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Most Common NBA Betting Mistakes: How To Avoid Them Easily

For sports gamblers, one of the most difficult regular season to make money is the NBA. Basketball is not an easy sport to back down as there are several areas of inconsistency but the efforts by the players.

That being said, gamblers can be profitable with NBA betting at online sportsbooks if they are aware of what to do and what not to do when wagering. It is not uncommon for some of the important factors not show up in the final score.

This is why we are here with this article to help you understand some of the most common NBA betting mistakes that are most commonly committed.


1. Evaluating home and away for all teams in the same manner

There is no doubt that our team playing at the home is at an advantage irrespective of the sport. However, not all teams have an equal advantage and they should be kept in mind when wagering on NBA betting lines.

It is a no-brainer why teams love to play at home and are better at it. First of all, they are aware of the environment, the crowd is on their side and they don’t have to travel long distances to participate in the game. That being said, it should be noted that some teams appreciate playing at home more than the others.

An example where home-court proved to be a huge advantage is the 2019-2020 season of the Philadelphia 76ers. The team like the entire NBA season with a 3-4 record at home, despite being only the 6 seed in the Eastern Conference at the season’s end. During the entire season, they were a dismal 12-26. Now if you are considering 76ers for your NBA betting picks, then the game’s location plays a vital role in their success. Clearly, the team is altogether entirely different when they are on road and away from home.

Whereas, for the same season the Lakers had an entirely different phase. The team was 25-10 at home but performed even better on the road where they were at 27-9.

The takeaway here is you should definitely consider whether or not a team playing at home or away before you can bet on NBA, but you also have to recognise the fact that the impact of the location of the game is different for each team. This is why research is important to understand what does the location of the game means for the team in question to make better wagers.

2. Only betting on the spread

another, interesting thing about the NBA games is that they have a knack for coming down to the wire at the end of the 4th quarter. NBA betting lines might not be good for the point spread. It is not to say that the point spread never comes into play, but in basketball underdogs routinely win outright.

If you are considering an underdog team for NBA betting, make a closer look at the NBA betting line and evaluate accurately if the odds make for a worthwhile wager. As a gambler, your strategy should always be based on the concept of value and money line is one of the best ways to maximise your winning potential.

It is evident that there is an inherently higher risk involved when you are betting on the money line with the sole purpose of winning as you are not getting any points. But, the reward attached to that risk is also very lucrative.

When you are betting on any NBA game, focus on the games where the spread is roughly 3 to 5 points. Any game with less than 3 points will not offer you much value out of the NBA betting line. If this practice of more than 5 points, it is an indication that underdog is not going to win the game with a sense of regularity.

The bottom line remains that you should always look for value in every pick you make. In NBA betting if you consistently put yourself in a situation where you have more chances of winning then you are risking, you are going to end up winning money even if you win less than half of your wagers.

Betting on any underdog team to win straight takes a lot of guts, but as it is evident in the sports world, fortune favours the bold more than the safe players.

3. Don’t overestimate the impact of back-to-back games

We don’t have any idea why this became such a big deal for NBA betting, but over the last 6 years or so there is the trend of basketball bettors thinking that it is necessary to lock every time they better against a team on the 2nd night of a back-to-back team.

Logically thinking it makes perfect sense as playing on back-to-back nights especially away from home can be an arduous task with a high probability of teams performing low. However, the data shows that gamblers always overreact to this impact that negatively affects their decision-making.

The research we are talking about was conducted over a period of 10 years. It concluded that if you always bet against teams were playing on the second day of a back-to-back, you would have known about 50.7% of the time. Now it might seem like the odds are in your favour but when you account for 10% vig you would actually lose money.

If you are thinking how is this possible is because sportsbooks are smart enough to understand this NBA bettors’ behaviour and then know that gamblers have these games surfers which is why they set their odds accordingly. This is proof again that there is no easy win in the world of sports gambling and you should always be sharp ahead.

It’s very tricky to bet on back-to-back games. If you think about betting on a team playing in the 2nd game of a back-to-back and you lose, it will most probably feel like you made a stupid mistake. However, in reality, the scenario itself is like flipping a coin, the probability will always be 50/50.

Our recommendation would be to be extra-critical in such a scenario and observe factors that give you enough information to lean one way or the other. If you’re not able to find an edge, you can always stay away from betting on back-to-back games.

4. Ignoring prop bets

We know that you are going to frown at us for asking you to not ignore prop bets as they are usually a bad idea. However, in the NBA we have found them to be uniquely profitable. Let us explain.

We are not referring to all the available options when we recommend prop bets, but rather the points scored by a particular player. To be precise, the top 2 scorers on a team.

It is going to be difficult to predict how many points a player is going to score on a given night, which is why you must use the odds to your advantage alongside the public bias. Most experienced gamblers save player props for the team following the contest where our top scorer for a team has a big night.

Let’s assume that Damien Lillard drops 45 points in the game on Wednesday, it is most likely that his point total over/under to be bit inflated. If Lillard scored these points in a high usage situation, you can most probably use the most recent game to your advantage.

If in the next game Lillard scores 45, assuming you take the under on his point total while taking the over for the 2nd best player’s point total, you have a long winning shot.

Why is that?

Strictly speaking in terms of odds, sportsbooks know that public’s recency bias will cause them to take the “over” even if they set the point total a little too high. Now when you take “under” you are putting yourself at an advantage and by taking “over” on the other player you are making a wise choice as defences will be more focused on Lillard given his big performance. This will give the 2nd player more chances to score.

Now, this is not a foolproof system in any way and do not expect to win every time with this strategy. However, throughout a season, this system might work enough for you to make some money. The core of the strategy is to take note of the games where star players have huge nights. The following game will inevitably isn’t going to be the same, and if you recognise this fact you can make a nice profit consistently.


With NBA betting, it will be extremely difficult to win if you gamble with the same approach as you would with other sports. To be profitable with NBA betting lines you need to adjust your strategy to find unique opportunities.

Just like in baseball, the NBA is a high-volume game, which is why there are many opportunities to find value. As you are going to win and lose a large number of games, in NBA betting, the value becomes even more significant.

If you keep the above-discussed mistakes into account then you just might be able to win more money than you lose and be in a position to be successful.

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