In this guide to NBA betting strategy guide, we have split our tips and suggestions into two parts: the first section focuses on the personal qualities and weaknesses that can influence a bettor’s decision for better or worse (usually worse).
The second part will concentrate on the tips and methods, including tactics that the bookmakers employ, and any subtle nuances and intricacies that can help give you the upper hand in an endeavour with such tight margins. It’s these small margins that can make that all-important difference between success and failure.
As always, with any betting system, the end goal is to increase winning potential. Before embarking upon any financial endeavour and parting with hard-earned cash it is imperative that you are as well informed as possible about the risks involved. You wouldn’t take out a loan or buy a house without looking into the possible fiscal implications prior to doing so. Although there is no secret formula that will magically transform your betting fortunes, there is a multitude of theories and tips that can at least improve your chances of success.
Nothing in the fast-paced, exciting world of NBA betting is ever going to be guaran
FACE THE COLD-HARD FACTS
97% of punters that part with their money lose out in the long run.
Soak that information in.
But all is not lost! With some planning, there are ways and means of becoming part of that exclusive 3% club.
When embarking on a journey of this kind and implementing your betting strategies it is imperative to assess the landscape in advance. Equip yourself with the necessary tools to navigate the potential pitfalls and you will already be in a better position than the majority of muppets who throw money down the drain every week.
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MANY FACTORS COME INTO PLAY WITH A SPORTING EVENT
Bookmakers propose odds based on the probability of the event. These odds are calculated by the analysis of a truly dizzying array of statistics and figures. Everything from whichever team lost their previous game to which NBA teams are traditionally more effective after a 3-game winning streak. Those odds don’t remain static either but are continually adjusted.
This adjustment is determined by the actions of both the bookies and the punters, this is where the human factor comes in.
HUMANS ARE INHERENTLY FALLIBLE
In general, we rely on ‘gut feelings’ and luck rather than solid, reliable analysis. Who wants to spend their time poring over stats and numbers and trends and projections?
We do for a start. But we understand that seems a bit too much like homework for the average punter.
AND THAT’S WHY THEY’LL ALWAYS BE AVERAGE
Remember the 97%? Yeah, that’s those guys.
If you want to buck the system and find your way into that 3% then you are going to have to work at it. It’s as simple as that.
Even the luckiest guy you’ve ever met. The one who always seems to land on his feet and pick the winning playoff teams by pure chance cannot beat the system that way. The odds against it are simply too high.
All luck is a sine wave that ebbs and flows. This guy might get away with a few back-to-back wins and end up with a tidy windfall in the short term. But the bigger picture is much less forgiving. Inevitably that luck will run out and he will be back where he started, or even worse off.
THAT’S NOT BEING UNDULY PESSIMISTIC. IT’S JUST REALISTIC
Of course, people do win money gambling.
Guys who throw a few dollars on the next game of NBA basketball can find themselves with a pocket full of cash almost by accident. But it is not sustainable.
If you’re reading (and you are, otherwise I’m talking to myself) an article about NBA betting systems then you must have more than just a weekend-style passing interest in NBA live betting with a few beers and your best buds.
THE CHARACTER OF THE INDIVIDUAL
This is one of the key variables in any betting field.
Whereas a stretch of losing bets can be dispiriting, equally a winning streak can breed a state of overconfidence that can be just as counterproductive. There is a thin line between having nerves of steel and being reckless.
A realistic assessment of your abilities is imperative if you are to avoid a negative sequence of betting decisions. Wins and losses will always be part of any NBA betting strategy. They are known collectively as ‘variance’ and top-quality NBA bettors will have taken the inevitable losses into account when creating and then tweaking and honing their own betting system.
It is a precious commodity to them; often the product of countless hours of hard work and focus.
NEVER BE AFRAID TO GO AGAINST THE FLOW
The contrarian approach can be effective in the NBA betting market. A popular bet is unlikely to yield any real rewards, in fact, it can often tend to lose value in the market as everybody else is getting in on the same action.
To earn significant money sometimes you have to cut against the grain.
Swim against the current. Plow your own furrow. Choose your preferred metaphor.
The point is this – media focus or unwarranted popularity can distort the perception of a team in either direction. It is always best practice to analyse a team based on facts and statistics – try to take emotion and biased allegiances out of any wager.
Human nature is to go with the flow, jump on the bandwagon, follow the crowd, but this can often be the wrong call.
Most people have allegiances, whether it’s to a particular player or team. However, it is important to approach your betting with as much neutrality as you can muster.
Make a clear evaluation of both sides and remember that, at the end of the day, not only are you betting on one side, you are betting against the other.
