You ease back into your seat ever so delicately and hope, pray even, for the best.
It doesn’t take a world traveler to comprehend that what I’m talking about is that infamous flight home from the great city of Las Vegas, because we’ve all been there before. Sin City is the ultimate road trip, one that is specifically designed to break you at the tables and slots and sportsbooks. And should you somehow manage to survive from a financial perspective, the city will no doubt emerge victorious when it comes to exacting a toll on your mental and physical health.
That’s preciously why I made the pledge more than five years ago to never spend more than three consecutive days on the Las Vegas Strip. Not because I don’t enjoy it. Oh, God, do I enjoy it! It’s because I simply lack the discipline necessary to survive anything greater than a 72-hour run through the Entertainment Capital of the World. I forget to sleep, forget to hydrate, forget to eat. And during that 72-hour stretch, I really don’t even care about rest or water or food.
It’s that damn flight home where I suffer the consequences and commence discussions with a Higher Power.
This, of course, is the most dramatic example of what can happen on a road trip. But we’ve all experienced the natural wear and tear that comes from a four, five or even week-long trek to another part of the country or world for business. By the end, we just want to sleep in our own beds and watch the latest binge craze courtesy of Netflix – no matter how much fun we had. That’s because no matter what new and exciting pleasures the road has to offer, there’s just no substitute for the tranquility and peace that comes from the home.
Professional athletes are not immune to the distractions inherent on any road trip. Look no further than Staples Center during a Sunday matinee for proof. In most instances, the Lakers’ opponent enjoys itself a tad too much the night before in the City of Angles while rubbing elbows with some combination of actors, musicians and models and shows up flat for an early start time the next afternoon.
These are preciously the situations that we are looking to exploit.
There is a long-standing belief in the National Basketball Association that clubs generally fall flat on their respective faces during the last game of a lengthy road trip. Fatigue, long travel, late nights, uncomfortable hotel beds – you name it. Any combination of the aforementioned, and beyond, play a role in wearing down even the best in the business. Hell, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers got smoked by 35 points at Golden State on January 16 in what was the final contest of a six-game road trip.
But I’m here to tell you that, at least as far as the 2016-2017 NBA campaign is concerned, something very intriguing has developed in regards to lengthy road trips. Specifically, what takes place from a betting perspective in the final game of said road trips.
Let’s take a look:
2016-2017 NBA SU & ATS Road Records In Final Game Of Road Trip
Final game of 3-game road trip: 19-19 SU, 24-14 ATS
Final game of 4-game road trip: 12-3 SU, 12-3 ATS
Final game of 5-game road trip: 10-10 SU, 12-8 ATS
Final game of 6-game road trip: 4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS
Final game of 7-game road trip: 0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS
All previous theories be damned! What the information above tells us is that NBA road teams are actually thriving in the final game of their road trips this season, not faltering. So much so, in fact, that you would be turning an insane profit (.800 winning percentage) had you only wagered in situations in which a road team was playing its final contest of a four-game road trip. In fact, you’d be turning a profit in every road game situation this season outside of the final game of a six or seven-game roadie.
If nothing else, the above intelligence is more than worthy of consideration for the remainder of the NBA season. And because I love ya, I’ve gone ahead and taken the liberty of listing below all of the final-road-game situations that are coming up in the immediate future.
Best of luck!
*Number in parenthesis indicates length of road trip.
1/27: Spurs at Pelicans (4)
1/29: Rockets at Pacers (5)
1/30: Magic at Timberwolves (3)
1/30: Nets at Heat (3)
1/31: Kings at Rockets (8)
2/1: Knicks at Nets (3)
2/1: Clippers at Suns (5)
2/4: Hornets at Jazz (3)
2/4: Bucks at Suns (3)
2/4: Grizzlies at Timberwolves (6)
2/5: Raptors at Nets (3)
2/6: 76ers at Pistons (4)
2/9: Cavaliers at Thunder (4)
2/9: Jazz at Mavericks (3)
2/10: Lakers at Bucks (5)
2/11: Heat at 76ers (4)
2/11: Nuggets at Cavaliers (3)
2/12: Bulls at Timberwolves (6)
2/13: Celtics at Mavericks (4)
2/13: Warriors at Nuggets (3)
2/13: Clippers at Jazz (5)
2/15: Pelicans at Grizzlies (4)
2/26: Spurs at Lakers (8)
2/28: Trail Blazers at Pistons (4)