The nature of the NBA hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular sports to bet on and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. The reality is that basketball fans love to wager on the games regardless of the fact that a team can look unbeatable one night and terrible the next. Picking winners in the NBA isn’t easy but there are a handful of things you can do to improve your chances. Here is a look at five important tips to consider for betting on NBA basketball.
Home Court Matters
The best sportsbooks tend to give the home team three or four points when they create the lines for NBA games but the numbers illustrate the home court advantage is probably worth more than that. Consider the 2009-10 season as an example. That year, the 16 teams that made the playoffs combined for a 476-180 record at home in the regular season. That is a strong edge to factor in to betting on basketball, especially when it comes to playing the money line.
Meanwhile, the non-playoff teams that year still finished with a 255-319 combined home record compared to a 152-422 combined record on the road. The best teams in the NBA are able to consistently win by substantial margins on their own home floor but even the worst teams in the NBA perform much better in front of their own fans.
Consider The Home/Road Splits
After looking at the numbers that teams registered at home compared to on the road you can build on the concept of teams performing better in front of their fans even further by looking at the home/road splits. For example, the Chicago Bulls are 24-14 at home this season but a miserable 13-23 record on the road has them on the outside looking in to the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Those splits have to be taken in to consideration when betting on Bulls’ games and you can break the numbers down even further by looking at how the top players in the NBA fare at home compared to on the road in order to gain an even better understanding of the disparities.
Remember Anything Can Happen
This seems like some obvious advice on the surface but the reality is that far too often basketball fans consider heavy favorites to be a lock and that just isn’t the case. Consider that the Golden State Warriors are on pace to challenge for the best record in NBA history and yet 57-percent of their losses this season have come against teams currently outside of a playoff position. Few would have expected the 24-0 Warriors to lose for the first time this season when they visited the Milwaukee Bucks back in December and even fewer would have expected them to lose by 17 to the Los Angeles Lakers in early March. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a lock in the NBA so remember that anything can happen when betting on basketball.
Take Time To Look For Value
The reality is that the sportsbooks set and adjust their lines based largely on the public perceptions of matchups so it’s important to keep that in mind and take the time to look for value when betting on the NBA. The notion that a team can be overrated or underrated can be applied to betting lines if you take the time to break down the numbers and figure out where the best value is. The Houston Rockets are the perfect example of a team that is vastly overrated this year. A team that was expected to contend in the Western Conference has posted a sub-.500 record so far this season and is in danger of missing the playoffs altogether. Far too often the Rockets were listed as the favorite in a game where they shouldn’t have been and those that took the time to break down the numbers capitalized big time by betting on the underdog in those matchups.
Take Advantage Of The Totals
Picking winners is fun but it’s always worth considering throwing in some betting totals when it comes to betting on the NBA. Basketball games can often come down to a single made basket either way but the reality is that high scoring teams are usually going to combine for high scoring games while lower scoring teams are more likely to combine for lower scoring games when they match up against one another. The points per game statistics are readily available online and the math is simple enough for basketball fans to do so don’t be afraid to bet on totals in the NBA as an excellent way to make some serious cash.