There isn't a worse NBA team than the New York Knicks this season. Their 5-35 record and 15 straight losses have them in the pole position to earn (?) the highest probability of winning the top pick in the NBA Draft and the Jahlil Okafor that comes with that honor. One would assume that betting against the Knicks every night would be a profitable endeavor. That assumption would be absolutely correct.
New York has gone 13-26-1 against the spread, including today's blowout loss to the Charlotte Hornets in which they failed to cover a seven point spread, which is the worst mark in the NBA. If you bet $100 against the Knicks every game this season, you'd have made a total of $1,144 in two months. That's a return on investment of just over 29%!!!
What makes numbers like that so impressive isn't just that the Knicks have been so bad (as I write this, they trail Charlotte 81-38 in the third quarter). It's that they've been even worse than anyone could have possibly expected, even those tasked with assigning a value to just how bad they will be night in and night out.
As the worst team in the league, the Knicks have regularly been underdogs this season. In fact, they haven't been favored in a game since November 22nd against Philadelphia (they were 11 point favorites and failed to cover, only beating the Sixers by 8 points). That's 26 straight games as an underdog for the Knicks including today's game.
Real quick for the non-degenerates out there: when lines are set by bookmakers, barring some kind of special circumstance that would create additional value for the house, they are set in hopes of splitting action evenly on each side so that a profit can be made on the extra bit of money wagered on each side, often referred to as juice, or vig, or the extra ten goddamn dollars you need to bet to win $100 on a wager.
Well, even with all of that in place, there haven't been many surer things this season than the Knicks failing to cover the spread. In fact, only two teams have been more reliable this season in delivering a specific result. Milwaukee and Atlanta are 26-12 and 25-11 against the spread, respectively, and are covering at a slightly higher rate than the Knicks have failed to to this point in the year.
When today's beating at the hands of Charlotte goes final, they will have lost nine of their last ten against the spread. Betting against the Knicks is more reliable than investing in the stock market. Derek Fisher is issuing anyone who wants it their own personal stimulus package. Phil Jackson is enabling everyone to swim in cash as a result of the Knicks' failures, just like he is.
If you think laughing at the misfortune of the Knicks is fun now, try doing so while simultaneously laughing your way to the bank as a result of those same misfortunes. There aren't many more sure investments out there right now.