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Betting tips for the Second Half of the Season NBA
By Tony George
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The All Star break is officially over with the East and the West with their All Stars setting a scoring record on their way to a combined 318 points shattering the posted Total at 292. When the second half rolls around, I have a few things I look for each season entering the second half, and of course daily decisions are made for you in many cases by odds makers, but none the less a few tried and true methods that have worked well for me over the years. My NBA this season has been better than average hitting 70% ATS in January, and I usually have a better second half. As always handicapping is a process of elimination and it boils down to situational analysis.

Here are a few bullet points to consider when capping the NBA after the all-star break. And bear in mind their no magic solution to hitting 58% and above, these are not a "set in stone" set of rules, but I do use these points as guidelines. As always any handicapper can only take and work with what odds makers give you.

TOTALS - With 2 bad teams playing, especially with no shot at the playoffs, I like looking at OVERS. When two good teams play, especially late in the season, the UNDER is always my first look.

BAD DEFENSE BUT WINNING RECORD - I tend to fade teams who may be a winning club, and can score in excess of 100 ppg with high octane offense but play flat out bad defense. You will find many times, these teams lay bigger numbers in excess of 8 against bad team, but bad NBA teams (less than .500 win percentage) against bad defenses tend to score plenty of points in losing efforts many times, and taking big points in the NBA is always worthy of consideration.

GO OPPOSITE OUT OF THE GATE - I tend to look at teams who struggled before the break, especially if they had key injuries, to play better to open the second half, and conversely, teams that were hot, I look to fade early given the right line, and the chemistry and momentum many times drops off after a break.

BAD TEAMS STAY BAD - There are teams already out of the playoffs after the break, in the Bucks case for instance their chances went out the window after the first 6 weeks of the season. I would not suggest these type of bad, losing teams throw in the towel, but then again they get to a point where their effort is suspect and the motivation for playing a full 4 quarters, sometimes provides a huge point spread advantage. Very rarely will you find a bottom feeder in the NBA making a big run and creating a Cinderella type emergence, that is for some obscure college team in March Madness, not the NBA. These teams sometimes love to play the spoiler role against a good team who is a hated rival, but at days end, bad teams stay bad.

GREAT TEAMS GET FOCUSED AFTER MID POINT- That means elite teams past the Month of April really start to take it up a notch. Whether you can say teams like OK City, Miami, Indiana are on cruise control because they can turn it on and off like a light switch on any given night is no doubt true, coaches want consistent efforts and rhythm come late April and beyond as these teams ramp up for the playoffs. Many times you can expect them to play to stats (meaning the stats do not lie) or exceed them and you gain a few advantages on some soft lines and can lay the wood with these type of teams later in the second half of the season.

BEST COVER TEAMS - TOP 5 in the First Half of the Season

· Phoenix Suns 33-17-1 ATS

· Indiana Pacers 32–20 ATS

· OK City 32-23 ATS

· Toronto 31-20-1 ATS

· Dallas 31-23 ATS

Milwaukee 20-32 ATS. And one note – While Miami is the odds on favorite to get to the finals again in many people’s minds, (although the Pacers may disagree) they have one of the worst ATS records in the NBA at 22-28 ATS. This is a prime example of a public darling who carry’s big numbers from oddsmakers

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