Friday NBA Betting Report: Schedule Handicapping Breakdown
by Aaron Smith - 3/16/2012
The trade deadline has come and gone. Dwight Howard is still with the Orlando Magic, and for the most part there weren’t many major deals. The condensed NBA regular season ends in just six weeks. Most teams still have to play somewhere between 23 and 25 games in that period of time.
In a major sport such as the NBA, the lines are very tight. Finding a unique angle to help you get that small edge on the oddsmakers is crucial. There is no better way to do that this year than to examine the schedule and find strange scheduling spots. 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 March 16 Games of Note
San Antonio at Oklahoma City (-4) – 9:30 p.m. EST
The biggest matchup of the night will take place in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have the best record in the Western Conference, and the Spurs have the second best record. The teams have split their two meetings so far this season.
Oklahoma City is coming off an impressive win in Denver last night. The Thunder will be playing their third game in four nights. In addition, playing in the altitude in Denver always takes more out of a team. San Antonio comes into this one quite fresh. The Spurs will be playing just their fourth game in the last nine days.
The Spurs are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 games playing on a single day of rest. The Thunder are 0-7 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a winning record. The line is set a little lower than normal here, but I think it is for a good reason.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma City 102, San Antonio 101
Milwaukee (-1) at Golden State – 10:30 p.m. EST
While there wasn’t a ton of action around the trade deadline, these two teams were both very active. Golden State traded away Monta Ellis, who has been the Warriors best player for the last couple years. But now he is in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform. He’ll likely be ready for this game, and I have to think he really wants to play against his old team.
Andrew Bogut is now a member of the Warriors, but he’s unlikely to see the court the rest of this season. Stephen Jackson was sent to Golden State, but he was shipped to San Antonio right away before suiting up at all for the Warriors. It will be interesting to see how different these teams look on Friday evening.
This will be the Warriors fifth game in the last seven days. Milwaukee should be the more rested team, but Ellis has been with the Warriors throughout their busy schedule so the picture is a little more complicated than normal. The Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a single day of rest.
Score Prediction: Milwaukee 107, Golden State 101
Detroit at Phoenix (-5) – 10 p.m. EST
Both of these teams stood pat at the trade deadline. Neither of these teams seem particularly close to winning anything of any significance, but apparently there was nothing too exciting on the trade market for these teams. Phoenix is one of the oldest teams in the league, and they will be playing the final game of a back-to-back-to-back scheduling spot in this one.
The Suns picked up a huge win as a nine-point underdog last night against the Clippers. Detroit should be relatively fresh here. This is only the Pistons fifth game in the last 10 days. Still, the Pistons are 9-20 ATS in their last 29 road games. The Suns are actually 4-0 ATS in their last four games without any rest.
Score Prediction: Phoenix 104, Detroit 95
Minnesota at Los Angeles Lakers (-8) – 10:30 p.m. EST
Minnesota is coming off a disheartening overtime loss against Utah on Thursday night. The Lakers had a day off on Thursday, but they had back-to-back overtime wins over Memphis and New Orleans on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both teams could be a little bit worn down in this one.
The Timberwolves clearly aren’t the same team without Ricky Rubio at the point guard spot. Michael Beasley is also listed as questionable for this one due to a toe injury. The Lakers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games. The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on no rest.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles 101, Minnesota 91
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