With the NBA season having just kicked off on Tuesday, I thought it is worth taking a look at the rule changes which come into effect this year. After all, if you’re betting on the games, you need to be properly informed. There are two main revisions which have been made.
1) The most noteworthy one is changing the way fouls are called, and this was way overdue. The last few seasons have seen players like James Harden make a living out of forcing fouls, making moves with the sole aim of going to the free throw line – not scoring the basket! It ruined any idea of defense, made the game unfair, and often times unwatchable. Fortunately, this year you won’t be able to jump into a defender, launch the ball into the stands and go to the line anymore. NBA vice president of referee development and training, Monty McCutchen, explains:
“If you’re placed at a disadvantage through good play, then therefore a foul should be called, offensively or defensively. We’re not trying to take away every pump fake. We are trying to take away a pump fake that then leads to an abnormal launch angle that the defender never would’ve hit the offensive player had this offensive player not taken this abnormal launch angle.
“We want to balance out the ability of a defensive player to compete with passion with an offensive player who can compete with passion, and when we find that balance, good competition is the result.”
It was about time! Now try and take care of the leg-kicking issues when launching three point shots. That hurts the game as well.
Can bettors take advantage of this rule change? Early in the season we may want to keep an eye on under/overs. Maybe it can be capitalized on. And if we see less scoring around the league compared to last season, it may be a correlation, and we may be able to profit until the bookies and the general public catch up (kind of similar to what happened in the All Star game the first year after the format change, it was the easiest under winner ever). So far the trend does lean towards the under, although we might want to wait just a little while longer for a more relevant sample size. Also, keep an eye on points scored by players who are notorious for having gotten calls on the old rule (Harden, Doncic, Young), and on their team’s free throw totals. Will these numbers drop by 1 or 2 points?
I would have recommended looking for the odds and taking the bets at Betfair, but they have gone completely downhill, and I just stopped using them (more on this in a future article). As such, you may want to look at DafaBet’s sportsbook and exchange, as there are good NBA odds and markets there. We haven’t reviewed them yet on Betdistrict, so you can check out a Dafabet review on BettingNews88.
2) The other, less important change, allows coaches to ask reviews of out of bounds plays in the last two minutes of a game. This used to be at the discretion of the referees before this year. It’s a nice change, but not a major one, though it will surely make for some more drama and have an impact in some games.
On the same note, the play-in tournament has been confirmed for another year.