NBA Handicapping: Younger and Older Squads Back-to-Back Analysis
by George Monroy - 1/28/2015
Situational handicapping can be an excellent way to approach your NBA betting on a nightly basis. Most nights picking a winner involves aspects outside of what actually happens on the court-scheduling, travel and a team's mindset are all things that should come into play when handicapping an NBA squad. Expert bettors love to focus in on teams playing during the second night of a back-to-back in order to take advantage of fatigue problems or even a lack of motivation.
One aspect that might get overlooked when handicapping the second night of a back-to-back is how age and experience play a part in those situations. Do younger teams with fresher legs cover more than older, tired squads? Or does experience and understanding how to pace yourself during back-to-back situations provide more of an advantage? Let's take a closer look at how age plays a part in covering spread during the second night of a back-to-back.
Best and Worst ATS Teams in Back-to-backs
New Orleans: 10-1; Average Age: 25.8
Toronto: 7-2; AA: 25.9
Atlanta: 9-3; AA: 27.1
Boston: 6-2; AA: 25.6
Houston: 8-3; AA: 26.4
Los Angeles Clippers: 3-8; Average Age: 28.8
Phoenix: 3-7; AA: 24.5
Dallas: 3-6; AA: 28.5
Utah: 4-7: AA: 24.3
Minnesota: 4-6: AA: 24.7
Taking a look at the five best squads during back-to-back situations shows that teams with players in the 25- to 27-year range are covering the most spreads in those situations. But what exactly is considered young and old in the NBA? According to the league's numbers, the youngest team in the NBA this season is the Philadelphia 76ers with an average player age of 24 years, while the Washington Wizards are the oldest with an average player age of 29 years.
Looking at the stats it seems that neither old nor young age play much of a part in producing a successful ATS record during the second night of a back-to-back. However, taking a look at the worst ATS teams in those situations seems to show that being too young or too old will hurt you during consecutive games-according to the numbers for this season at least. The squads with the worst ATS marks during back-to-backs are two of the oldest (Clippers and Mavericks) and three of the youngest (Suns, Jazz and Timberwolves) teams in the league. Let's look a little deeper at the numbers.
Five Youngest (AA: 24.48) ATS Records : 24-30-1
Five Oldest (AA: 28.72) ATS Records : 23-32-1
The five youngest teams in the NBA currently have an average age of 24.48 years and an ATS record during back-to-backs of 24-30-1 for a 43 percent cover rate. The five oldest teams in the NBA currently have an average age of 28.72 years and an ATS record of 23-32-1 for a 41 percent cover rate. The numbers, of course, reflect only what is happening this season, but they do seem to show that the oldest and youngest teams have the most trouble covering spreads during the second night of a back-to-back.
The five best ATS teams in back-to-backs this season have an average age of 26.16 years and a record of 40-11 with a cover rate of 78 percent. There are currently four team's in the NBA with an average player age of 26 years-Denver, Portland, Houston and Detroit-and three of the four have a winning ATS record in back-to-backs and have combined to produced a 25-16-1 ATS mark.
Short-term stats can be a tricky thing, because sometimes trends do not extend past a season. Yet, for the 2014-15 NBA year teams with the average-player age of 25 to 27 years have performed the best during back-to-backs, while squads at either end of the age spectrum have performed the worst.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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