The Gambler’s NBA Power Rankings

The Gambler’s Power Rankings system is based on a team’s record against the spread, but also factors their win-loss record, statistical performance, and schedule strength (amongst other factors) to help you determine which teams to back, and which teams to fade.

*Records prior to games played 11/17

1. Los Angeles Clippers (Last Rank: 4)

Record: 10-2

Record ATS: 9-3

The Clippers average margin of victory is 14.9 points, and no, they haven’t faced all cake match-ups. The major difference this year? Defense. They’re #1 in defensive efficiency, are allowing the fewest points per game, the lowest opponent shooting %… How much time do you have? Shall I continue? Too bad. You get the point.

2. Toronto Raptors (Last Rank: 6)

Record: 7-4

Record ATS: 7-3-1

DeMar DeRozan is leading the league in scoring at 33.3 points per game, yet he’s only made six 3-pointers on the year (tied with guys like Juancho Henangomez, Dragan Bender, and Davis Bertans for 163rd). Pretty impressive, seeing how 3 is greater than 2… And 1 for that matter.

3. San Antonio Spurs (Last Rank: 1)

Record: 9-3

Record ATS: 6-5-1

The Spurs went 40-1 at home last season. They’re 6-0 on the road to start this season… I think they’re just looking for different ways to have fun. 

4. Houston Rockets (Last Rank: 8)

Record: 6-5

Record ATS: 7-4

I think we all figured D’Antoni would be a good fit for Harden, and vice versa, but damn! Prior to Wednesday’s game, Harden was responsible for 60.9 points per game. He’s averaging 28.7 points, 12.6 assists, and 7.8 rebounds. Even more impressive, 8 of their 11 games have been on the road, and they’ve played one of the toughest (if not the toughest) schedules thus far.

5. Los Angeles Lakers (Last Rank: 14)

Record: 7-5

Record ATS: 8-3-1

The Lakers look like a team that’s just out there having fun, and are definitely far from lacking in the confidence department. They’re 6-3 in November – both straight up and against the spread – and 2 of those wins came at Atlanta, and against Golden State. They’re also one of the most profitable teams on the over (8-4).

6. Atlanta Hawks (Last Rank: 7)

Record: 9-2

Record ATS: 8-3

Sure, they’ve beat up on some bottom feeders, but they also handled Cleveland on the road, and took care of Houston and Chicago at home. It’s a bit too early in the season for “statement” games, but the Hawks are making it known that they’re going to be a tough out.

7. Chicago Bulls (Last Rank: 5)

Record: 7-4

Record ATS: 7-4

At times, the Bulls look ready to challenge the Cavs for the Eastern Conference crown… They also recently lost three straight (Boston, New York, and Indiana). Since that losing streak, however, they’ve won (and covered) four of five. A lot of new pieces, but they’re starting to gel, and when they do, watch out.

8. Denver Nuggets (Last Rank: 16)

Record: 4-7

Record ATS: 7-4

Bad teams aren’t always bad bets. Their seven losses have come to Portland (twice), Toronto, Detroit (twice), Memphis, and Golden State. All playoff contenders. So, yeah, record wise they’re lousy. But they’ve competed, kept the games close, and had a chance to win in all but two of those losses. 

9. Charlotte Hornets (Last Rank: 12)

Record: 7-3

Record ATS: 6-3-1

On the flip side, the Hornets seven wins have come against teams with a combined 29-47 record, and only one of those wins came against a team with a winning record (Utah). On paper they look dominant… That’s why.

10. Boston Celtics (Last Rank: 9)

Record: 6-5

Record ATS: 6-5

The Celtics have seen almost every one their starters miss time due to injury at some point this season. Coincidentally, they’ve faced only three teams with a winning record – Chicago (twice), Charlotte, and Cleveland – so it really hasn’t hurt them.

11. Brooklyn Nets (Last Rank: 21)

Record: 4-7

Record ATS: 7-3-1

The Nets are the Eastern Conference Nuggets… Kind of. They don’t quite have the talent the Nuggets have, but they compete, and have only lost by double-digits 3 times on the season (one of those came without Brook Lopez). They’re bad, but not that bad. Take advantage of their negative public perception.

12. Memphis Grizzlies (Last Rank: 13)

Record: 6-5

Record ATS: 5-6

The Grizzlies have won 3 of their last 4 – including back-to-back road wins against the Jazz, and Clippers, and while the minute restriction has been lifted from Conley and Gasol, they’re still without Tony Allen, Brandan Wright, and a fully healthy Chandler Parsons.  

13. Utah Jazz (Last Rank: 11)

Record: 7-5

Record ATS: 6-6

Every time the Jazz start to get healthy, someone else goes down. They’re deep, though, and have won (and covered) four of their last six games.

