2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips
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.