Betting on Nationally Broadcast NBA Games
There is little doubt that networks such as ESPN, ABC and TNT's goal is to try and schedule marquee matchups when it comes to the NBA games they broadcast nationally throughout the regular season. Most time the matchups they eventually schedule are based on the highest profile teams in the league or a heated rivalry may currently exist between two particular teams.
If you are someone that likes to regularly wager on the NBA, you should always take into consideration what kind of impact can a nationally broadcast game have on the betting lines for that particular matchup.
The first thing that happens in high-profile matchups that are going to be played out in front of a national audience is the betting volume for that game is going to increase as opposed to a locally televised NBA game. This means that the betting public in general has the potential to have a much bigger impact on the betting lines the Oddsmakers set. The people that set the betting lines are well aware of bettor's love affair with the favorite and the OVER on the total line in most matchups, so this will be a factor in driving-up both numbers for nationally broadcast game. This tends to shift the value in the odds towards the underdog, but you still need to break things down on a head-to-head basis to get a true picture of where the actual betting edge lies.
The other thing you need to take into consideration when handicapping nationally broadcast NBA games is that the betting lines are likely to be tighter than normal, given the increased betting volume on either side of the play. It is important to not be swayed by line movements that are a product of the early money coming in on that particular matchup. While there is always a chance that few sharps have decided to jump on one side or the other, in most cases these line movements are driven by the betting public. Many times this will set up the perfect opportunity to go against the public, especially when you consider that a good portion of the money coming in on one side against the other is driven by bettors that do not know the first thing about handicapping a NBA game.
The other major impact on a nationally broadcast NBA games is all the extra media attention this game will automatically garner. Every so-called NBA expert from the analysts that breakdown the matchup in the days or day leading up to game to the ex-NBA players that insist they know just how things will play-out once the ball is tipped will have an impact on the betting public's opinion as to how to bet this game. Many times these analysts and ex-players will purposely go against the grain in an effort to create some controversy or additional media buzz with their statements. Always keep in mind that anything you here on TV is simply someone's opinion. You have to take it for what it is worth as there is no substitute for doing your own homework in breaking down a game.
If you are the type of NBA bettor that loves close matchups between two of the top teams in the league where there is no clear edge other than maybe home court advantage, then most nationally broadcast games are right in your wheelhouse. These kind of matchups are much tougher to handicap, so they can create a challenge that adds even more excitement if you are already an adrenaline junkie when it comes to betting on the games. If you are the type of NBA bettor that likes to be able to carve-out a clear edge before you make a wager on a game, then nationally broadcast games may not offer the value you are looking for in the odds. Whatever side of the coin you are on, it is still important to take into consideration the impact the national TV cameras will have on games that are broadcast across the country.