Like reality TV shows, betting preseason NBA games can be a dirty little pleasure that we don’t want to admit to. But last time we checked, the cash you win in an obscure pro hoops exhibition is still worth as much as that winning Super Bowl bet, so let’s have at it.
Here are a few things to consider before placing preseason wagers:
Unlike last season, when the lockout limited teams to only two exhibitions, there will be several weeks of play this year. Coaches will be using a variety of players we never heard of. Stars will be only trying to get in a good run, at least until the final exhibition or two, so that puts bad teams on more of an equal footing.
Coaches can be under pressure from the front office to do well at home in order to sell tickets, and road teams have zero incentive to step on the accelerator in a game that might not even be televised. A hard look at the moneyline for home teams is in order. It never hurts to hammer a home team coming off a loss on the road.
Ninety-nine percent of what coaches say during the regular season is blather, but many coaches will tell you in advance how they plan to play it. If you know that a team needs to make a touch cut the next day, figure the players involved to get a lot of time the night before.
VOLUME IS TURNED DOWN
Since books don’t get as much action on exhibitions, there is not enough money to change a line. No line adjustment can open the door to opportunity, especially as more information becomes available.
AND ABOUT THE REFS
The league will emphasize calls on contact with jump shooters, illegal screens and flopping this year, and refs will be out to show supervisors that they got the message. Check out a few early games and see how this affects totals.