A new NBA season arrives and for several teams, optimism has never been higher than ever after the Milwaukee and Phoenix Finals, which the Bucks won. Though it will not happen every year, having two relatively unknowns was good for the NBA.
That aside, betting NBA basketball is no simple task, as it takes a complete understanding of the mechanics of all the teams. Though many go into an NBA season hoping to make a killing, the truth is, for anyone that has done this for years, your goal should be to show a profit of any kind, because this sport can be that challenging.
We are going to cover a lot of ground and do our best to make short succinct points that are simple to understand. But remember you can always check back with our exclusive betting strategy blog for more content.
Understanding Injuries, Depth and Schedules
In all sports, injuries can have a direct impact on the outcome of any game and the betting odds at Oddstrader.com are generally affected. One of the things to do before you make any NBA picks, find a reliable site that lists all the team’s injuries you can track daily. Our suggestion? The OddsTrader app as you can see below.
Though injuries matter, if one key player is out and the line moves dramatically, that is often a time to wager on that team because of public overreaction.
Once a team plays five to eight games, if you follow the box scores you can learn about the rotations for each team and what kind of depth they have. This can be important for single-game bets and halftime wagers, knowing who can succeed or fail if the main starters have an off-game and what teams can overcome or succumb to their opponents based on depth.
Lastly, schedules are very important. Back-to-back games are always difficult and those three games in four days, with the last two on consecutive days, should always be looked at for a tired team. The sportsbooks are baking that into the line; however, it always is worth studying to find an edge.
For the most part, betting professional basketball is a numbers game. What you need to focus on is shooting percentages, both from inside and outside the arc. With the explosion of three-point shooting, you need to track both percentage and volume of attempts. It is important to understand the difference between two teams making 15 threes a game, but one club having six more attempts since that is probably five more shots for the opposing team that is worth at least four to five more points.
The same goes for defensive shooting percentages. Concern yourself less with points allowed compared to shooting percentage defense, as the best teams almost always permit a lower figure.
Besides schedules and injuries, know each team’s home and road tendencies. It usually takes about eight games to have a better understanding, but here you can find “Play On” home underdogs and good spots to fade away squads.
For the most part, those that win at betting totals understand the pace a team plays at and their ability to dictate the tempo on offense and defense.
Teams that play Over are generally good shooting clubs that are not just three-point shooting outfits, but those that are effective inside the arc and are at a high percentage inside the paint and get to the free-throw line for dead-ball points.
Teams that end up being Under plays are strong defensively, play at a slower pace (fewer shots and using more of the shot clock) and connect on a lower shooting percentage.
A good starting point is always to take the total for sportsbooks you can find at Oddstrader, figure what each team should score based on point spread differential, and compare that to the team scoring average overall and next, the home/road differences.
First and Second Half Betting Along with Props
The only way to have a chance to beat the books consistently on all these possible wagers is to hone in on one or maybe two teams. To have any kind of success betting these, particularly if you have limited experience, knowledge is your most powerful tool.
Have Multiple Sportsbooks and Track Results
Because numbers can change so frequently in the NBA in the morning, all the way to game time, it pays to have more than one betting outlet. If you like a game, but feel even stronger about it if you had a better number, having multiple books can give you an edge.
Read reviews about who offers the best bonuses to get you started, spread your bankroll around without this limiting your options and you can make or save extra cash by being on the right number.
Finally, keep track of your results. You can do this in a variety of ways to find out what your best skills are and those you scuffle with. Again, our recommendation is the OddTracker Bet Card, where you can go over all your picks as well as keep track of your ROI as well as profit!
If you are better at finding the right favorite or underdog on games with a spread of -4 or less, you are on to something. If double-digit spreads, choosing either side, leaves you befuddled, maybe you should drop those. Again, knowledge is power!