The foundation of basketball betting online comes down to knowing rosters inside and out (including the role of bench players) and factoring in the noticeable effect of home court advantage. That foundation will put you on the right track to turning a consistent profit betting on basketball, but there are other basketball betting strategies that should also be implemented. Below are some free basketball betting tips to utilize when handicapping and betting on basketball.
1. Controlling the Tempo
One of the best basketball betting strategies is understanding the effect that tempo has on the game, and betting it accordingly. Some teams run a fast, up-tempo offense that features plenty of fast breaks, quick shots, and big dunks. Other teams opt for a more defensive brand of basketball, slowing things down on each possession and setting up their opportunities gradually.
When two teams with a similar approach to the game meet, it’s clear what type of tempo the game will have, since both teams are comfortable playing it. But what happens when two different styles clash? Some teams play extremely well against teams with opposing styles; others crumble and let their opponent control the tempo. While handicapping a game, don’t just focus on the teams playing in the upcoming game; look at how they’ve fared this season against teams with similar and opposing styles. This should help give you a clue as to which team will control the tempo, and likely win the game by doing so.
2. Focus on Rebounds
Some handicappers prefer to bet games based on feel and observations they make watching games instead of focusing too heavily on stats. You should handicap however you feel comfortable, but one statistic that should never be overlooked is rebounding.
The average NBA team takes about 80 shots per game, and the average college team takes just under 60 per game. That’s an average of about 160 shots per game in the NBA, and about 115 shots per game in college. And when you do the math and consider that every team shoots under 50% over the course of a season, that’s a lot of rebounds up for grabs.
It comes as no surprise that the teams that win the battle of the boards on a night-to-night basis are the same teams that are at the top of the standings. Study how well each team rebounds, and if a team has injuries, factor those in to the rebound battle as well. Teams that rebound well on both ends of the court have a good shot of winning every night.
3. Don’t Just Focus on Superstars
Superstars are what draw us in to the sport of basketball. Huge slam dunks and clutch 3-pointers by the game’s best players are regularly featured on ESPN and local sports stations, and always leave fans of the game wanting more. Bookmakers know this, and they factor the public’s love and admiration for star power into their line-making process.
This isn’t to say that you should never bet on teams with superstars; every game is worthy of consideration, and these teams obviously pick up their share of wins. But some bettors make the mistake of only focusing on the exciting teams and players, and overlook great value on “boring” teams. There is a difference between bad and “boring”; some teams have deep benches and take a systematic, defensive approach to the game. While this type of team doesn’t produce the highlight-reel plays that others do, they do produce wins, and the money you make betting them will be just as sweet as the money won on the Kevin Durant types around the league.
4. Attack Soft Lines
Another free basketball betting tip to consider is that if you see a soft line (or a line that looks “off”), attack it! This may sound obvious, but it is different from football betting; when betting football, bettors should be wary of “off” lines, since bookmakers have an entire week to adjust the line. In basketball, on the other hand, there are multiple games every night. This is especially true of college basketball with hundreds of teams in action a week. Some games do simply fall through the cracks, and while they do get corrected eventually if lots of action comes in on one side, soft lines can be found quite regularly. Keep your eyes open for them, and if you see a side that looks great, don’t wait too long; grab it.