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Basketball Wagering Tips:
by Rich Green, Editor.
forte in sports wagering is basketball. In particular, the NBA, which
most find the hardest to handicap. There are some differences in hoops
betting than from any other sport. Below are some helpful tips that
have enabled me to be successful in basketball wagering.
Be wary of circled games--they are in a circle for a reason. If those
who set the line limit the betting because of uncertain injury status,
etc, then heed their warning. There are exceptions to this rule
however. When a star Guard or Forward is expected to be "OUT", then the
line may adjust up to two full points. That's a whopping difference
especially in the NBA.
Some teams however, on the short term actually improve against the
initial set line when a star player is out. When Dominique Wilkens of
the Hawks would go out for a game or two the line would adjust two
points. The Hawks covered over 85% of those games, without the extra
points. That doesn't mean 'Nique didn't have value or wasn't a great
player, but that for the short term his team adjusted.
Be cautious about supposed injuries earlier than a few hours before
game time. Often we'll be told of a star player being "Questionable",
etc. The line is held down and the betting limited, then the next day
we read how our "injured" player scored 48 points and grabbed 16
rebounds. The best information on a game is reflected in the late line
movement other than the usual late action on Favorites. Especially in
basketball, if you see a late line movement of more than one point
don't fight it.
Because hoops games are played daily, line setting adjusts slower to a
team's change in performance than say in a sport like football. Often
we can get an edge of several points for a few days before the line
catches up. This does not mean that the lines makers are incorrect, but
that the betting public is slow to perceive the change.
While NBA schedules have become much softer than in the past, still be
wary of betting on teams on back-to-back days. Injuries and lack of
preparation can take their toll. It's easy to follow each team during
the season and see what the trend is regarding situations like
back-to-back games and road trips.
Like any other sport, inter-division games are usually closer because
the teams are more familiar with each other and the games count more.
These games can also become more physical as rivalries are more intense
between players and teams that face each other multiple times a season.
It's always been my belief that basketball creates the most Home court
advantage than in any other sport. In order to be a Champion in hoops a
team must 1) be capable of winning on the Road; and 2) play great
Defense when necessary. This is true in all sports, but especially in
Many teams become specialists against the line, that is they cover
easily in one situation and fail miserably in another. The Rockets for
years would easily cover as Single Digit Favs, but would be all out in
OT to try to win SU as a Double Digit Fav. The Heat would beat up
miserably on bad teams, the higher the line the higher their cover
In My Humble Opinion, the best basketball bets are like that in any
other sport--wager ON a GOOD team as a Single Digit Fav or Dog. Teams
like the Spurs and Pacers a few years back and the Lakers recently were
deadly as Dogs, usually winning SU.
In closing remember that the key to successful wagering in any sport is
good money management. There are games being played everyday, limit
yourself to a few strong games or one strong play per night. The
basketball season is long with many events, which affords us the
opportunity to win more money than in other sports.
-- Rich Green
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