In the new period of gambling, especially with millennials and younger people, the word - patience - is not often used to describe their activity. In part, it's not their fault, having grown up in this age of technology where speed is more important than accuracy.
Sportsbooks everywhere will tell you, today's mobile phone bettor dumps what they consider losing game bets and chase second half lines, especially in the NFL. It's acknowledged the NBA is tougher, but that has not stopped ardent bettors from wanting to try to salvage every day and have it be a winner.
No matter your age, there are methods and principles to follow and having the most knowledge possible is a great place to start.
For example, some of you might know this and others do not, but there are some advantages to second half wagering on sides and totals in the NBA. This is particularly true from the middle of December thru about March 21st. Because of heavy action in college basketball, oddsmakers have to make fast judgments on the heavy volume days of Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday for second half wagering. If you hone in on those three days specifically and find NBA contests that have the halftime score considerably off from the pre-game side or total, this is a good place to start. Because of how many contests are going at the same time, oddsmakers might have exploitable numbers to take advantage of.
If you follow the NBA, the numbers are quite accurate and more often than not, they will be near to closing line. This can create an opportunity for the patient (not that word) and practical thinking hoops bettor.
First Half Numbers Way Off at Halftime
Let's say Golden State is a 14-point home favorite over Memphis like they were on Dec. 30th and the total is 206. For whatever reason, the Warriors were not interested and the game is tied at 55-55 at the half.
The standard conclusion is Golden State will romp in the second half and that is where most bettors will want to place their money. Going into the game, oddsmakers were thinking the Warriors at -7 or -7.5 for the last two quarters. Yet, because the defending champs were so uninterested and given they were not that far off from their typical scoring night, most sportsbooks will shade the Warriors and make them a -9 or 9.5-point second half favorite. This possibly accomplishes two elements for the books, it makes bettors think twice if Golden State might not have it that night and fails to cover both scenarios and reduces risk by those looking for a middle, that like big underdogs and had the Grizzlies for the game.
The other aspect is the total, which was a winner on the OVER for the first half, most likely at 104. This is where you need to know halftime shooting percentages. Memphis averages about 99 points, which means they had a better scoring first half. Was their offense based on hot-shooting, getting to the free throw line more frequently or defense? If it's based on better than average shooting, there is a good chance they might fall off in the second half. Most of those wagering will stick with a higher score because it's Warriors and the rest will trust Steve Kerr's club's defense to slow down Memphis with more inspired play. Based on this many sportsbooks will take the middle ground on both trains of thought, depending on exposure and release 104 total again.
Betting second half totals is not just guessing, you need to understand why halftime scores got to that point and you need the trial and error experience to react quickly.
In truth, now is the time for a great learning experience, that can prepare you for the NBA playoffs.