2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips

2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips … As with any sport, there are some key concepts and metrics that can help NBA pregame bet research. Granted, as with any competitive athletic competition, anything can happen on any given night, and there is no one research component that is thoroughly predictive.

However, the following are prudent to keep in mind when investing in the outcome of an NBA contest:

2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips


Line Movement | Key Injuries | Load Management/Schedule | Stat Trends


1. Line Movement


An initial line for a game is set by the oddsmaker with an overriding goal of having enough bets placed on either possible outcome so that the sportsbook is not overly exposed, irrespective of the game’s end result.

Once betting opens on a game, the lines are also constantly adjusted with that same goal as a guiding principle as the public begins to place its wagers.

The NBA is a nightly league, so its bettors and its market have less cumulative time for any of its game lines to fluctuate. This is an extremely tight window compared to the NFL, for which there’s typically 3-8 days’ worth of news, injury information, and public sentiment that can influence direction.

Nevertheless, having an awareness of how much a number — be it the moneyline, point spread or projected total — may have moved since it was first released late the previous night can serve as a window into an important development pertaining to one or both teams involved.

Many times, this can simply be a factor we’ll discuss further below, such as a key injury that’s cropped up, or the dreaded practice of load management.

On other occasions, line movement could simply be the byproduct of the public and/or several big-money bettors taking advantage of what was deemed to be an inefficient initial line and placing a flurry of bets/money on one specific side.

In turn, the sportsbooks are forced to move the line to encourage more wagers on the opposite outcome as they attempt to maintain the all-important equilibrium required to avoid a major financial hit on that contest.

The line history for a particular game is typically available through each online sportsbook, giving you a solid starting point for your research in this area.

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2. Key Injuries


Every so often, you may come across lines and/or projected totals that appear somewhat out of whack at first glance, given what you may know offhand about both teams involved in the game.

In such instances, there is a better-than-average chance there may be a key injury or two at play for at least one of the clubs that you should certainly be cognizant of before placing a bet.

In such instances, it’s also imperative to have a solid working knowledge of that team’s personnel. More specifically, identifying the caliber of players available to fill in for the absent star can certainly be helpful.

Additionally, gathering information on a team’s track record in past games that the player has missed during the season can certainly be informative. However, a side-by-side comparison of the quality of opponents in those instances and the matchup at hand is also a critical step in the evaluation process.


3. Load Management/Schedule Irregularity


A major piece to watch for in 2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips will frustrate most wagerers.

The NBA is the one major sport in which scheduling imbalances can most often affect team performance.

Normally an 82-game regular season (72 games in 2020-21) fully encompasses the harsh winter months and subjects teams to nearly daily travel. Due to this run of the calendar and geography, fatigue and illness eventually befall each squad in the NBA to varying degrees.

Additionally, there are multiple instances of back-to-back game nights and dense stretches with three games in four nights or five games in seven/eight nights for teams at different stages of the season.

There is almost always a point of diminishing returns for teams in that type of grind. The end result can range anywhere from listless performances to key players being rested to lowered overall scoring expectations.

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Teams also often rest key players during road back-to-backs in the increasingly popular practice of load management, which is designed to reduce injury risk.

Therefore, being aware of what the recent schedule for both teams involved in a game you’re considering betting on is particularly important.

For example, all things being equal, Team A could be considered 6-7 points better on average than Team B and therefore might make for a good target of a moneyline and/or point spread wager under normal circumstances.

However, if Team A is on its third game in four nights while Team B has had the previous two nights off, there could be a much narrower outcome or an outright upset in play.

The same can apply to a projected total wager. Utilizing the above example, say both Team A and Team B are in the top half of the league in average points scored per game, and each plays what would be considered about league-average defense. The two clubs would therefore be reasonably expected to combine for at least 220-225 points when they get together, were they on equal rest.

However, under the conditions cited, Team B may very well do its part in piling up the points. Yet, a lethargic Team A may not pull its weight and thus contribute to the game finishing under the projected total.


4. Examining Team Track Records in Common Betting Metrics


Particularly as a season unfolds and an appreciable sample size is built up, becoming familiar with a team’s body of work against the spread and with respect to the projected total can be a helpful component of your information-gathering phase before placing a bet.re

It should be noted that some bettors place more predictive value on evaluating a team’s historical performance against these metrics than others. Nevertheless, with the NBA season being of relatively significant length, legitimate patterns can emerge over time that could be of value, especially when they indicate a definite advantage or disadvantage for a team under certain conditions.

The fundamental starting point for this type of information may well be simply becoming aware of a team’s standard home/road record. There are inevitably some teams each season that for a number of possible reasons have some drastic home/road splits in not just wins and losses, but related metrics such as average number of points scored and allowed.

Then a team’s mark against the spread — including in a variety of circumstances, such as at home, on the road, with a rest advantage/disadvantage and as a favorite or underdog in any of those conditions – can also be revealing and can be obtained through a variety of online sources. It’s worth emphasizing there’s a certain nuance involved that qualifies this type of information as a layer deeper than standard home/road won-loss records.

For example, a team can have a poor road mark overall and yet typically be extremely competitive in many of their away games. As such, assuming that a hypothetical 4-15 won/loss road mark for the underdog automatically makes wagering on the home favorite to cover the spread a surefire bet could well prove to be a mistake.

In that scenario, taking the extra step of evaluating that underdog’s metrics against the spread as a road team might shed light on an impressive 13-6 mark in that 19-game sample. That type of track record might thus make that underdog a potential good value point-spread wager in that particular game, especially if the home team also has an unremarkable record versus the spread as a home favorite, or if there are other possible factors such as rest disadvantages at play.

Get ready for 2020-2021 NBA fantasy basketball & betting

After you finish learning about NBA pregame bet research with our “2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips” article, read our full NBA tips for DFS fantasy basketball and basketball betting.

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