While basketball has become a truly international sport, it’s a simple fact that UK bettors’ exposure to it does not even come close to the day-in, day-out reporting, and gossip that’s available stateside to our American cousins. Fortunately, the internet has made it a lot easier to find and research key details, with respected journalists offering their predictions in the hope of improving the chances of a successful bet. To get you started, below, we’ve compiled a few key tips that should help you ensure your NBA predictions betting to be as well-informed as possible.
The season is long, so focus on the most relevant information
It’s not hard to find out who the best team in the NBA is – a quick look at who won the title last season, and who is favourite to win it this time around, will usually give you a pretty solid clue. However, each team plays 82 games in the regular season, and no-one ever seems to be unbeaten for the entire campaign. Over the course of such a long season, fortunes can vary; players will get injured, lose form, hit an incredible hot streak or, on occasion, are left out of the side to rest up for upcoming games. The same variety is seen in a team’s overall season experience, with plenty of ups and downs along the way.
Even the record-breaking Golden State Warriors of 2015-16, who won 73 games, weren’t invincible. They lost nine regular season games – that’s around one in every nine – and against most people’s NBA predictions, Finals defeat against Cleveland followed. It’s important, then, to check out which games might go against the favourite; to do this, you need to research the key variables of and injury, form, and rotation before every match, rather than relying on a pre-season perception. It’s also helpful to find information which suggests the NBA consensus may be a little weaker on a particular game, as this can be very beneficial for an NBA underdog betting system.
The team that had the best season in NBA history was the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96. They won 72 regular season games (losing ten) but, unlike Golden State, they went on to win in the Finals against the Seattle Sonics.
Find out about bogey teams
One thing that all sports have in common is that even the best teams and players have opponents they don’t like playing against. Basketball is no different, and all-powerful teams will lose games this season to those well below them in the NBA predictions for 2020 standings.
Ask any hoops fan who their chosen team hates playing against, and they’ll shudder before telling you their story. For a surprising number of teams, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks, a side who can currently be found propping up the Eastern Conference Central standings, but who find their feet on a regular basis when up against the best. They ended Golden State’s 24-0 unbeaten start to a record-breaking season, and are perpetually feared by fans of the Boston Celtics, too, so it’s well worth keeping the Bucks’ giant-killing abilities in mind when formulating NBA predictions and betting plans.
However, as influential as bogey teams have the power to be, the simple fact is that NBA betting lines will always favour the better sides, even if there is a “complicated” history between two teams. Learning which teams tend to upset the odds against different members of the elite can be a handy way to pull off a surprise win over the bookies, who tend to disregard such statistics when formulating their odds. Of course, factoring in the influence of bogey teams won’t always come off – if it did, the poorer teams would become the better ones, after all – but little slivers of knowledge such as this can help you find the value when betting on the NBA.
Listen to the experts
A successful basketball betting strategy is dependent on knowledge but; if you committed fully to researching your NBA predictions for today, that’s pretty much all you’d do today. Thankfully, there’s plenty of expert opinion to help enhance your own research.
Whether it’s the daily ESPN NBA picks, tips from respected basketball journalists in online newspapers, or our own experts here at bettingtips.net, there’s plenty of NBA basketball betting tips to be found. Use these resources to deepen your knowledge; you should find that the extra level of expert opinion greatly improves your chances of formulating a successful betting strategy.
Picking the winner in any contest between two opponents doesn’t need to be a complicated matter. After all, it will either be Team A or Team B, and there’s usually pretty clear guidance on which team will start as favourites. However, the favourites don’t always win – not to labour a point, but just ask the 2016 Golden State Warriors about that – and your successes over the bookmakers will come from judging when the underdog might spring a surprise.
When our experts are making NBA predictions 2020 standings will, of course, form part of their reasoning, but to get a more rounded look at the game, we pay attention to more than just who’s won more games this season. The following are just some of our touchstones for making a solid prediction.
Head-to-Head contests between the top teams can come down to very small details, such as star players like Dwayne Wade or Goran Dragic having a particularly profitable night. We pay particular attention to the way things have gone in previous head-to-head meetings, to see if there is a pattern that might make for an unexpected, odds-defying outcome in a specific matchup.
