Which NBA Teams Are Best Against the Spread as Favorite?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is at a standstill for one day on Christmas Eve, before the Christmas Day slate dominates the sports world tomorrow. 

With nobody in the league playing today, it’s a perfect time to check in on some of the best teams against the spread. 

However, let’s break this down by which NBA teams are the best against the spread as a favorite this season. 

Here are the best teams at winning games that they are expected to win by oddsmakers and covering the spread in the process. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the biggest surprise in the NBA this season, as they’ve gone 19-13 through their first 32 games and are the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Cleveland started the season by covering most of its games as an underdog, and while it still is the best team in the NBA against the spread, it is also the best team ATS as a favorite. 

The Cavs are 8-0-1 ATS when favored this season, showing that they don’t just beat teams they are superior to, but they win by a lot, covering by an average of 12.7 points per game as a favorite. 

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have the second best record in the NBA heading into their Christmas Day showdown with the Phoenix Suns, as they are 26-6 on the year. 

Golden State has also been fantastic against the spread, but it is even better as a favorite, going 18-8-2 against the spread and winning by an average margin of victory of 12.0 points per game. 

As long as Steph Curry is healthy, the Warriors are going to be one of the best teams in the NBA, but don’t be surprised if some of their lines are inflated later this season when Klay Thompson returns.  

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are 13-6 against the spread this season as a favorite, and they’ve weathered the storm despite dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Chicago is just covering the spread as favorite by an average of 0.2 points per game, but it has come through to the tune of covering at a 68.4 percent rate this season. 

The Bulls could get even better in this spot once they are fully healthy, as Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan have only played part of the season where they all have been healthy at the same time. 

Boston Celtics

The Celtics are the most surprising team on this list, as they are just 16-16 on the season, but they have been good when they’re favored. 

Boston is 11-8 against the spread as a favorite this season, while it is just 5-6-2 against the spread as an underdog. 

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both still getting into a rhythm, as Tatum is shooting just 41.9 percent from the field and Brown has missed time with injury this season. 

Boston still can be one of the best teams in the East, and this stat shows that they have been solid when playing against teams that they are supposed to beat.