Five Tips for Betting on the NBA

When it comes to wagering on sports the NBA continues to be one of the most popular leagues among the general betting public. From early fall right into the beginning of summer there is non-stop action in the NBA that offers a few golden opportunities to cash-in on the games on almost a daily basis. The following are my top five general betting tips to keep in mind when handicapping any matchup in this league.

Tracking Line Movements

Betting lines for games are often released more than 24 hours before an actual game unless the status of a major injury to either side is keeping the Oddsmakers from releasing the odds. This gives you ample time to see how the betting public reacts to the numbers well before you need to make a play on that game. The best strategy is to formulate your selection based on the opening betting odds and then look for the lines that move in your favor. This will provide a slightly better edge to an existing pick. Always be leery of any dramatic movements on a particular game unless you know the reason why the line shifted so much.

Money Management Systems

Unlike the NFL's 16-game regular season, the NBA plays an 82-game schedule so it becomes really easy to get carried away if you do not employ some kind of money management system. A good rule to follow is never bet more than three percent of your current bankroll on any one game no matter how high your confidence level might be. You also have to be careful about making too many plays in a short amount of time. Slow and steady is the proper way to build a bankroll as opposed to trying to make a big kill. If your are the type of better that thrives on action, then bet one percent of your bankroll on three different plays, but the best strategy is to come up with one solid pick and go a bit heavier on the play.

The Home Court Advantage

Resist the temptation to underestimate the importance of home court advantage when it comes to the NBA. Some teams are much better at home than on the road, but just about all the teams in the league have a tendency to play their best basketball in front of the home-town crowd. Looking back at the 2014 regular season, 19 of the 30 teams had a straight-up winning record at home. It is commonly excepted that home court advantage is worth around three or four points on the spread, but this is still a generalization. Using current form as your betting guide, always look for teams that have been lighting it up home over the course of their past few games. These trends do not last forever, so you have to learn how to ride them like a wave until they begin to fade.

Key Statistics to Focus On

Every sport compiles a ton of statistics that have the tendency to bog down your handicapping efforts and the NBA is no different. Instead of plowing through number after number when it comes to breaking down a particular matchup, the three stats that I like to focus on are points in the paint, rebounds and turnovers. Any team that performs well in all three categories is a sign of a well-coached ball club that remains focused on the big picture by taking care of the small details. A high average of points in the paint and rebounds speaks directly to a team's ability to dominate the pace of play by controlling the boards. Low turnovers speak to a team's ability to take care of the ball which will ultimately result in more scoring opportunities and more points on the board.

Betting on the Fatigue Factor

You should always be on the lookout for glaring inequities in the NBA schedule. While it does not happen all the time, you might find one team playing its third game in four nights facing a team that is coming off a couple days rest. This impact is multiplied if the fatigued team is playing on the road. The Oddsmakers will factor this into their betting odds for that particular game, but it could still present a great opportunity to wager on the fresher team.