After starting the 2018-19 NBA season with three straight 30-points-plus games and then exploding for 51 in Game 5, Golden State’s Steph Curry was averaging 33 points a game in the month of October. Even more impressive was his shooting. The former NBA MVP shot 53 percent from 3-point range and 55 percent overall. Then came the slump.
In a win over Minnesota on Nov. 2, Curry hit 11-of-24 (.458) from the floor but was just 4-of-12 from 3-point range. Over his next two games, Curry shot a miserable 11-of-31 and just 3-of-10 from behind the arc. A groin injury might have been part of the reason why Curry was off target, but when athletes or entire teams are in a slump should bettors take that into consideration?
Where Did the Slump Come From?
Bettors might want to consider how a slump started. In Curry’s case, some of his shooting woes were related to a physical injury. Curry would miss 11 games before returning. In his first outing, a healthy Curry shot 10-of-21 from the floor and scored 27 points. His 3-point shot has come back as well and Curry is shooting 45 percent from behind the arc in December. An athlete that is slumping because of an injury can easily change his performance by getting healthy.
Some athletes may be under extreme pressure. Athletes like Curry and others in the NBA face pressure from fans, coaches, and front office personnel. Bad performances are going to happen, but numerous bad performances can lead to unemployment.
Other athletes may have had a really ugly performance in a big game. Some might have some faulty mechanics in their individual sport. Still others may be affected by a personal problem, maybe the death of a loved one for example. Whatever the case may be, athletes can manage their situation. Sometimes they need help in doing so, but an athlete in any sport can overcome a slump. Knowing when would really be a key for bettors.
What About a Slumping Team?
The Cincinnati Bengals started the 2018 NFL season with a bang. The Bengals were 4-1 and led the AFC North Division heading into a big game with rival Pittsburgh. Cincinnati lost that game and then proceeded to win just once in eight games. After beating the Raiders in Week 15, the Bengals are now 6-8.
The slump can be attributed to many things including a defense that is simply awful. The Bengals are 32nd – yes, dead last – in the NFL in total defense. Cincy gives up 413 yards per game. If not for Oakland (the team the Bengals just beat), Cincinnati would be last in scoring defense too. They give up 29.5 points a game.
There are a number of other factors that go into the Cincinnati collapse – offensive line issues, some injuries – but one thing to consider is that force that affects athletes and teams in any sport at any level – momentum.
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Winning is contagious. Just ask the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, so is losing. A team loses one week, maybe suffers an injury here or there, and then loses a second game. Before you know it, you’ve lost five games in a row. The Bengals dropped five straight to New Orleans, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, and the Chargers before beating Oakland.
Bettors looking to come out on top should consider the slump. A team caught in a slump might see it continue as the Bengals did until they played a team that was simply inferior. Bettors should also consider key player slumps. Curry’s shooting slump or a hitter in baseball such as Paul Goldschmidt whose average dipped well below .200 before rebounding can have a dramatic impact on games’ outcomes.
Written by Rick Bouch