The Biggest NBA Betting Upsets of the Year

May 16- 10 min read
NBA Betting Upsets

The Biggest NBA Betting Upsets of the Year

NBA Betting Upsets

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

2022 has been a massive year in the world of sports betting. With another great NBA season winding down, this feels like a perfect time to have a look at the games where bettors could have gotten a massive bang for their buck from the biggest NBA betting upsets of the year. These are the 10 underdog wins that had the highest moneyline odds in the 2021-2022 NBA season, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

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10. October 24th: Magic defeat Knicks 110-104 (+550)

9. November 17th: Magic defeat Knicks 104-98 (+550) 

We start the biggest NBA betting upset list off with a pair of Orlando Magic road wins over the New York Knicks at the beginning of the season. Clearly, the oddsmakers were still riding the high from the Knicks playoff run last year, but it quickly became evident that this year’s team was far worse. They proceeded to finish 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 37-45 record. Despite this, it’s still surprising to see that Orlando received the exact same +550 odds in the November game, considering their first win over New York came less than a month before.

8. February 16th: Trailblazers defeat Grizzlies 123-109 (+550)

7. February 16th: Pistons defeat Celtics 112-111 (+600)

February 16th was quite the day for NBA underdogs. On an 11-game slate, five teams with over +150 moneyline odds won, including both of these massive upsets from the Trailblazers and Pistons. Beginning with a Damian Lillard-less Portland team, they traveled into Memphis to take on the Grizzlies who were absolutely on fire, winning 9 of their last 10 games.

As +550 underdogs, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons dropped 32 and 31 points respectively to pull off the upset. For Detroit, they were on the road as well, and entered their matchup against Boston on an 8-game slide, while Boston was in the midst of a 9-game winning streak. Down 8 with four minutes left, the Pistons rallied, with Jerami Grant sinking a big shot with 19 seconds left to cash Pistons ML at +600 odds.

Considering the upsets on this particular slate, one can only imagine what kind of parlays may have been put together with some of the underdogs winning. If a $10 bettor made a Trailblazers and Pistons parlay, that would have paid $450 of profit!

6. February 2nd: Thunder defeat Mavericks 120-114 (+600)

5. November 26th: Pelicans defeat Jazz 98-97 (+700)

4. April 3rd: Thunder defeat Suns 117-96 (+800)

3. January 1st: Clippers defeat Nets 120-116 (+850)

Despite the fact that the Clippers and Nets finished this season within two wins of each other, Los Angeles was not supposed to stack up against Brooklyn in this game at all. For this New Year’s Day tilt, the Clippers were about as shorthanded as possible, missing Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac, Nic Batum, Luke Kennard, and even Head Coach Tyronn Lue, while Brooklyn was only missing Kyrie Irving amidst his vaccination drama.

Furthermore, Brooklyn had also just beaten a healthier Clippers team by 16 points four days prior and without Kevin Durant, so it’s understandable why oddsmakers had so little faith in LA. Nonetheless, a 34-point triple-double from James Harden and 28 points from Durant was not enough to take down the Clipper’s B team, led by Eric Bledsoe with 27 points.

2. January 20th: Pacers defeat Warriors 121-117 (+850) 

It’s hard to imagine that Indiana were +850 underdogs entering this game, as it was one of the most competitive and entertaining games we saw all year. Following a script similar to the Clippers’ win against the Nets, the Pacers traveled to San Francisco heavily undermanned.

All five of their starters were unable to play, and relied heavily on a rotation that included 4 rookies, while Golden State was fully healthy after getting Klay Thompson back from injury just a week before. Indiana kept it close all game, and were down three with 6 seconds left when they got a Justin Holiday 3-pointer to force overtime. They outscored the Warriors 11-7 in the extra frame to grab just their 17th win of the season in their 46th game, handing Golden State just their 13th loss of the year.

1. January 3rd: Pistons defeat Bucks 115-106 (+1100) as Biggest NBA Betting Upset

Topping off our list is an absolutely historic upset. Labeled as 17-point underdogs, with +1100 moneyline odds, the 6-28 Detroit Pistons traveled to Milwaukee to take on the reigning champs. At the time, Detroit was dead last in the entire league, with 4 of their 6 wins coming against non-playoff teams.

Milwaukee was back to their old tricks, sitting comfortably near the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 25-13, having already beat Detroit twice on the year by a whopping combined score of 49 points. No one knows what was in the air in Milwaukee on the night of January 3rd, but the lowly Pistons held the lead almost the entire game. Saddiq Bey took the bull by the horns with a 34-point performance. Not only was it the biggest NBA betting upset of the season, but according to Action Network, they were only the third team since 1995 to win a game as 17-point underdogs.

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