Recent History Shows Teams Struggle to Cover After Blockbuster Trades

PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD MACKSON-USA TODAY SPORTS

The new-look Sixers enter tonight’s game against the 37-17 Denver Nuggets as a fairly sizable 4.5-point favorite. If you plan to bet this one, you can grab a $50 free in-game bet when you make a $50 pregame bet at BetStarsNJ . So which side is the right side? Let’s take a look.

It figures to be an electric atmosphere at the Wells Fargo Center as Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott are expected to make their Philly debuts on Friday night, but Sixers fans apparently aren’t the only people excited. Bettors are overwhelmingly backing Philadelphia in this one with 68% of point-spread bets and an overwhelming 80% of point-spread money on the Sixers, and it’s easy to see why. Brett Brown’s team now arguably sports the Eastern Conference’s top starting five and is on the short list of conference powers favored to reach the NBA Finals, but a word of caution before throwing your money at Philadelphia tonight. There are often expectations from the betting public for blockbuster trades to pay immediate dividends, but that’s not always the case. In fact, recent history shows that teams struggle against the spread in the debuts of newly-acquired big names. Look no further than the Sixers themselves who struggled to a 111-106 loss to the Magic in Jimmy Butler’s first game with the Sixers a few months ago. They were a 5.5-point favorite in that one. There are also some other recent high-profile trade examples to also consider:

  • In Blake Griffin’s Pistons debut, Detroit squeaked by Memphis 104-102, but failed to cover the 8.5-point spread.
  • Back in February 2017, the Pelicans were demolished in DeMarcus Cousins’ New Orleans debut as a 3-point underdog in a 129-99 beatdown by the Rockets.
  • Goran Dragic’s first game with the Heat was a 105-91 loss as a 2-point favorite to the Pelicans.

Of course, none of this is to say the Sixers won’t win or cover tonight. As of late Friday afternoon, Denver shooting guard Gary Harris is out and Paul Millsap is questionable. That’s obviously significant. Plus, the Sixers are 11-5 ATS after a loss and 21-6 straight-up (14-13 ATS) at home this season, so there’s reasons to like the home team, but if you’re simply betting on them to cover because you think they will be riding an “emotional high” after a big deal, it’s just not a solid theory. The public often overestimates the immediate impact of a deal like this and seismic roster shifts often mean teams need time to gel.

Trust the process, but proceed with caution tonight.

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14 Comments

  • Ron bergandy February 8, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Cool story, rich and compelling

    Reply
    • Troy February 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      Dude! I love Ron Burgandy. Keep the quotes coming! My homeboys love your comments!

      Reply
  • Meat locker 4 life February 8, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Don’t forget Carson is on “The Fellas” tomorrow morning 6am-10am. Cuz is so cool de la,

    Reply
    • Boo February 8, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      Cuz gave the pre-game pep talk to the Sixers tonight. It was classic!

      Reply
      • Jimmy the Greek February 9, 2019 at 9:15 am

        And no one could understand his Greaseball speak

        Reply
  • I can no longer tell Dei Lyman and Amy Fadool apart February 8, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Nobody has hit wall harder than Amy. Yikes. Time to get into radio.

    Reply
    • Stop it February 8, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Amy is thicker than a snicker.

      Reply
    • Jimmy the Greek February 9, 2019 at 9:14 am

      Amy FAT DOOL

      Reply
  • Gary February 8, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    So fired up right now! I’m sitting The the super club box at center court and who walks in like he owns the place??? One Anthony Gargano!!!! So awesome. What a great guy , he signed 20 autographs and took pictures with everyone. The Cuz is King!

    Reply
    • Bruce February 8, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      That’s awesome baby!

      Reply
  • FUN TAYSOM HILLS February 8, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    they covered

    Reply
  • Kyle Scott: the gambling guru who tried to use his credit card to place a wager at the Borgata February 9, 2019 at 8:12 am

    LMAO!!!!

    Cute gambling videos by you and Wanker tho. BTW: Sixers covered last nite. Maybe stick to selling T-shirt’s.

    Reply
    • BWanksCB February 9, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      “Of course, none of this is to say the Sixers won’t win or cover tonight. As of late Friday afternoon, Denver shooting guard Gary Harris is out and Paul Millsap is questionable. That’s obviously significant. Plus, the Sixers are 11-5 ATS after a loss and 21-6 straight-up (14-13 ATS) at home this season, so there’s reasons to like the home team, but if you’re simply betting on them to cover because you think they will be riding an “emotional high” after a big deal, it’s just not a solid theory.”

      Reply
  • Jimmy the Geek February 9, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    So now all of you guys are pimping the gambling angle? I honestly think that the sports content has been excellent of late, especially you and Kevin but the whole betting shill act is getting old. We have to scroll halfway down the page to find actual stories in between ads for sports betting. If the site is being funded by ad revenue from online gambling that’s fine but swing the pendulum back a few notches, it’s completely heavy handed at this point.

    Reply
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