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NBA scheduling spots to watch down the stretch

February 22, 2022 08:32 PM
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With the NBA about 70% of the way through the regular season, some strong situational trends have formed. 

Here’s a list of 25 of those trends, with the average score in these spots and a list of the remaining games that qualify for each trend. The trick is knowing when to use these trends and when to stay away. Enjoy the analysis and good luck in your NBA wagering when the league returns from the All-Star break. 

Schedules are subject to change. Home games are listed in all caps.

BOSTON is 24-13 Under the total (64.9%) in the one day of rest scheduling scenario

Average score: Boston 108.3, Opponent 101.4

Steve’s thoughts: This is the most frequent rest scenario on the NBA schedule. The Celtics have played solid defense in such games, which could be important come playoff time.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 26: at Detroit

— March 1: ATLANTA

— March 3: MEMPHIS

— March 11: DETROIT

— March 13: DALLAS

— March 18: at Sacramento

— March 20: at Denver

— March 23: UTAH

— March 30: MIAMI

— April 1: INDIANA

— April 3: WASHINGTON

BROOKLYN is 13-15 SU and 7-21 ATS (25.0%) at home

Average score: Opponent 110.3, Brooklyn 108.1

Steve’s thoughts: The Nets’ struggles at home aren’t all that surprising since Kyrie Irving hasn’t been allowed to play in home games.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 24: BOSTON

— Feb. 28: TORONTO

— March 3: MIAMI

— March 13: NEW YORK

— March 16: DALLAS

— March 18: PORTLAND

— March 21: UTAH

— March 27: CHARLOTTE

— March 29: DETROIT

— March 31: MILWAUKEE

— April 5: HOUSTON

— April 8: CLEVELAND

— April 10: INDIANA

CHARLOTTE is 1-10 SU and 3-8 ATS (27.3%) in the second game of a back-to-back

Average score: Opponent 123.5, Charlotte 119.9

Steve’s thoughts: The Hornets are relatively young, so they should be able to handle the physical test of back-to-back games. Perhaps mental preparation is the issue.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 28: at Milwaukee

— March 9: BOSTON

— March 28: DENVER

— April 8: at Chicago

CHICAGO is 23-8 SU and 21-10 ATS (67.7%) at home

Average score: Chicago 115.3, Opponent 110.2

Steve’s thoughts: A big part of the Bulls’ unexpected rise to the top of the East has been their ability to take care of business at home. Securing home-court advantage for as many playoff rounds as they can will remain a top priority down the stretch.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 24: ATLANTA

— Feb. 26: MEMPHIS

— March 4: MILWAUKEE

— March 12: CLEVELAND

— March 21: TORONTO

— March 31: LA CLIPPERS

— April 2: MIAMI

— April 5: MILWAUKEE

— April 6: BOSTON

— April 8: CHARLOTTE

CLEVELAND is 23-12 SU and 23-12 ATS (65.7%) in the one day of rest scheduling scenario

Average score: Cleveland 107.1, Opponent 102.7

Steve’s thoughts: Like the Celtics, the Cavaliers have played strong defense in these spots, helping them become the league’s biggest surprise.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 26: WASHINGTON

— Feb. 28: MINNESOTA

— March 2: CHARLOTTE

— March 4: at Philadelphia

— March 6: TORONTO

— March 8: at Indiana

— March 14: LA CLIPPERS

— March 16: PHILADELPHIA

— March 18: DENVER

— March 21: LA LAKERS

— March 26: CHICAGO

— March 28: ORLANDO

— March 30: DALLAS

— April 2: at New York

— April 5: at Orlando

— April 10: MILWAUKEE

DALLAS is 12-1 Under the total (92.3%) playing a third game in four days

Average score: Dallas 104.7, Opponent 101.5

Steve’s thoughts: The Mavericks clearly slow the pace when trying to battle fatigue. Games in these spots are averaging 4.0 points fewer than the season average for Mavs games.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 19: at Charlotte

— March 21: MINNESOTA

— March 30: at Cleveland

— April 1: at Washington

DALLAS is 15-5 Under the total (75.0%) in non-conference games

Average score: Dallas 105.3, Opponent 104.0

Steve’s thoughts: The 209.3 points in these games is only slightly less than the season average in Mavs games, but with scoring up in the Eastern Conference, the betting totals have been up as well.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 9: NEW YORK

