Taking a given team’s schedule into consideration is a vital aspect of sports handicapping.
The NBA All-Star game is just over a month away, so we thought it would be beneficial to examine which teams have the easiest and toughest schedules prior to the break beginning Feb. 15.
Denver Nuggets (20-16 SU, 22-14 ATS)
The Nuggets are entering a friendly portion of their schedule Wednesday when they host the Magic. Denver plays 12 of its next 14 games at home and has covered in three of its last four games overall. This is important to bettors because the Nuggets boast an impressive 10-3 ATS mark at the Pepsi Center.
Philadelphia 76ers (15-21 SU, 15-21 ATS)
NBA schedule-makers saddled the Sixers with a daunting road schedule early in the season, but now Philly enjoys a stretch where it plays 12 of its next 15 games at the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center against relatively weak opposition. The Sixers play the Raptors and Bucks twice in that span and will also have the chance to beat up on the Magic, Bobcats, Wizards and Hornets prior to the break.
Atlanta Hawks (20-13 SU, 13-19-1 ATS)
Atlanta’s 20-13 SU record hasn’t translated into ATS success (13-19-1) this season, but the Hawks will have the opportunity to improve on that mark in coming weeks. Atlanta only plays one back-to-back set (Brooklyn, San Antonio) and has good balance to its schedule with no more than two consecutive games on the road or at home prior to the break. The Hawks have been a better road bet (8-8 ATS) than at Philips Arena (5-11-1).
Los Angeles Clippers (27-8 SU, 22-13 ATS)
The Clippers have an impressive 15-5 home ATS mark but are slightly under .500 ATS on the road (7-8). Los Angeles will be road warriors prior to the All-Star break, playing 14 of its next 20 away from La La Land. The Clippers embark on a season-high eight-game road swing predominantly against Eastern foes beginning in Minnesota on Jan. 30.
Houston Rockets (21-14 SU, 21-13-1 ATS)
The Rockets boast one of the top offenses in the Association thanks to the addition of James Harden, but they’ll be tested with a vigorous schedule in the next month or so. Houston hits the road for 13 of its next 20 games, including stops in tough venues such as Los Angeles, Golden State, Utah, Boston and Indiana. The Rockets are the hottest bet in the league, covering in 11 of their last 12 games.
Oklahoma City Thunder (26-8 SU, 20-13-1 ATS)
It’s no secret the Thunder have some of the top talent in the league and are one of the better bets this season. But Oklahoma City begins a stretch where it plays nine of its next 10 away from home beginning Friday in Los Angeles. The Thunder will play three times at the Staples Center (twice vs. the Lakers, once vs. the Clippers) during that stretch.
*All stats prior to action on Jan. 9.