If your looking for tips on how to win at basketball betting you've come to the right place. At first glance, wagering on hoops looks easy, however, after a while, you will quickly realize that it's anything but easy. It's actually one of the most difficult sports to beat against the spread.
Note: If you came here looking for picks against the spread for today's games, please go here: NBA Pick of the Day.
Listed below, you'll find some great tips that you can apply to your handicapping. This article alone should increase your winning percentage against the spread by 2-3% if you are serious and put these tips into use. Enjoy!
Watch for teams playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. Their often times tired with no legs left under them. Espeically when on the road. The spread may take this into consideration, but it's an excellent spot to watch out for a nice overlay (odds in your favor.)
Keep a very close eye on line moves. If a line move happens in favor of one team and the public is on the other side, this may indicate sharp action and may be a good game to coat-tail. Consensus percentages on what the public is betting can be found at both Wagertracker.com and Wagerline.com (free).
Establish a bankroll and stick to a money management system. Then never bet more than 2-3% of this bankroll on any one play. This means that if your starting bankroll is $500, your maximum bet should be no more than $10-$15. This is a kind of boring way to gamble, however, it will get you through the highs and lows of a long season of streaks and they do happen! Most don't listen to this advice and just "fire" on games. Ya can't win long term that way. Once your tired of losing, come back and read this article again and practice this tip. You'll be glad you did!
Only bet when the value is on your side. After handicapping all the games on the day's card, there are often times a couple per day in which the oddsmakers have made a weak line. Only play these games. Always remember that the bookmaker is forced to put out a line on every game, you howeaver aren't forced to bet every game. This means you can pick and choose your spots which in our estimation puts the value on your side if you have properly handicapped a game.
Don't put too much faith in trends. Their fun to read, but what happened in the past usually doesn't have much bearing on what is going to happen today or in the future. There are indeed a few instances in which certain teams "own" other teams, but it's rare and the chances are by the time you know about it, the tide is likely to change and move the other way or be broken.
When handicapping, consider looking closely at turnovers as a statistic. Turnovers usually lead to points. Points win games. Same goes for points in the paint. Shots taken closer to the hoop are made at a higher percentage. These two stats are often times overlooked while handicapping and are key to determining winners and losers.
Always check starting lineups. This means don't bet games too early as well. What's worse than betting on a team only to find out that their starting point guard is down?
Try to avoid betting on your favorite team. More times than not, your emotions come into play and it skews your opinion.
If your going to play "short" underdogs, such as +1, +2 or +3, consider betting the moneyline instead, as the moneyline pays more and often times you won't need these points to cover the spread.
Conversely, avoid betting NBA moneyline favorites, especially big ones. One loss there and your trying to bail yourself out of a deep hole which is a losing proposition.
A good handicapper will gather information about a game and study it helping him make an educated opinion on who will beat the spread. An even more astute handicapper will watch or study the boxscore AFTER the game to see what won him or lost him the bet and make mental note of what he may have missed or what got him the money.
Understand the Odds. Know what vigorish you're paying to the bookie and figure out what percentage of your games you have to win to break even and show a profit. This is an often overlooked variable in basketball betting, While hitting 52% of your bets may seem like you're winning because you're indeed winning more than you're losing, it isn't a profitable proposition due to the commission (vig/juice) that you're paying the bookie.
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Point Spread - The most basic of basketball wagers.
Moneyline - For those that simply want to bet on a team to win straight up.
Totals - Also known as an over/under. This bet has nothing to do with who which team wins or by how many. You're simply predicting if both teams points scored will exceed or fall short of the posted total.
Parlays - Multi-team wager where all must win in order to get paid. Big risk and big reward.
Teasers - Multi-team bet where you get to move the line a certain amount of points on each game. All teams must cover the teased point spreads to cash.
Pleasers - The opposite of a teaser. You're "giving" points away, making this bet a much tougher proposition to win.
Prop Bets - Wagers not having to do with which team wins the game or by how many. These usually pertain to wagers on individual players points scored, rebounds, assists, steals, etc.
NBA Futures - Bet on your favorite team to win their division, conference or the NBA Finals. A great bet for those looking to risk very little for a potentially large payoff.
How What Who and When - We've got all the answers to commonly asked hoops related questions.