— March 13: at Boston

— March 16: at Brooklyn

— March 18: at Philadelphia

— March 19: at Charlotte

— March 30: at Cleveland

— April 1: at Washington

— April 3: at Milwaukee

— April 6: at Detroit

DETROIT is 12-4 Under the total (75.0%) playing a third game in four days

Average score: Opponent 113.4, Detroit 97.8

Steve’s thoughts: The Pistons are scoring well below NBA standards in these games. Totals going under is the result.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 27: at Charlotte

— March 1: at Washington

— March 4: INDIANA

— April 1: at Oklahoma City

— April 3: at Indiana

HOUSTON is 0-9 SU and 1-7-1 ATS (12.5%) in the second game of a back-to-back

Average score: Opponent 123.6, Houston 106.7

Steve’s thoughts: The Rockets have lost all nine of their back-end games when playing on consecutive days. The average score is enough in itself to warrant consideration the rest of the way.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 2: UTAH

— March 7: at Miami

— March 21: WASHINGTON

— March 26: at Portland

INDIANA is 11-11 SU and 15-6 ATS (71.4%) in non-conference games

Average score: Indiana 111.3, Opponent 111.0

Steve’s thoughts: For whatever reason, the Pacers have performed far better against teams from the Western Conference. Unfortunately, there aren’t all that many non-conference games left.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 25: OKLAHOMA CITY

— March 12: at San Antonio

— March 15: MEMPHIS

— March 18: at Houston

— March 20: PORTLAND

— March 23: SACRAMENTO

— March 24: at Memphis

— March 30: DENVER

LA CLIPPERS are 4-3 SU and 0-7 ATS (0.0%) on two days of rest

Average score: Opponent 107.3, LA Clippers 104.0

Steve’s thoughts: The Clippers have yet to cover the spread in what should be a beneficial scenario.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 6: NEW YORK

— March 25: PHILADELPHIA

— April 6: PHOENIX

— April 9: SACRAMENTO

LA LAKERS are 8-2 Over the total (80.0%) playing their third straight home game

Average score: Opponent 115.7, LA Lakers 113.4

Steve’s thoughts: This one is tough to explain, although the lofty scoring totals make it worthy of consideration going forward. Only one more scheduling opportunity awaits.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 1: DALLAS

MEMPHIS is 21-9 SU and 22-8 ATS (73.3%) on the road

Average score: Memphis 113.2, Opponent 110.5

Steve’s thoughts: Don’t tell the Grizzlies that inexperienced teams often struggle on the road. Chalk this trend up to their defense and athleticism.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 24: at Minnesota

— Feb. 26: at Chicago

— March 3: at Boston

— March 6: at Houston

— March 13: at Oklahoma City

— March 15: at Indiana

— March 18: at Atlanta

— March 20: at Houston

— March 30: at San Antonio

— April 5: at Utah

— April 7: at Denver

MIAMI is 5-0 Over the total (100.0%) playing on the road for a second consecutive day

Average score: Opponent 114.8, Miami 105.2

Steve’s thoughts: The Heat are struggling on defense in these situations, allowing more than 10 points above their average in all other scheduling spots.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 3: at Brooklyn

— April 3: at Toronto

MIAMI is 11-4 SU and 13-2 ATS (86.7%) in its third (or more) straight road game

Average score: Miami 109.7, Opponent 101.5

Steve’s thoughts: We just saw how the Heat have struggled in the second of back-to-back road games. As road trips extend to more than two games, however, they have thrived.

