NBA's 10 worst betting seasons of the past 30 years

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The NBA season is on hold for the time being and will have a unique look if play resumes in the bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in late July. So while we're waiting things out, we thought now would be a good time to look into the 10 worst seasons against the spread over the past 30 years.

With the help of research from ESPN Stats & Information, we broke down the 10 worst overall betting campaigns over the last 30 seasons.


2003-04 Orlando Magic (27-54-1 ATS, 33.3% cover)

The Magic dipped to 21-61 after going 42-40 the previous season. Doc Rivers was fired after a 1-10 start, and the team lost 19 straight games after winning its season opener. They went 1-18-1 ATS during the 1-19 start (1-18 ATS over the first 19 games). Tracy McGrady led the NBA in scoring for the second straight season (28.0 PPG), but Grant Hill missed the entire season recovering from ankle surgery.

1995-96 Houston Rockets (27-53-2 ATS, 33.8%)

The two-time defending NBA champions were beset by injuries in 1995-96. Three of the team's top six scorers (Clyde Drexler, Sam Cassell, Mario Elie) each missed at least 20 games due to injuries. The Rockets went 30-16 (.652) during the regular season in games Hakeem Olajuwon, Drexler and Cassell played together and 18-18 (.500) in all other games.

2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (23-43 ATS, 34.8%)

Then the Bobcats, Charlotte went 7-59 and was the lowest scoring team in the league at 87.0 PPG. The Bobcats were outscored by a league-worst 13.9 PPG and ended the season on a 23-game losing streak. They went 34-48 the previous season, but the 2011-12 campaign marked the worst winning percentage for an NBA team in a season (.106).

1995-96 Dallas Mavericks (28-52-2 ATS, 35%)

The Mavs finished 26-56, a 10-win dip from the previous season, despite starting 5-1 outright (3-3 ATS). They would drop 21 of their next 24 games, losing Jamal Mashburn in the process. Mashburn (23.4 PPG) played only 18 games, and Dallas went 22-40-2 ATS after his injury. Second-year star Jason Kidd made his first All-Star Game but had trouble getting along with Jim Jackson. Roy Tarpley was banned from the NBA for violating the league's drug policy.

2001-02 New York Knicks (30-52 ATS, 36.6%)

The Knicks went 30-52 to end a 14-season playoff appearance streak, the longest in franchise history. Jeff Van Gundy unexpectedly resigned 19 games into the season (10-9), and the Knicks went 20-43 under Don Chaney the rest of the way. The 18-win dropoff from 2000-01 was the Knicks' second-largest year-over-year win decrease in franchise history at the time (now it's the third-largest). The Knicks' FG percentage of 43.2% was their lowest mark since 1964-65 (42.6%).

1995-96 Denver Nuggets (30-52 ATS, 36.6%)

LaPhonso Ellis missed the first 32 games of the season, with the Nuggets starting 13-19 (11-21 ATS). Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf led the team with a 19.2 PPG scoring average. The Nuggets went 8-12 (6-14 ATS) in their final 20 games.

1994-95 Golden State Warriors (30-52 ATS, 36.6%)

Chris Mullin played only 25 games due to injuries, while Chris Webber was traded to Washington prior to the start of the season due to issues with coach Don Nelson. The Warriors would change coaches during the season, going from Nelson to Bob Lanier. Golden State dropped from 50 wins in 1993-94 to 26 wins in 1994-95 and allowed 111.1 points per game, 4.3 more than any other team in 1994-95.

2012-13 Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (30-50-2 ATS, 37.5%)

In the franchise's second-to-last season as the Bobcats, Charlotte improved over the previous season by 14 games but still only managed a 21-61 record. Only the Magic had a worse record (20-62). Charlotte also had the worst scoring differential in the league for a second straight season (outscored by 9.3 PPG).

1997-98 Rockets (31-51 ATS, 37.8%)

Despite their disappointing numbers against the spread, the Rockets finished 41-41, good for the No. 8 seed in the West playoffs. Olajuwon missed most of the first half of the season with a knee injury and played in just 47 games overall. It also marked the final season in the NBA for Drexler. The Rockets fell to the Jazz in the first round of the postseason.

1995-96 Phoenix Suns (31-51 ATS, 37.8%)

In Charles Barkley's final season in Phoenix, he led the team in scoring (23.2 PPG), rebounds (11.6) and steals per game (1.6). Kevin Johnson, who ranked sixth in assists per game (9.2) in 1995-96, missed 26 games with groin and hamstring injuries. The Suns also endured a coaching change, going from Paul Westphal to Cotton Fitzsimmons, and won 18 fewer games than the prior season, the second-largest drop-off from one season to the next in franchise history.