Pelicans vs. Bulls Betting Tip: Well-Rested Teams Undervalued Late in the Season

Pelicans vs. Bulls Betting Tip: Well-Rested Teams Undervalued Late in the Season article feature image
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Jason Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls

  • The Bulls will have had four days off when they host the Pelicans on Thursday (8 p.m. ET).
  • Using Bet Labs, we examine how well-rested NBA teams perform late in the season.

The Bulls host the Pelicans on Thursday (8 p.m. ET), and oddsmakers opened New Orleans as a 3.5-point favorite in the Windy City. Chicago has lost three straight and is 14 games under .500, and, of course, the Pelicans have Zion Williamson.

The pubic is backing Zion & Co., as more than 70% of spread tickets have been placed on the Pelicans. And while the Bulls do not have a player as exciting as Zion, Chicago does have an advantage in this matchup.

Pelicans vs. Bulls Betting System Pick

The Bulls last played back on Sunday while the Pelicans are on a standard two days’ rest. That extra time off not only gives players time to rest and recover, but creates an edge for gamblers.

Since 2005, NBA teams with four or more days between games have gone 984-971-28 (50%) against the spread (ATS) in the regular season according to Bet Labs. That’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 — standard in the NBA — the well-rested squad (four or more days between games) has gone 383-361-9 (52%) 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 229-192-3 (54%) ATS when facing an opponent on standard rest in January or later in the season. A $100 bettor following this system would be up $2,565.

The edge here is small but it can point bettors in the right direction when handicapping the NBA slate. Plus, underdogs matching this system, like the Bulls, have been even more profitable, going 115-93-2 (55%) ATS.

Sure, the Pelicans have Zion, but the Bulls have the rest advantage. History suggests there is value taking the points with Chicago.

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