by Dallas Jackson - 11/15/2005
Unless you are an East Coast insomniac or a West Coaster who doesn't want to call in early plays from the office, there is actually no advantage to playing the NBA overnight lines. This is the unfortunate truth I learned from Rob Gillespie, president of Bodog Sportsbook.
Believe me, I wanted this to be an earth-shattering, world-rocking article that inspired thousands of players to hit that late night window and make their plays for tons of profit, but it won't be - it can't be. Also, for those of you that think you are the reason for the night shifts, you're not. As according to Gillespie, only "five to ten percent" of NBA game action comes in over night. Sucks doesn't it.
The glimmer of hope came when he informed me that "ten to fifteen percent of NBA lines show major fluctuation." I was slightly encouraged - hell, a ten percent advantage is worth looking into. So, I did. I went to Bodog, and checked their board.
Six of the nine games on the board shifted from 2:27 a.m. EST, when I first checked, to 1:55 p.m. EST, when I started writing this article. The Denver/Dallas and Utah/Sacramento games were not up last night. But, six of nine, that is potential for "major fluctuation." Of those six I count two that had "meaningful fluctuation."
The major move was a one point move in the Houston/Minnesota game, in which the T-Wolves went from a 3.5 point favorite to a 2.5 point favorite. That is a two-fold move. First, it makes it a three-pointer to win the game; and win the play. Second, since it is close, and expected to be a one possession game, you (hopefully) won't be put through a free throw exposition, as the teams won't be fouling and chucking three's to get within reach; instead they'll be playing defense and slow offensive sets.
The second game with "meaningful fluctuation" was the Washington/Cleveland game. This was in the other direction, making Cleveland a 6.5 point favorite - up from the 6 point favorite they were last night. The reason this is important is that it is now a three possession game, and this line might-as-well be eight. That is significant fluctuation.
The other four games that moved were with half-point lines and did not change possession counts. And, personally, if a hook changes your opinion on a game you shouldn't be playing it anyhow.
In fact, even playing those "fluctuations" does not transcend to profit for the bettor. According to Gillespie profits still fall to the house, "last year (Bodog) saw no difference between overnight NBA lines and game day NBA lines."
Additionally he told me that many sportsbooks do not offer overnight lines, simply because there is not enough action to justify staffing the office and keeping book managers on the desk.
So honestly, go to bed, get a good-nights sleep, and use the day lines like 95-percent of players do.
Dallas Jackson can be contacted via email: email@example.com