A primer on basketball betting strategy

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If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, there isn’t a sport better than basketball to get the blood pumping. Whichever is your favourite basketball league – the NBA, CBA, or the Euro-league – fans of the sport are always a moments notice away from a worthy spectacle.

Moreover, for gambling enthusiast, there’s no better sport to wager on than basketball. Like base-ball, basketball is currently in the midst of a data analytics revolution that’s activated brand new fanbases as far-flung as data scientists to numbers oriented bettors. One thing uniting all fans is the ultimate bookmaker for basketball betting markets, Mr. Green. Let’s iron out and a few key details you need to be aware of before getting started.

Pre-match or live betting?

If there ever was a sport to live bet, it’s basketball. Most notably, the NBA has become a league of constant upheaval and pendulum swings. Gone are the days of 20 point leads being secure. Re-vamped playing styles that favour 3 point shots and free throw attempts have completely revolu-tionized how teams approach game scenarios, opening up the field for competition.

Nevertheless, the NBA is still a star-driven league, and it’s always wise to consider the personnel of both teams before making a wager.

Shopping for the best line pre-match is crucial to being a successful bettor. Line movement is the norm for the NBA, especially with sharks dictating betting markets, so it’s always a good rule of thumb to track a line within a 24 hour period. If you’re ever uncertain, skip the pre-match line and wait for more favourable odds during a live game. You might get lucky and catch the Houston Rockets at +10 going into half-time against the lowly Atlanta Hawks. Patience always wins!

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Stats to watch

Basketball is slowly becoming a game of analytics and probability with numerous data points battling for credibility. Here’s a list of a few key performance indicators:

  1. Turnover rate (the lower, the better)
  2. Rebound rate
  3. Expected field goal percentage (eFG%)
  4. Free throw rate (attempts)
  5. 3pt shooting percentage

It’s true that possessions are a great indicator of a teams success. Simply, the more chances you have to score, the more likely you are to win. However, a teams efficiency while in possession coupled with their distributed shot attempts paints a more comprehensive picture of a team’s true potential.

In the end, a successful basketball bettor uses stats to validate opinions and assumptions that arise while watching a game. Combine the two and hopefully you’ll find some success!

basketball stats

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Trust the process

When surveying the NBA, in-game swings are the norm with teams almost playing a basketball version of hot potato for the first three quarters. In the modern NBA, one run can completely change the outlook of the game. In particular, the Euro League is famous for it’s up and down shotgun style that fuels crazy momentum shifts within a few possessions. It’s important to consider the style of play employed within a league and the subtle variants used by each team.

With all that said, basketball, regardless of what league it’s being played in, is a game of elite talent and high-level coaching. No matter what the Sacramento Kings do, in a 7 game series against the Golden State Warriors, a sweep is all but guaranteed. Likewise, in the East, our beloved Toronto Raptors won’t have much trouble dispatching teams like the Orlando Magic.

If a line isn’t particularly attractive, or it’s movement seems mysterious, don’t be swayed by public opinion. Dissenting opinions can at times be worthwhile gambits that may lead to great returns. Get familiar with Mr. Green’s betting markets and keep an eye out for a potential winner.

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Stay sharp

Like all sports, basketball teams thrive on inefficiencies that can be exploited for net gains. The task for a shrewd bettor is to keep up to date with developments in play and remain in-step with betting markets throughout the season.

A great example of this is play calling. During the regular season, teams constantly tweak their of-fensive and defensive schemes to match an opponent. However, as the season, or a particular game develops, teams fall into predictable patterns of play and behaviour. Becoming familiar with these patterns can translate into a highly profitable betting strategy that can be utilized while betting.

It pays to be in the know, especially at Mr. Green!

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