The NBA has been difficult for many bettors to handicap through the early stages of the 2018-19 season because of rampant inconsistency.
Teams will look sharp for a couple of games, then fall apart. As soon as you give up on a team, it starts to play well. Projected powers such as the Celtics and Jazz have been hovering around the .500 mark. There’s not much to sink your teeth into.
Unless you can find causes for the yo-yo-ing results. Maybe a motivated high-energy team overachieves versus soft opposition … but then gets outclassed against superior talent. Maybe there’s a meaningful home/road split. Or maybe fatigue is a hidden factor. That brings us to the Nets, who return to action Wednesday as home underdogs versus Utah.
The Nets have been horrible this season when playing on night two of a back-to-back. The Nets are 0-5 straight up and against the spread, losing at Indiana, 132-112, at the Knicks, 115-96, at Golden State, 116-100, versus the Clippers, 127-119, and at Dallas, 119-113. At least those last two were more competitive, but were non-covers nonetheless.
But with the Nets sitting at 10-11 against the spread overall this season, that means they are 10-6 ATS when not playing on night two of a back-to-back! That’s going to make you money — 63 percent against the spread (it takes to 52.4 percent to break even when betting against an 11/10 vigorish).
This sets up a simple strategy for your consideration. Think about backing the young, enthusiastic Nets whenever it’s not on night two of a back-to-back (namely Wednesday versus Utah and Friday versus Memphis). But, consider fading the Nets on night two of those tough fatigue challenges (such as Saturday at Washington).
Now, it’s easy to data mine approaches that “would have” worked after all the results are in. VSiN isn’t suggesting that this 15-6 combo (where you’d stand if you’ve bet them fresh and faded them tired in every instance this season) is going to continue at that pace. Nothing works 71 percent of the time over a large volume. Will it work more than 52.4 percent of the time moving forward? It can’t hurt to check and see. VSiN will keep an eye on this for you, particularly as basketball coverage intensifies after football winds down.
NFL sharps are looking for ways to back the high-impact Bears defense against the Giants this week. Oddsmakers have been waiting to confirm the status of Mitchell Trubisky before posting any side/total lines at high betting limits.
If you consider takeaways and sacks as “defensive impact” plays, the Bears lead the NFL with 63 (next are the Vikings 54, Chiefs 53, Redskins 53, Browns 52, Broncos 51 and Steelers 51). Eli Manning leads the league in getting sacked (38, tied with the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott).
It only helps the Bears defense to have extra rest and preparation time off a Thanksgiving win at Detroit. Sometimes December weather at MetLife Stadium helps defenses too. All are things to ponder as you handicap Bears-Giants (Sunday, Fox, 1 p.m.)