We are now into Week 3 of the NBA season. It’s already been very evident that it is far from business as usual this year. The abbreviated season has caused all sorts of odd scheduling spots.
While this might not be a good thing for the teams or the league as a whole, the average bettor should definitely use these scheduling changes to find good value. The goal of this weekly NBA article is to help bettors learn how to take advantage of these unusual situations. Every Friday we’ll break down a few of the games on that night’s slate where some tough scheduling could play a major role in the outcome of the game.
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Friday January 13 Games of Note
Detroit at Charlotte (-4) – 7:00 PM EST
No team has been busier than the Charlotte Bobcats over the last couple weeks. This will be the team’s ninth game already this calendar year. Charlotte was just 2-5 against the spread during that period heading into last night’s game in Atlanta.
The Pistons will be on the second end of a difficult back-to-back. The Pistons had a late night Thursday as they traveled from Milwaukee to Charlotte.
Detroit is just 1-4 ATS in their last five games when playing on zero days rest. At the same time, Charlotte isn’t a particularly deep team, and they will likely be worn down due to their crazy schedule of late. The Bobcats are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six home games against teams with a losing road record. Don’t tune into this game unless you are prepared for some ugly basketball.
Score Prediction: Charlotte 88 Detroit 82
Sacramento at Houston (-8) – 8:00 PM EST
This line was late to come out because Marcus Thornton is listed as questionable for the Kings. Thornton is the team’s leading scorer.
Both of these teams will be playing their third game in four days in this matchup. Both teams had the night off on Thursday, but that might not be a good thing when you look at recent results in that particular situation. The Kings are 0-5 ATS in their last five games coming off one day of rest. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games coming off a day of rest.
The road team is an amazing 22-7 ATS in the last 29 meetings between these teams. Sacramento should keep this one close.
Score Prediction: Houston 99 Sacramento 97
Washington at Philadelphia (-12.5) – 7:00 PM EST
Doug Collins’ Philadelphia 76ers are looking like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this year. Philadelphia has six guys averaging double figures in scoring so far this season. The 76ers have yet to lose at home this year. The Wizards are winless in five tries on the road so far this season.
This game is a unique scheduling spot for a couple reasons. Both teams will be playing their third game in four nights. In addition, these two teams will turn around and play each other once again Saturday night in Washington D.C.
The Wizards are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games while playing on one day of rest. The 76ers are an impressive 27-13-1 ATS in their last 41 when playing on one day of rest. The Wizards are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings with Philadelphia. I don’t see any reason to expect a close game here.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 104 Washington 86
Chicago (-3) at Boston – 7:00 PM EST
Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, and C.J. Watson are listed as questionable for the Bulls. Rose missed Wednesday’s game against the Wizards due to a turf toe injury, but the team is hopeful that he might be back for this showdown.
The Celtics should have benefited from a very light schedule over the past eight days, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Boston has played just two games in the last eight days, but they were beaten at home in both of those contests. The Bulls have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 10-2.
Both teams will come into this game off a single day of rest. The Bulls are 36-17 in their last 53 games following one day of rest. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five in this situation. Boston needs a win badly, but the Celtics aren’t playing their normal strong half-court defense. If Rose can go in this one, I think the Bulls pick up another important victory.
Score Prediction: Chicago 95 Boston 91