Three promising matchups and one good-looking parlay are on tap for savvy NBA bettors on Wednesday .
Happy Hump Day, fellow sports investors! If you've been following my weekly column on NFL betting, you know I'm a big advocate of finding action that promises positive expected value. That's how you set yourself up for sustained profits over the long term, and the formula works just as well for the NBA (or the NHL, or MLB, etc.) as it does for the NFL.
Every now and then I'll be popping in here to highlight "value bets" for NBA games, as those opportunities present themselves -- which doesn't necessarily happen every day, so I recommend taking a very discriminating approach with pro basketball. There are plenty of games to choose from during a given week, so it's best to wait in the weeds until the really juicy action presents itself.
I recommend you read my columns on NFL betting for details on the formulas I'm using, as well as the resources I draw on, if you're interested in a deeper dive. For now, though, we'll keep this short and sweet and get right to the details.Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks at -103 (currently at 5Dimes) offer an expected value of 26 percent, and they also happen to be listed as 64 percent favorites at FiveThirtyEight. Really, though, anything better than -155 is offering positive EV.Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets
The Rockets are favorites at 68 percent, and for once the moneyline is offering real value for taking the "sure bet." At -140 (again, 5Dimes.com) the expected long term return is around 17 percent, more than enough to beat the juice.Los Angeles Lakers @ Phoenix Suns
At 64 percent win probability, the Lakers are the favorite, and at -140 the EV is a healthy 9.7 percent. If that line gets much worse than -155, I'd pass on it.
Parlay bets are inherently risky, but if you keep them on the side of positive expected value, you can wrangle some profit out them. Two options here:
Option one, a three team parlay of the Rockets (-140), Hawks (-103), and Heat (-340) gives you 36 percent win probability. Those are not great odds, but the payout is 337 percent, for a long term EV of 56 percent.
Option two, if that 36 percent win probability isn't your cup of tea, is to just take the Heat and the Rockets. That gives you 56 percent win probability, and still pays 122 percent, for an EV of 24 percent. Any time you're getting even as much as 10 percent EV you're doing very well, so 24 percent EV (with majority win probability) is tough to pass up.
Good luck, and if you have any questions or comments, I'm on Twitter @HooksPicks