The NBA title may rest with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference but not even LeBron & Co. can overcome the Western Conference’s dominance in the NBA.
After Thursday's games, the West owns a 120-82 SU record against the East and has translated that into a 116-82-4 ATS mark, covering in almost 58 percent of non-conference meetings this season.
Here’s a look at the best and worst bets when going up against the alternate conference:
Best non-conference bets
Golden State Warriors (13-2 SU, 12-3 ATS vs. Eastern Conference)
The Warriors have been one of the bigger surprises of the first chunk of the schedule, posting a 20-11-1 ATS mark out of the gates. A good portion of those profits have come versus Eastern Conference opposition, including a seven-game road swing on the right side of the county in which Golden State finished 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in mid December.
Houston Rockets (12-2 SU, 12-2 ATS vs. Eastern Conference)
Houston should think about relocating to the East with the way its dealt with non-conference foes. The Rockets, who are just 6-12 SU in the West, have been money in the bank versus teams from the East. It helps that the majority of those games versus the East came inside the Toyota Center. Houston’s run-and-gun style has also led to an 8-6 over/under count in those non-conference competitions.
San Antonio Spurs (12-4 SU, 12-4 ATS vs. Eastern Conference)
The Spurs added to their sterling non-conference record with a seven-point win over Milwaukee Wednesday. San Antonio was on a stretch of four straight games versus Eastern Conference opponents, winning SU and ATS over the Nets and Bucks before falling to New YorkThursday. The Spurs host Philadelphia Saturday. The Spurs are scoring an average of 108.7 points versus Eastern foes – almost five points more than against Western teams.
Worst non-conference bets
Chicago Bulls (4-8 SU, 2-10 ATS vs. Western Conference)
The Bulls have lost three in a row to Western Conference teams, most recently falling SU and ATS to Houston on Christmas Day. Chicago’s dreaded “Circus Trip” to start the season played a hand in this terrible record. The Bulls won just one game SU and ATS in four Western Conference stops back in November and their only paydays came versus Phoenix and Dallas.
Charlotte Bobcats (2-14 SU, 4-11 ATS vs. Western Conference)
No matter what conference the Bobcats take on, they’re a terrible bet. Charlotte has been bullied by Western Conference opponents in the first part of the season, most recently going 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS on a Western road trip that took the Bobcats to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Golden State and Denver. Charlotte did deliver for backers in defeat to New Orleans last weekend, just covering in a 98-95 loss as a 3.5-point underdog.
Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 SU, 1-8 ATS vs. Western Conference)
The Bucks haven’t met up with many Western Conference foes but when they have, it’s been bad for backers. Milwaukee fell to its current record with a SU and ATS loss to San Antonio Wednesday and takes on Houston, one of the best West-versus-East bets, at home Friday. The Bucks are averaging just under 94 points per game versus Western opposition, compared to 97.3 versus conference competition.