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More than a month into the NBA season one winless team remains.

Philadelphia has started 0-16 with the average loss by 14.9 points. At 6-9-1 ATS betting against the 76ers has not been the moneymaking proposition you might think would be the case with a winless team. The Sixers have done little to deny speculation they are “tanking” the season to improve their chances at a high draft choice to compliment the recent high draft choices they’ve had over the past few seasons.

The woeful start by the Sixers has overshadowed some other miserable starts to the season, including those of Atlantic Division rivals Brooklyn (6-9), Boston (4-10) and New York (4-14). Together they are a combined 14-33 SU and a money-burning 16-31 ATS.

Division leader Toronto, 13-4, appears to be the only team from the Atlantic capable of making the playoffs although both the Nets and Knicks have first season coaches, which could result in steady improvement as the season wears on.

The Raptors start the week with the best record in the much weaker Eastern Conference. In the West, two teams have had even better starts.

Although both of those teams were considered playoff teams prior to the season, neither was a favorite to win the Conference Title. Thus Memphis’ 15-2 start and Golden State’s 14-2 mark are surprises. As you would expect, both teams have also been profitable at the betting windows, going 10-7 and 11-5 ATS respectively.

The team to keep your eyes on in coming weeks is Oklahoma City. Starting the season without stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the Thunder struggled to a 4-12 mark. Westbrook returned last Friday and showed little signs of rust in a blowout win over New York. Durant has been cleared to fully practice this week and might be on the court shortly.

But be careful in blindly backing the Thunder in the short term as their lines are likely to be inflated given the ground the team needs to make up in the standings. A better approach would be to consider a futures play on OKC to win the division or the conference since that ground can be made up with more than 60 games still to be played.

In addition to the strong pointspread start of Golden State (11-5), Portland has also rewarded backers in the season’s first month at 12-5 ATS. Sacramento has started 11-5-1 and one team from the East, Milwaukee, is also off to a strong start, going 12-6 ATS.

At the bottom of the pointspread standings are New York (5-13 ATS), Detroit (5-12) and Charlotte (6-11-1).

Pointspread results tend to even out over the entirety of the season so the Warriors, Trailblazers, Kings and Bucks are positioned to be overvalued in coming weeks whereas the Knicks, Pistons and Hornets to have value on their side.

Here’s a look at three games for the coming weekend.

Cleveland at Toronto (Fri.): As many had forecast, the “new look” Cleveland Cavaliers have started the season slowly, standing just 8-7 starting this week. It will take time for LeBron James and his new teammates to mesh, as was the case when he started with Miami. Toronto has gotten off to a quick start with a 13-4 record through Sunday.

Cleveland still can pick its spots for a fully focused effort in which the talent plays to its potential. This is such a spot, especially with Toronto winning at Cleveland, 110-93, two weeks earlier. The Raptors are rested while Cleveland played at New York Thursday night, perhaps providing additional value on the visitors. CLEVELAND.

Phoenix at Houston (Sat.): Houston is off to a strong 13-4 start, even with star Dwight Howard missing some time in addition to other injuries, especially to the backcourt. Phoenix has been slightly better than average with a 10-8 start and figures to be in a battle for one of the final couple of playoff spots. Both teams played road games on Friday so travel and the short turnaround become factors.

Often these negatives affect defensive play more than the offenses. Houston has been a strong UNDER team this season (14-3) but being shorthanded should have the Suns looking to force a more up tempo pace. We could see a lower-than-expected OVER/UNDER given the Rockets’ strong UNDER results, making a higher-than-expected score the attractive play. OVER.

OKC at Detroit (Sun.): Kevin Durant may have rejoined teammate Russell Westbrook on the court for Oklahoma City after missing the first month of the season. The Thunder are rested following Friday night’s game in Philadelphia while the Pistons hosted the 76ers Saturday night.

That should have resulted in either a rare win for Detroit or an embarrassing loss to one of the worst teams in NBA history. Either way, OKC is the more talented team and will be playing with a sense of urgency resulting from their poor start . OKLAHOMA CITY.

Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]

About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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