In sports betting there are several situations where we are extremely tempted to bet on certain events, that at heart, don’t have that much value as we initially believed. In the NBA, there are several cases of tempting lines that can however be very dangerous.
NBA: Careful with the favourites!
In any sport, the situations are identified, and we will always look first at the lines of the teams that are in the lead of their respective leagues, against teams that have been performing poorly over the course of the competition.
In the NBA it isn’t different, and our desire is always wanting to bet on that super team against a team that has been losing a lot.
Of course that, generally, those teams have a superiority over the opposition, and it isn’t unusual to see them winning by big margins.
The big problem on this scenario is that those lines are always very crushed and still, most people always bet on the favourites, despite how the line is.
In our heads, it isn’t important if the handicaps is -5, -10 or -15, there will always be a lot of money coming in on the favourites.
I’ll give a recent example, more precisely of a match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Lakers are the team that is performing best in the Western Conference, having a very powerful team that’s physically strong and tall.
As for the Cavs, they have one of the worst offensive records in the league, being a team that loses very often and a lot of times by big margins.
The points’ line was at -14.5 for the Lakers and obviously a large portion of the money involved in this match was on the side of the favourites.
The Lakers were once again playing without Anthony Davis, but they counted with the return of LeBron James. Of course they were still favourites, but it was definitely a dangerous game.
Basketball, especially in the NBA, can be very dynamic, and weaker teams can maintain within reach without any problems.
The Cavs were even in the lead at half-time, with the handicap for the Lakers going down to a miserable -4.5
The end of the game was a stomp and the team from Los Angeles won by a large margin, with the final scoreline being 128-99. They won by 29 points, but maybe that wasn’t worth the risk of an extremely stretched initial handicap.
For those that don’t like to wait for in-play situations, scared of losing a handicap on a potential stomp from the favourites, you can find other markets with good potential.
Entrosamento que você quer?
— Celtics Nation (@CelticsNatiion) January 12, 2020
A couple of days ago, I made a double, with a very low handicap line for the Celtics against the inconsistent and defensively weak Chicago Bulls. The Celtics were heavy favourites, however, with the handicap set at -10.5, I found it to be too dangerous.
The Celtics’ record at home was very good, with the team only having 3 losses, but the Bulls were abusing the 3-pointers and if they started going in, it would hurt that very high handicap.
In the end, the Celtics ended up winning by 12 points, which was only 1 point above the handicap, meaning it was an unnecessary risky bet.
Don’t be afraid to look for alternatives when you don’t feel comfortable
A lot of people are afraid of looking for lower handicaps on a couple of matches, and I understand. The solution, on these cases, is betting live, hoping for a situation that seems easier for you to bet on.
Before the event, I look for alternatives when I see an unnecessary risk. For the game against the Cavaliers, I bet on the Lakers to have the best performance on a quarter.
— Basketkolik (@basketkolik_) January 12, 2020
On that case, the team from LA would need to have the biggest score on a single quarter, when compared to all of the others of the opposition.
I imagined that initially they could struggle and if at any point they needed to catch up or score a lot of points, or even on a more comfortable scenario, they would stomp the opponents, since they were facing a team that wasn’t very effective on the attack to the basket.
These are only some examples, it doesn’t always work out well.
But the idea is looking for lines that leave you comfortable with that bet, and not on the limit of an overvalued line, being able to win by 1 point or lose by 10.
Games with very high points’ lines can easily be lowered, reducing the risk, as well as the opposite, games with very inflated lines, even when teams have absences, simply because of their previous performances.
On this case, it is easier to imagine that we can take the higher line and run less risks.
The objective is looking for alternatives to those traditional markets, if at any point your analysis suggests a very tight result with the line that is available.
Reminder: Always make your analysis and don’t bet eagerly or just because of the name/status of a certain team!