CONCENTRATE ON THE AREAS WHERE YOUR KNOWLEDGE BASE IS STRONGEST
Keep things simple and don’t overreach. If you’re not overly familiar with a particular division or team, then try not to be enticed into the unknown by seemingly attractive odds alone.
IN OTHER WORDS – DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Methods such as the Martingale System require a particular way of managing your money, which will be discussed in more detail in the second part of the guide.
Patience, perseverance, a keen eye for trends and a deep pocket are important traits to deploy within this system.
Consider setting a spending limit. Get the fundamentals right by playing within your means. ‘Chasing it’ can not only lead to serious financial hardship but facilitate rash calls based on a desperation to recuperate losses.
ONE OF THE WORST MOTIVATIONS POSSIBLE
All logic goes out of the window when panic sets in and taking on bets based on potential yields rather than measured, calculated assessments is a recipe for disaster.
New advances in technology based on analysis and algorithms suggest that removing emotion and bias from the betting process makes sense. This negates the unreliable, fickle nature of human impulses.
BASE YOUR RISK ON PROVEN FACTS
This must surely make more sense if you are looking to earn money in such a difficult way?
In today’s world, taking advantage of online tools, all punters can take advantage of resources that analyse specific data regarding a team’s true performance. This type of information has never been easier to access and can be found on your phone, tablet or laptop.
We’re not suggesting that every NBA bettor has to create an NBA betting strategy that is a work of staggering genius like ours here at The Jump Hub. But if you’re not even prepared to cast your eye over the form and do some simple analysis of the available stats then you have to face the facts. Maybe this just isn’t for you…
With the help of so much modern technology and information, it is possible to create NBA betting systems that will help you to beat the bookmakers and create a sports betting strategy that pays off.
In NBA betting, the exact probability is difficult to determine by even the most seasoned expert but the key is to keep yourself informed as much as possible.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL!
Last-minute changes to line-ups, poor form, injuries, personalities and behind the scenes events can cause chaos with a bettor’s plans. It can pay to leave any wager to the last possible minute.
These late amendments from betting sites can make a substantial difference to the outlook of a game.
ASK YOURSELF THESE, AND A THOUSAND OTHER QUESTIONS:
Who has the home-court advantage?
Have heavily favored home teams tended to perform well if they have spent the last 4 games on the road?
Do certain teams lose against the same opponents time and again?
Did any players pick up knocks or injuries in their previous game?
Does one team have their next game against famous rivals?
How will that affect them psychologically during this game?
Will they keep anything back in reserve?
Are the teams playing similar to each other in their styles of play?
How will that affect the situation when they meet?
Will their qualities cancel each other out, or create a ton of chances?
Did one team’s previous game go right down to the wire?
Was it a tough, physically draining encounter?
Does one team excel at free throws and the other have several players who are prone to multiple fouls per game?
Are the Playoff games around the corner?
Are one side famous for being a bounce-back home team?
SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS WILL YIELD NOTHING
Others will lead to yet more questions. There is no fixed formula that we can give you, or set of all the questions you need to ask. It is more a case of starting down a journey of discovery and seeing where it takes you. Some avenues will lead to dead-ends. Others will lead you towards an outcome that you had subconsciously accepted to be true, only to flip on you at the last minute and prove you totally wrong.
At the end of the day, the variables in any betting strategy are heavily reliant on the NBA players themselves.
AND THEY ARE ONLY HUMAN
Freakishly huge, maddeningly fit and athletic humans, for sure. But they are not perfect like you. They will have off days and losses of focus. There will be inexplicable situations where one game played comes out of the top-drawer and makes the team playing look like the Harlem Globetrotters on the ball. One dazzling, smart play after another.
The next game and they’re floundering around without a winning play and dropping everything cold. Your job is to figure out why if you can and apply what you learn to the ongoing juggernaut that is your betting strategy.
All of this you must try to soak up like a sponge and feel it sloshing around. Somewhere in that maddening swirl of facts and figures, observations and pondering, lies the key to your successful NBA betting strategy.
ANALYSE EVERYTHING. NEGLECT NOTHING
Important elements of your system may only begin to reveal themselves after many months of tinkering and pontificating. Others that seemed reliable and important will fall by the wayside. Make note of their passing and move forwards. Ever forwards.
Regret and looking backwards is for losers. You’re in this for the long haul (see our article about proper bankroll management for the most fundamental principle in the longevity of your exploits) You take the rough with the smooth. Learn from your mistakes and apply the information and experience you can glean from it to your next set of bets.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN ALL ITS FORMS CAN BE A POWERFUL TOOL
Having the most up to date information is crucial to making informed wagers. This is especially true in the NBA. Twitter is the best place to get live information on the status of players. Following credible and insightful people will help you to go a long way towards finding an advantage in the ability to bet a favourable price before the sportsbook has time to move the line.
