NBA bettors are going to see pointspreads get bigger and bigger as the playoffs draw near. Teams in the postseason hunt will clash with clubs with no playoff prayer in the next two months, leaving oddsmakers no choice but to pile on the chalk.
The struggling Minnesota Timberwolves are a perfect example of that, getting 10.5 points from books for Thursday's road game versus the postseason-pushing Los Angeles Lakers.
Double-digit underdogs have only shown up 99 times this season heading into Thursday, going 47-50-2 against the spread (10-89 SU). But there are some teams who have made the most of those points, coming up big for backers when tagged as double-digit dogs.
Washington Wizards (3-8 SU, 8-3 ATS as double-digit underdogs)
The Wizards are the biggest betting surprise of the season, posting a 34-20-2 ATS record. Washington has thrived as a double-digit dog, going 8-3 ATS. Most of those came on the road, where the Wiz are a stellar 17-9-1 ATS.
Orlando Magic (2-6 SU, 7-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs)
One of the reasons why Washington is third in the Southeast Division is the poor play of Orlando this year. The Magic have only four wins in their last 33 games but have covered as double-digit dogs in five of their six contests when getting 10 or more points.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2-6 SU, 7-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs)
Cleveland recently covered as 12.5-point pups at Miami, giving the champion Heat a scare in a 109-105 loss on Feb. 24. The Cavaliers have been the hot bet – no matter what the spread – in recent weeks (6-0 ATS in their last six), and will likely see double-digit spreads in upcoming games with the Clippers, Grizzlies, and Spurs.
Dallas Mavericks (0-5 SU, 4-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs)
At first glance, we thought these numbers were off. But, the Mavs have been big pups in five games this season – at Clippers, at Miami, at OKC, at San Antonio, at Memphis – and while they lost all five of those outings, they managed to cover in all but one. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the next opportunity to back Dirk & Co. as a Triple-D but they could get 10 or more points in San Antonio on March 14.