Ten Tips to Become a Better Handicapper in Basketball
Look over all of the games to be played that day and pick out which team will be the outright winner in each game. Do this before you check the betting line on a game. Once you have your picks, check the betting line and ask yourself whether or not your chosen winners will cover the numbers.
Make note of all the home teams that are underdogs. Being a home underdog does not ensure that a team will win, but it’s always an edge worth exploring, since home court advantage is the single biggest factor in basketball handicapping. Study the home court data that is available to you and look at how a team has done at home, as well as how that team did against the number as an underdog at home. This information will help you to make a decision about whether or not a home underdog will produce a winner.
After you have made your observations for Tip #2, determine how the visiting team has performed on the road, both straight up and against the number. Do the same for the host team. Observing these factors could help you discover an edge for your plays.
Be wary of laying points on the road team if that team is made up of mostly younger players, as younger players typically have yet to acquire the tact to perform consistently well on the road.
Get to know how your teams perform on the road and figure out the rhythm of a team’s performance. (It helps to realize that all good basketball teams do just as well on the road as they do at home.)
For college games, study the combined won-lost records of every team a college team has played before the game you’re handicapping. Look for any statistical significance among the data.
Another tip for college games: Note the difference between home court values in both non-conference games and conference games. Consider how a non-conference team might be unfamiliar with the gym or stadium of the host team and accommodate for that situation while handicapping.
In the NBA, game schedules are important to study. Look over the schedule each day and think about how a specific game will affect the players on each team. Think about when that game takes place in the season, where the visiting team is traveling from, how important a game could be for each team, and whether or not the players may be anxious or tired. All of these factors could affect the games turnout.
Give some thought to the coaches of the teams you follow, and consider whether or not they are good coaches. Of course, “good” is subjective and can mean different things for different people, but how a coach handles a team can be an important consideration. If you’re looking at an important game, thinking about the ability of the coach on each team can help you find an edge for that game.
Always stay up-to-date on the statistical data of each team you follow. Keep track of offensive averages, defensive averages, etc. This data will help you to stay in tune to a team’s rhythm.
If you utilize these ten tips, you’ll be sure to improve your handicapping skills!