The NBA season has started and after just a few days, those of who are handicappers and bettors have already gotten our taste of bad beats. #welcomebackNBA??
While opinions can vary, on a year to year basis, there is not sports tougher to beat than professional basketball. In theory, it should not be as hard as it is because with the same nine players on the court several days a week. However, the travel schedule is brutal and harder than hockey (the NHL has longer road trips, which leads to longer homestands).
Though we can figure out who the best or worst teams are before the NBA season starts, determining spread winners is not so easy. That is not to say certain bettors do not start 12-2 at the beginning of a new season, but that can often be followed by 3-10 the next year.
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Here are a couple of very easy NBA tips that are simple and really easy to follow in the first 2 1/2 to 3 weeks of a new season.
* Play Against any home favorite of -2.5 points or less.
* Play Against any road favorite of -2.5 points or less.
Let's tackle the top angle first. There are variances in home court advantages in the Association, but as a general rule, teams are giving out three points at home. The basic premise for this is if a team is not good enough to be at least a three-point home favorite, their probability of winning is not much better than 50 percent let alone covering a spread, according to those setting the line.
In the opposite way, this is how we look at a short road favorite. If a team is not even a three-point basket better than their opponent's floor, that is not a good sign. This can matter for the home team, who will have the crowd in the fourth quarter for extra juice and that is when of the come from behind games begin.
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Over the last 16 years, this capper has tracked these trends, they have ranged from 48 to 62 percent annually. Because break even is 52.5 percent, you don't win every year, but your losses are kept to a minimum with smart money management. And some years you can start with a nice increase in a bankroll before the season really kicks in.
Why This Works and One Other Factor
At the beginning of the season, everyone, including oddsmakers have their thoughts and beliefs on each team. But until there is real competition and starting minutes and rotations are determined, a lot of this is guesswork.
That is why these short numbers can work in the opening weeks of the season when at least half the teams are in some sort of transition by roster turnover or new coaching staff. Once teams start settling in, the edge is lost.
Lastly, what happens when a team opens as a two-point road favorite or home underdogs and goes to three points or higher in either case. All you can do is take what you bought it at. You made a good faith wager and that was the market at the time. In this case, all you can do is all you can do.
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