In the 2023 NBA playoffs, the betting market has delivered a substantial number of adjustments due to player absences — whether they’re injury or suspension-oriented. Jimmy Butler (ankle) and Joel Embiid (knee) serve as recent examples. But thus far, these instances have resulted in an overreaction for NBA betting odds. Find out more info below.
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Detailing NBA Betting Market Moves
Here are the postseason market modifications when notable players have been ruled out. While some are certainly worth more to the point spread than others, bettors with CLV — ahead of the news — haven’t fared well either way.
|Series||Player||Previous Game (Or Initial) Spread||Market Adjustment||Closing Line||Result|
|Grizzlies vs. Lakers (Game 2)||Ja Morant||Grizzlies -5||6 points||MEM +1||MEM 103, LAL 93|
|Bucks vs. Heat (Game 2)||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Bucks -9||3.5 points||MIL -5.5||MIL 138, MIA 122|
|Suns vs. Clippers (Game 3)||Kawhi Leonard||Suns -3||4.5 points||PHO -7.5||PHO 129, LAC 124|
|Warriors vs. Kings (Game 3)||Draymond Green||Warriors -7.5||1.5 points||GS -6||GS 114, SAC 97|
|76ers vs. Nets (Game 4)||Joel Embiid||76ers -5||3 points||PHI -2||PHI 96, BKN 88|
|Celtics vs. Hawks (Game 5)||Dejounte Murray||Celtics -11.5||2 points||BOS -13.5||ATL 113, BOS 111|
|Celtics vs. 76ers (Game 1)||Joel Embiid||Celtics -6.5||4 points||BOS -10.5||PHI 119, BOS 115|
|Knicks vs. Heat (Game 2)||Jimmy Butler||Knicks -6||4 points||NYK -10||NYK 111, MIA 105|
What Can Bettors Learn?
For starters, two variables may influence these market moves. Bettors could see obvious outliers from the preceding matchup, causing their projections for the subsequent game to sway them one way or another. Additionally, positive injury updates for the opponent (i.e. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle on Tuesday) could trigger more steam in one direction.
Nevertheless, some members of the sports betting community, sometimes known as “gambling Twitter,” insinuate that these results back up the notion behind “fading the public.” For those unaware, this term refers to when a bettor sides with the team (or wager) that isn’t receiving the majority of bets and/or money for a given betting handle.
No matter the topic at hand, many have a general disposition to frown upon anything that isn’t deemed right-minded or “sharp.” That said, this concept isn’t teaching recreational bettors anything. In fact, its contrarian nature is exactly what it sounds like. There’s nothing analytical or systematic driving home this NBA betting strategy.
If one determines that a player’s projected absence was already baked into the opening spread to a degree, that’s one thing. The projection or model may then recommend taking the new, cheaper spread on the injured or suspended player’s opponent.
But there’s enough of a push behind the aforementioned arbitrary reasoning to, unfortunately, legitimize it in the eyes of some. You can read more about these shifting market dynamics as they apply to college basketball here.
Evaluating NBA Aftermath
Positive or negative variance — depending on which side you’re on — regularly engraves itself in the final score. Take Suns at Clippers from the table above. Phoenix’s lead was around double digits for much of the final frame. Nevertheless, Norman Powell’s four-point sequence with just over 30 seconds left dramatically altered the betting result.
Does this occasion showcase why bettors shouldn’t jump on injury steam when they’re receiving the worst possible number? Absolutely. However, it also indicates that bettors benefit from shooting luck now and then — and that isn’t a credit to fading the public.
As sports betting legalization continues, it’s critical that novice gamblers recognize misleading methodology. That way, they’re less likely to steer down a negative path if the wager(s) goes awry.
Related: NBA Finals Odds
Upcoming NBA Betting Odds
Speaking of the Suns, 12-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (groin) is slated to miss Games 3-5 of the Western Conference semifinals. As a result, Phoenix went from 5.5-point home favorites to for Game 3.
No matter how this NBA betting outcome plays out, it won’t reinforce why bettors should fade the public — simply just to do so.
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