Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 2/10/2012
It’s hard to believe, but the NBA All-Star Game is only a couple weeks away. The first half of the season has been very abbreviated due to the lockout, but that will be the theme of this season as a whole. Most teams have played at least 25 games, and the oddsmakers are getting a better read on each team. In order to beat the books, the average bettor will have to find important trends that help them stay ahead of the game.
The single biggest factor to look at this year is scheduling. Scheduling is always an issue with the NBA, but because of the condensed schedule this year it is particularly important. How does each team respond to this new condensed scheduling? It is something to keep a close eye on this year.
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.
Friday, Feb.10 Games of Note
Los Angeles Lakers (-4) at New York – 8 p.m. EST
Before the season if you had said the Knicks would be without Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and only be three-point underdogs against the Lakers most people would think you were crazy. The Lakers are just 3-9 on the road this year. The Knicks have gone on a three-game winning streak, but it is important to point out those wins were against New Jersey, Utah, and Washington.
The Knicks will be playing their sixth game in the last nine days in this one. The Lakers will be on the second end of a back-to-back after playing in Boston on Thursday night in a game that went an extra five minutes because of overtime. Los Angeles is 3-6 against the spread when playing on no rest. The Knicks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games on a single day of rest. The Lakers are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these teams.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles 95 New York 89
Oklahoma City (-1) at Utah – 10:30 p.m. EST
Oklahoma City has the best record in the NBA. The Thunder continue to mature as a team, and they have to be considered one of the favorites to win the title at this point in the season. Utah is always tough to beat at home, and they are 11-4 in front of the home faithful this season.
Oklahoma City will close out a five-game road trip with this one after a loss in Sacramento last night. The Thunder played with fire against Portland and Golden State earlier this week, but they managed to complete two straight comeback victories. This will be the Thunder’s sixth game in eight days, so there has been very little rest for this team. Utah will be playing its fourth game in the last eight days.
Despite the fact that they are a young club, Oklahoma City is just 3-5 ATS on the back end of a back-to-back. Utah has had two days off in a row before this one, which sets them up nicely here. The Jazz are 13-6-2 ATS in their last 21 games in this situation.
Score Prediction: Utah 102 Oklahoma City 100
Miami (-12.5) at Washington – 7 p.m. EST
This is a matchup of the team with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference against the team with the second-worst record in the conference. The last two times the Heat took on the Wizards Miami scored 121 and 123 points, respectively.
This will be Miami’s third game in the past four days. It will be interesting to see how the team responds to their disappointing loss in Orlando Wednesday. Washington has a single day off Thursday before this one, and that isn’t good news for them. The Wizards are 6-13 ATS this year when playing on a single day of rest. Miami is 18-3-1 ATS in their last 22 games at Washington.
Score Prediction: Miami 114 Washington 95
Milwaukee (-1) at Cleveland – 7:30 p.m. EST
Both Milwaukee and Cleveland will be playing their third game in the last four days in this one. The Cavaliers will be without Kyrie Irving, who is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion. Milwaukee is playing without Andrew Bogut, who isn’t expected back until April due to a fractured ankle.
Both of these teams were off Thursday, which makes this an interesting matchup. Milwaukee is 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 following a single day off. Cleveland is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 following one day of rest. This one should be close all the way.
Score Prediction: Milwaukee 96 Cleveland 94
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