Injuries are a part of life. From a broken leg to a paper cut, we hope experience as few as possible, knowing that ultimately, they sometimes just can’t be avoided. Just last week, yours truly was sent to the ER courtesy of a leg injury. I am currently day to day.
The Impact of Injuries in the NBA Playoffs
The NBA playoffs is case study in how injuries can impact sports. So far this year, 9 All-Stars have missed playoff games due to injury. The list includes Anthony Davis, Mike Conley, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant. The Harden and Irving injuries had bookmakers and gamblers alike scrambling to adjust odds. Now Chris Paul is in Covid protocol, missing Game 1 already, with no timetable to return. That and Kawhi’s sprained knee have the entire Western Conference Finals up in the air.
Over my three decades as a professional, I have been asked hundreds of times how I factor key injuries into my handicapping. Without a doubt, staying on top of the injury report (which today can come from a team’s beat reporter’s twitter) is crucial in sustaining long-term success. If you are vigilante with the right sources, periodically you can get key information on an injury before it reaches the general public and, more importantly, the bookmakers. However, that is almost always possible only if you have an insider network (such as KrackWins) and betting is your dedicated focus.
Tips to Betting Games with Injuries
That said, there are two tips I always remind people when it comes to betting games with star injuries.
First, always remember that the injury is already baked into the line. Someone may pull up a game and think, “Dak Prescott is out so I’m taking the Eagles”. I know it sounds simple, but the line you are getting for that game already has factored that injury into it and how the game will land. The bookmakers are extraordinarily swift to absorb news and then let the public market adjust from there.
Second, bookmakers tend to over-adjust a line based on injury and my tendency is always to bet the other way. Remember, every time a star/starter misses a game is an opportunity for someone to step up into the void. These players are all finely tuned professional athletes who wait all year for a bigger chance to show what they’ve got.
Case in point: Terance Mann in Game 6 dropping 39 points to dispatch Utah with Kawhi Leonard out. But that is just one of several illustrations from the past week of NBA action.
When it was announced Kyrie Irving was out for Game 5 of the Nets vs the Bucks, Milwaukee became a 3 point favorite on the road. Jeff Green proceeded to play the game of his life in Irving’s absence and the Nets won by 6.
Then there was Game 5 in Utah. Once Kawhi Leonard was announced out, the line moved from Utah -2 to Utah -7.5. Guess what happened? Paul George stepped up with a huge game, Marcus Morris scored 26 points, and the Clippers won by 8!
The bottom line is that the public and the bookmakers often overreact to an injury and when that happens, I tend to find some good value on the other side.
Sports Betting Picks Recap and Look-Ahead
Let’s dive into my sports betting picks recap. The last two weeks have produced back-to-back winners for the KrackWins Nation, with a combined overall result of 30-24 (+10.3 units).
To break it down: NBA went 5-3 (+2.5 units); MLB went 8-9 (-.5 units); WNBA went 2-2 (-.2 units); MMA and NHL each went 0-1 (-2.1 units). As promised, college baseball delivered very strong performance, going 11-6 (+9.7 units). PGA Golf matchups went 3-2 (+.9 units) with a slate of plays in action for the US Open in Torrey Pines.
Some bettors sit back during the summer and wait for the fall. The smart money, though, takes advantage. My team and I keep grinding to capture enticing edge as masses slow down for relaxation. The NBA conference finals are here, MLB shifts into the dog days, and the College World Series begins in Omaha. It’s a great time to be alive, injuries and all, so enjoy the summer, leave the hard handicapping work to us, and grow the bankroll for fall.