Are you ready for live, in-game betting yet?
After an NBA game tips off, a whole new stream of betting opens up with shifting odds and on-the-spot props to grab your attention. Once you get a taste of the fast-paced world of live NBA odds, you might never look back.
If you can read a game (or player) well, you can take advantage with some smart live bets. Here are a few tips for diving in.
1. Have a plan
Focus on one game if you can. It’s even better if you can watch the game to get a feel for the flow of the game, the emotions of the players and the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) of the home crowd.
In-play odds are constructed and updated every few seconds by a computer algorithm as shown in the screenshot from FanDuel;
The algorithm won’t immediately pick up on a key player’s injury (sprained ankle and “doubtful” to return) or the impact of a flagrant foul or taunting play (a team leading by 15 points taunts the opposing bench after a dunk, firing up and motivating the trailing team).
This underscores the importance of really watching the game you’re betting on in progress.
You may also have really liked an underdog to win a game outright and you bet them before tip getting +7 points. The underdog starts slow and the in-game odds change to them getting +10.5 points for the game, creating a potential value opportunity to bet a little more.
2. Things tend to “even out”
Keep in mind the shooting percentages that you’ve researched from earlier in this guide.
As an example, let’s say the Knicks have a field goal percentage of 45% for the year, but they’ve opened an 8-point lead over the Hornets at halftime by shooting 59% in the first half.
It’s worth considering that the Knicks success may not continue in the 2nd half, whether it’s due to the Hornets’ defensive adjustments or, you know, the Knicks being the Knicks.
It may be this is the right time to fade the Knicks in the second half.
3. Not all double-digit leads are created equally
When betting live NBA games in this extreme 3-point era, remember that a double-digit lead just doesn’t mean as much as it used to. And it definitely doesn’t mean “game over” for every team.
Clearly, it depends on what part of the game this deficit occurs. But as the tweet below suggests, you might find in-game value on the Lakers, Nuggets and Raptors if they fall behind by 10+ points or more.
5 teams have winning records after trailing by double-digits…
L.A. Lakers: 7-2
Last season, no team finished w/ a winning record after trailing by 10+. Bucks were a league-best 17-19.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) December 1, 2019
4. Know who’s on the court
There are two approaches to this strategy: basic and in-depth.
The most basic approach considers when “key players” are on the court, but more importantly, off the court.
Let’s say the Lakers lead the Suns by 8 points midway through the 2nd quarter. Anthony Davis of the Lakers just committed his 3rd foul and is taken out of the game. Lakers coach Frank Vogel then decides to rest LeBron James for the last 6 minutes of the quarter.
The Suns starters on the court vs the Lakers without AD and LBJ might present an in-game betting opportunity for the Suns to win the 2nd quarter.
The in-depth approach involves using the NBA stats portal. The NBA has advanced stats that rank an offensive, defensive and total “Net” rating for each player.
A quick summary of each of the players combined net ratings can yield an opportunity for one team to come back from a deficit or another to pull away and win a quarter or half.
Check the current advanced NBA player rankings to see for yourself.
5. Find the middles
Middling is an advanced NBA betting technique and requires a somewhat specific scenario to play out at the books and on the court. But if and when it happens, it opens up a chance for you to more or less guarantee a profit on a game.
Here’s how it works:
You make a pre-game bet on a team as a slight underdog – say the Hawks at +4 versus the Pacers. The game starts, Trae Young goes off, and the Hawks end up leading by 15 at the half.
You’ve now got a 19-point cushion to win your original bet. Not a sure thing in today’s NBA by any means, but a cushion nonetheless.
What happens next? The sportsbooks think the Pacers will come out strong from the locker room and make the Pacers a -7 favorite to win the second half.
See where your opportunity lies? Bet the Pacers to win the second half and there’s a nice range of outcomes where both your bets can win. If only one wins, well … you’re none the worse for wear.