NBA live betting – Part 1: Preview

Pavel Krombet



Who of you would not desire spending only a few minutes a day analyzing sports events to bet a convenient amount of money and continue relaxing on an own island in some warm spot on Earth? Unfortunately, there are just no easy ways in this business. There could not be any. That’s because there are people striving for money on both sides of the monitor. That is why every system which brings significant profit loses effectiveness very soon. Bookies are not fools. They use the best prediction systems that can amazingly accurately predict the outcome the sports event outcome way before its beginning and account for injuries, judges and even weather changes.

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Let’s take NBA totals as an expample. The game in the league is 48 minutes. Each team shall spend no more than 24 seconds per one attack. There could be 120 to 220 balls in a match (depending on a team tempo). Every team can choose the number of three-point shots in a match.

For the last 10 years more than 24,000 matches have been played in regular NBA championships. Game totals varied between 168 and 245. The perfect effectiveness index for the bookmaker shall be the absence of over/under gap. That means that the closer the game’s outcome is to offered pre-match total line, the better it is for the office. If you always bet unders, your win rate will be 49.8%. If you bet over – 49.7%.  The remaining 0.5% are point to point to the offered totals line (based on sportsinsights data). This confirms that years of monitoring and thousands of played matches allowed bookmakers raising the level of their predictions to almost a perfect one and earn billions of dollars.

Does it mean it is necessary to give up this thankless job and go search for something more comfortable? This will be definitely the way for somebody. But not for you. Right? Every loophole, skillfully shut-in by a bookmaker, will lead to new attempts on finding the weak spots. Happily, there are yet people working in sport industry, not robots. This means such loopholes will continue to be.

Thus, in my personal view, there is nothing more complicated than trying to beat the bookmaker way before the match started (we are talking of fast-changing and filled with news world of North American sports, i.e. NBA, NHL and MLB). Betting right after the market opens means facing news as“the best player of your team gets a day-off today” or “the match is to be refereed by the most unfortunate judge given your initial data”. These things happen way too often.

The real work starts 3-4 hours before the kick-off. That is the time when all initial line-ups are known, the judges are appointed and the team headquarters provide news on players’ health after yesterday’s (and previous) games. However, not only you whill look into the insiders’ tweets. The more money is maded on a certain market, the more attentive the bookies are to it. For instance, in students’ basketball NCAA, there could be a market drop from +14 to +6, even if there was no news on injuries or line-up changes. But we are still interested in the world’s best basketball league, aren’t we? That is why one of the best options here is live betting.

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