Teams in the same division play each other four times a season, giving plenty of opportunity to build up a spell of domination or to exact revenge for a previous defeat. It also means that by the end of a season, fans of one team can become sick of the sight of a player who always performs against their heroes, so we’ll keep an ear to the ground to see if there’s anyone in particular fans are concerned about for the next match. We also look for the patterns from previous meetings in order to judge whether those patterns may repeat themselves for the game we’re predicting.
Home court advantage
Every team sport has its defining factors – individual players, weather conditions (which is admittedly less of a factor for indoor basketball, but adverse conditions could impact preparation for a game), scheduling considerations, and so on and so forth. Perhaps the most abiding effect on a game between two teams, though, is in the concept of home court advantage. Home teams know the court’s dimensions, where the light is best, and the location of that bit of the floor where the ball bounces just a little differently. This is the kind of insider knowledge that can influence a result.
Even some of the shoddier teams in basketball can benefit from the experience of a home court. The generally poor Utah Jazz are a cakewalk on the road, but no team likes to visit the Delta Center Arena due to its notably rambunctious crowds. For example, in 2007, Jazz point guard Derek Fisher asked for a move to Los Angeles in order to get better medical care for his sick daughter, which sounds reasonable enough… unless you’re a Jazz fan. Every time he returned as an opponent, right through to his retirement, Utah supporters booed Fisher to the echo – and that’s for a guy that once liked. An intimidating atmosphere can be worth a ten-point start to a team, and we always take note of the influence of home court advantage when formulating our NBA betting predictions.
Player status reports
As basketball is a sport featuring five players on either side at all times, it’s a sport where a single player can have a hugely pronounced impact on the result. Football fans will know that if you’re playing Barcelona, and Lionel Messi is off form, Luis Suarez can do the damage instead, but in basketball, your best player being out of sorts means a full 20 per cent of your starting line-up is compromised.
If a player is lacking form, his fitness is in doubt, or there are rumours about him looking for a move, we’ll factor this into our predictions.
We will give you the benefit of our knowledge and research when it comes to basketball betting, but you’ll also need to accrue reliable, consistent knowledge if you really want to formulate a successful NBA betting strategy. Earlier, we discussed the variables that can influence a bet, but there are also a few concrete, external points you should keep in mind.
It pays to be aware of time differences
If you’re not in America, there is one thing above all else that you need to bear in mind for successful NBA betting: games take place on an American schedule, usually at night. This means that UK bettors have to consider not just the location of the game, but the timezone it will be played in. For example, in cities like New York or Miami (GMT -4 or BST -5) on the east coast, and Seattle and Portland three hours behind them on the west coast.
Why does this matter? Well, much of the betting that takes place these days is done in-play and, if you have money on an underdog that gets off to a good start, you may have the opportunity to cash that bet out. This means that if you’re betting on your NBA predictions tonight, prepare for a late night, an early morning, or more reasonably, pick a game that will take place while you’ll still be awake, or set an auto-cashout to do the work for you if you’re intending on an early night.
End-of-season games can have surprising results
The worst month of Golden State’s record 73-9 season in 2016 was April, where they lost two of the seven games they played. Compare that to November, when they played sixteen games and won every single one. What accounts for a difference in intensity this much? Simple – by the end of the season (which always occurs in April), the Warriors had achieved just about everything they could over the course of the season, securing a playoff spot and the league’s number one ranking.
With their ambitions for the regular season locked in, Golden State were quicker to rest key players, were less motivated to play at 100 per cent for the duration of each game, and were more conscious of the importance of avoiding injury ahead of the playoffs. This is standard practice in the league, and when it comes to NBA predictions towards the end of the season, expect the unexpected – the big names might be more willing to mentally check-out as they have half an eye on the playoffs. This doesn’t make them certain to lose games, but it certainly increases the chances of a shock result.
If you’re interested in cashing out a bet manually, watching live is the best way to judge the right moment. Numerous bookmakers have live streaming of NBA basketball matches, so tune in wherever possible.
Good form breeds good form
If a team has won their last few games, it makes it more likely they’ll win their next one. Although a winning streak has to end some time, teams that are winning matches will be more confident, more practiced in doing the things that keep them winning, and more likely to keep fighting to preserve their streak.
