How Could the NBA All-Star Break Extension Affect Bettors?

David Lawrence

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 4:10 PM GMT

The players of the National Basketball Association asked commissioner Adam Silver to extend the All-Star break from a weekend to a full week. Silver listened to his players. The result is an experiment with a longer All-Star break, one that will have genuine consequences for basketball bettors in the late winter of 2015.

What This Means For The NBA
Whenever something new is tried, it’s hard to rely on past evidence with religious-level certainty and confidence. However, common sense suggests that with NBA players getting a full week to rest during the All-Star break, you’re going to see better and more energetic basketball in the weeks following the break. The key point to make here is that the first few games after the All-Star break are not likely to be the games affected here. After an All-Star break, you generally see teams fit into a few different categories. All of them play with more vigor and aggression, but some of them blend together effectively and use the break as a time to fix their problems. Other teams calcify and stagnate during the break. The off time robs them of a rhythm they had been developing at an earlier point in the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder were a prime example of this dynamic last season. They were excellent before the break but couldn’t do much after it. It’s true that Oklahoma City was playing without Russell Westbrook for much of the time before the All-Star break and needed time to integrate Westbrook back into the lineup after the 2014 All-Star break. However, if the Thunder had received a longer break last year, Westbrook would have been able to spend a lot more practice time with his teammates, and the Thunder could have stitched together their season on a much better level. They could have finished first in the Western Conference instead of the San Antonio Spurs.

2014-15 NBA Opening Night Breakdown & Early Betting Picks 

How To Bet The News
This news is not something which should be taken into account on Thursday, February 19 and Friday, February 20, the first two days of game action after the 2015 All-Star break. When this extended break should really become a point of focus for basketball bettors is on Sunday, February 22; Monday, February, 23; and Tuesday, February 24. The extension of the All-Star break by almost a week should mean that when teams get into their second or third games after the All-Star break, they’re going to be much fresher and more physically resilient than they were a year ago.

Take a look at the rest numbers from last year, the San Antonio Spurs were fantastic on no-days’ rest, going 14-5-0 ATS. The Memphis Grizzlies were 13-5-0, the Portland Trail Blazers were 12-8-0 and the Miami Heat were 10-7-0. At the other end of the spectrum, in terms of four or more days’ rest, the Spurs were 5-1-0 and Indiana, Brooklyn and Houston were 2-0-0. However, most teams don’t really get that type of rest during the regular season aside from the All-Star break, so that’s why we don’t have so many stats to work with. So look at two-to-three days’ rest to see which teams played better with more rest last season, the teams that stand out are: the Indiana Pacers, who were a healthy 19-3-0, Memphis was 14-5-0, the Heat were 16-6-0 and the Houston Rockets were 14-5-0.