By this point in the NBA season, books and bettors have a pretty tight handle on the Association. So in order to pull a fast one by the bookies, you need to go well beyond the standard handicapping tools and start using some unique forms and factors to cash in those NBA bets.
Here are a few examples which will help wih your sports picks:
During the home stretch of the schedule, the grueling pace of pro hoops starts to take its toll on player. Often times, contenders will suddenly rest key contributors – and not just one at a time. It’s nothing to see a coach pull his entire starting five from a game, even with the NBA cracking down on such practices. Bettors will want to keep an ear to social media, as beat reporters usually spill the beans on resting players on Twitter.
The injury report can also be a busy spot during this time of year. Players have been battling injuries on and off, and eventually that catches up to them. Teams in the bottom half of the standings with little to no hopes of making the playoffs will give injured stars extended time off while contenders will be more strategic when dealing with injuries, placing players on the report during light or non-competitive stretches of schedule. Again, keep a close eye on local beat reporters who usually send out this info first.
Some bettors subscribe to situational wagers while others do not. However, NBA teams are more likely to fall into these spots later in the season as fatigue follies focus. The three most popular or common situational spot bets are: lookaheads, letdowns, and scheduling.
Lookahead spots occur when a team has a big matchup on the horizon but before that marquee game they face a lesser opponent. The thought process here is that the team is more focused on that upcoming opponent and not the current one, especially if that important contest has playoff implications linked to it.
Letdown spots happen after a team has picked up a resume win. It can be a key victory versus a divisional foe or a surprising upset of a top-tier team. Bettors buying into the letdown are expecting that team to come out unfocused – fat and happy – off the big win, and suffer a decline in performance the following game.
Scheduling spots are very common, with bettors going against teams playing back-to-back nights or playing three games in four nights. Bettors can also find scheduling spots when teams play at home one day and then immediately hit the road for a game the very next night. Teams will travel through the night and arrive late, leaving them out of routine for the away tilt.
Handicapping officials is nothing new to sports bettors, but it’s more common in baseball than other pro sports. Basketball bettors can find value in capping the referee schedule when finding whistle-happy officials going against teams that like to attack the basket and get to the hoop – or factoring refs who let teams play. More often than not, shopping the referees is a task saved for totals bettors, as those extra fouls – or lack thereof – came decided whether the game goes Over or Under.
This phenomenon is rampant in the NBA, with players and owners basically admitting to such tactics. As teams fall out of playoff contention, they begin to look ahead to next season – starting with the NBA Draft. With basketball being such an individual-driven sport, an elite addition in the draft can change the fortunes of a team. Bettors should always beware those teams outside the playoff picture and get a good grasp on their game plans for their remaining schedule.