Handicapping NBA games

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Betting on NBA games is very popular with sports bettors in the US and is becoming more and more popular here in the UK with NBA bets being offered by a host of UK based bookmakers like Betfair – you’ll find their odds at https://www.betfair.com/sport/basketball – to name just one.

 

In the US, arguably one of the most popular markets for NBA betting is handicapping which is a versatile and exciting way to bet. Traditional handicapping offsets the difference between two opposing teams and was devised by savvy bookmakers as a way to effectively level the playing field when the odds of a win by one of the teams was too narrow to be worth betting on.

 

The method of handicapping I want to look at today uses league average/league median stats, rather than simply offsetting the balance based on one result, which gives predictions for both sides that are based on a lot more data and are therefore potentially more accurate.

 

The only stats you need are the home and away average league scores and the home and away average scores for both the teams you are basing your prediction on. You can find links to these stats and many more on the NBA homepage.

 

The first thing you need to work out is the average points scored by and against home teams in the league, this is simply a case of grabbing a calculator and adding the scores for all the teams and dividing the total by the number of teams in the league.

 

Then you need to compare the two teams you are predicting for against the average in both points scored and points allowed giving you a percentage of how they do in comparison to the league average.

 

Once you have that number you can calculate each of the teams predicted score by multiplying its offensive percentage by its opponents’ defensive percentage by the league average.

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