Qualifying games remaining:

— April 3: at Toronto

MINNESOTA is 6-0 Over the total (100.0%) playing on the road for a second consecutive day

Average score: Opponent 125.5, Minnesota 118.3

Steve’s thoughts: Like the Heat, the Timberwolves have allowed a lot of points on the back-end of back-to-back road scenarios. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as fatigue tends to have a greater effect on teams that play with pace.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 12: at Miami

MINNESOTA is 24-7 Over the total (77.4%) on the road

Average score: Opponent 117.2, Minnesota 116.8

Steve’s thoughts: Timberwolves road games are averaging about 16 points more than home games. That is a dramatic difference.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 28: at Cleveland

— March 4: at Oklahoma City

— March 11: at Orlando

— March 12: at Miami

— March 14: at San Antonio

— March 21: at Dallas

— March 27: at Boston

— March 30: at Toronto

— April 1: at Denver

— April 3: at Houston

NEW YORK is 13-26 SU and 12-27 ATS (30.8%) in the one day of rest scheduling scenario

Average score: Opponent 107.3, New York 104.0

Steve’s thoughts: This trend is as big of a factor in the Knicks’ struggles as anything else. Good teams must be able to compete in this spot, as it is the most frequent on any team’s schedule.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 27: PHILADELPHIA

— March 4: at Phoenix

— March 6: at LA Clippers

— March 9: at Dallas

— March 11: at Memphis

— March 13: at Brooklyn

— March 18: WASHINGTON

— March 20: UTAH

— March 22: ATLANTA

— March 25: at Miami

— March 27: at Detroit

— March 30: CHARLOTTE

— April 8: at Washington

— April 10: TORONTO

OKLAHOMA CITY is 4-14 SU and 12-3-3 ATS (80.0%) playing a fourth game in six days

Average score: Opponent 106.3, Oklahoma City 101.4

Steve’s thoughts: This trend caught me off guard, as it’s not typical for an underperforming team to fare well in this scenario.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 9: at Minnesota

— March 18: at Miami

— March 21: BOSTON

— March 23: ORLANDO

— April 6: at Utah

— April 8: at LA Lakers

— April 10: at LA Clippers

OKLAHOMA CITY is 6-4 SU and 8-2 ATS (80.0%) on two days of rest

Average score: Opponent 101.0, Oklahoma City 100.4

Steve’s thoughts: The Thunder, who are tied with the Grizzlies atop the ATS standings, have fared better than average when playing on two days of rest.

Qualifying games remaining:

— Feb. 28: SACRAMENTO

— March 26: at Denver

PHOENIX is 9-1 Under the total (90.0%) when playing on two days of rest

Average score: Phoenix 108.0, Opponent 99.5

Steve’s thoughts: A rested Suns team has been a very good defensive team. We’ll see if that changes with Chris Paul out.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 2: PORTLAND

— March 23: at Minnesota

— March 27: PHILADELPHIA

— March 30: at Golden State

PORTLAND is 6-1 SU and 6-1 ATS (85.7%) playing a fourth straight home game

Average score: Portland 110, Opponent 103.1

Steve’s thoughts: Oh, the comforts of home. Well, at least for Portland they come in a fourth straight home game. There are few other scenarios where the Trail Blazers have performed well. 

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 28: OKLAHOMA CITY

— March 30: NEW ORLEANS

TORONTO is 9-2 SU and 9-2 ATS (81.8%) playing a third (or more) straight home game

Average score: Toronto 110.8, Opponent 101.1

Steve’s thoughts: The Raptors went an entire season without playing in front of their home fans. They are making up for it this season, particularly on longer homestands.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 4: ORLANDO

— March 28: BOSTON

— March 30: MINNESOTA

— April 7: PHILADELPHIA

— April 8: HOUSTON

WASHINGTON is 11-3 Over the total (78.6%) playing a fourth game in six days

Average score: Opponent 110.7, Washington 109.1

Steve’s thoughts: These games are averaging about 4.0 points more than the average Wizards game.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 14: at Golden State

— March 16: DENVER

— March 19: LA LAKERS

— March 21: at Houston

— March 29: CHICAGO

— March 30: ORLANDO

— April 1: DALLAS

— April 3: at Boston

— April 6: at Atlanta

— April 8: NEW YORK

— April 10: at Charlotte

WASHINGTON is 3-6 SU and 1-7 ATS (12.5%) on two days of rest

Average score: Opponent 107.1, Washington 98.4

Steve’s thoughts: Typically, teams on two days of rest perform about a half-point better than all other scenarios. That is not happening with the Wizards.

Qualifying games remaining:

— March 1: DETROIT

— March 4: ATLANTA

— March 9: at LA Clippers

— March 24: at Milwaukee

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