10 Most Important Players to NBA Odds and Their Value
by Doc's Sports - 12/16/2014
Anyone who loves to wager on the NBA is probably already familiar with Doc's Sports' expert handicapper Raphael Esparza's tremendous success in his selection packages for this sport with a winning record in seven of the past eight seasons.
We sat down with the former Vegas Sports Informer to pick his brain on which NBA players in the game today will routinely have the biggest impact on shaping and moving the pointspread with the oddsmakers in town.
The following is a closer look at Raphael's Top 10 list of NBA pointspread movers in no certain order other than how they popped into his head.
Kobe Bryant- Los Angeles Lakers
This may be a shocker, but the Lakers appear to play better when Kobe is not on the floor. Nonetheless, his absence can move the spread anywhere from three to six points depending on the opposing team. The one caveat is that the oddsmakers are used to setting lines with him out of the lineup given all the time he missed.
LeBron James- Cleveland Cavaliers
The King is probably the biggest line mover in this group just because his new team has not quite gelled yet. The difference with him out of the game could be has high as seven points and no less than four. Opponents will turn their attention to shutting down Kyrie Irving to close the gap, and Kevin Love can't quite fill the entire void.
Carmelo Anthony- New York Knicks
Melo would fall into the three- to six-point range as well. This could actually add some solid value to the Knicks, who are getting used to running their offense with him out of the lineup. His playing status will also have a big impact on the total line; making a play on the "under" much more attractive when he is unable to go.
Marc Gasol- Memphis Grizzlies
This might be a shocker, but Gasol could impact the line up to three points. Paired with Zach Randolph, he has a huge presence in the middle, making the Grizzlies' frontcourt an almost immovable force. He remains one of the biggest reasons for Memphis's success this season.
James Harden- Houston Rockets
Harden is the heart and soul of this team and at times the Rockets' only offense. The most that he can move the spread is four points, and he will have a big impact on the total line if he does not play. Just his ability to consistently score points from the free-throw line will affect the spread and the total.
Two or more key players- San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs use of a set rotation where two or more of their top four stars (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and yes Kawhi Leonard (that is not a typo) routinely sit out games can have an impact of three points all the way up to seven points depending which players are actually held out of the lineup.
However, be very careful about going against this team when this does happen since it is more about the system in San Antonio than it is about which players are on the court.
Chris Paul- Los Angeles Clippers
CP3 does not have a huge impact on moving the line (three points tops), but he probably should considering that he is the floor general for this team. Paul's ability to play defense and control the tempo on offense is oftentimes why the Clippers look lost with him out of the lineup.
Anthony Davis- New Orleans Pelicans
Davis is the Pelicans, and his absence not only affects the spread by at least four points depending on the opponent, but also his lack of defensive presence will alter the total line quite a bit. His strength remains rebounds and blocking shots, but paired with Omer Asik, Davis has also become a bigger part of the offensive scheme this season.
DeMarcus Cousins- Sacramento Kings
Cousins' impact is very similar to Anthony Davis in terms of what he brings to the table for his team. This past summer's experience with the US National Team in the Olympics has really helped to expand his role with the Kings, and there is a noticeable difference when he is not on the floor.
His impact on the pointspread can be as much as three to four points, but Cousins has the ability to expand this number over the coming years if he continues to develop as one of the top players in the league.
Kevin Durant- Oklahoma City Thunder
It is pretty obvious the impact that Durant has on his team considering how much the Thunder struggled with him out of the lineup this season. His presence on the court is worth about three to four points on the spread depending on the opponent. While he is primarily known for his scoring, his primary contribution is the balance that Durant provides to the entire team when he is on the court.
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