It is no secret that basketball teams are not always on equal ground. One way or another, there will often be a team with some sort of an edge over their opponent, whether that is evident in the skill gap between the players, injuries resulting in certain individuals missing a game, or some other factor.
A notable way that can handicap a team is if their rivals have the so-called scheduling advantage, often also dubbed as rest advantage. This concept is related to the scheduling of the teams’ games.
Sometimes, you will have a group of players with an exceptionally packed schedule. Back-to-back events are the main focus here, as games like this do not allow the team sufficient time, if any, to restore their strength. Their opponents, on the other hand, will be a team that has had enough time to rest properly before the upcoming encounter. The team in question, therefore, has an edge since they will not be suffering from exhaustion, and this is pretty much what we mean by scheduling advantage.
As we emphasized on earlier, a scheduling advantage is a situation in which a team has had more time to rest than their opponent. It is especially relevant when the disadvantaged team is playing the second game of a back-to-back. This can be of great significance to the results of a game, which is why punters should take the time to research players’ schedules prior to betting.
The following example showcases the difference between the schedules of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat:
|Date||Philadelphia 76ers||Miami Heat|
|March 16||vs Pistons|
|March 17||vs Cavaliers|
|March 19||vs Mavericks||vs Thunder|
|March 21||vs Raptors|
|March 22||vs Miami Heat||vs Phil 76ers|
As evident, the Philadelphia 76ers are dealing with quite the packed schedule. They had only a day to rest between each of their previous couple of events, and they will have a no-rest game against the Miami Heat.
This is significant because we cannot underestimate just how much exhaustion can influence the performance of basketball players. The game itself is very intense as is and dangerous to boot, since injuries are not exactly uncommon. All of this is exacerbated when weariness becomes a factor, which, all in all, makes the game more difficult than it would be otherwise. As for the other team, its players will have had the chance to relax more between games. This will result in more focused gameplay and a sufficient amount of saved up energy.
What all of this translates to for a punter is simple: you know that one team’s chances of winning are lower now. In addition, it will do you good to remember that not every punter will keep something like this in mind when they are placing their bet. This means that inexperienced recreational bettors will wager with their gut, and most wagers might be for the disadvantaged team. In other words, you could have the chance to take advantage of some competitive odds by betting on the well-rested team.
The NBA’s Attempts at Remedying This Situation
While scheduling advantages are great for sports bettors who know what they are doing, the fact remains that this is far from a desirable situation for disadvantaged teams and their fans. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the NBA has made some attempts to reduce the number of no-rest games throughout a season in recent years.
The first significant efforts to remedy the situation were made in the years prior to the pandemic. Unfortunately, Covid-19 swiftly ruined the progress that the league had made, and back-to-backs were still a common occurrence during the previous NBA season.
This does not mean that things remained dire for long. In fact, the 2021-22 games are once again doing better, and the number of back-to-back instances has been reduced to 13.5 per team. This is a notable improvement over the 15, on average, back-to-backs of last year’s season.
Either way, the number remains significant to the joy of punters and the dismay of NBA basketball teams. As of now, it is difficult to say if things will continue to get better or if this is the smallest number of back-to-backs that can be achieved under current circumstances. Either way, it is unlikely that no-rest games will go away anytime soon, making them an important piece of information for punters who wish to be better at sports betting.
No-rest games are not, by any means, a rarity in NBA basketball. The packed season of the league lends itself easily to back-to-back events, and by the looks of it, they will continue influencing teams’ schedules.
As for what this means about the teams that play such no-rest games, they will often be competing at a disadvantage. Fatigue is a significant handicap, and it can easily ensure that the players will not be able to play to the very best of their abilities. On the other side, their well-rested opponents will be able to take advantage of this weakness and achieve wins that might not have happened otherwise.
A tangible imbalance between the teams means that making bets can be a bit easier, especially for experienced punters. If you love to wager on NBA events, all of this is excellent for you because the scheduling advantage is a great way of tilting the odds into interesting directions.