Oct 28, 2014

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Betting Against the Spread: Tips for the NBA

With Lebron James returning home and Kevin Love being traded to the Cavaliers, the city of Cleveland is once again hoping to end their professional championship drought that dates back to 1964. Elsewhere in the NBA, the Miami Heat hope to return to the NBA Championship with a revamped lineup that includes the addition of Luol Deng while teams like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are poised for another lottery bound season. With the NBA season scheduled to begin in October, now is the time to learn the best tips for betting against the spread.

Home Court Advantage is Not a Fluke
There’s a reason that teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat always play as hard at the end of the season as they do at the beginning: they want home court advantage during the playoffs. With the regular season fast approaching, the concept of the home team having a significant advantage over the road team is worthy of a closer look. While it may be tempting to pick the team with a better record in every matchup, think twice when the team with the upper hand is playing on the road. No matter their record, teams always play better at home.

Expect the Unexpected
While it is always easy to assume that the favored team will win a game against a terrible team, basketball is unpredictable and anything can happen. As a result, one should always hedge their bets and pay attention to news reports regarding injuries and player transactions. Pay particular attention to teams that have to travel significant distances between games because this may lead to the players having jet-lag or playing at a less than expected level.

Pay Attention to Whether Teams Consistently Beats the Spread at Home and on the Road

Given that every team in the NBA had a better home record than away record in 2013/2014, it is easy to assume that the away team will lose. However, when betting against the spread it is important to understand the point differential. In a spread bet, the team only has win by more than the spread. Therefore, know the average margin of victory for each team in the matchup and bet accordingly.

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