Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 1/27/2012
We’re now a month into this shortened NBA season and there have been plenty of interesting stories throughout the league. Offenses have been kept in check, and the ‘under’ has hit nearly 57 percent of the time through the first 195 games of the year. The schedule has been one of the biggest stories of the season, and it will continue to be thanks to the interesting scheduling quirks of a condensed season.
Not all teams are created equal when it comes to playing a lot of games in a small amount of time. The goal of this weekly NBA article is to help inform bettors of trends that could give them an edge when it comes to betting on games in these odd scheduling spots. 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, Jan. 27 Games of Note
New York at Miami (-11) – 8:00 p.m. EST
There hasn’t been a more disappointing team in the league than the New York Knicks so far this season. Mike D’Antoni’s seat is getting hotter every day.
New York will be playing its third road game in the past four days. Miami will be playing its third game in the last four days as well, but two of their contests have been at home. The Knicks have lost seven of their last eight games. New York actually won, 91-86, in Miami last February in the last meeting between these two teams, but that was under very different circumstances. This one will be televised nationally on ESPN.
New York is 1-8 ATS in their last nine Friday games. They are also 0-4 ATS in their last four games playing on a single day of rest. Miami is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games on a single day of rest. The Knicks look like a team that needs a major change. However, we think they barely cover this steep line tonight.
Score Prediction: Miami 109 New York 96
Orlando (-4) at New Orleans – 8:00 p.m. EST
No one in the NBA has had a more difficult schedule than the Orlando Magic this week. This will be the team’s fourth game in five days. Three of those four games have been on the road, and they haven’t been short road trips. New Orleans comes into this one as the much fresher team. The Hornets will be playing their fourth game in the past eight days.
It is clear that the oddsmakers are factoring the difficult scheduling spot into this game heavily, because it definitely looks a bit strange to see the Magic as only four-point favorites over the lowly Hornets. Orlando is 4-3 ATS so far this season in the second game of a back-to-back. Orlando is 0-5 ATS in their last five meetings with New Orleans. The Hornets have lost nine straight games, and I don’t see any reason to believe that they can stop that skid in this one.
Score Prediction: Orlando 95 New Orleans 86
Charlotte at Philadelphia (-15.5) – 8:00 p.m. EST
D.J. Augustin is the Bobcats second-leading scorer so far this year, but he will miss the next several games with a toe injury. Philadelphia has been one of the biggest positive surprises of the season thus far, but they are coming off a surprising home loss to New Jersey.
Charlotte hasn’t gotten any favors from the league in the scheduling department so far this year. The Bobcats have had games bunched together on multiple occasions in the first month. They will be playing their fifth game in seven days Friday night. Philadelphia will only be playing its third game in the past six days.
Charlotte is 1-7 ATS in their last eight games playing on one day of rest. Philadelphia is an impressive 35-17-2 in their last 54 games on one day of rest. Without Augustin it’s hard to imagine the Bobcats keeping up in this one.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 104 Charlotte 83
Phoenix at Portland (-9.5) – 10:00 p.m. EST
Portland will be playing its sixth game in eight days in this one. Fortunately for the Blazers, the schedule gives them a nice break over the next few days. Phoenix should come into this game very fresh. The Suns will be playing just their third game in the past seven days.
Portland is an impressive 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 home games. They are also 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games playing on a single day of rest. The trends favor Portland in this one, but tired legs will likely slow the Blazers a bit in this one. The current odds seem a little steep in this situation.
Score Prediction: Portland 96 Phoenix 92
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