Handicapping Late Season NBA
Wayne Root: Handicapping Late Season NBA
Over the past several weeks, the majority of my service selections have been in college basketball. The tournaments were a lot of fun...and a 3-1 performance over the Elite 8 games suggests that a few more shining moments are still ahead for my clients and I in college hoops. But, it's obviously time to turn our focus much more intently to the NBA. Everyone in the league has about 8-10 games left in the regular season. And, then the playoffs will run from late April all the way into June.
What's the best way to pick winners in pro hoops at this stage of the season?
My best advice for most of you casual bettors is to PASS! Unless you're following the league very intently, it's very difficult to know for sure which teams are trying on a night-to-night basis. Playoff contenders are trying to pace themselves to avoid injuries and make sure they're fresh for the games that matter most. Players with nagging injuries are likely to take a night or two off with little notice. And, on the other end of the spectrum...there are teams who clearly couldn't care less about getting a result on any given night because they're sick of each other or their head coach.
You can' pick up on these things if you're not following intently. Otherwise, wait for the playoffs when you know everybody will be trying.
Now that I'm going to be focused more intently on the NBA, here's what THE KING OF LAS VEGAS will be looking at to make smart bets...
The most obvious red flag that a team has thrown in the towel on their season is that they stop playing defense. You can use Defensive Efficiency (points allowed per possession), shooting percentage defense, two-point shooting defense, and fast break points allowed to get a read on this. Even the best defenses back off a bit in the dog days of the regular season. The worst teams just stop trying. Bet against the teams who aren't guarding people! Watch games on League Pass or read the nightly boxscores with a focus on defensive effort.
You'd think that something this simple wouldn't work. But, oddsmakers are so far behind the curve right now that just looking at recent ATS results will go a long way toward letting you know which teams are trying and which aren't. You're not likely to see any 10-0 or 0-10 ATS streaks. Sometimes disinterested teams run into each other, and somebody has to cover! Chart everyone going back the past few weeks, and keep doing so moving forward. It will jump out pretty quickly who's trying and who isn't.
Back-to-back spots or busy road trips are tough at any time of the season. They're really grueling in late March and April when the cumulative wear and tear of the season has taken its toll. Most teams just don't have it in them to play well when exhausted. And, the slumping ATS teams who already aren't guarding people are blowout fodder. Look to find fresh teams (long homestands or a few days between games) who are matched up against tired teams.
You longtime readers know that I love making upset calls. I won Saturday with both Oklahoma (over Oregon) and Villanova (over Kansas). It takes a special set of circumstances for me to do that late in an NBA regular season. I'll be looking for:
*Fresh dogs who "need the win" in the playoff race
*Healthy dogs who have been getting results lately
*Deep dogs who can better handle fatigue challenges
*Offensive-minded dogs who can SCORE, particularly vs. half-hearted defenses
I'll be looking to go against:
*Favorites who are coasting into the postseason
*Favorites who are resting starters consistently
*Favorites who are tired because of their recent schedule
It will take a harmonic convergence of several factors to create a PINNACLE caliber selection. Be on the lookout for those in the coming days!
This week's slate will be a mix of college basketball tournament action (the NIT Final Four, the resolution of other smaller tournaments, and then the Big Dance this weekend)...along with NBA. Next week will bring the start of Major League Baseball to stand alongside the NBA. Then it will be just pro hoops and bases through the next couple of months.
If you'd like to make some money as you await the return of football this Fall, you can purchase my top daily releases right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my services best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS.
If you've mostly been ignoring the NBA in recent weeks because of all the great college hoops tournament action...it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT so you can win in the NBA!
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