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Injury Bug

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/29/2010 9:57:48 AM

Evaluating and projecting how a certain National Basketball Association team will react to a key injury or two is something that hoop bettors have to deal with every year but players have to resist the temptation to over react about a few bruises.

Every team in the league will have a rash of injuries during the grueling NBA season but some of those injured players may not be as important to a team’s ability to cover spreads, as some would expect.

Key players, the marquee guys, get all the publicity and when they get hurt, the tendency is for bettors and bookies to move the line drastically.

But like football, a key player can be of little importance as to the outcome of a game in reality. One of the things about football that few understand is that if an offensive lineman, who has been in the league for years and knows every trick in the book, gets hurt, that injury is much more damaging to a team’s success rate.

A similar thing happens in the NBA. It’s mainly about how deep a bench is and what type of player is going to be replacing a key guy that just got hurt.

One thing that is sometimes under estimated is the fact that teams are brought together by adversity and a substitute that has been wallowing on the bench, is probably chomping at the bit to show his coach, teammates and the fans that he is ready to step in and bring it just like the starter.

Many times in that first game without a star player, the line will move the other way but the team that is wounded bonds and excels.

Sometimes, immediately betting a team that has a key player hurt is a very good angle because it could take several games for the majority of bettors and linemakers to figure out the transition.

Last year, Michael Redd got hurt for the Bucks and was out most of the year, but other scores like John Salmons and Brandon Jennings stepped right in and played great. They were similar players with similar talents.

This season, a key Lakers player, Andrew Bynum, had been missing in action but yet the Lakers, thanks to a favorable schedule and fact they can plug in a versatile guy like Lamar Odom, have not really missed a beat.

Since, they have had a hard time incorporating him into the offensive smoothly.

On the other end of the spectrum, if a team relies on a key player to not only perform for 48 minutes on the court but also to bring energy and have the ability to change the game, the squad’s fortunes can drastically change if they don’t have a similar player off the bench.

On November 26 this year, the Toronto Raptors’ power forward Reggie Evans fractured his foot and although Evans is not a household name, he jumps out of the gym, wills rebounds into his arms and is the heart and soul to that team.

Since he has been gone, Toronto lost 5 of next 7 and frankly, Evans’ replacement, Amir Johnson, does not bring the same enthusiasm and in a recent loss to Denver, only had 6 points and 4 rebounds and 4 fouls.

The NBA bettor has to be able to scrutinize rosters and assess the damage by a key injury to take advantage of the line.



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