Numbers game: Cappers share best stats for betting basketball
There are many ways to wager on basketball. Some look at situational spots while others ride hot or cold teams. The one thing that is common among those practices is paying attention to the stats and trends.
We asked our Covers Experts what numbers they pay attention to and which stats provide the best betting info. Whether you’re wagering on the NBA or the college kids, these stats are the ones that matter most to basketball bettors.
Sean Murphy – “In college basketball, I put a lot of weight in free-throw percentage (made of course). Teams that hit their free throws are able to close out games and cover spreads - plain and simple. There's a wide disparity between good and bad free-throw shooting teams at the college level, and ATS records tend to correlate.”
Nick Parsons – “It’s no surprise that five of the top six rebounding teams in the NBA - Oklahoma City, Golden State, Indiana, Portland and Houston - are all above .500 SU and as of early this week were 22 games above .500 ATS. Even Memphis - the league’s No. 4 rebounding team - is flirting with .500. Bad teams do not rebound well.”
Art Aronson – “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, so find a motivated team by checking the results of its last five games. Every good team in the league has at least one decent streak to ride – the Clippers won 17 games in a row last season when no one was looking, and the Heat went from Feb. 3 to March 25 without losing. Never hurts to check out how has team has done in the last few weeks.”
Doc’s Sports – “When handicapping college basketball, we always look at the shooting percentage of road teams we are thinking of using as a selection. Generally, for a road team to have success, they need to shoot the ball well from the perimeter. Road teams can’t depend on the refs for help since generally the home team will shoot more free throws than the visitor. Therefore it is imperative that they make shots from long range. If a road team shoots less than 33 percent from the 3-point line, we will not use them as a selection.”
Marc Lawrence – “What I look for a lot are games involving teams with disparate results in their last game. The combination of “Never is a team as good as they look in their best win, nor as bad as they appear in their worst loss”, is often times cemented with a major line adjustment by the linesmakers. This creates value, and there is nothing better than value with a hungry team.”
Bryan Power – “For me, the stat I look at in NBA Handicapping is YTD (Year to Date) point differential. I find it to be a far better predictor of future performance than simply looking at a team's win/loss record. Take for example, Monday's game between the Timberwolves and 76ers. Minnesota came into that game off two tough losses in its previous three games, but still had a YTD point differential north of +4.0 per game. Meanwhile, despite an inexplicable four-game SU/ATS win streak, the Sixers have one of the worst YTD point differentials in the league at -7.7 PPG. I took Minnesota in that game and they won by 31.”
Teddy Covers – “I won't make a bet on an NBA total without looking at John Hollinger's offensive and defensive efficiency numbers. And from a pointspread perspective, look at the enormous ATS differences between Hollinger's top eight defensive-efficiency teams vs. the bottom eight. Pretty dramatic.”
Jesse Schule – “For college hoops, I would be careful in putting too much stock in a team's record versus ranked opponents. The rankings change week to week, there are plenty of tough teams that are not ranked in the Top 25. And as I have illustrated in my weekly "Exposing the Top 25" column, not all of those Top 25 teams deserve to be ranked.”
Which basketball stats are your go-to numbers when handicapping hoops? Share in the comment box below.