NBA Betting Tutorial for the Casual Fan
by Trevor Whenham - 10/27/2009
After a long summer, the NBA gets underway again this week. For those of you who are hardcore fans and bettors of the league these are happy times. I, too, am happy to have it back, but the league doesn't particularly change my life. I'll put it this way - it would kill me to go 10 minutes without knowing what's going on on a college football Saturday, but as long as I check the NBA scores every day or two I'm fine. My biggest interest is in watching the players I liked in college thrive or flounder.
If your level of interest in the NBA is about the same as mine then you could get yourself, and your bankroll, into some trouble if you aren't careful. When you bet a sport that you are serious about then you put a lot of work into your picks and only bet when there is real value. With other sports, though, you might not pay as much attention. Unfortunately, a lost bet on a sport you aren't passionate about costs as much as one on the ones you do. Here are a few rules you should consider if you are only a casual NBA bettor:
Don't get sucked into bets without research - It can be very tempting to throw down a bet on a whim - you see a game that sounds interesting and you toss down a few bucks. If those bets aren't done without really looking into the game, though, then you clearly and obviously don't have an edge on that bet. Making bets in which you don't have an edge is for suckers.
Adopt a team or two - Unless you are following the league closely you don't have time to closely and accurately follow all 30 teams, their long-term chances, personnel issues, and their current level of play. You'll almost certainly miss things, and that means you'll make bets that you shouldn't be making. To avoid this, adopt a team or two and keep an eye on them. This is much easier to handle, and you can easily become something of an expert on the team. That way, you'll be in a good position to spot situations where it is worth making a bet.
Identify a few simple angles you favor - If there are bets you like to make, and which are profitable, then that can make it easy to casually bet. Maybe it's home underdogs, or teams coming off a rest, or high-tempo teams facing slow-tempo ones - it doesn't matter as long as you like them. Once you have those angles in mind it can be very quick and easy to scan the day's games and see if there is anything that works for you.
When in doubt, pass - This is good and obvious advice for any sport at any time - if you don't feel like you have a very good chance of winning a game, and you can justify that feeling based on more than just a hunch, then you shouldn't be making that bet. A bet you don't make is far less expensive than one you lose.
Set realistic goals and limits - Before you start betting on the league you need to set personal goals. It's okay to bet on the league if you just want to do it for entertainment - so that you have someone to cheer for when you watch the game. In that case, though, you need to be sure that you are using a different bankroll than you would use for the regular betting you would do, and that you are only betting money that you are prepared to lose. If you aren't using a separate bankroll then you are letting your results in a sport you aren't fully committed to skew those in one that you are.
When in doubt, consult the experts - If your interest is in more than just having someone to cheer for then you need to act accordingly. Maybe you aren't willing or able to put the time in that is required to become a successful winning bettor on your own, but you are still interested in being a winning bettor on the league. It might be attractive, then, to trade money for time in a case like that - to access the expertise of people who are able to put in the time. It might seem expensive given your interest, but it could be cheaper than throwing away money on losing bets.
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- LA Lakers Could be in Real Trouble with LeBron and AD Injuries
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/20/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/13/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/1/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 12/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/23/2020 and Opening Line Report