How Not To Suck At NBA Betting

Part 3: The Later, the Better


Now that you’ve got NBA futures under your belt, it’s time to touch on timing when you move up to game-by-game NBA betting.

Sports betting is captivating and exciting, but it’s important for new bettors to know (and remember) that once a sports bet is placed in person or online, “all bets are final.”

NBA betting isn’t a lazy summer Saturday at Monmouth Park, where you can step away from your picnic table and ask the teller to refund your bet before the seventh race because you don’t like the way a horse looks.

Once your NBA bet is placed, it’s final; there are no refunds or changes. So, there’s little incentive to make early game-day bets, especially with the challenges that exist relating to injuries and the evolving era of player load management.

A fancy term for “rest”

“Load management” is a fancy term for “rest.” The goal of load management is to give key players days off during a rugged 82-game season to preserve their health for the playoffs.

nba futures oddsThe most common load management scenarios involve sitting one of the games of the dreaded “back-to-back” — when a team plays games on consecutive nights and often in two different arenas.

Generally speaking players will sit out the second game of the back-to-back but each team and player will approach things differently.

As a bettor, it’s important to stay on top of game (and starting) lineups. You need to understand who is in or out of the lineup prior to placing your bet.

The players involved will also impact the point spread based on their absence from the starting lineup. Top candidates for being “load-managed” during any season include:

  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Joel Embiid
  • Paul George
  • Anthony Davis

This is due to a few factors, including their injury risk, rest history and respective team’s championship contention.

Others with a strong chance to see an increase in days off as any season winds on include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and James Harden, just to name a few.

LeBron James is a superhuman so who knows if he’ll ever allow himself to be “load managed.” But if he’s sitting out a game, it’s a big deal for the betting line.

Don’t be left unaware

Even a player at the tail end of his career — say, Marc Gasol or Andre Iguodala, for example — can be eased back into lineups after injuries or just to rest for the games that matter most. But given their respective impacts on defense and winning games, it could alter your betting patterns for games without them.

nba win totals 2020You don’t have to be obsessed with every small lineup change, night after night. But you should check NBA team websites and Twitter as resources to track updated information for teams and player info.

You don’t want to be left unaware when a player may be rested.

Starting lineups locked 30 mins before tipoff

Some fantastic news broke last summer from the NBA, which now has a mandatory guideline requiring all teams to submit their starting lineups 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

Great stuff for NBA bettors and daily fantasy players alike, so if you can make plays around this timeline, take advantage of it.

Next Up: How To Pick Your Spots