The old business philosophy, “You’ve got to spend money to make money” may not work in the NBA.
According to a report by ESPN, six NBA franchises where hit with luxury tax from last season, a fine for going over the set salary cap, and combined for a 237-244-10 ATS record in 2012-13 (49.28 percent).
The Los Angeles Lakers were handed the biggest bill, asked to pay $29,259,739 for a team that went just 45-37 SU and 34-46-2 ATS. Add to that a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs in which L.A. failed to cover the spread in all four losses.
The Miami Heat (46-36-0 ATS), who were taxed $13,346,242, and the New York Knicks (46-34-2 ATS), who were billed $9,962,406, were the only two teams among that group that finished with an ATS record above .500.
Along with the Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets (39-40-3 ATS), Chicago Bulls (36-46-0 ATS), and Boston Celtics (36-42-3 ATS) failed to translate all that extra dough spent on talent into profits for NBA bettors.
Funny enough, the teams with the best records against the spread this past season find themselves in the bottom half of the NBA’s tax bracket. Oklahoma City, Denver and Dallas ranked Nos. 23 through 25 in terms of 2012-13 payroll and posted a collective 146-97-3 ATS mark last season (59.9.5 percent).