With the NBA regular season officially under way, the betting markets have also opened up. With games scheduled every day, the casual bettor will have a lot of games and betting options to choose from. However, it’s imperative that one demonstrates a sound understanding of different factors when betting on basketball – we’ll take a look at these factors in these articles.
Arguably the most important factor to look for when betting basketball is injuries. Since only five players can take the court at once, an injury to a team’s best player, a starter, or a key rotation player could potentially affect the outcome of the game in profound ways. Additionally, since the moneyline, spread, and game total depend, to a large extent, on which players will be available for the game at hand, it’s essential to follow injury reports to get a feel for a team’s rotation for a specific game. It also helps if you’re able to anticipate whether a key player is likely to play in a game or sit out of a game since you’ll be able to take advantage of line movements before the actual news comes out. Injuries to a team’s best player are especially tricky to deal with. Even though the lines should accurately reflect this information, a team’s performance could vary significantly, for better or worse, even without their best player.
Over the course of a long, grinding 82-game season, a team’s recent schedule leading up to a game can have a significant impact of the likely outcome of the game. If a team is enjoying days off while playing in the comforts of their home court, this team will likely be much better rested and fresh for the game. On the other hand, if a team has been on a gruesome road trip and is also on the back-end of a back-to-back, this team will likely be quite beat up and tired by the time they get to this game. Since not every game during the regular season is a must-win game (most of the games are certainly not must-wins), teams tend to “coast” during some games and discretely take nights off, even though they are still technically playing a game. It’s important for you to be able to gauge a team’s schedule and predict how tired or fresh and how likely it is that players will tend to tune out of a game or be more serious for a game.
When betting on the NBA, statistics matter a lot. What matters even more is which statistics you’re using to analyze a game. Although a team’s points scored per game may indicate their offensive prowess, it’s more important to analyze this statistic for the team’s specific matchups against their opponent. Statistics tend to mean a lot less when taken from a general perspective since different games consist of different player vs. player matchups and strategies.
This tends to happen in a lot of sports but is more profound when it comes to basketball due to the fact that a single player is able to control and affect the outcome of a basketball game much more than other professional sports. As a result, if a player has just been traded away from his former team, he’ll likely be much more motivated to play and try harder in order to “get back” at his former team and record a win for his current team.