NBA Betting Strategy Course 102
NBA Betting Rule #1 & #2
The most important rules are the same in NBA betting as they are in any sport you are betting. Rule #1: Bankroll Management, Rule #2: Know Your Numbers. Never put yourself in the situation where you are betting money you can’t afford to lose. The NBA is a long season, don’t go broke on one game or in the first week of the season; smart money management is simple and can go a long way. Think of it as budgeting to pay your bills, put a small amount aside so that you can afford to gamble with and never wager more than you have set aside to lose. There are some keyareas to focus on when gathering your numbers. In this lesson we’ll speak to Lineups, Injuries, News & Star Players moving the line.
Follow Lineups, Injuries and Rest Days
Every sport is unique in sports betting. Whether your a beginner or a seasoned vet, each sport provides different variables that you must (or at least should) consider before laying down your hard earned money. If you ask any professional bettor they will tell you that betting the NBA isn’t just about the numbers, but you must be up to date on key elements like starting lineup changes, injuries and the one variable that can kill (or save) any bet, rest days. When analyzing the numbers of a lineup, you need to first know who is playing. Projecting minutes is critical if you’re looking at player props or team projections.
If you know a team and feel confident betting on the projected lineup, there may be an edge to be found on an early line. However, if there is uncertainty and you aren’t a lineup savant, a projected lineup means projected. NBA starting lineups may not be confirmed until close to game time. Stay on top of the news is a star player is in jeopardy. If you’re looking at a player prop, don’t just consider the players own lineup, but consider the defensive players on the other side of the ball. Is a key defender missing? The NBA deals with constant starting lineup changes that don’t factor into a sport like the NFL. For example, NBA players (especially the older players) require “rest days” every now and then and could change the outcome and the odds on a game.
Matchups are equally important. In the NBA, a player like J.J. Reddick could be coming off of the bench in a game against a team that defends the three-point line well; this could limit his production. What are the home/away splits? What’s the game situation and importance? Has the team been on the road for one month with nothing to play for? Make sure to check your matchups and see which players have the best and worst chances of being productive for their team.
Pay Attention to Injuries
Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you found a line that “Vegas” has screwed up on and you lay down more than you usually do, only to find out that a key player is sitting out. Turns out that “automatic” bet was a loss because you didn’t notice that LeBron James was having himself a rest day. That is why it is CRUCIAL to always check up to the second breaking news on injuries and players who will be taking those unexpected days off. Lucky for you, we here at Lineups.com have all of the NBA injury updates you could ever need!
Believe it or not, last second injuries and player scratches happen all of the time, especially in the NBA, and it is the type of thing that can kill a rookie bettors bankroll. It’s not always injuries or players sitting that you have to watch out for, sometimes players are a little banged up and will play, but will be limited, causing their production to drop drastically. Injury news about players often doesn’t break until very close to game time, sometimes even minutes before tip-off. That is why you must stay current on all breaking news and place your bet as close to tip-off as possible!
As sports bettors, we are lucky to be living in the time that we do. Not only is sports betting starting to become legal around the country, but we have instant access to unlimited amounts of information. Do you think 50 years ago bettors could get on their phones and find out that Wilt Chamberlain was sitting out and that is why the Lakers are a 2-point dog? Of course not! We are lucky enough to have that luxury, so make sure you use it to your advantage as much as possible, because the sportsbooks making these lines sure are.
Players Who Can Affect an Odds Line Most
Not all athletes are created equal; some are far more important to keep an eye on than others. If Kevin Durant is a late scratch to a game, the Golden State line will drop more significantly compared to the minuscule effect that an absent Shaun Livingston would have. So when you are preparing to make a bet on a game, make sure you check each team’s superstars and see if they are locked in before you place your bet. A Milwaukee Bucks team at home favored by 10 against the Phoenix Suns may look like an easy choice. However, if Giannis Antetokounmpo is sitting out and Khris Middleton is playing limited minutes, Milwaukee doesn’t appear to be the same “lock” they were before you found this key information. Below is an example of a star player (Joel Embiid) moving a line against the New Jersey Nets. The spread is on the left and odds on the right. You can see in the matter of one hour, the spread went from 4 to 1.
There are about a dozen or so players in the NBA who can drastically change a line, and it is important to keep an eye on these players more than others. Players that are crucial to their team’s success, like Antetokounmpo for the Bucks and James Harden for the Rockets are obvious players that can make a big change in betting lines. It’s not always the biggest names in the league that you have to keep an eye on, other players who may not be as popular as players like Steph Curry or LeBron James can also be huge influences on lines. Nikola Jokic for the Denver Nuggets is a perfect example. Jokic is the 31st highest scoring player this past NBA season, but he is a rare Center who the entire offense flows through, and without him, the Nuggets would struggle.
Make sure you know the teams and players you are betting on. Sound simple, but a common mistake is assuming a starting lineup and/or matchup without confirmation. Don’t assume a team like the Warriors will automatically cover that 5-point spread against the Cleveland Cavaliers. There is virtually always a reason that a line is where it is; make sure you do your due diligence, follow the lineup changes and injury news. Study the matchups, see what each player means to each team and ALWAYS bet with the numbers and not your heart.