Once sports bettors are in the midst of the season and heading into the second half, the entire complexion of a season can change. Some teams that have been asleep go on a valiant charge and win a slew of games, while others, due to age and injury, start to fall off in terms of performance. Also, as the season progresses, each game becomes more important and teams that need wins will battle for them tooth and nail. Conversely, there will be clubs that realize there is no way they can contend for a playoff spot, and they will shut it down.
The mid to late season of any sport is a season unto itself, and it should be treated as such. That means that the past is the past, and former betting practices and elements that you have been taking for granted may change.
Tired and Injured
Teams that have aging players will often struggle late in the season. Older players, especially those who have been dealing with injuries during the past few years, will be susceptible to mid- and late-season health issues. If they are key contributors, a team could certainly be affected by their downtime.
As the trade deadline beckons, look for any possible movement that may weaken or strengthen a team. Once the trade happens, carefully watch how a new player fits in with his new team. It may or may not be a good match. Some trades will have a huge, immediate, positive impact on a team, while others will actually hurt a club. Don’t discard utility or role players, as they can have an impact on their new club down the stretch.
New Blood and Legs
By new blood, we’re looking at guys who have come up from the minors or been taken off the practice squad. These guys often have new or young legs that have not been exposed to the harsh realities of a long season. They could add some extra energy, power, and enthusiasm to a team. They may make a difference, and they tend to be unknown entities. Figure them out.
Locker Room Atmosphere
As the season goes on, the locker room can become a place where a team comes together or totally splinters apart. What is the locker room of a particular team like? Does it have a healthy or divisive atmosphere? Are players complaining, fighting, and angry when they are together? Sometimes the bad stuff in a locker room can spill out onto the field, court, or ice. Just as importantly, strong camaraderie among the team could lead to more wins.
Relationship with Coaches
How much does the team respect their coaches? Do they have a good or poor relationship with the guys who are in charge? Is there a lot of bickering between coaches and players, are incidents behind the scenes seeping into the game, and is the coach or manager making unpopular decisions? How good is the guy in charge of the team at getting his players focused, making them relax, and having them work together? These are all critical questions to ask when assessing a team’s late season form. A good coach can inspire his players, while a bad one might hinder their success.
How is Management?
Is management interested in blowing up the team, saving money, and starting all over, or are they looking to upgrade the team, spend extra cash, and make a run for the playoffs? Those in the front office can make a major difference on the field. Know what their attitude is, and what their plans are.
What Teams Have the Right Stuff?
As you reach the midway point of a season and speed into the second half of play, you should be able to see which teams possess the elements that will allow them to make a run at the playoffs and which ones will simply shut it down or phone it in. When a motivated team meets one that has given up, you can make some cash on that game. Be aware of the changing landscape and shifting sands and wager accordingly.