How Rest Day Stats can Give you the Edge in Your NBA Predictions

Following article is a guest contribution by our long time reader Brian Sands, I asked him to tell us how he has been using NBA rest days stats to make better decisions.

Is there any statistical edge to get over the sportsbooks? When NBA betting, closing NBA number by a point can be beaten and it is possible to add extra 4% to winning percentage. Taking an extra half point on 2 or 7 makes much more valuable than taking an extra half point on 8 or 3.

Let’s look deeper into it:

The chart tracks how the league average differs for three different possession based stats: Offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency and pace (the number of possessions per 48 minutes).

And these applies the numbers to seven different conditions; 4th game in 5 nights, 3rd game in 4 nights (played yesterday), 2nd game of a back to back, 3rd game in 4 days (rested yesterday), 1 day rest, 2 days rest and 3 or more days rest.
Offensive Efficiency
-1 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 4th game in 5 nights
-1 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 3rd game in 4 nights (played yesterday)
-0.1 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 2nd game of a back to back
-0.2 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 3rd game in 4 days (rested yesterday)
-0.2 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 1 day rest
+0.3 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 2 days rest
-0.3 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 3 or more days rest

Defensive Efficiency
+1 Points /Per 100 Possessions – 4th game in 5 nights
+1 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 3rd game in 4 nights (played yesterday)
+0.9 Points/Per 100 Possessions – 2nd game of a back to back
- 0.4 Points/Per 100 Possessions - 3rd game in 4 days (rested yesterday)
-0.4 Points/Per 100 Possessions - 1 day rest
-1.1 Points /Per 100 Possessions - 2 days rest
-0.5 Points /Per 100 Possessions - 3 or more days rest

Pace
-0.8 Possessions - 4th game in 5 nights
-0.3 Possessions - 3rd game in 4 nights (played yesterday)
-0.2 Possessions - 2nd game of a back to back
-0.2 Possessions - 3rd game in 4 days (rested yesterday)
-0.1 Possessions - 1 days rest
+0.5 Possessions - 2 days rest
+0.5 Possessions - 3 or more days rest

The numbers for a team playing their 4th game in 5 nights and 3rd game in 4 nights is what we would expect, the offense goes down by a point and the teams give up a point on average throughout the NBA. Remember that the books will know this but they might try to over adjust the NBA betting lines, if the game line is more than 2 points off what it should be, than the bookie is over inflating the line due to the public’s perception of the affect of rest on the team.

The number that stands out for me is teams that are coming into the game with 2 days rest, the NBA average shows teams in this situation are playing at their optimal level. The teams only score 0.3 points more than the league average but the defense tightens up by 1.1 points a game. Another point I found interesting but it makes sense is that teams scoring goes down on 3 or more days rest, the shooters are like the rest of us, a little slow getting back to work after a long weekend.

Of course, those numbers represent the NBA as a whole; the chart can extrapolate which teams are the best under each circumstance. For example two of the worst teams this season have played under some of the worst conditions, the Indiana Pacers and the LA Clippers have both played the killer 4 games in 5 nights, 4 times this season, more than any other team. In addition to those 4 in 5’s they have played 20 and 19 back to back games this season respectively, which is the first and third highest totals in the league.

With the chart, you can use the individual team situations and compare them to the line as a way to help you get an idea of determining the value of the line.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 March 2010 )
 
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