NBA bettors spend a lot of time looking at the long term impact of trades in the league. It’s important, though, to consider what the short term impact of trades are on professional teams. I’m talking about the first game or two played on the hardwood right after a deal is made. The trade is new, and the players and teams have to adjust to what has happened. Here are seven factors to consider when looking for short term value when betting after NBA trades:
Will the players be at the game? – The logistics of a NBA trade are important to consider in the short term. Sometimes a team plays too soon after a trade for the players to be able to be at the game. This could be the case if the deal is sealed late in the day and the new team is playing too far away to make the trip. Even if the player could make a game they often won’t. NBA teams will often give the player a day or so to get their lives in order before reporting to the new team. If the new player or players aren’t going to be in the lineup then the team could be in a real hole because they won’t have the new player on the court yet, but they won’t have the players they traded away, either.
Will they be starters or backups? – When considering NBA lines and making bets, you need to look at the role that a player is expected to fill in the short term on his new team. If he is going to step right into the starting lineup and will be expected to be a big presence then he’ll need to be much better right away than if he is just being added for depth or for a particular role off the bench. A depth player who takes a while to adjust and get comfortable on the court may not hurt the team that much, but a starter who struggles to find his footings could really impact a team in the short term. That can affect your wagering.
What familiarity does the player have with the new system? – It is easier for many players to fit in with a new NBA team if they have some familiarity and comfort with what they are stepping into. Has he played for the head coach or an assistant before on another team or in college? Has he played with players on the lineup on other teams or in college? Are those players key contributors and leaders, or just role players? Is the system that the basketball team uses similar to what he has been playing in? If it isn’t familiar then is it an easy one to pick up, or is it complicated and demanding and tough to learn on the fly?
What holes does the trade create? – It is rare that two teams will trade the same type of players that play the same position. In most trades therefore there is usually a hole created even if the NBA team has improved overall. Unless the player they traded away was redundant on their team then they are going to be short of players who can contribute in some ways or fill some types of minutes effectively and this can affect their ability to score points, defend or rebound. They may have a way to deal with those holes over the longer term – another trade, an increased role for a bench player, or a player brought in form the D-League, for example – but in the short term it could be an issue. That could create a real opportunity for bettors as they interpret odds in an effort to place winning sports bets .
Is the new player happy to be moved? – The NBA player is going to be more effective in the short term if his attitude is strong. There are two big questions to ask here, then. First, were they looking to be traded? Even if they weren’t openly pursuing a trade perhaps they were not so bought into their old team that they wouldn’t want to leave. Second, how are they going to feel about the new pro basketball team they are joining? If they have gone from a serious contender to a cellar dweller then they aren’t likely to have a big spring in their step early on. The opposite is true, too. You also want to consider how the teams might react. If the trade was unexpected and the player involved was popular then the team could be bothered in the short term until they can adjust to the change facing them. This may affect your sports betting for a while.
What is the contract status of the new player? – There are few things that can motivate a NBA player more than if they are looking for a new contract. When they get traded their motivation can intensify even more as they try to impress their new team and secure a rich future. A basketball player in this situation is more likely to hit the ground running for his new team than a player who is tied up for the long term. The exception here, though, is when a player with an expiring contract has clearly been acquired for the salary cap relief he can provide at the end of the year. A player like that will have little incentive to work hard because his fate is determined in advance. Adjust your wagering appropriately.
How will the public perceive the move? – As is always the case in sports betting you need to be very aware of what the public will think about a NBA trade and the impact it has on the basketball teams involved. There are some trades that the public will be very excited about – typically if a superstar point scorer or premium center joins a new team. They will likely be very negative when a team loses a superstar without acquiring similar perceived value in return. They’ll often overlook the impact of deals that involve players who aren’t high profile but who are effective role players. By thinking about how the media and the public are likely to respond to the deal you may be able to find nice value when it comes to lines and NBA sports betting if the public perception and your opinion differ. In the short term, emotion and initial impressions can have a much bigger impact on the public than objective analysis. Use objective analysis in your NBA handicapping to make smart wagers.