Western Conference still the class of the NBA

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The NBA season is a month old and the balance of power still resides in the Western Conference. And that is certainly true at the top of the standings.

In games between Eastern Conference teams and Western Conference teams the Western teams hold just a slight 98 to 95 edge in wins and have two more pointspread covers in those games.

But of the four teams with the best records, three are in the West with the LA Clippers at 12-2, Golden State at 11-2 and San Antonio at 10-3.

In the East, Cleveland has the best record, 11-2, with only 9-4 Atlanta and 8-4 Charlotte having fewer than five losses.

To be fair, the team with the worst record in the NBA is not Philadelphia in the East. The Sixers started this week 3-10 with all three wins coming at home. Nor is it 3-9 Washington.

The worst record in the NBA is held by a team in the West. The Dallas Mavericks have started 2-10 and is the only Western team with fewer than four wins.

It’s still early in the season and the schedules have yet to be as intertwined as they shall be as we get deeper into the season.

Through Sunday 198 of 1,230 regular season games had been played, roughly a sixth of the season. Home teams have gone 116-82 SU (58.6 percent winners) but just 103-91-4 ATS (53.1 percent winners, ignoring pushes), using closing lines from the Westgate.

Home Favorites have been slightly profitable at 69-59-3 ATS (53.9 percent) but Home Underdogs slightly unprofitable (31-29-1, 51.7 percent)

There have been considerably more OVERs (107) than UNDERs (89) through the season’s first month with 2 games PUSHing the Total.

The NBA will take Thanksgiving Day off with no games played on Thursday. But all 30 teams are in action on Friday (including an early game that starts at 10 AM Pacific time) and 10 of those teams playing again on Saturday.

Here’s a preview of three games to be played over the holiday weekend.

San Antonio at Boston (Friday): Although the Spurs have already lost 3 games at home they were a perfect 7-0 SU on the road through Sunday, covering in 6. The Spurs are 10-3 overall and have the third best record in the West. Boston, picked to finish second or third in the East behind Cleveland, was just 7-6 through Sunday. Boston already hosted an elite team, losing last Friday to Golden State by 16 points. Afterwards, several players spoke of how disgusted they were with their lack of effort in that loss. They get a chance to play another elite team here and the Spurs have a game in Washington on Saturday whereas Boston is idle until Monday. Likely to be a modest home underdog, this is a good spot to back the Celts and an outright upset win would not be a surprise. BOSTON.

Detroit at Oklahoma City (Saturday): The Pistons have one of the largest home vs road contrasts with a 5-1 record at home but just 1-7 on the road, both SU and ATS. OKC has played 10 of 14 games at home, going a modest 6-4 (5-5 ATS). Detroit is off a tough game hosting the Clippers on Friday night while the Thunder played at Denver. On November 14 the Pistons hosted the Thunder and won 104-88 as 1 point home underdogs, setting up a revenge situation for OKC in their second and final meeting this season. Given Detroit’s poor road performance to date, including that 1-7 ATS mark, suggests the Thunder will be laying a point or two higher than they normally would. But in 5 of those 7 road losses Detroit has lost to the pointspread by more than 11 points. OKLAHOMA CITY.

Houston at Portland (Sunday): These teams met in Houston 10 days ago with Houston winning handily 126-109, easily covering as 5.5 point favorites. Portland was just 4-3 SU at home through Sunday but had lost 6 straight home games ATS. Their most recent home game, last Tuesday, was the first home game to stay UNDER the Total after opening with 6 straight home OVERs. Portland’s home play to date makes it tough to lay points right now but Houston should be more than comfortable playing at a fast pace. The Total should be high, but probably not high enough. OVER

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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