Winning sports bettors know that wagering on the NBA changes in subtle but significant ways after the all-star break each season. You still have to do the same things you have done all year – consider the odds, pick the winners and find the value – but what goes into determining where that value is can be somewhat different. Here are six ways that betting on the NBA can change after the all-star break:
Trade deadline – The NBA trade deadline falls after the all-star break. It isn’t nearly as active as it is in the NHL, but it can still be a factor. There can be intense speculation leading up to the deadline about which big name basketball players will get moved, which teams will look to improve for the playoffs, and which ones are giving up and shifting into rebuilding mode. There are many ways that the deadline can have an impact on how teams perform, and how sports bettors should evaluate those teams. There could be the distraction to a player on the court of potentially being in play. There is the adjustment a team has to make after a trade, and that the player has to make to his new surroundings. There is the public perception of a deal and what impact that could have on NBA lines. There could be frustration on a team that was expecting a big deal and didn’t get one, or complacency on a team that was braced for a big move and is now relieved that they don’t face one.
Injuries – The longer the season gets the more banged up NBA players are going to be. That can have a big impact on how the team is able to perform. Missing star players, or even effective role players, can limit how well the team can play. Players could be still playing while injured and unable to perform at full strength. Teams with a lack of real depth can have big issues because they can’t rest their starters without suffering in their quality of play, and an injury can be particularly damaging as it affects their rebounding and ability to put the ball through the hoop.
Teams out of contention – By the time the NAB All-Star game has passed there are some teams that obviously aren’t going to be contending for a playoff spot. Sometimes those teams will still play with hope and intensity if they are clearly building for the future and are making progress. If the team just isn’t playing well, though, and there is no reason to think that that is going to change, then the end of the season can be particularly frustrating. Teams in that situation can quit, or play with less intensity than they have been playing with, and, as expert NBA bettors know, that can have a clear impact on their results.
Teams ramping up intensity – There are some basketball teams that know from the first day of the season that they are going to make the playoffs, and that they are going to be a big factor when they get there. It can be hard for a team like that to play at full intensity for the entire season, so it is quite common to see a club like that start relatively slowly on the court and round into stronger form down the stretch. That means that teams that were solid can suddenly become all but unbeatable as they have the playoffs, and seeding for those playoffs, firmly in their sights.
Coaches in trouble – Job security in the coaching ranks in the NBA is almost non-existent in most cases. By the last third of the season it becomes obvious that several coaches are playing for their survival, or have already secured their departure at the end of the season. It can be tough for a coach to keep his players focused and motivated at the best of times. When that coach is a lame duck, or is at least unlikely to survive, then it can be very tough for him to have his team playing at their best – especially if the season is not going well. Consider the coaching factor when making your adjustments and picks,
Impending free agents – As the end of the season approaches free agency can become a big distraction. Big name professional stars who could be on the move will be the focus of intense speculation. Will they break the hearts of their current fans, or will they stay at home? Will they sign it quickly, or will the situation turn into a prolonged drama? Which teams will have cap space, and how well will they be able to fill it? This speculation will usually be secondary when a team is in the heart of a playoff run. When they are out of serious contention, though, then it may be all that fans, the media, and bettors care about regarding the team. When reading the lastest NBA betting lines and wagering weigh each of the areas in this article in order to make winning bets.