Handicapping the NBA leading up to the All-Star break can be a bit of a challenge. Not every team approaches the upcoming time off the same way.
Some are motivated to go into the break playing their best basketball, while others have checked out and are counting down the days to the time off with family and friends.
While there are several different things you can look at, I wanted to focus my attention on how teams performed at home in their last game leading up to the break.
Handicapping Tip: NBA Home Teams Have Edge Prior to All-Star Break
For this I only looked at games played on the Wednesday before the break. I understand there are games on Thursday, but those are almost always nationally televised games where you would expect both teams to show up.
Betting NBA Teams at Home Prior to All-Star Game
Home Teams Wednesday Before Break
|135-87 (60.8%)||116-104-2 (52.7%)||113-105-4 (51.8%)|
As you can see from the results, there appears to be a slight edge for all home teams in this spot, which is exactly what I was expecting to find. It’s a lot easier for a team to look ahead to the break when they are playing on the road.
Opponent Playing in 2nd Game of Back-to-Back
|76-42 (64.4%)||68-49-1 (58.1%)||64-52-2 (55.2%)|
Given the edge found in how home teams have performed against the spread, I decided to dig a little deeper and see if there was an even bigger advantage if the road team was playing in the second game of a back-to-back set.
Again, the results match up with what you would expect to see. Playing on the road with tired legs seems to be a definite trigger for a team to not show up in that final game before the break.
Opponent Rest = 0 & Home Team Playing on 1 or More Days of Rest
|63-29 (68.5%)||57-34-1 (62.6%)||54-37-1 (59.3%)|
Given how bad road teams playing on no rest have done, I wanted to see if we could get spice this trend up by combining this with home teams who are playing on one or more days of rest.
In this situation we see home teams covering at a very profitable 62.6% clip, which is a noticeable jump over the last situation where we didn’t factor in rest for the home team.
It’s also worth noting that these games have a history of going OVER the total. This is not all that surprising if you think about it. Defense is typically the first thing to go with teams who aren’t motivated to play.