By Mark Strotman | | 4 mins
NBA Schedule Release Gives Bettors Good News, Players Rest
Bettors became all too familiar with two words during the NBA season last year: Load Management. Teams looking toward the postseason frequently rested stars on the second halves of back-to-back sets, gave ominous injury tags to players that remained unclear until minutes before tipoff, and at times even suited up players with no real intention of playing them (see: Davis, Anthony).
It became a constant headache for bettors, and the league wasn’t pleased because fans and viewers alike weren’t able to see the best players on the floor. But the NBA continued a trend of limiting back-to-back sets in its schedule released Monday, providing more rest for teams in between games, and the 2019-20 schedule is proof of that.
Other NBA schedule facts: Back-to-backs are at a historic low — for fifth straight season (teams will average 12.4 this season, down from 13.3 last season.) Five games in seven nights also have been reduced 9.5 percent. https://t.co/jCx8b4ZPEK— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 12, 2019
It’s clear the NBA is doing everything it can to make sure its players are on the floor as much as possible. The days of stars appearing in 80+ games and averaging 36+ minutes are over, but the league continues to reduce the number of back-to-back sets that created this era of resting starts in the first place.
The hope is that this continued scheduling quirk will prevent injuries and get the best players on the court as often as possible. It’s good news for the league, its fans, and most importantly the fans of NBA betting.
NBA Opening Night Openers Must-Watch For Bettors
The NBA is opening its season with a bang, and bettors will get a chance to see the two favorites to win the 2020 title square off. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers enter the 2020 season with +325 odds, and they’ll square off against LeBron James, Anthony Davis the Lakers – +425 to win the title – to tip off the new season.
The Lakers opened as one-point road favorites – though they’ll be playing in their home arena of Staples Center – against the Clippers, who split the LA season series last season.
That matchup will also feature four of the eight players with the best odds to win 2020 MVP on 888Sport:
- LeBron James | +550
- Kawhi Leonard | +650
- Anthony Davis | +900
- Paul George | +1100
That game is the main event, but the undercard isn’t too shabby, either. Zion Williamson is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year, touting remarkable -155 odds, and he’ll begin his NBA career for the New Orleans Pelicans with a matchup against the defending champion Raptors.
Toronto lost Leonard and Danny Green in the offseason but still has plenty of firepower, and they opened as 5-point favorites on DraftKings.
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National TV Games to Start Earlier
The NBA is finally starting to take care of its East Coast viewers and bettors. In an effort to increase viewership on its late games, the NBA is moving up the start times of more than half its nationally televised games for the 2019-20 season.
Sources: Earlier times for national TV doubleheaders this season: 22 of ESPN’s 36 doubleheaders and 12 of TNT’s 31 doubleheaders to start at 7:30/10 PM ET or 7/9:30 PM ET instead of 8/10:30 PM.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 12, 2019
It’s a smart move given that the four teams with the most national televised games all play in the Western Conference: Warriors (43), Lakers (42), Clippers (38), Rockets (38).
It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Call it the LeBron James effect, if you will. The NBA didn’t have a banner year in the TV ratings department, so moving up the start times of more than half their national coverages should not only boost ratings, but help those in the Central and Eastern time zones.
So, if you want to bet Lakers-Warriors on a Thursday night and give it a watch, there’s a good chance you’re getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep, too.