Every season NBA teams are forced to play games at a disadvantage not caused by opponents, but rather the schedule. These “scheduling losses” are created by a combination of back-to-backs, lengthy road trips, travel that requires crossing multiple time zones, facing a well-rested opponent or a combination of all the above.
Last summer, ESPN created a “schedule alert” formula to identify games where one team was at a competitive disadvantage due to the schedule. The model went 29-13 (69.0%) in all games and 13-4 (76.5%) in “red alert” contests, the most extreme scheduling handicaps.
These are promising results, which got us thinking: Can bettors profit from NBA schedule alerts?