The Phoenix Suns: A Gambling Anomaly

Going into the 2020-21 NBA season, everyone was high on the Suns. They added Chris Paul and Jae Crowder to a team that was coming off an undefeated bubble, but still missed the playoffs. Devin Booker is a superstar and DeAndre Ayton is on his way to being a top big man in this league. They are currently 18-10 and sitting at 4th in the Western Conference standings.


Now for this gambling anomaly:


18-10 is their record in wins and losses. 18-10 is also their record against the spread. One would think that a few of the losses would be wins against the spread, or a few wins would be losses against the spread. Well they are not. Every game that Phoenix has won, they have covered. Every game that they have lost, they failed to cover.


WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT? I wish I knew how to calculate that but I don't even know where to begin.


In their wins (18), there have only been 2 truly close calls. Both times they were -5.5 and won by 6 (against Houston and Cleveland). All other games there has been a cushion of at least 3 points between the result and the spread.


In their losses (10), there has only been one close call where they were +3.5 against the Clippers and lost by 5. Other than that, there has been a cushion of at least 5 points between the results and spread in every loss.

There is truly no way to explain this. Vegas just can't figure this team out. The whole point of spreads is to give someone the ability to bet on a game without having to choose a winner. The Suns are just messing that up. From now on, if you think the Suns are going to win the game, bet the spread. If you think they are going to lose the game, bet the opponent's the spread.


If you had been doubling down on Suns' spread and money line bets on every game of theirs this season, you would be only be up 2 units. If you had just bet spreads you would be up 7 units. Betting money line you would be down 5 units. 8 of the 10 games they lost they have been favored in. 4 of those games they were favored by 6 or more points, putting the money line odds at -250 or worse.


There is no rhyme or reason to be found with this wild trend. They win when they are favored, they lose when they are favored. They win as underdogs, and they lose as underdogs. At some point this streak will end, maybe tonight against Memphis where Phoenix is -6.5.


Regardless of how long this goes on, the odds of this occurring are very very slim.

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