Next to the NFL for football, betting on NBA basketball games brings in the most action for most online sportsbooks. The extended 82-game regular season along with four rounds of best-of-seven series in the playoffs provide a steady source of winning opportunities from mid- October right into the month of June.
Every expert handicapper who regularly cashes in on their NBA bets probably has a few secret techniques for breaking down the games, but there are three general betting tips that they all employ in an effort to beat the books.
The first tip is to avoid betting on heavy favorites. If the timing is right, you could go as far as saying that you should go against heavy favorites when there is a large spread to cover on the board. Public perception has more to do with how pointspreads are set than the actual matchup on the court. A good example of this would be the Golden State Warriors. NBA fans expect the champs to win every game by double figures and, if they are wagering on the game, they are likely to lean that way no matter how high the number.
The general rule of thumb is when a spread is 10 points or higher you should start thinking about betting the underdog, especially if they have a strong betting record of covering double-digit spreads. There is also the tendency for heavy favorites to take their foot off the gas when they open up a big lead. Many times the true gap between a lopsided matchup is not reflected in the final score.
Another betting tip is to turn to the added value in a NBA moneyline if you are betting small underdogs. This is especially true when they are playing at home. This is more of a long-term strategy as opposed to betting just one single game. Over an extended period of time, home underdogs have a tendency to win quite a few of those games SU. If the road favorite happens to be playing their third or fourth game in a relatively short amount of time, this adds even more value to a team getting a few points at home. All betting still comes down to the actual matchup on the court, but you should still be looking for value when the spread in any game remains rather slim.
The final tip is to rate a team’s performance playing at home as opposed to when it is playing on the road. Through their first 24 games of the 2018/2019 regular season, the Philadelphia 76ers have gone 12-1 SU on their home court verse a 4-7 record on the road. When it comes to covering the spread, they are 7-6 ATS in those 13 home games and 3-8 ATS in the 11 road games. The ‘best of the best’ in the league know how to win on the road on a regular basis. However, there are quite a few teams that have lopsided results between their home and road records. It is common to find a team with a SU losing record overall that still has more wins than losses in front of the hometown crowd.
Along with a team’s performance at home verse playing on the road is its current momentum. Even the best teams go through rough patches over the course of such a long season of games and even the worst teams are capable of pulling off a stunning SU upset here and there. Once a team wins its third game in a row, it should be on your betting radar. Chances are it will win a few more games before it starts to cool off.