Check up-to-date injury and suspension reports
A team that contains a player of LeBron James’ quality is a very different proposition from one that does not; so much so that if the LA Lakers have a game coming up, it’s worth checking a reliable injury guide to make sure he’s likely to start. Teams who lose key players to suspension or injury can find their entire gameplan disrupted, and are more vulnerable to surprise defeats.
Recent meetings are particularly important
Between any two teams – whether they are evenly-matched or Davids vs Goliaths – the last head-to-head game will always have an influence. Given how frequently teams play one another in basketball, that matters. It matters both to the previous victors and to their opponents; one is thinking they know what to do to win, the other is scrambling to try and prevent history repeating itself.
Stats are your friends
Like all American sports, basketball is packed with statistics. From three-point shooting conversions, through rebounds, to free-throw percentages, there’s plenty of data that can tell you why a team is winning, losing, or repeatedly beating the points spread. More importantly, this information can tell you what you should be able to expect from the next game – and with so many different markets to bet on, a little statistical knowledge goes a long way.
Betting successfully on the NBA has a lot to do with knowing the right things and making the right choices at the right times. As a hugely popular global sport, there are plenty of bettors making successful bets on the league on a regular basis. If you wish to join them, then there’s a few important factors to consider in order to turn your hunch into a winning bet.
Below, we will go through three steps for anyone betting on the NBA. If you follow these tips from start to finish, you’ll give yourself a better chance of winning whenever you head to the bookmakers with your NBA predictions for 2020, tonight or any other night.
Step 1: Check the fixtures
The first thing you need to know when making NBA predictions today is pretty simple: Who is playing this evening? Finding a decent bet is impossible without first knowing what matches are on the schedule. So, your first step is checking a reliable source – Google, the NBA website, or individual team sites will have the correct information – and then selecting a game you want to bet on.
Any NBA game can be of interest to a bettor, as there are so many markets to bet on. If you want a straight bet on who will win a game, then you want to pick a match between two evenly-matched teams as you’re more likely to find value. If you want to bet on points totals, or an individual player having a great game, then a mismatch may be more to your liking.
Step 2: Read reliable NBA betting sources
Ironically, many people living in the USA find their options for betting on the NBA somewhat limited, as there are more restrictions on sportsbook betting in the States than in most countries. However, this does not mean you won’t find useful betting sources giving you the lowdown on upcoming games. Local press in the cities in question will usually have a rundown from their experts on how they see the game going, and you’ll find plenty of tips from interested viewers on any NBA betting forum you choose to check out.
However, the aforementioned sources just mention the game. For a bettor’s eye view, always check back to bettingtips.net, where we’ll draw attention to the most important points betting-related factors for any match. We have a team of experts regularly updating betting tips for the games that matter most, so ensure you check in with us before you…
Step 3: Choose your bet and place it with the right bookmaker
Once you’re confident that you have a viable NBA prediction, you need to find the right market and the best odds to maximise your potential win. Check a range of bookmakers, as odds can vary considerably between the different sites. Place your bet at the most generous odds available, and then wait to see whether you win or lose.
In order to bring all of the factors in this guide together and compile a reliable betting strategy, you need to understand basketball betting terminology. With countless different markets to bet on, a command of the following terms will help you make sense of an NBA betting world that can be confusing for newbies.
- Over/Under markets are highly popular in most sports that revolve around the scoring of points. You’ll find plenty of basketball predictions under/over that focus on whether the game will be high-scoring or have a low points total – this is where those stats we referenced above will come in particularly useful.
- Prop bets are bets that win or lose depending on the answer of a simple question. In the context of a game between Houston and Golden State, for example, the question may be “Will James Harden outscore Kevin Durant?”, or it might be something as simple as “Will the team that scores first go on to win the game?”. These can be a lot of fun while offering another opportunity to make the most of those all-important statistics.
- Future Markets are worth looking into if the one-off nature of individual basketball games gives you pause when placing a bet. As the name suggests, you’re betting on something that will happen in the more distant future – such as who will win the NBA championship, or who will become Rookie of the Year – as opposed to who will win tonight’s NBA games.
- Specials are bets that win or lose depending on the answer of a simple question. In the context of a game between Houston and Golden State, for example, the question may be “Will James Harden outscore Kevin Durant?”, or it might be something as simple as “Will the team that scores first go on to win the game?”. These can be a lot of fun while offering another opportunity to make the most of those all-important statistics.