14. Golden State Warriors (Last Rank: 3)

Record: 9-2

Record ATS: 4-6-1

Just like bad teams aren’t always bad bets, good teams aren’t always good bets. The Warriors have been favored by double-digits in 7 of their 11 games, but they’ve only covered twice (and have played a fairly weak schedule). As expected, they’re leading the league in points per game (117.4). Problem is, they’re also allowing the 4th most (109.4).

15. Miami Heat (Last Rank: 18)

Record: 2-8

Record ATS: 4-6

Second leading scorer, Goran Dragic, has missed three games, and Justise Winslow has missed two straight. That represents about a third of the why they’ve lost six straight. The other two thirds? Well, they played at Toronto, at Oklahoma City, vs. Chicago, vs. Utah, at San Antonio, vs. Atlanta… Doesn’t get much tougher than that.

16. Sacramento Kings (Last Rank: 22)

Record: 4-8

Record ATS: 6-5-1

The Kings 4-8 record is underwhelming, especially given their talent. They’ve lost three straight games overall, but on the bright side, they’ve covered the spread in four of five. 

17. Phoenix Suns (Last Rank: 23)

Record: 3-9

Record ATS: 7-5

Playing the underdog role in 10 of 12 games, they’ve covered the spread in 7. They offer great value against the spread, but even more on the over. They’ve gone over the total in 83% of their games, good for #1 in the league.

18. Portland Trailblazers (Last Rank: 17)

Record: 7-5

Record ATS: 4-8

The Blazers beat the teams they should beat (Denver, Sacramento, Phoenix, Memphis, and Dallas), but in their last 3 games vs. contenders (Bulls, Clippers, Warriors), they’ve lost by an average of 26 points.

19. New York Knicks (Last Rank: 27)

Record: 5-6

Record ATS: 5-6

As I write this, the Knicks are losing to the woeful Wizards. After winning two straight… Pretty much sums up their season so far. In their defense, they’ve played one of the tougher schedules in the league.

20. Detroit Pistons (Last Rank: 15)

Record: 6-6

Record ATS: 6-6

The Pistons have played an average schedule, and average/inconsistent basketball. Very fitting for a .500 team.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Rank: 10)

Record: 7-5

Record ATS: 5-7

After a 4-0 start, the Thunder have gone 3-5. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double (if you round up), but that’s about it.

22. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last Rank: 2)

Record: 9-2

Record ATS: 3-7-1

The defending Champs are arguably the best team in the league right now. Yet, they have the 4th worst record against the spread, and haven’t played a tough schedule. At all. Fade the Cavs… Unless you enjoy taking -500 moneyline odds.

23. Indiana Pacers (Last Rank: 19)

Record: 6-6

Record ATS: 4-8

If the Pacers are playing on the road, take the other team. If the Pacers are playing at home, take the Pacers. They’re 0-5 on the road. Straight up, and against the spread.

24. Dallas Mavericks (Last Rank: 24)

Record: 2-8

Record ATS: 3-7

The Mavericks need to get healthy, but even when they do, I’m not sure it’ll matter.

25. Washington Wizards (Last Rank: 20)

Record: 2-8

Record ATS: 3-7

The schedule makers haven’t done the Wizards any favors to start the season, and when they do happen to come across an easy matchup, they lose by 7… To the Sixers.

26. Milwaukee Bucks (Last Rank: 28)

Record: 5-5

Record ATS: 4-6             

Antetokounmpo is balling – leading the Bucks in points, redounds, steals, and blocks – Jabari Parker is averaging 20 points per game… Everyone else has been trash.

27. Philadelphia 76ers (Last Rank: 26)

Record: 2-9

Record ATS: 6-5

Philly is 2-3 (going on 2-4 as I write this) as a double-digit underdog, and 4-2 as a single-digit dog. You’re welcome.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last Rank: 25)

Record: 3-7

Record ATS: 3-7

Before the season, I predicted they’d surprise some people, and they have… Just not how I expected.  

29. Orlando Magic (Last Rank: 29)

Record: 5-7

Record ATS: 3-8-1

Nikola Vucevic might be the best player no one has ever heard of. His minutes, and shooting numbers are down this season, resulting in the worst numbers of his career (as a starter). Blame Ibaka.

30. New Orleans Pelicans (Last Rank: 30)

Record: 2-10

Record ATS: 4-7-1

See #26 – Milwaukee Bucks. Replace Antetokounmpo with Davis, subtract Parker, and you have the Pelicans.

As always, be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter: maxingyourodds or shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com for picks, and/or fantasy advice.

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