As part of our Bet Labs Mailbag column, we ask readers to submit sports betting system questions for us to test with our Bet Labs software. The most common question we receive involves attempting to find NBA betting value with teams playing in the second game of a back-to-back. Most bettors feel that teams will be tired if they are playing two games in two nights — especially if there is travel involved. Because this is such a popular question, we decided to research whether there are historically profitable trends regarding NBA betting and teams playing in back-to-back games.
By applying Bet Labs’ “Days Between Games” filter, we were able to determine that teams playing in the second game of a back-to-back have an against the spread (ATS) record of 2058-2118 (49.3% win rate) in regular season games dating back to 2005. Unfortunately, fading these teams (or betting against them) would result in just a 50.7% winning percentage, which falls well below the 52.4% needed to break even when assuming a vig of -110.
Our next step was to use a variety of filters to determine if there was any situation in which betting against teams playing in the tail end of a back-to-back would be profitable. Unfortunately, using a simple favorite versus underdog filter provided no additional value, and betting against road teams playing in their second game in as many nights actually produced a win rate above 50%, but failed to cover the necessary vig needed to produce a winning system. It makes sense that those road teams would be the best to bet against, however, it’s reasonable to assume that sportsbooks account for any potential edge when setting the line.
The one trend we were intrigued by involved home teams playing in a back-to-back. Since 2005, teams fitting this criteria produced a woeful record of 636-730 and fading this system (betting the visiting team) would result in a win rate of 53.44%. Although betting every game that fit this system would produce a slight profit, we were curious to see whether applying our NBA betting trends data added potential value.
Spoiler alert: It did.
In games in which a home team playing in the second game of a back-to-back received at least 65% of public bets, they managed to cover the spread just 84 times in 200 opportunities. That means that betting against those teams would have resulted in a 116-84 record — good for a 58% winning percentage and a very nice return on investment.
All of this information and more can be found by utilizing our Bet Labs software, and right now you can access this unique product for a special promotional price of just $99 for two weeks.