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Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball, and we break down ESPN BET's entrance into New York.
Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images via AFP.

With the NBA In-Season Tournament playing the final set of games for the group stage on Tuesday, we are examining how the point differential tiebreaker could create some betting opportunities at our best NBA betting sites.

The group stage of the NBA In-Season Tournament will conclude on Tuesday, and we have 16 teams that are still alive to make it to the quarterfinals. You know what this means—tiebreakers, point differentials, and lots of unique betting opportunities.

Why do I say unique betting opportunities? Because the sportsbooks will try their best to adjust accordingly, but adjusting every single spread, total, and player prop properly to account for the NBA In-Season Tournament tiebreakers is an extremely hard task for the sportsbooks.

One of our biggest weapons as sports bettors is the fact that we can be very specific in the markets we choose to follow. The sportsbooks aren't that fortunate; they have to trade everything.

There will be several betting opportunities and probability gaps to attack in Tuesday's NBA slate. We just have to dive in and lock into some markets to see where we can find errors in the odds.

Let's take a closer look at where I think you should focus your energy on our best sports betting apps for Tuesday's NBA slate of games.

Tuesday’s NBA schedule and odds

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How the Point Differential Rule Might Affect Tuesday NBA Betting

In-play wagering

Calling all in-play bettors, you have a significant opportunity ahead of you on Tuesday night to take advantage of algorithms that may struggle to adapt to the happenings in the NBA In-Season Tournament. In-play markets at sportsbooks aren't traded by humans; they are managed by complex algorithms that price the lines based on historical data.

For instance, if the New York Knicks were up by 20 points entering the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Hornets, the algorithm would project that Jalen Brunson might see decreased minutes in the fourth quarter and adjust his player props accordingly.

The difference between Tuesday's game and any other regular-season game is that we should expect substitution patterns that deviate significantly from what the historical data tells the sportsbooks about pricing in-play odds. This leads to substantial probability gaps in the odds, creating the dream scenario for any bettor.

The Knicks are a team that needs to boost their point differential to advance to the quarterfinals. So, while the algorithm might be telling the sportsbook that Brunson will see decreased minutes in the fourth quarter of a blowout, the reality is he might get more minutes than usual to help the Knicks increase their point differential.

This is just one example of why the in-play markets could experience the most errors in Tuesday's NBA games.

Player props

NBA player props are priced based on projections, which are significantly influenced by the expected playing time for a player. Even just four or five minutes of extra playing time, relative to a player's average, can dramatically change the pricing for that player's props.

With 16 teams still alive to make it to the quarterfinals and only three of the 16 teams playing on Tuesday on the front end of a back-to-back (Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors), we could see several superstar-caliber players getting increased minutes on Tuesday.

This is precisely why I bet on the Over for Darius Garland's assist prop in our NBA best bets. Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has already shown this season that he will push Garland to 40-plus minutes if he needs to, and the point differential tiebreaker provides Bickerstaff with a reason to do so on Tuesday. If Garland is going to be playing close to the 40-minute mark, there's going to be a probability gap in his odds because he is priced as more of a 34-minute per game player.

Garland is just one example of many we could highlight in today's slate. There are several other players who could experience a similar minutes bump, but the odds, which rely more on historical data than anything, aren't picking up on this unique opportunity thanks to the NBA In-Season Tournament tiebreakers.

Point spread

When betting on sports, you're always fighting with the idea that the team you bet on isn't trying to cover the spread; they are simply aiming to win the game. However, on Tuesday, there's a much stronger possibility that they are, in fact, trying to cover the spread for you, thanks to the point differentials.

The Boston Celtics, for example, are favored by 13.5 points but need to win by at least 23 points against the Chicago Bulls to advance. If it's the fourth quarter and a team is close to winning by the required margin for a point differential tiebreaker, use that to your advantage in the in-play odds.

For instance, if the live spread is Celtics -20.5, you could grab the live line at -22.5 for plus money. You already know the Celtics are trying to reach this number; the algorithm does not. This is an advantage we almost never have in sports betting.

NBA betting odds pages

Here are our best NBA betting sites:

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