2021 NBA Betting: Pregame Preparation Tips

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2021

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.


Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports since 1997 and actively writing about the fantasy sports and sports betting industries since 2015 for multiple websites. He has covered a wide variety of professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, CFL, Arena Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL, NPB and KBO. He was the recipient of the FSWA's 2016 Newcomer of the Year award for his work with RotoWire.

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