Early in the season is one of the hardest times for NBA bettors, since it is not clear yet which teams will emerge as strong and which weak. In fact, many serious gamblers believe that the best move in these early days is to observe rather than bet. During this period, you should prepare by watching as many games as possible and paying close attention to the scoreboard in order to get a read on the spirit of the teams, i.e. which ones will rally when they are seriously behind and which will give up. Here are some of the other things to watch out for in the first months of the season:
- Crowd enthusiasm. This would impact on teams playing at home since they may play better to a hometown crowd cheering wildly for them. But this would be effective only early in the season as enthusiasm would wane and the hometown advantage would not mean much.
- Player injuries. Don’t just look at injuries for high-profile stars but at lower-key players who are actually important to the performance of the entire team roster. Remember that in early games teams tend to play without their superstars on the floor.
- Morphing teams whose performance may dramatically change over the course of the season. These changes often are not reflected in NBA power ratings, providing alert bettors with a great opportunity to ride some hot streaks.
- Scheduling Imbalances. These quirky schedules tend to happen early in the season, distorting ratings and creating teams that are undervalued and overvalued.
If this sound likes a lot of work, keep in mind that serious bettors treat sports betting as a regular job and spend as much as seven days a week going through all the information that they can find, including game recaps, box scores and team updates from various sources.
It’s October, and that means that basketball is right around the corner. Here are some NBA betting tips to help you win your wagers throughout the NBA season.
1. Look for reasons to bet against the public teams. Certain teams always get treated like champions even when they don’t play like champions. The Lakers are a prime example of this theory. Yes, Kobe is a great player, but one great player isn’t enough of a reason to pay a premium when wagering.
2. Play the over/under for value. The totals wager is one where you can really get some value if you do your homework. Look for high scoring teams at home, teams with good shooting percentages and teams that make a lot of threes. And, of course, look for teams that don’t play defense. Be careful with the overs early in the season, though, until the shooters really hit their stride and the defenses soften up.
3. Take a look at the player prop bets. This is another place to find some value, especially with a superstar player getting an unusually high or low number. Check the player’s average stats per game, and then take a look at how he has done against individual teams in the past. Make sure to be confident in your pick however, because these wagers come with inflated juice.
4. Don’t forget about futures bets before the season begins. If you have a good line on how you think a team will fare, don’t be afraid to lay some wood on it. Make sure you bet money that you don’t mind having tied up for the duration of the season.
5. Do your homework. Scour injury reports, study the box scores, watch as many games as you can and read the relevant websites, including the sites of the local papers of the teams you are following. Being a winning gambler is about exploiting tiny edges, and so the more you know, the more it may help you. Use caution though, because the people who set the lines will probably have even more information than you do.
6. Specialize. Pick a couple of teams that you can devote some time to follow closely, and a particular type of bet that you feel comfortable with, and try to get an advantage in this way. Keep it simple.
7. Consider the halftime lines. Watch the first half of a game that you’re wagering on, see what’s going on, who’s hot, who’s in foul trouble, etc., then check the second-half lines, and wager from a position of strength, if you feel that you are getting good value on your bet.
8. Always shop around for the best lines. The Internet makes this easy to do. Open a few accounts and do not overpay for a wager. A point here or there may not seem like much, but over the long term, it’s absolutely huge.
9. Be responsible. Don’t bet money you can’t afford to lose, and be sure to employ the principles of sound money management. Use a percentage of bankroll system whereby you bet the same small percentage of your total bankroll (say 1 percent) on each individual wager. This protects your downside while increasing the amount of your wagers as your bankroll grows.
10. The most important decision you make as a gambler may be deciding which games NOT to bet on. Part of the advantage that you have as an individual gambler is the ability to pick and choose which games you want to bet on, and which ones to pass on.
11. Focus on match-ups when picking sides, position by position. Also, take a look at a team’s recent performance, and for instance, where it is on a road trip. If an east-coast team is at the end of a long road trip out west, they may be looking ahead to the trip home and not play as well as the other factors would suggest.
12. Pace yourself. The NBA is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember, it’s a long season, and there will be ups and downs. Try to go with the flow, and learn as much as you can as the season progresses. Hopefully, by the end, you will be up.
Well, hopefully you are a little more prepared for the NBA season. Eighty-two games from now, you will have another year under your belt. But for now, have fun and good luck, and remember, it’s only a game.