Of all the major team sports, the NBA sometimes is generally thought of as the easiest to pick winners consistently. However, bookmakers are very close with their opening lines at a higher rate than we’d like. Nevertheless, betting on the NBA can be very rewarding to the wallet for those that know the ins and outs of betting.
Here’s some basics to keep you on top of NBA betting:
Stick to Your Bankroll
Just as people budget when it comes to their weekly and monthly expenses, the same concept holds true when it comes to gambling. The method for keeping track of your bankroll is an individual matter, but you need to know your overall bankroll and your typical bet based on your balance. Don’t place a huge bet that depletes your bankroll if you lose and avoid feeling forced to bet if you are trying to snap a losing skid.
Be Aware of Injuries
Often people feel they have a sure bet, only to realize later that the bet missed because a key player or players were out due to injury. Be aware that injury news often isn’t revealed until near game time. Therefore, place your bet as near to tip-off as possible. Be aware of the betting lines and how they change at the last minute when news breaks that a star player will miss the game due to injury.
Know the Schedule
Take a look at a team’s schedule and pay attention to stretches where a team may be tired. Such instances occur on long road trips, back-to-back games, or a stretch of four or more games in a week. One popular betting trend is the back-to-back, but finding a team on a back-to-back doesn’t necessarily mean your bet will hit. The bookmakers are smart and have adjusted accordingly with their betting lines.
Read the Bookmaker
The basic question to ask yourself is, “why did the bookmaker open the line with that number?” Consider a scenario with two evenly matched teams in a playoff game where significant betting is expected. You may think the game is a pick’em but the line is set at –1 for the home team. If you’re wondering why, it’s because that people tend to pick the home team when the game is a toss-up.
If the public views the game as a toss-up, bookmakers are wise and know more bets will come in on the home team, and in the long run by adjusting the line, they make more money. Try to think logically about why the line is what it is before and analyze the situation before placing a bet.
Be Aware of Middling
Middling is when betting lines swing in a way that you can better both sides during the game and still come out on top. Suppose Toronto is playing Boston and the line opens Toronto –3. You place the bet on Toronto, but then realize that just before the game starts, a key member of the Celtics is out. The line moves more heavily in Toronto’s favor to the point you put your bet on Boston. One of the bets is guaranteed to win and maybe both.
Note Team Morale and Enthusiasm
Keep in tune with a team’s schedule, stress, inner team conflict, outside team distractions, etc. The numbers that are crunched are many times just based off the trends observed. One such trend is load management and player rest. Some people get based off that, when others didn’t and came out on top. The best bettors know when to trust their gut, but it’s a scary proposition for some, who prefer to stick to the numbers.
Don’t Shy Away from Road Favorites
NBA betting lines are highly influenced by a team’s past performance and home court advantage. There are often good plays to be made for road favorites. Bookmakers are wise to the fact that there will be much action on home underdogs. If a good team just lost and are now a road favorite, consider strongly betting on that team to bounce back. In addition, the team is probably playing a less talented team to be a road favorite.