Worst NBA Team Against the Spread This Season (Who Is Struggling to Cover the Number?)

Which NBA teams should you avoid when betting against the spread? Here are some of the worst ATS teams so far this season!

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the hardest things to do in the NBA is bet on teams against the spread night in and night out, and some squads have made it much tougher on bettors this season than others. 

On Monday, I highlighted the best teams against the spread in the NBA this season, but what about the worst? 

The funny thing about covering the spread is that even some of the better teams in the league won't be great against the number. Here’s a look at who to avoid right now in the NBA betting market: 

Data is collected as of Sunday, Feb. 11.

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NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread Overall This Season

Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller.
Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller. / Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta Hawks: 17-36 (32.1% cover rate)
  • Charlotte Hornets: 19-33 (36.5% cover rate)
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 20-32-1 (38.5% cover rate)
  • Phoenix Suns: 21-30-2 (41.2% cover rate)
  • Denver Nuggets: 22-29-2 (43.1% cover rate)

What a group. 

Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the NBA, so you’d expect it to be here. However, Denver, Phoenix and Milwaukee are all NBA Finals contenders, yet they’re struggling to cover the number this season. This can happen to teams that are usually big favorites and still come out with wins – but don’t cover.

As for Atlanta, the team was off to a historically bad start covering the spread, but it entered Monday’s action with an ATS win in six of its last seven games. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Favorites This Season

Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson. / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
  • Charlotte Hornets: 0-4 (0% cover rate)
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Detroit Pistons: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Washington Wizards: 1-3 (25.0% cover rate)
  • Atlanta Hawks: 9-19 (32.1% cover rate)

This list is what we’d expect, as four of the worst teams in the league have not been able to come through when favored this season. And then… there’s the Hawks. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Home Favorites This Season

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22), forward Brandon Clarke, guard Ja Morant.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22), forward Brandon Clarke, guard Ja Morant. / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Charlotte Hornets: 0-4 (0% cover rate)
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Detroit Pistons: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 2-6 (25.0% cover rate)
  • Washington Wizards: 1-3 (25.0% cover rate)

It’s worth noting that Atlanta (6-13) and Golden State (7-13) have also really struggled against the spread as home favorites this season. Phoenix (8-14-1 ATS) also makes this list. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Road Favorites This Season

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 2-8 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Brooklyn Nets: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Denver Nuggets: 7-13-1 (35.0% cover rate)
  • Atlanta Hawks: 3-5 (37.5% cover rate)
  • Toronto Raptors: 2-3 (40.0% cover rate)

Denver has been one of the best teams at home in the NBA for years due to the altitude change in the Mile High City, but the Nuggets have really been a team to fade when favored on the road. 

The Los Angeles Lakers have also struggled mightily when favored on the road this season. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Underdogs This Season

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 1-5 (16.7% cover rate)
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 2-6 (25.0% cover rate)
  • Atlanta Hawks: 8-17 (32.0% cover rate)
  • Charlotte Hornets: 19-29 (39.6% cover rate)
  • Philadelphia 76ers: 6-9 (40.0% cover rate)

This is where the Bucks are struggling, as they’ve had a hard time advanced competition when set as an underdog. The Sixers are a team to take note of here, as they’ll likely be set as dogs much more often with Joel Embiid out. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Home Underdogs This Season

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Miami Heat: 1-6 (14.3% cover rate)
  • Philadelphia 76ers: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Phoenix Suns: 1-3 (25.0% cover rate)
  • Atlanta Hawks: 2-6 (25.0% cover rate)
  • Washington Wizards: 7-15 (31.8% cover rate)

Honorable mention: The Bucks and Clippers are 0-1 ATS as home underdogs. 

The Heat are a bit of a surprise here, and the team didn’t pick up an ATS win as a home dog until it covered against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11. 

NBA Worst Teams Against the Spread As Road Underdogs This Season

Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks.
Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 1-4 (20.0% cover rate)
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 2-5 (28.6% cover rate)
  • Charlotte Hornets: 8-17 (32.0% cover rate)
  • Houston Rockets: 7-14-1 (33.3% cover rate)
  • Atlanta Hawks: 6-11 (35.3% cover rate)

Houston has been great at home this season, but the team has struggled on the road – as many young teams do. As for the Hornets, they are really struggling to keep up when set as dogs away from their own building, which they'll be on almost any night on the road. 

Stay tuned with this series I’ll be doing for BetSided through the All-Star break. I’ll be discussing the best teams ATS, the best OVER teams, the best UNDER teams and the best teams at home and on the road!


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.