NBA Predictions - Early Season Betting Angle To Beat The Books

Jay Pryce

Monday, November 7, 2016 2:11 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 2:11 PM UTC

Here's an early-season trend worth considering that fades overvalued teams in the betting market as it adjusts to the new year. Don't miss out on a betting angle that could bring profit to your NBA picks.

 Betting Angle

The first two weeks of the NBA season can be chaotic in the betting market with books adjusting to fresh data, new team personnel, and the like. For the savvy sports investor, it’s a great time to cash in on particular situations because of such changes, or overreaction to as explained later.

Take the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors, for example, which went 67-15 and won their first NBA title in four decades. They were the seventh choice to win the championship prior to the opener at +2800 NBA odds after going 51-31 in the 2013-14 regular season, which included a first-round knockout in the playoffs. They closed out that season with a 4.8-point average margin of victory per game and -4.2 average line. The title-winning year saw Golden State finish the regular season with a 10.1 differential and -7.9 average line.

Steph Curry and company proved an overlay through the first few weeks of the season with such a better-than-expected jump in performance. The market needed a handful of games to adjust fully. Going 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS to begin the year, the Warriors posted a 10.3 average winning margin against a -5.8 average line. Game numbers 10-20 saw a 12.0 point winning margin in the face of a -9 average line, a ratio more in line with the rest of the season overall.

One aspect to note here is that while it took a couple of weeks to catch up to Golden State, the differences in margins are not earth shattering. Professional NBA teams rarely see significant improvement or failure from the previous season, and that’s where our angle comes into play. We’re looking to fade favorites against the spread within the first 10 games of the season versus an opponent that owned a 7.0-point or greater average margin of victory the prior season. Seven is a key number here since it is the most common average margin of victory in the league, and shows a significant gap in the number of points the team must make up plus what’s hanging on the board. Although it only strikes a few times a season, underdogs in this spot are 43-26-3 ATS in the last 20 years.

One contest that might trigger this scenario includes a Nov. 8 matchup between the  Mavericks and Lakers. Dallas is off to an ugly 0-4 start and only tipped off as 4 and 6-point chalk in two meetings at the Staples Center last season. With a 2-3 start, and a public team historically, the Lakers could easily go off a short-priced favorite this time around. Dallas finished last season with a -0.3 points differential to L.A.’s -9.6. Dallas will likely prove an overlay in this spot should they receive points.


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