Wagering on NBA teams during the second night of a back-to-back can be a great situation to find some value during a long basketball season. Some teams struggle during those spots, while others excel, which is typically based on coaching, experience and age. The Golden State Warriors are one of the best squads on the second night of a back-to-back, but at this point during their epic run, you probably could have guessed that. Let's skip the defending champs, however, because we already know how good they are and need to focus on a few of the other groups excelling during back-to-backs.
San Antonio Spurs
ATS Record: 4-0
Margin of Victory: +15.0
San Antonio has played in only four back-to-backs this season, but this result is a bit shocking. Coach Gregg Popovich is infamous for resting players during extended road trips and in back-to-backs, yet those movements do not seem to have interrupted the ecosystem in San Antonio. The Spurs are once again the oldest team in the league with a combined average age of 30.5, but don't let that stat fool you. The team has built an infrastructure of talent around a young Kawhi Leonard and the newly-acquired LaMarcus Aldridge. The most interesting factor concerning the second night of a back-to-back is the fact that the top two ATS teams are currently the oldest and second-youngest in the league.
ATS Record: 5-0
Milwaukee is the second-youngest team in the league, right ahead of the always-rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers, and the squad has the second-best ATS record in back-to-backs. The group is winning those matchups by over nine points per game, and they continue to follow the leadership and excellent coaching of Jason Kidd. At the moment, the Bucks are a sub-.500 team, and their solid ATS record in these spots might be a product of scheduling rather than a product of talent. That is not to say the team isn't good, but it has been favored by an average of 1.1 points during these spots, which is something that will not continue to happen once they face better squads.
ATS Record: 5-1
We are back to the old guard covering in these spots, with Dallas being the third-oldest team in the NBA. The squad has a combined average NBA experience of seven years per player, which is a huge number when the average NBA career is only 4.8 years long. The key to the Mavericks' success in these spots is the fact that they have been huge underdogs for many of the games. The team received 12 and seven points against the Clippers, 10 against the Spurs and 7.5 against the Rockets. Dallas' success, similar to Milwaukee's but on the opposite end, has been built off being underrated against a tougher-than-normal schedule. Taking the points on Dallas is beginning to feel like a solid spot.
Los Angeles Lakers
ATS Record: 4-1
The Lakers excelling at anything this season is quite shocking. Who would have guessed Los Angeles would be solid during these situations? Maybe it's because Kobe Bryant typically rests during these spots, which allows the team open up and explore things on the offensive end? Maybe the ATS record is due to those 10-point spreads the team receives on a nightly basis? Whatever it is, the numbers show that the Lakers are underrated during these situations, and that trend will probably continue throughout the season since Los Angeles isn't much of a "public team" anymore.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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