Developing Your NBA Betting Skills

How to develop your NBA betting skills.

Key Points

– There are generally two types of NBA bettors.

– Changing any of a number of habits will improve your NBA betting skills.

Developing Your NBA Betting Skills

Most seasoned bettors will tell you that betting NBA point spreads is the easiest of all the major sports. Despite the league’s propensity for resting star players these days, a solid handicapping strategy can go a long way. You just need to know what to look for and use the right resources. 

Choosing sides using the same data as everyone else probably won’t bring you much success. One of the bettor’s focal points should be on the oddsmakers. They determine the point spread.

Knowing that oddsmakers simply want to bring in an equal amount of action on both sides of a bet helps the bettor understand the line better. Ultimately, the bookie wants, for example, $100 on both sides of a bet. When it’s all said and done, the bookie takes his guaranteed juice plus the $100 on the losing side. 

Reading what is happening on both sides of a bet is one way to help a bettor develop his NBA betting skills.

NBA Betting Skills – Handicapping Techniques

There are two types of NBA bettors. One group looks at historical data and attempts to identify trends or angles based on past success. Bettors look at these past trends in an attempt to predict the future.

The other group uses raw data and tries to do the same – predict the future. Every now and then, there is a crossover of these two groups. In many cases, developing your NBA betting skills will utilize both handicapping techniques.


Analyzing Trends

As mentioned, mixing the two approaches can provide bettors with favorable results. However, it is imperative to remember that bettors have to analyze how a team or player has done most recently.

Analyzing historical trends or up-to-date statistics is only possible with the right information. You can get that data at an online wagering portal like

The trend handicapper can utilize one year, two years, or even ten years to identify some sort of pattern between teams. At some point though, he must incorporate a team’s most recent performance and statistics. Knowing the NBA’s most dangerous shooters, for example, would help.

Using trends as part of the handicapping process is great for people who don’t have the time or energy to keep meticulous records. The research has been done and is either published online or bettors may pay a small fee to get it. 

Stats-Based Handicapping

Because there is so much research available, bettors can continue to develop their own NBA betting skills and create their own lines for a game. You might be using similar stats to everyone else, but at least you have a starting point. 

You can then go on to assign point values for things like injuries, rest, home vs. away, and more. Eventually, you’ll have built year-to-date stats that you can use for an entire season. As your NBA betting skills improve, you will be able to spot value very quickly. This should help you win more NBA bets.

Why Bettors Fail

Understanding what you may be doing wrong is the first step to improving your NBA betting skills. To find your own personal betting comfort zone, let’s look at some of the reasons why bettors often fail.

Too often, the betting public overvalues the importance of home-court advantage. Historically, NBA teams win at home roughly 63 percent of the time. That’s great, but that still means that road teams win 37 percent of the time. 

It certainly doesn’t mean that you disregard home-court advantage. You just may not want to weigh it as heavily in a betting decision.

Another reason for failure is not getting the best number. This could be an issue of shopping or it could be one of timing. One of the easiest NBA skills to master is shopping online sportsbooks for the best line.

Like the Celtics -3.5? What if you could get them at -3 or even -2.5? It pays to shop around and see if you can get a better number. With today’s technology, you can use any number of services to find the best line in a matter of seconds instead of going to each individual sportsbook.

The other issue with not getting the best may be timing related. Because favorites typically get heavier, it’s wise to wager on them early and on an underdog later. The same Celtics -3 at opening on Monday morning might be -4 by game time on Monday night.

Tracking bets – actually failing to track bets – is another mistake that the betting public makes. Analyzing past bets can help a bettor to not make the same mistake again.

Improving Your NBA Betting Skills

The NBA season is long. There are days when there are 10 or more games. Some bettors feel the need to wager on too many games. Pick your top games. Some days, maybe you don’t pick any games because you don’t see much value. 

There are also days and periods of the season where it gets slow. If you have a pretty high winning percentage, you might want to wager on a few more games. Believe it or not, some bettors don’t wager on enough games. 

One of the biggest things you can do for your NBA betting skills is to keep the exotic bets to a minimum. Parlays and teasers are like part of a diet. They are the junk food. If you eat a diet full of junk food, your health is going to deteriorate. Eating junk food every so often is fine. Just don’t overdo it.

It’s the same with exotic bets. Parlays and teasers are risky. That’s why sportsbooks offer them. Bettors are enticed by the odds and most of them end up losing. Keep them to a minimum if you want to improve your NBA betting skills.

Michael Jordan had some mad betting skills. Was he the most overhyped player in NBA history?

Be Careful Especially With Money

It’s probably not wise to bet on your own teams. If you have a favorite NBA team, it’s hard but you can’t simply bet on them just because you like them. Now, if your handicapping says they are the right pick, by all means do so. Just don’t make impulsive bets on your favorite team.

You should also be careful in situations where you really dislike a team. You grew up in a household that hated the Celtics. Your opinion of the Celtics may be slanted. Be careful in these situations.

The biggest thing you should be careful of is your money. Sound financial management is one of the NBA betting skills that too many bettors lack. 

Regardless of your betting strategy, managing your bets is among the top NBA betting skills. You have to be disciplined. If a wager calls for one unit, then one unit gets wagered. If it’s a five-unit bet, then bet five units. Maybe you are a flat unit bettor and always wager the same amount. That’s fine too. Just stick to the same amount.



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