As the NBA season moves toward a restart at the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in late July, more betting opportunities will arise. While we wait, we decided to take a look at the best teams to bet on over the past 30 years.
With the help of research from ESPN Stats & Information, we broke down the five teams with the best cumulative records against the spread over the past three decades.
San Antonio Spurs (1,395-1,278-50, 52.2% cover)
If there is a recent franchise that other teams in the NBA look toward as a paragon of sustained excellence, it's the Spurs. Since 1990, the team has won at least 47 games every single year outside of two -- and one was the lockout-shortened season of 1998-99. They have collected 16 division titles, made the playoffs every year outside of 1996-97 and won five championships.
Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder (1,328-1,242-37, 51.7% cover)
The franchise that was the SuperSonics until the 2008-09 season has endured plenty of ups and downs. The George Karl-coached teams with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp went a combined 357-135 from 1992-93 to 1997-98 and made the 1996 NBA Finals before losing to Michael Jordan's 72-win Bulls team. The Sonics of the early-to-mid 2000s made the playoffs only twice, while the Thunder franchise has won at least 45 games in all but two seasons of its existence.
Utah Jazz (1,323-1,251-39, 51.4% cover)
The Jazz, coached by the late Jerry Sloan from the 1989-90 season through 2010-11, maintained a standard of excellence that few franchises can match. The Jazz boasted one of the NBA's best home-court advantages and were a consistent playoff contender, making the postseason every year from 1990 to 2003. Utah won at least 53 games in eight seasons during the '90s -- the only season they were under 40 wins, they went 37-13 in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign.
Chicago Bulls (1,324-1,269-29, 51.1% cover)
When you have MJ on your team -- and in his prime -- it's likely you will be on one of these lists. The Bulls with (and without) Jordan were a dynamic team in the '90s, going a remarkable 490-166 in the regular season from 1990 to 1998. After that? Well, there was a bit of a rebuild before Derrick Rose was drafted in 2008 and Chicago became a regular Eastern Conference contender again.
Indiana Pacers (1,313-1,263-46, 51% cover)
Outside of a few lean years under Jim O'Brien in the late 2000s, the Pacers have been one the NBA's steadier franchises. From Reggie Miller to Jermaine O'Neal to Paul George and now Victor Oladipo, they have almost always had a superstar player and great coaching to lean on.