Whilst favourites tend to regularly get the most love in the NBA betting market, they aren’t always the most profitable teams to back. Particularly this season, there are a bunch of high-profile favourites that just aren’t getting it done. We’ve identified 5 frustrating favourites that punters should look to fade the rest of the regular season.

Toronto Raptors

Whilst they’ve had another stellar NBA regular season record-wise, the Toronto Raptors just aren’t cashing tickets for punters. They’ve been particularly poor as a favourite, cashing just 39% of the time for a 24-37-1 record.

This trend has held true as both a home and road favourite, with respective ATS records of 17-23 and 7-14-1. It is especially curious considering the fact that they’re a very solid 9-6 as an ATS underdog this season.

A large part of the reason for this discrepancy is simply that punters likely overrate this team at full strength. They’ve got a very talented roster on paper but it hasn’t been enough to cover the exorbitant spreads they face.

With a relatively easy schedule the remainder of the way, Toronto should be favourites in each of their remaining games. Whilst they’re still value at $12 for the NBA title, punters should fade this team during the regular season, starting tomorrow against Orlando.

Miami Heat

Having profiled them as one of the best underdogs in the NBA last week, Miami has been equally bad as a favourite. In many ways, they’re the inverse of the Raptors this season, which would make for an intriguing potential playoff matchup.

Despite a very impressive 25-12 ATS record as an underdog, Miami are just 16-22-1 as favourites. This is especially bad when they’re home favourites, mustering a dreadful 9-18-1 record against the number.

Whilst they tend to play some of the top sides close, this Miami side isn’t all that talented on paper. They’ve got a fantastic coach and some very competitive players, a mix that fares far better as an underdog.

In the thick of a very tight playoff mix, punters should look to back Miami as an underdog and fade them as a favourite the rest of the way. This starts tomorrow, where they can be had as heavy underdogs at Boston.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Another blight on this terrible Lakers NBA season is that they’ve been a nightmare from a punting perspective. They’ve been particularly poor as a favourite, covering only 18 of 45 such instances this season.

The majority of this damage has come as a road favourite, where they’re only 6-13 against the number. This is especially curious considering they’ve been a profitable 11-9 ATS as a road underdog so far.

Ultimately, this has been a transition year for LA and punters just overvalued them after the LeBron signing. With all the media attention they’re sure to get this off-season, this could even prove to be a profitable trend again next season.

Even with LeBron firmly back in the fold, market sentiment on the Lakers is at a season low. In the rare instance that they’re favoured the rest of the way, punters should look to fade them.

Golden State Warriors

Whilst they’ve remained firm as $1.45 NBA title favourites, the Warriors have been poor as an ATS favourite this season. They’ve gone 28-40-1 against the number in those games, underperforming the spread by an average of 2.1 points.

They’ve been particularly atrocious as a home favourite, covering just 14 of those 37 instances this season. Having suffered some truly brutal blowouts, they’ve underperformed the spread by an average of 3.6 points in these games.

In admittedly a much smaller sample size, they’re actually a profitable 4-3 as an underdog this season. Many of these occurred when Steph Curry was injured earlier this season, suggesting that punters tend to overrate a fully healthy Golden State side.

This is no indictment on their title chances this season, where they’re still the deserved favourite. That said, with their focus clearly on the playoffs, punters may be better off fading them for the remainder of the regular season.

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New Orleans Pelicans

It has been a disappointing season for the Pelicans both on the court and from an NBA betting standpoint. They’ve been especially poor as a favourite, going 13-19 in such instances this season.

The majority of this damage has come at home, where they’ve gone just 8-13 against the number. Interestingly, they’re actually a middling team as an underdog, going 23-22-1 in those games this season.

Especially with the Anthony Davis saga and now Jrue Holiday’s injury, the Pels have been a tough team to calibrate. Market sentiment has been firmly against this team of late and they’ve only been favoured in 2 of their last 13 encounters.

With games against Charlotte and Phoenix still left on the schedule, they definitely could be favoured a few more times this season. Whilst they could be an undervalued side next season, punters should look to fade them the rest of the way.


Whilst each of these NBA sides have been poor as favourites this season, there are still ways for punters to profit. Given the large numbers they’ll likely face, Golden State and Toronto are definitely worth fading the rest of the way. Similarly, fading Miami as a favourite and backing them as an underdog should continue being profitable.

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