Betting on basketball isn’t a competition between you and the online sportsbooks. But that doesn’t mean they want you to be too informed about what’s going on in the NBA.
Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to February 3 inclusive:
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start betting on the NBA is to believe it’s all about them versus the books. They see the basketball odds go up on the board, and then that little puff of smoke appears over their heads, and they think, “Aha! Those summanaguns are trying to pull a fast one on me. I’ll show them!”
Hardly. Online sportbooks need balanced action, or else they’re gambling just like everyone else. But balance is difficult to achieve, and if there’s going to be any imbalance, it behooves the sportsbooks for it to be “square” money that’s tipping the scales. Primarily because the book will get soaked less often, and also because there are a lot more squares than sharps in the marketplace, which means more happy customers who will keep coming back when they do get paid.
With that in mind, if you’re a novice bettor, here are five current NBA betting trends that the books would just as soon you didn’t wise up to.
1. The Toronto Raptors are 22-6 ATS in their last 28 games.
This is the big one right now. There are very few people who pay attention to the Raptors, who have been bad-to-mediocre pretty much since Vince Carter left 10 years ago. Only sharp bettors and Canadians (often the same thing) are on the Raps, and the books need you to keep betting on the other guys, or else they’ll be in big trouble. In the short term, that is. They’ll adjust.
2. The Phoenix Suns are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 games vs. winning teams.
Phoenix is another small-market team that has played above expectations. The Suns were a popular team when Steve Nash was around and they were going deep into the playoffs, but now it’s a bunch of no-names like Goran Dragic (22.3 PER), who also has the nerve to be from Slovenia. Not too many Slovenes in the NBA betting market these days. Squares tend to bet the favorites, so the “winning teams” stipulation really pumps up the value of this trend.
3. The Washington Wizards are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
Here’s another team that’s had its reputation battered in recent years. The Wizards are small potatoes in D.C. compared to the football team, but they’ve got some solid young players, and they’ve rebranded in an attempt to reclaim some of their heritage from the old Bullets days. Squares don’t always appreciate the value of home-court advantage, so this NBA betting trend combines that with the “winning teams” stip from the Phoenix trend for extra potency.
4. The UNDER is 10-1 in the last 11 games for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Squares love offense, so they love betting the OVER. They also don’t pay much attention to the Grizzlies, who run the slowest pace in the NBA at 92.1 possessions per game. Memphis has a nasty defensive duo down low with Marc Gasol (17.2 PER) and Zach Randolph (18.1 PER), neither of whom is likely to blow up for 30 points at the other end. Feel the excitement!
5. The Miami Heat are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against opponents who scored 100 points or more in their previous game.
Remember how squares love to bet favorites? That’s the Heat for you. They’re the two-time and defending champions, but they’re also in decline, with maybe one more title in them as currently built, and they’re coasting on defense this year. That’s where the “100 points or more” comes in handy. If you can score, you can probably beat the Heat right now. Talk to us again when April rolls around.