS. But despite the team’s failures, it remains popular with many NBA betting previews touting it or fading it.
The Lakers are getting Anthony Davis back but he’s still often injured and hasn’t been the same elite player. Los Angeles, at their best, can beat any team in the NBA. However, this team has a 12-21 ATS record as a favorite and is 9-16 straight-up against teams at .500 or better.
What’s worse is the Lakers have had the third-easiest schedule. The road only gets rougher from here so good luck to any diehard backers.