Handicapping Totals While Looking Ahead: NBA Odds Value When Betting Early Games

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 5:14 PM GMT

Getting up early has never been a strong suit for players, but early afternoon games are starting to become more frequent & have been a great place to get NBA Odds value this season.

Down Under
So far this season, on weekend games that start before 6 PM Eastern time, the under has been a great wager. So far, the under is 26-20-1 on weekend games that start in the afternoon, and if you include games that weren’t on the weekend, but still started early that number goes up even more.

If you include the Christmas Day games where the under was a perfect 5-0, as well as the early start games on Martin Luther King Day where the under was 4-2, heading into the last third of the NBA season, the under is an incredible 31-22-1 in early afternoon games this year.

This can be for several reasons. Normally NBA players are used to playing at night, so for whatever reason, they may not be as awake during early start games. This has led to a real lack of offense in some of these games, and it has also been shown to lower first half scores as well while the players are still waking up.

With the ABC games about to start on Sunday afternoon, not only are these games already trending under, but also a lot of the national TV games coming up are either rivalry games, or potential Finals or playoff matchups. These games will be treated as playoff games by the fans, coaches and players, and that could also lead to lower scoring contests in the afternoon games.

The same thing happened last season in the early afternoon games. However, as I remember, the over evened up the margin by the end of the season. However, at currently more than 58 percent success rate in early afternoon games, the total is probably going to continue to trend under for some time, especially right after the All Star Break.

 

Handicapping Totals While Looking Ahead
About a week after the All Star Break is already a pretty good chance to get some under value, even if there aren’t any early start games until the weekend. Last season after the NBA had returned for a week and the rest the players got during the break started to wear off, the under was an amazing 12-2 in games where the Eastern Conference team, was the home team, and in early afternoon games on the weekends after the All Star Break, the under was 6-3-1 during regulation of those weekend games in late February and early March.

While last season’s All Star Break didn’t start a huge under cashing spree right after the break, as you can see, when it comes to slower paced teams, or playing in the early afternoon, the under should still be your friend coming up in this Sunday games.

Another distinction for this season has been how teams have performed on lots of rest, which you can definitely take advantage of right after the All Star Break. For instance, four of the seven fastest paced teams in the league are the Warriors, Rockets, Suns and Wizards, and combined these four teams are an amazing 30-8-1 cashing the over when playing on 2-3 day’s rest this season. While playing at a fast pace doesn’t guarantee the over when a team is on long rest, (see the Kings or Thunder’s records cashing the over on 2-3 day’s rest) there does seem to be a slight correlation between slower paced teams cashing the under on long rest, and faster paced teams cashing the over when they have several rest days.

For instance, Memphis, Miami and Cleveland are three of the slowest paced teams in the NBA this season outside of Utah, and combined those three teams are 16-8 cashing the under this season when playing on 2-3 days rest. It seems as if Eastern teams are more likely to cash the under on long rest after the All Star Break as evidenced from last season and this one too, so make sure you take that into account when locking in NBA Picks at Bovada later this month and beyond.