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Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of people tuning in to watch the NBA every week during the regular season. With the rise of sports betting in America and the legalization amongst states, many fans have taken to online to enjoy a different aspect of the sport. There are so many options from sportsbooks online, with plenty of opportunities for fans and players to earn some money from placing wagers online. Trying to predict who will win a match can prove to be quite difficult, especially if you’re starting to bet on teams you’re not familiar with. US Leagues Betting has amassed years of knowledge on sports and what to look out for when placing wagers online. With this in mind, we want to pass on what we’ve learnt over the years to beginners and basketball fans alike. Our NBA basketball picks will feature up-to-date information, giving you our experts’ picks on what to look out for on matchups and what might decide a game. 

NBA Sports Picks

Sports picks are betting tips given to amateur bettors by professional experts or sports handicappers. This is the process of identifying a list of reasons as to why the game or result will turn out. Typically this is done by doing your ‘homework’ and other factors to shortlist the winner, this process is known as ‘handicapping’ in sports betting circles. These picks allow betters to try and make money on sporting events. Given the advice, punters can either go with the informed choice or give it a shot themselves. 

Basic skills and strategies lay the groundwork to make solid and informed NBA bets. It’s always easier to make a bet knowing somewhat of information than going alone and trying to shoot in the dark. Having a foundation and using these tips/ picks helps pave the groundwork for you to increase your chances of winnings. Typically these tips seem to be obvious, but you’d be surprised how often players will follow their heart opposed to checking the stats. Using picks can help you in the long run as they will help you perform better with your Win/ Loss ratio and manage your bankroll effectively. 

So many variables come into play which can make a game go one or the other way, which is why in-depth handicapping can benefit you when making a wager. Learning how to read lines and to look beyond the spread is a skill which takes years to develop, without it you may fall into typical sportsbooks odd traps or get misguided by the betting line thinking there’s a clear favourite. Our basketball sports picks take in a wide range of factors as well as consolidating years of information to make informed bets. 

Read the bookmaker 

Setting apart the pros from the amateurs, reading the bookmaker’s intentions is one of the most valuable skills there is. It’s essentially understanding why the odds or betting lines are set at those prices for the particular matchups. This is known as the ‘game behind the game’ pick as you uncover the bookmaker’s intention of odds on the opening line. It’s extremely important in NBA betting, as odds will constantly change with the general public or fan base swaying the favourites one or the other way. Which could ultimately increase or decrease your winning stack if successful. 

Bookmakers will capitalize on common perceptions made by fans by putting pick’em games on the home team. With a ‘pick’em’ game the spread is always placed to create interest in betting for both the teams. If there were clear team favourites and odds were in favour of them, the bookmakers would ultimately lose out. To counter that they use both teams having an even spread and you simply pick the winner. The online sportsbooks may place the Home Team (-1) opening lines even if the home team should open at a 1-point underdog. By placing the Home Team (-1) or (-1.5) makes the fan base pay a premium on their betting habit. Without realising the true line that the teams should be placed at. 

With that knowledge, the online sportsbooks know they’re going to receive more bets on the basketball home team. Therefore to capitalise and create a profit in the long run, they use that percentage of the action to pay the vig.  

Moving Lines 

This concept is about noticing when the public place their bets and when the professionals or experts do. With some of the best sports wagering experts on the market, they know to sometimes wait after the general fan base place their bets before they do. If you see a line move one direction after the initial fans placing heavily on the other side of the bet, you’re witnessing the experts taking advantage of the uneducated public. With so many promotions and sports news favouring one side when it comes to NBA match-ups, most of the general fans will jump on trends too early without taking consideration of other factors. Following their hearts rather than their heads! This creates a perfect opportunity for expert bettors to make their bets which most likely be against the general public.

Point Scoring  

One of the consideration, when picks are made, is through how a team usually scores. We focus on consistency to see whether they heavily depend on one type of game style or goes through heats of scoring. For example, one team might heavily rely on 3-pointers, which makes for fantastic watching on TV but can easily go cold coming up short for points for some games. Whereas a team who drives their points through posting up and driving to the basket will see more consistency in their play. 

Teams which shoot beyond the arch can create some special shots but if they go on a cold street can create unfavourable positions for the long term. This also comes down to point-scoring avg and whether there’s one superstar amongst the team or the team can perform without their superstar is benched. 

Check the Team’s Schedule

The NBA packs so many games in a season, with each team playing multiple games in their conferences before they even reach the playoffs. 

Game time will eventually take a huge toll on players as the season go on, with fatigue playing a huge factor. Teams won’t perform as well if they are tired and can’t run-up down the court. Sounds simple, but many punters will forget the great lengths that NBA teams have to travel for games. 

With matchups up and down the states, going back and forth across the country will mean hours flying, going by coach, sleeping in hotels and not having the luxuries of home. Not only does this create physical fatigue for players but also a tired mental state. Which isn’t great if they need to focus till the last buzzer of the game. Checking the team’s schedule and the locations are important to understand the home/away advantage teams will have on the court. As the season progresses, players’ form will dip which usually occurs around the first quarter of the season.

Road favourites after a blowout loss

Following the bounce back from teams after a blowout loss can ultimately seem like a risky bet, but actually can prove quite profitable. Fans will react with frustration and think about what happened in the last game to repeat again. Even if their team has even a larger point spread to win they will judge them on the single blowout loss. This is where experts put aside the singular game and look at the stats as to who will win. History repeats itself and after a blowout loss teams typically recover and actually perform very well throughout the rest of the calendar way into the postseason.

Big Home Underdogs

Statistical data tells us that on avg home teams only end up covering 49% of the wins at home. So if a big team comes along like the Golden State warriors you would think that they will be clear favourites to win against a smaller or midsize team. The home team would be considered as underdogs in the matchup.

That’s where the typically amateur bettor might get proven wrong. Many fans will typically gravitate towards their favourite teams unless there is a clear inequity posted on the betting odds for a particular game. Which becomes even more true with big-name NBA teams. However, with home advantage, the atmosphere and crowd roaring the home team can cause them to go on and win the match. Proving most people wrong – that’s what we call ‘Big Home Underdogs’.

Eastern & Western Conference

Picks come in fast and quick when it comes to the posts season and winners of conferences. This is a popular bet in basketball for punters to put on. Many punters will take a shot at who will the Eastern or Western Conference as it gives large payouts if correct. Having picks when it comes closer to the time can give you an advantage as the experts have taken into account how the season is playing out and can provide valuable information on who the winner for each conference might be.

Watch out for favourites

Avoiding big favourites can prove to be beneficial as they tend to be overvalued or inflated due to public perception. Betting lines will place teams based on the point spread they think will win by, but that doesn’t mean the team has to achieve the set points in order to win. Or even as favourites there could be some upsets further in the game. Even with a 6 or 10 point spread on the favourites, things can go wrong. You could end up with a nice payout if your wager on the other team, this is called ‘fade the favourite’ in the sports betting world.

Check the lineups

One of the most rookie mistakes is when a better does not check the lineup. It’s an easy way to lose on favourites you thought were guaranteed to win. Playing a betting line you think is way off base to the usual betting line, only to realize later it was due to one of the star players on the team being injured. Picks around players being benched and injured can sometimes come in the last few hours before game time, so it’s crucial to keep up to date on the line up till the tip-off.

This is even more important further into the season as players get benched to give them a rest. NBA teams may have various strategies if they are saving a player for a particular match up to give them an advantage. 

About Kris

Kris Hunt is a content editor with over 7 years experience. Kris is an expert on all matters iGaming & sports in the USA. Kris is an Arsenal & Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow Kris on Twitter or on LinkedIn.