NBA Betting Tips
With an 82-game regular season and the playoffs, the NBA gives bettors a wealth of opportunities to place wagers. However, this many opportunities can be a bad thing if you're not experienced with NBA betting strategy. So it's definitely to your advantage to learn as much as possible about making profitable wagers. This being said, let's cover some NBA betting tips that should help you get off to a nice start.
1. Focus, Focus, Focus
The typical new bettor will look at every line in a given night and try to decide what game they want to wager on. But the key thing to understand here is that there are 32 teams in the NBA, and it's pretty hard to have in-depth knowledge of every one.
A much better idea is to focus on one or two divisions and learn everything you can about their teams. So, for example, you could pick the Atlantic Division and study the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. Of course, you'll also have to do some research on their opponents, but thoroughly knowing a handful of teams provides a nice starting base.
2. Never underestimate Fatigue and Motivation
NBA basketball is one of the most grueling professional sports because teams often play 3-4 games per week - with plenty of contests taking place on back-to-back nights. Add in the heavy traveling that teams face during 6-8 game road trips and you have a lot of tired players.
Because of the traveling and large number of games, it's hard for players to constantly stay motivated and avoid fatigue. So you always have to account for how motivated and/or fresh a team will be going into games. For example, even if the talented Oklahoma City Thunder play the lowly New Orleans Hornets, they might under-perform if they're on the last leg of an 8-game road trip.
3. Look Closely at Home and Road Performances
As any NBA fan knows, it's harder to win on the road than it is at home. But what separates a fan from a savvy sports bettor is the ability to know exactly how much harder it is to win road games versus home contests. Two key stats that you want to look at in this regard are home/away records, and points for/against at home and away.
Using the 2012-2013 Houston Rockets as an example, they've averaged 110.3 PPG and held opponents to 103.5 PPG at home, while scoring 103.0 PPG and allowing 103.1 PPG on the road. Based on this discrepancy, it's no surprise that the Rockets have won 70% of their home games and only 40% of their road games. Going further, a bettor would want to be extra cautious of betting on a team like this to cover a road game spread.
4. Search for the Undervalued Teams
Every year there are a handful of NBA teams that outperform the point spreads that they've been up against. And you can find a lot of value by spotting these clubs early since they're doing what really matters to sports bettors.
It's not overly-difficult to find Against the Spread (ATS) records, and these give you an excellent indication of the undervalued teams. The 2013 Dallas Mavericks are a great example of this since they've gone 40-27 ATS through 67 games thus far. And while their overall record is just 32-35, they are definitely a winner in sports bettors' eyes.
5. Stay True to Bankroll Management
One of the most basic tips for NBA betting is to always keep your bankroll under control. There's two parts to effective bankroll management, and they are: A) dividing your starting roll into a set number of units, and B) controlling yourself from making emotional bets.
As for the first point, how many units you have and how you choose to spend them is up for interpretation. But a nice general guideline is to have 50-100 units and never spend more than two units on a single game. So if you had $500, you could divide this into 100 units worth $5 each. Then you could stick with wagering on three games a week, with a 1-2 unit cap on each contest.
In regard to keeping yourself from letting emotions get involved, this is something that takes experience and discipline to master. After all, everybody would like to win back their losses right away after a bad week. However, the smart bettor will realize that variance and losing streaks do occur; they'll then wait until they've had proper time to research games before wagering again.
Becoming a long-term profitable NBA bettor isn't something that just happens overnight. But if you put the work in and stick with it, you could make some big profits through NBA betting!