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Impact of Rest

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So how do you adjust your handicapping methods when it comes to scheduling in the NBA?

As we get deeper into the NBA season scheduling and rest become more important in our handicapping process. Fatigue and travel not only start taking a toll on players physically but mentally too. Coaches start changing rotations and adjusting their style of play in an effort to keep players fresh for the second half of the season and stretch run to the playoffs.

An example of what we are talking about is this: In the first month and a half of the season teams that were playing with two or more day’s rest, against a team coming off a game the night before, were just 5-14 ATS. Since November 24, we’ve seen a drastic shift in that scenario as players are starting wear down or fatigue so we find value in playing on rested teams versus un-rested foes. Teams that have two plus days off and are facing an opponent off a game the previous night are on a 9-5 ATS run and have a longer term record of 18-11 ATS the last 29 (through 12/29). There is a current advantage to wagering against teams playing their fourth game in a five night span without rest when their opponent is rested. As the season has worn on this trend has gotten better and better. If you were to blindly bet against teams playing their fourth game in five nights without rest versus a team that did not play the previous night you would be 12-9 ATS on the season, but most recently you would have won nine of your last 11 wagers as of December 29.

Rest or no rest also has an impact on 'totals.' Specifically we’ve looked at games featuring one team playing their fourth game in five nights without rest. Offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency and pace of play are clearly altered when a team is in this brutal scheduling situation. We’ve done some digging and found that if a game features one team playing their 4th game in a five night span the ‘under’ has done remarkably well going 20-8 (71%) ‘under’ on the season and two of the losses were overtime games. Within that 20-8 set if our team is also facing an opponent playing without rest the ‘under’ is 5-2 this season. If both teams are playing their fourth in five nights and un-rested the ‘under’ is 2-0.

When doing your nightly handicapping make sure you spend some time looking at teams schedules and continue to track these current trends in the NBA. Oddsmakers will start adjusting numbers accordingly, but until they do we’ll use rest and no rest to our advantage before heading to the ticket window.

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