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NBA bettors must act early in day to maximize value


Periodically in Bet Smart, Action Network’s NBA expert will explain some of his favorite betting strategies. Today, the need to act early. 

One of the best ways to gain an edge when betting NBA games is to start betting as soon as the markets open each morning. If you’re on the East Coast, that means you have to be available to bet around 8-9 a.m. 

In a market as big as the NBA, nothing slips between the cracks. Injury news, inefficiencies within the market and lines that are off are corrected quickly as the sharpest bettors and betting syndicates in the world look to snatch up the value on NBA sides and totals before the value is sucked out of the line. 

Oddsmakers and bettors get more information on games as we get closer to tipoff, so betting early allows you to capitalize on the mistakes on the initial lines that oddsmakers release before they are corrected. 

Acting as soon as the markets open allows NBA bettors to maximize value.
NBAE via Getty Images

Since bookmakers adjust their lines based on the action they receive, injury news and other factors, the lines become more accurate and harder to beat as the day gets on. 

One of the biggest predictive indicators of a winning long-term bettor is to consistently beat the closing line. Betting early allows you to generate Closing Line Value (CLV) and get better odds then what the line closes at tipoff. 

We’ve compiled some numbers on NBA point spreads against closing lines over the past 10 years using information from our Bet Labs database. You can see in the data below that there’s a ton of value in getting ahead of the market as your win percentage increases with every half point that bettors beat the closing line. 

Closing line differential (win percentage): 0 (49.2); 0.5 (51.19); 1 (53.02); 1.5 (55.03); 2 (56.69); 2.5 (58.59); 3 (60.4); 3.5 (62.28); 4 (63.99); 4.5 (65.86); 5 (67.36); 6 (70.59); 7 (73.54); 8 (76.34); 9 (78.86); 10 (81.34). 

Although limits do increase throughout the day, the ability to get CLV decreases the closer you get to tipoff, so if you’re looking to get the best of the number consistently, you should be betting early. 

Now, there are times when it is advantageous to bet later in the day. 

Imagine a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings at Crypto.com Arena. Since the Lakers have LeBron James and are a popular team, it’s likely we’d see the public push the Lakers’ line up to the point at which you can find more value on backing the underdog Kings closer to tipoff. 

Sports betting is the ultimate multiplayer game. You aren’t just competing with just the bookmaker, you’re competing with thousands of other sports bettors who are shaping the market with their opinion. 

Understanding what the vast majority of the public, as well as seasoned professionals, think about a game will allow you to properly read the market and know when to time your bets to get the best value. 

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