Making NBA Computer Picks as Part of a Handicapping Strategy

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (R) goes over plays on a computer with assistant coach Alex Jensen (L). George Frey/AFP

Methods for sports betting are evolving. It used to be that sports bettors were reliant on looking at boxscores from the day prior and cutting out pages from the newspaper and developing methods to gather the information that could be broken down and utilized to beat the local bookie. This person would juice the lines for local teams or the teams his client may like.

The advent of the computer changed all that and the sports betting industry drastically changed because of the availability of information. This eventually paved the way for features like OddsTrader’s NBA Computer Picks. Sports bettors still lost, however, they were becoming increasingly smarter and the oddsmakers also had to come up with unique products that stayed one step ahead of all bettors.

Make Your Sports Betting Decisions with Data

With the increased usage of algorithms, the wagering industry again began to change as sportsbooks and betters created predictive models for sports betting. While an improvement, too many sports bettors thought of algorithms as a “magic pill” because it was thought – an algorithm – had magic powers. However, the algorithm was only as good as the information used to build it.

Moving to today, artificial intelligence, or AI, is the new frontier. What this does is make a compilation of data points, with raw and refined information relating to a specific topic, NBA basketball in this case, and construct a model that delivers concise outcomes that are simple to understand.

This is what is occurring now and is the future of sports betting. is on the frontline of what is happening to help you against the betting odds they feature on their pages.

What Makes a Good AI Model?

In order to have a useful tool the bettors can use as part of their handicapping studies, you have to be able to trust the final product.

I did a Zoom call with the developers of OddsTrader and asked about the NBA Computer Picks feature. I asked a number of questions that would satisfy my requirements as a professional handicapper who lives in the zero-sum game of wins or losses.

We talked about covering the basic stats of shooting, defense, rebounding, and turnovers and how that applied and was broken down for both home and away, and factored into the data feed.

Learn More: Why You Should Alter Your NBA Betting Strategy

The conversation went into the rich amount of handicapping information offered on OddsTrader. As part of the NBA Computer Picks feature at OddsTrader, bettors are shown consensus wagering information for NBA spreads and totals. Because information and how to use it is a key component in beating the sportsbooks, it is a never-ending search to find little edges that can turn into big personal profits.

Should You Only Use AI Algorithms for NBA Betting?

Let’s answer that two ways. The answer, for now, is no. However, in the future, as science and understanding improve, that could very well happen. Think of the kind of AI that Facebook, Amazon and the top companies in the world use and apply that to betting on NBA basketball.

Learn More: NBA Totals Betting – An Ongoing Adjustment

Sports and sports betting still has an emotional aspect to them. If a team won or lost by overcoming or blowing a 20+ differential, given the team and their makeup, a sharp bettor would have a greater understanding of what that could mean in the next game.

Algorithms can’t consider that yet and, even if they did, the sample size would be too small. That is why it is best to handicap with the same methods and use the OddsTrader NBA predictor as a comparison mechanism for sides and totals. Computer picks can also be used in conjunction with NBA Power Rankings, which are displayed on the same page for convenience.

Find What the Algorithm Does Best

Lastly, you test the results. Get a spreadsheet and start tracking wins and losses for the NBA. For example, take underdogs and see what the strengths are at +3 or lower, +3.5 to +5.5, +6 to +9.5 and +10 and higher.

Do the same for totals, creating five or six categories (ex. 200 to 209.5). You start following this and you will find the most profitable situations that you can add to your betting repertoire.

As noted, this is the future of betting on the NBA and all sports, start learning today and that will make you a smarter bettor than the regular herd. And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting! is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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