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NBA Betting – How to bet on NBA Basketball

NBA Handicapping Tips – How to Bet on NBA Hoops

NBA basketball is one of the most fun sports to bet because of its variety. Whereas other major pro sports trend toward a certain kind of betting, like spreads for football and money lines for baseball, everything is popular in hoops.

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You’ll see spread bets, money-line bets and over/under picks galore.

Here are some guidelines I like to follow when I bet on NBA basketball.

Anything helps, because many bettors feel NBA lines are the sharpest next to NFL lines.

1. Home court is everything.

This principle applies more to money lines. Arguably, home-venue advantage is more powerful in basketball than it is in any other sport. Many people believe it’s because the fans are so much closer to the action than in sports like hockey, football or baseball. The Spike Lee/Reggie Miller rivalry says it all. Fans can be right on top of the action and interacting with players.

The numbers don’t lie. Home/road splits are ridiculously lopsided in the NBA. Nine different teams won at least 30 of their 41 home games last season. The Clippers finished 18 games under .500 but were five games over .500 at home.

If you bet money lines, it’s hard to strike gold picking road teams.

2 .Star power is everything – so treat injuries seriously.

Fantasy basketball explains this principle the best. If LeBron James is your best player and he gets hurt, your team is toast. There is no “replacement LeBron James.” Whereas we commonly see stud running backs in football or goalies in hockey inherit jobs because of injuries and explode into stardom, that just doesn’t happen in the NBA.

If LeBron gets hurt, his replacement off the bench in Miami will not score 30 points a night. It just never happens.

Thus, any injury to a star has to be considered catastrophic in money-line betting. The Mavericks won’t become a “sneaky value play with Dirk injured” because “that backup that will replace him is better than people think.” Just doesn’t happen.

3. Upsets rarely happen on money lines

In terms of money lines, picking a straight-up winner, it’s rarely worth it to chase big upsets. Sure, you’ll get that odd game when the Cavaliers shock the Lakers, but nine times out of 10 they get blown out. Few outcomes are easier to predict in team sports than a first-place NBA team facing a bottom feeder. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Compound that with home court for the powerhouse team and you have a virtual lock.

4. Upsets commonly happen on spreads for powerhouses.

The upset principle is far different for spread betting. The star-studded playoff contenders are often awarded spreads simply too big to cover and fall short of expectations.

Did you know the Heat, Celtics and Lakers were all under .500 against the spread last season? There’s value to be found picking the spread against them. The principle applies more to “big name” teams than simply good teams.

The Bulls, for example, had less media hype than the three teams listed above and had a great ATS record. Next season, however, they won’t sneak up on oddsmakers as much and may struggle more to cover.

5. Pay attention to the mental and emotional aspects of the game.

We don’t know why – but basketball players are maniacs. For that reason, it’s important to stay connected to NBA news, whether you’re reading up on the latest gossip or watching the games.

Certain players clash with their coaches; some guys can’t handle the pressure on the road; others tank when their name pops up in trade rumors, as we saw with Carmelo Anthony in his final games with Denver; other players melt down when matched up with tough defenders.

Do your homework. Basketball players are often complex, emotional characters and factors besides their pure skill can influence games.

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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