Do they tend to rest their good players so they don't have as many injuries going into the playoffs? Basically, I'm wondering if I should bet against teams with playoff locks if the matchup is close...
If depends mostly on the mentality of the head coach and his stance on team-specific concepts:
as well as player-specific questions:
and also miscellaneous factors:
As far as whether you should gamble on this type of scenario, remember that the odds-makers know the same information you do, probably much more. So, it isn't like knowing this information will give you ad advantage, rather it would put you closer to having even odds.
Depends on the situation:
Notice for both of the scenarios explained above the result of the game wouldn't change anything going to postseason (except the club record). This strategy is used to make user that the players stay healthy for more important playoff games.