If you’re an NBA betting enthusiast that is looking for some handicapping tips as the 2016-17 steamrolls toward its annual all-star break, then you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to the handful of NBA betting tips on how to handicap your betting picks because of injuries will assist you in your efforts to cash in early and often over the remainder of the regular season. Okay, with that said, let’s get started.
Handicapping NBA Injuries
Injuries to Star Players
Let’s say the San Antonio Spurs are favored to beat electrifying point guard Damian Lillard the Portland Trail Blazers at home by 8 points, but prior to the game, Spurs’ superstar Kawhi Leonard suffers an ankle injury and is forced to sit out.
Well, the first thing you need to know is that oddsmakers will surely adjust the odds on the matchup across the board – meaning you need to adjust your thinking on the SU, ATS and Total outcome.
Let’ say the spread drops from 8 points to five. Do you now take Lillard the Blazers to cover or do you ‘hope’ the Spurs can get it done without their best player? Are you taking into account what Leonard brings to the table at both ends of the floor and how his absence could both, hurt the Spurs while helping the Blazers sore the ball easier? Maybe you’re a bettor that likes to make Over/Under wagers. Are you adjusting your thinking on the final score of this affair?
Remember, injuries to star players almost always affect the straight-up (SU) and against-the-spread (ATS) outcomes and you need to adjust your thinking and betting to match the circumstances.
Injuries to Key Role Players
Okay, let’s say James Harden and the Houston Rockets are taking on Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics and are favored by 4 points, but they’re going to be without key starters Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson.
Now, the Rockets are going to be a different team as they’ll be deprived of two of their best three-point shooters. Well, clearly, Boston is now a more attractive pick to not only cover the spread, but to win outright.
Make sure you change your thinking on this matchup and adjust your betting to match the losses of Gordon and Anderson to reflect the fact that the Rockets will be without two of their best scorers, thereby making them more easy for Boston to defend, both on the perimeter and on the interior.
Injuries to Key Bench Players
Let’s say Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz are hosting Luke Walton’s Los Angeles Lakers and their high-scoring bench as 5-point home favorites, but the Lakers will be without the services of veteran snipers ‘Swaggy P’ and Lou Williams off the bench.
Well, you should be adjusting your thinking to match the act that L.A. will likely struggle to score the ball more than normal while their reserves taking a pounding from Utah’s backups. If and when the odds change to reflect the Lakers’ losses, the Jazz may no longer be as attractive if the spread jumps up to let’s say 9 points.
Utah may no longer be as attractive as an ATS pick, but you may want to throw a few more bucks on them as a straight-up pick.
Let’s say a team without a bunch of quality depth like the Indiana Pacers is facing a team with much more depth like the Houston Rockets. Well, you’ve got to know that if the Pacers and Bulls both lose either a key starter of reserve, the Rockets will be in much better shape because of their quality depth.
Make sure you know about each team’s depth and how much quality their reserves bring to the table. The fact of the matter is that a team with more quality depth is far more equipped to handle the loss or an important player or two.
Coaching CallsLast but not least, coaching matters when it comes to managing injuries. Some head coaches make all the right moves and insert players that have either been playing well in practice or bring more energy to the court that others.
Some coaches may prefer to stick with their rotation of veteran bench players, when they may have a younger, more assertive player on the bench that may be more inexperienced, but adds to his team’s on-court success because of all-out effort. Remember, coaching matters when it comes to managing – and handicapping injuries.