Defending NBA champs a bad bet in season openers

Oct 28, 2013 |
The Miami Heat bucked a long-running ATS trend last season, defeating the Boston Celtics 120-107 as 6.5-point home favorites on the opening night of the NBA schedule.

Before that victory, defending NBA champions were 7-3 SU but just 3-7 ATS in their first game of the season off a title run over the last 10 years. That win over Boston also snapped a six-game ATS skid for reigning NBA champs in their first game of the schedule.

Miami is back in that position again, taking on the Chicago Bulls as a 5-point home favorite to kick off the 2013-14 season Tuesday night.

Before the Heat won their opener last October, the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers (twice), Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and the 2011-12 Miami squad fell short of the spread in their season debuts.

Going back another 10 seasons, between 1992 and 2001, defending NBA champions flexed their muscles in the season opener, going 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS. However, the Bulls (5), Houston Rockets (2) and Lakers (2) accounted for nine of those titles.

Oddsmakers have set the Heat as +240 favorites to win their third straight NBA title this season. Tuesday’s total is set at 187.5 points.

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