In the world of sports betting, luck comes and goes and it doesn’t attach itself to any individual, at least not long-term. Anyone claiming insider information on any sporting event should be met with a heavy dose of skepticism, however, there are handicappers who know where to find the best information and, probably most importantly, what information is significant in terms of betting and what is not.
Our goal here is to provide you with the resources and tools to become a more successful bettor. Winning handicappers look for any edge that they can find, but it’s important to remember that NBA games are often unpredictable. This means you can handicap a game perfectly and still end up on the losing end. Part of being a successful bettor is understanding that these bad beats will happen and that you don’t need to win an astronomical number of your bets to consistently turn a profit.
NBA Handicapping Resources
If you are just getting started with NBA handicapping, these links are the best place to start. It’s important that you understand some of the basic concepts and theories of betting and handicapping before you ever place a wager. Even if you have some experience with handicapping in the past, it is always good to freshen up on some core ideas.
- Betting Basics – A beginner’s guide to betting the NBA including how to read odds and the different types of wagers that are available.
- Key Numbers – Key numbers are an important factor when betting any sport. This page details the most common margins of victory in the NBA so that you can learn when it does and doesn’t make sense to buy points.
- Home Court Advantage – A great team-by-team analysis of home court advantage in the NBA.
- Today’s Odds – Compare odds for every NBA game from multiple online sportsbooks.
Trends & Statistics
Statistics obviously play an important role in handicapping, however, keep in mind that oddsmakers are very aware of the common statistics available and take them into account when setting the line. For example, you can’t just see that Team A scores 105 points per game and Team B scores 100 points per game and assume Team A should win by 5 points. With that being said, common statistics are still a great place to start your analysis.
Trends are a point of contention with some handicappers. A trend is basically a record (in our case against the spread) in a certain situation. For example, a trend might be: home teams in the NBA with three or more days of rest playing a team that beat them by 10 or more points in the last meeting are 15-2 against the spread (this trend is completely made up, please don’t use it). One one hand, there are certainly trends that make logical sense and should be considered, on the other hand, some trends are ridiculous and probably have little to nothing to do with the game you are handicapping. Finding out the difference is one of the key ingredients to becoming a winning handicapper.
- Covers – Covers has a set of automated trends they check for on every NBA matchup and provide free of charge.
- StatFox – StatFox provides detailed trends and statistics for every game. They provide a limited amount of information for free, as well as a paid version called FoxSheets which expands on the trends and details much further.
- Vegas Insider – VI offers some quick and easy-to-read information on matchups and provides ATS records for every team.
- NBA.com – The official statistical site of the NBA provides some in-depth information on team and player performance.
- Basketball Reference – A great site for historical reference of statistics.
Almost every successful handicapper I know of uses power rankings in one way or another. Some compile their own using statistics from sites like the ones above, while others pick their favorites from one of the links below or use a combination of a few. Most cappers will use them to set their own point spread, then compare that number to the actual spread and use that as a starting point for their wagers. Power rankings shouldn’t be followed blindly, but they are a good place to start handicapping each game.
- CBS Sports
- Fox Sports
- Hollinger (ESPN)
- Prediction Tracker
- Sagarin (USA Today)
- Team Rankings
You should always check injury reports before you finalize your wagers. Something important to keep in mind is that most injuries have already been considered and factored into the line. The key is finding those injuries that may have been underestimated by the books. What is key for handicapping injuries is adjusting the line based on how good a player’s backup is compared to the player that is out.
While many of the resources listed above are pretty well known to most veteran handicappers, the sites below take statistical analysis to another level. Advanced statistics are common in sports like baseball, but only recently have they started gaining some traction in the NBA. This is a great way to find insights into certain teams and situations that aren’t obvious at first. Be sure to read up on how and why each site comes up with the statistics that they track, it’s a great way to learn more about what makes some teams and players better than others.
- NBA Stuffer
- Box Score Geeks
- Hoop Data
- Basketball Prospectus
- Hoops Analyst
- Sports Database
Handicapping takes a lot of time and effort. We have armed you with some excellent resources to get started building your own handicapping repertoire, however, we already have an excellent roster of experienced handicappers who have spent years honing their skills, crunching the numbers, and finding the right situations to make you money.
- Free Picks – Our handicapper offer free NBA picks (as well as free picks in other sports) throughout the season. Use them to find which handicapper is hot right now or just to get a feel for who best fits your betting style. Keep in mind that free picks are each handicapper’s lowest rated pick, so be sure to check their premium card for their higher-rated selections.
- Premium Picks – Our premium pick page is pre-sorted for you by the handicappers that are having the best NBA season. Only those cappers with premium picks currently available will be shown here. For a complete list of the top handicappers this season see the link below.