THIS CAN BE A HUGE ADVANTAGE
The bottom line of any betting venture is the realisation that the game is not about one NBA team against another. That’s the game you are entertained by when your bets are placed and you can sit down to relax and watch an exciting NBA game. Unless you’re participating in NBA live betting, in which case you will be busier than ever!
THE GAME OF ‘WINNING GAMBLER’ IS YOU VERSUS THE BOOKIE
To that end, it is important that you understand how your adversary thinks, what his motivations are and how you can stay one step ahead. Living in the digital age gives helps tip the scales slightly back in the favour of the bettor. But they are ALWAYS heavily weighted in his direction. This is David vs Goliath.
You are the underdog in this scenario.
THE PLUCKY ‘HAVE-A-GO’ HERO
Battling against the odds to take down a much bigger, better-equipped foe.
Whereas in the past, sports betting was a combination of placing bets on your favoured team and relying on the advice of tipsters, things have changed rapidly.
Big data has been the main catalyst in exposing the unreliability of these methods. The options we have at our disposal ensure that we are able to access data in huge amounts from a broad variety of sources – giving greater insight across all levels.
SPORTS BETTING IS AWASH WITH RECREATIONAL BETTORS
Most of the money flowing through the industry is provided by the casual gambler who tends to lose more than they win. Going against most bettors can be a winning strategy.
As a hypothetical example, let’s say that the Los Angeles Lakers opened as 5.5-point favourites. Money has been taken solidly in their favour and are now a 7.5 pt. favourites in most books. This seems to be an overstated price and if you jumped on the Warriors +7.5, you have given yourself additional value.
The ability to learn and anticipate a bookmaker’s intention when putting out a line is an acquired skill that separates the consistently profitable professional from a hit and miss, casual bettor.
Anomalies will stick out like a sore thumb and when these occur you must ask yourself ‘Why is a particular team -1pt when they appear favourites on the opening line?’ To question bookmakers’ motives is a great habit to adopt. There will frequently be odds that raise an immediate red flag that something is not quite right.
Developing a keen eye for reading these situations will be critical if you are to embark on a successful betting journey.
The bookies are clearly in no way naive and neither will they have overlooked a seemingly glaring detail.
THERE IS ALWAYS A METHOD IN THEIR APPARENT MADNESS
A cursory check into the stats will usually give a sign that something is amiss. Bookies will sometimes try to lure punters into a trap by giving home teams a -1-point opening line even if the home team should be the underdog.
This will usually involve 50/50 games where a large majority of punters will lay on the side of home advantage for various reasons, the influence of officials by a partisan home crowd being just one example.
In order to be successful at either pursuit, it helps to have a proven system. In our second guide, we look at the various tried and tested betting systems adopted by professional gamblers, methods that can be implemented to help maximise your winning potential.
As we discuss in detail in our article on ‘How to build an NBA betting model‘ – any NBA betting system is only as good as the information that you plug into it based on your own research and findings.
Whilst it certainly cannot hurt to soak up the observations of as many pundits and so-called experts as you can, it will never be a substitute for your own reflections.
NBA betting advice is easy to hand out, but be careful how much credence you give to each source of that advice.
TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED AND QUESTION EVERYTHING
Your NBA betting strategy is like a masterpiece painting that will never be finished. You keep adding details as you go and painting over ones that you no longer require.
It may seem chaotic and haphazard to approach it this way but things will start to come together eventually.
Stay organised and focused. Formulate your own system for recording your findings. As the NBA game that you are planning to lay some money on approaches, you will start to find your rhythm. Your previous findings and observations on the teams playing will be at your fingertips and ready to apply to the current situation.
To be clear, we’re not talking about an automated betting system here. One that is based on algorithms and statistical likelihoods to the nth degree. We’re talking about the old-fashioned, old-school collation and analysis of facts and figures.
RECOGNISE IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
Casual bettors who visit a gambling site or online sportsbook once in a while are not really in any danger of losing more than they can afford to if gambling isn’t their main focus.
But we all know somebody for whom that is not the case. However you choose to approach your betting action, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you decide on the amount you will put into your betting bankroll up front and make a pact with yourself not to add more. Choose a maximum percentage of your bankroll for each bet (2-5% are recommended) and stick to that principle. If your bet wins then the bankroll grows and you can now bet a slightly larger amount next time and vice versa.
Above all, pay close attention to how you are dealing with the emotional rollercoaster psychologically and – when the fun stops, stop.