The NBA regular season is a grind, not just for players and coaches but for bettors and oddsmakers alike. There are 30 teams and an 82-game season in addition to a two-month-long postseason. Like any other market, predicting the outcome of an NBA game is difficult.

Yet, it’s even more difficult to consistently beat the point spread set by oddsmakers enough to overcome the vig (or juice) needed to make a profit – typically 52.38% on -110 bets.

However, there are ways to gain an edge betting the NBA. With a new season on the horizon, there’s no better time than now to discuss my approach to betting NBA on a nightly basis and learn more about how to bet on basketball effectively.

Best Basketball Betting Tips

#1 No breaking ankles with broken ankles

You do not want to bet on a team that is not in their top condition during a game. It is a risk that is unnecessary and completely avoidable by studying injury reports before placing a wager.

Take the blowout Golden State Warriors suffered last season due to the absence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from hand and knee injuries. It ultimately resulted in the team’s elimination from the playoffs.

Star players sustaining injuries could drastically impact results, so it’s important to check out depth charts and injury reports.

#2 On the Road again

While seemingly trivial, the location of games will affect the condition of the players before a game. Travel schedules can disrupt performance by sleep issues and travel fatigue.

The NBA schedule is a rigorous one, often with teams playing on back to back nights. Bear in mind this factor, as it’s something the sportsbooks may not have noticed.

In planning your bets, you must also consider home-court advantage. Between the 1990 and 2021 NBA seasons, the average NBA team has won at least 61% of their games in their home arenas. Psychologically, the players may be more comfortable and confident playing on their side of the area.

#3 Patience is a Virtue

As mentioned before, the NBA season is long and very full. Remember to take periodic rests, and do not bet on every game. Not every game is worth wagering on, and you’ll no doubt have an opportunity later that week when the team plays next.

#4 Utilize Live Betting

Take advantage of volatility (aka “runs”). In a basketball game, a swing of momentum is called a “run”; there are quite a few throughout the game and some last longer than others. When a team goes on an early run, there’s a likelihood for later regression, even if slight.

When the spread widens significantly during live betting, especially in the first half, grabbing the losing team plus the points can be advantageous. This strategy won’t always work to your advantage, but considering that the average winning margin in the NBA is between two and eight points, it can help to bet on a team that is down big early. If nothing else, it could be a viable way to hedge a pregame bet.

Here are some basic rules for live betting:

  • Bet during commercial breaks or stoppages
  • Capitalize on pricing mistakes due to bad data
  • Live bet injuries
  • Calculate possessions for live totals
  • Capitalize on volatility – as the cliche goes, it’s a game of runs
  • Learning rotations is the key to success

#5 Don’t “Tease”

If you’re not familiar with this form of betting, then no harm, no foul, as far as NBA is concerned. A teaser is similar to a parlay in that it has multiple legs (bets) that all have to hit to receive the payout. However, the difference is that teasers can increase the point spread of each leg in your favor, giving you more cushion.

This bet type means you often have to pair two legs together to get the odds that an original spread bet would pay out. The reality with teasers is that they are only worth utilizing in football, where there are fewer possessions than in basketball.

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