The schedule maker in the NBA check BetBubbles is not always the best friend of players. That is, the schedule can be grueling over 82 games, with many road trips and back-to-back potholes along the way. Understand that all games aren't created equal. Some games are more difficult than other simply because of the schedule.

The NBA schedule is set up to never play three games in three nights. The players' union has seen to this. And that's the good news. The bad news is that teams can get stuck playing three games in four nights several times during the season. Most significant from a handicapping perspective is when Games 3 and 4 of that situation are back-to-back.

A good example occurred Saturday. The Nets had played at the Celtics Friday night, then the same two teams went to New Jersey Saturday to play again. For the Celtics, it was an even more difficult spot than the Nets because Boston was not only on the road Saturday, but playing its third game in four nights.

Boston is not a good road team to begin with, and it wasn't a surprise to see the Celtics play one of their worst games of the season in a 103-83 pounding. The Celtics shot 41.9% and got beat on the boards 49-33! Think the Green had tired legs? The situation was a key factor, something sports handicappers keep track of for EVERY game.

An even more difficult situation is when those back-to-back games are both on the road. And teams that are on long road trips can sometimes play all three of those four games on the road, making it even more of a grind.

Of course, the worst situation of all, which doesn't happen as often, is when an NBA team plays four games in five nights. Again, they never play three games in three nights, so that situation is always back-to-back games, one day off, and then two more games back-to-back for 4 games in 5 nights. Now THAT'S a potentially tired situation!

Remember that basketball is such a grueling sport physically on the body. Players have to run up and down the court all night. There are far more chances for an athlete to catch his breath in baseball, football and hockey. You'd better have your legs in shape if you want to play basketball at a high level of competition. Throw in the fact that it's more difficult to play on the road, and it all adds up to potential betting spots where the schedule can play an important role.

Last Thursday there was a bad scheduling spot for the NY Knicks. The Knicks played at home against the red-hot Pistons. That's bad enough, but it was the Knicks fourth game in five nights. Making matters worse is that they had just played the night before, Wednesday, and the game went overtime, as NY lost 106-104 at Chicago. Starting guard Jamal Crawford played 50 minutes. The Knicks were then flattened at home, 105-79 by the Pistons, having nothing left in the tank. It was clear no one had any fresh legs available to defend on the perimeter as the Pistons hit 12-of-25 three pointers!

Milwaukee faced a similar situation on January 14, playing their fourth game in five nights while hosting Denver. The Bucks had just played consecutive road games at Indiana and Charlotte, then failed to cover in a 100-93 home loss to Denver. Don't underestimate the value of that NBA schedule in your hand! Understanding how to look for sports betting edges is the first step toward identifying them.