#Betting101: Taking Advantage of NBA Injuries (Like Kawhi Leonard's)

NBA Betting Injuries

Jason Lake

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:16 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 9:16 PM UTC

Injuries happen all the time in basketball – more now that ever. Reacting appropriately will help you make more of that sweet, sweet money with your NBA picks this weekend.

NBA: Bettors Can Capitalize on Injuries

Another day, another major injury in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard is back on the shelf for the San Antonio Spurs, out indefinitely with the same right quad tendinopathy that cost him the first 27 games of the regular season – and several more afterwards. The Spurs might as well fold their tents, right?

Not so fast. Perhaps more than any other team, San Antonio is built to withstand the loss of their best player. They went 19-8 SU and 14-12-1 ATS while Leonard was convalescing, and 5-4 SU and 4-4-1 ATS in the games Leonard sat out following his return. There could be some betting value with San Antonio now that their MVP is out of the mix.

Let’s take a closer look and see if the Spurs belong in your NBA picks this weekend.

Hand Down, Man Down

The concept here is simple: Casual bettors don’t do a good job of evaluating players, especially superstar players. They tend to freak out when one of these big names goes down; see how well the Los Angeles Clippers have done ATS whenever Blake Griffin is injured, for example.

Leonard (plus-6.2 BPM) has definitely been San Antonio’s best player this year, even while gimpy, but there’s more to the Spurs. The next small forwards on San Antonio’s depth chart are Kyle Anderson (plus-3.3 BPM) and Davis Bertans (plus-1.0 BPM). Neither has the same offensive gifts as Leonard, but Anderson (plus-3.9 DBPM) has been the club’s best defender, and Bertans (42.1 percent) has been their best 3-point shooter. Having a third-stringer as talented as Bertans is just an embarrassment of riches.

Pauaqqatsi

Unfortunately for the Spurs, they have other injuries to worry about. PF Rudy Gay (plus-0.8 BPM) is out until the end of January with bursitis in his right heel, and center Pau Gasol (plus-3.5 BPM) is now listed as day-to-day with a sprained right wrist. That leaves a pretty big hole in San Antonio’s frontcourt. And for good measure, Manu Ginobili (minus-0.4 BPM) was ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with a thigh contusion.

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Most disrespected star ever . @paugasol kicked Dwight Howard, KG , Tim Duncan and Amare ‘s ass in the playoffs and fans were mad he was not traded for @CP3. @kobebryant /gasol were deadly in the triangle. And they picked Mike D’antoni over him and @PhilJackson11 smh pic.twitter.com/fwqPcIyNjO

— Martin Brian Ansah (@DaAnsahonSports) January 11, 2018
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Gasol’s injury could be more important to the Spurs than Leonard’s, as far as the NBA odds are concerned. It’s a pretty big step down from Gasol to back-up center Joffrey Lauvergne (minus-2.1 BPM). However, if Gasol is good to go this weekend, consider giving San Antonio a spin Sunday when they host the Indiana Pacers. Better still, consider the under, which is 20-16 for the Spurs without Leonard, and 3-1 for Indiana since center Myles Turner (plus-2.0 DBPM) sprained his right elbow last week. Unlike San Antonio, the Pacers bench isn’t lacking in the big-man department.

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