The NBA released its schedule for upcoming 2017-18 season. The league made it a priority to give players more days of rest between games. By starting the season a week early the NBA was able to eliminate four games in five nights and that sucks for bettors!
For the first time in league history no team will play four-in-fives this season, which stinks because fading such teams was a profitable betting strategy. Since 2005, if you bet against every team when they played their fourth game in five nights you would have gone 522-479 (52.1%) ATS, +16.84 units.
Focusing just on the second half of the season (January to April), when extra games would be harder for fatigued players the units won increased even more (+22.9 units).
The NBA tried to make the fourth game in five days easier for teams as many were played at home after a road trip. In our database, 81.8% (229 out of 280) of the fourth games came in the first game home after a road trip.
Looking at just these games, a bettor would have gone 140-89 (61.1%) ATS, +44.9 units.
Unfortunately, this profitable betting strategy is no longer viable. The league will continue prioritizing player health to improve the product on the court. Back-to-backs were also reduced from 16.3 per team in 2016 to 14.4 in 2017. While playing games on consecutive nights isn’t something players want to do it, it is an opportunity for bettors. Especially early and late in the season.
Learn how to take advantage of back-to-backs in the NBA.