The NBA season is on hold for the time being and will have a unique look if play resumes in the bubble at Disney World in late July. So while we’re waiting things out, we thought now would be a good time to look into the 10 best seasons against the spread over the past 30 years.
With the help of research from ESPN Stats & Information, we broke down the 10 best overall betting campaigns over the past 30 seasons.
2011-12 San Antonio Spurs (43-21-2 ATS, 67.2% cover)
Manu Ginóbili missed nearly half the season, but the bench picked up the production. The Spurs’ bench averaged 41.9 PPG in 2011-12, the most in the NBA. That helped the Spurs lead the NBA in offensive efficiency for the first and only time under Gregg Popovich. Rookie Kawhi Leonard averaged 7.9 points on 49% shooting and 1.3 steals per game in 64 games.
2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks (54-28 ATS, 65.85%)
The Bucks improved by 12 games in 2009-10 (46-36) from the previous season (34-48) in part due to the play of rookie Brandon Jennings. Jennings started all 82 games and averaged 15.5 PPG, the third-highest mark among rookies behind only Tyreke Evans (20.1) and Stephen Curry (17.5). Jennings’ 55-point performance against the Warriors is the single-game high for any rookie since the NBA merger (1976-77). The Bucks’ 101.9 defensive efficiency rating was also best in the NBA.
1994-95 Utah Jazz (52-28-2 ATS, 65%)
The Jazz had their first 60-win season, going 60-22 and at the time setting the best single-season record in franchise history. Utah won a league-high 39 games by double-digits in 1994-95 and went 37-1-1 ATS in those wins. The Jazz also went 27-14 away from home, still their best road record in franchise history.
2007-08 Boston Celtics (52-29-1 ATS, 64.2%)
Boosted by the offseason acquisitions of perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the Celtics won 66 games, the third-highest total in team history and their most since 1972-73. They increased their win total by 42 games from the previous season, the largest increase from one season to the next by any team in league history (according to research by Elias Sports Bureau).
1993-94 Indiana Pacers (51-29-2 ATS, 63.75%)
In their first year under Larry Brown, the Pacers improved from 21st to eighth in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Two of their top five scorers weren’t on the team the previous season; they traded for Derrick McKey and signed Byron Scott midseason. A 47-35 record was good for fifth in the East. The Pacers came within one game of the NBA Finals, falling to the Knicks in the Eastern finals in seven games.
2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies (52-30 ATS, 63.4%)
Tony Allen was added to the team to kick off the “Grit ‘n Grind” era in Memphis. The Grizzlies led the NBA in steals per game (9.4) and were seventh in blocks per game (5.4). They also improved to sixth in field-goal percentage after ranking ninth in 2009-10 and 21st in 2008-09. The Grizzlies went 46-36 to secure the No. 8 seed in the West.
2007-08 Orlando Magic (51-30-1 ATS, 63%)
In Stan Van Gundy’s first season in Orlando, the Magic had their best season to date, going 52-30 for a 12-win improvement from the previous season. Billy Donovan had initially been hired to replace Brian Hill, but he opted to return to Florida. The team went on to win its first playoff series in 12 years, reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals. Dwight Howard (20.7 PPG, 14.2 RPG) was named an All-Star starter for the first time and won the slam dunk contest.
2009-10 Jazz (51-30-1 ATS, 63%)
The Jazz went 53-29 but were eliminated by the Lakers in the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Carlos Boozer led the team in scoring (19.5 PPG) and rebounding (11.2 RPG), and Deron Williams (18.7 PPG, 10.5 APG) was selected to play in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. Kyle Korver set an NBA record for 3-point shooting, hitting 53.6% of his attempts. Legendary coach Jerry Sloan would resign the following season.
2017-18 Celtics (50-30-2 ATS, 62.5%)
The Celtics went 55-27 in the regular season after a bevy of offseason moves. Boston traded the top pick in the draft to the 76ers for two selections, one being Jayson Tatum. The C’s also added Gordon Hayward in free agency and traded for Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately for the Celtics, they lost both Hayward and Irving before the playoffs but still pushed the Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern finals.
2002-03 New York Knicks (50-30-2 ATS, 62.5%)
The Knicks went 37-45 in Don Cheney’s only full season as head coach for a seven-win improvement over the 2001-02 season. New York still finished five games out of a playoff spot. Allan Houston averaged a career-best 22.5 PPG for the Knicks, who lost newly-acquired Antonio McDyess for the season because of a knee injury.