NBA Betting Tip: Well-Rested Teams Undervalued Late in the Season

NBA Betting Tip: Well-Rested Teams Undervalued Late in the Season article feature image

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3)

  • The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards have had four days between games, which provides a key advantage for NBA bettors.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze how well-rested NBA teams perform against the spread.

This year’s NBA slate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day features 11 games. Today’s schedule may not include the most high-profile matchups, but no one is complaining about all-day basketball.

In fact, two games featuring lottery contenders caught my eye and are offering bettors value:

  • New York Knicks (+9) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (12:30 p.m. ET, NBATV)
  • Washington Wizards (-5.5) vs. Detroit Pistons (2 p.m. ET, not televised nationally)

The Knicks and Wizards played in London on Thursday and Washington won on a late goaltending call. The teams have had four days between games to allow the players to overcome the negative influence of jet lag from traveling across the pond.

The extra time off not only has given players time to reset their internal body clocks, but the additional rest and recovery has created an edge for gamblers.

Since 2005, NBA teams with four or more days between games have gone 934-911-24 (50.6%) against the spread (ATS) in the regular season, according to Bet Labs.

It’s nothing spectacular but the results improve when we adjust for the time between games for opponents. In that same span, when the opposing team has two days between games, which is standard in the NBA, the well-rested squad (four or more days between games) has gone 364-335-5 (52.1%) ATS.

When is extra rest the most beneficial? Late in the season of course. The grind of the 82-game schedule begins to weigh on teams as the season progresses. When the calendar flips to January, it has been profitable to wager on teams with extra rest.

Since 2005, teams that have enjoyed four or more days between games have gone 220-174-2 (55.8%) ATS when facing an opponent on standard rest late in the season. A $100 bettor following this system would be up $3,520.

On Monday, the Knicks and Wizards will hit the hardwood refreshed after an extended period of rest. New York and Washington should have an advantage over OKC and Detroit, which both played on Saturday.