A look at the NBA – by Dmitry Lebedev

With about one fifth of a season under us, it’s time to look at the current picture and try to predict what will happen in the next few weeks.

First of all, schedule wise, Lakers, Bulls and Hawks got the short end of the stick so far this season. Lakers and Bulls played the most games this season (15 games) and Lakers will play tonight as well, while Hawks played “only” 13 games, they played 10 games in 14 days (!!!). Both teams suffered from injuries as a result of it. The good news for Lakers and Bulls that no one got injured long term (Blake will miss about a month for LAL). That means that they will get some more time to rest and train in a short while and that’s especially important for the Lakers. Lakers 5 – 3 ATS this season off a rest and only 2 – 4 ATS in B2B spots. Lakers are one of the oldest teams in the league and I believe that with much easier schedule (rest wise) till the end of January, team should definitely improve.

On the other hand, Clippers had only 8 games, the least in the league. They are the only team that played less than 10 games so far this season. Bad news for Clippers backers in the future? Not sure at all. Clippers are 2 – 3 ATS off long rest (more than a day), while with no rest or short rest they are 2 – 1 ATS. This is a very young team that fatigue should hardly be an issue. But they are a new team that needs game time to gel together. Some teams play good off a rest and others get a bit rusty and sloppy and Clippers shown so far that they look much better in a tight schedule and that is exactly what awaits them till the end of the month. They started 5 games in 7 games situation with a win over Nets, but have only one road trip to Utah. The fact that they leave LA only twice till the end of the month, together with tighter schedule means that while they shouldn’t be too tired, they should be in great game condition.

In betting business it’s always crucial to be proactive. Not to react to things that already happened, but to try and predict how things will go from now on.

Old teams that had easier schedules, can be great fade material in a rough week, because they enjoyed good times and should get lines inflated a bit. Young teams can actually excel in tight schedules, where public will try to fade them based on fatigue, when it won’t be that much of an issue. Of course, there are teams like the Lakers, that are old teams, that got crazy schedule to begin the season and should do just great in lighter schedule ahead of them. Lakers not such a great example, because the team did very well recently and starts to get respected again by the public.

Another major issue was low scores so far this season. I believe that it gives us great chance to look for good Over chances. Many wrote that in the last shortened season, numbers never bounced back, public and bookies react to it and in fact, overreact to that.

Shortened season means less games, but much tighter schedule. But, it also means that you hardly have training camps and preseason games.

A team like Orlando for example, enjoyed great form by Anderson and Dwight, but J-Rich and Nelson, two very important starters for Orlando, came in awful form. They will find their hand sooner or later and if monitored correctly, it can give us great chance to back Overs on their games soon. One great example came on Monday, when in the absence of the injured J-Rich, stepped up Reddick that is in better form and did what he supposed to do and the game finished with an Over. Granted it was barely an Over, but don’t forget that it came after very low scoring first quarter that probably came because of the early hour the game was played.

Among other teams that we can say the same are Wizards, where Blatche and Wall, best Wizards last season struggle to find their game and we can see that Wall for example went off against Rockets scoring 38 points, maybe starting to get back to himself (though one game isn’t enough to judge). Suns that are trying to get back to the roots and play faster and more efficiently and others as well.

My point being that it’s always a bad idea in my opinion to get carried away by the public and by articles, when they come in large numbers. I don’t say (definitely not saying) that you should fade them in every chance. But, you have to keep in mind that lines are made by bookies and sharpened by public. They have the same data and read the same articles. You can find value sometimes, but in most cases, the lines presented to you, will include public assumptions and articles bottom line. The ability to find the teams  that are different from the pattern, is what needed to improve your chances to get profit, though of course, it’s not an easy task by any means.

I’m constantly trying to get the extra facts, some angle that wasn’t taken in to account setting the lines and then try to check it with stats. If stats support playing that angle, I will usually make it a play. If stats say otherwise, probably the angle wasn’t that good/ right to begin with.

Basketball tipster concentrating on the NBA

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