NBA prop bets are becoming a popular choice to wager upon for gamblers and with good reason. They allow bettors to wager on games outside of traditional options, like the final score and winner. These types of wagers are tied to performance, such as how points a player will have in a game or how many three-pointers a team will hit. It can even go as far as which team will score first.
What is making these wagers to popular is that people are having success with them. Some Vegas insiders have explained that casinos and sportsbooks are actually losing money on these types of wagers. What that means is that if they are losing then you can be winning.
Understanding Prop Bets
If prop bets have piqued your interest, but you are not exactly sure what to do, don’t worry. Many who like to bet the NBA are unfamiliar with these kinds of bets, so a little explanation is in order.
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First off, these wagers are very much like any other proposition you could find on the market. There are lines, spreads, and odds on how likely it is that the prop bet will occur.
What you are wagering on is the chance of some specific event within the game occurring. For example, you may wager that the Milwaukee Bucks would score 10 points first in their contest with the San Antonio Spurs or that Russell Westbrook will make a triple-double.
These examples demonstrate that there are two types of prop bets: player and team. These sound fairly self-explanatory, but we want there to be no confusion. A team prop bet is based totally on a team’s performance as a whole. This can include anything from who is the first substitution off the bench to how many fouls a team will commit. If there is a stat that is recorded during the game, you may very well be able to bet on it.
Player prop bets are very similar but differ in the focus of the bet. Instead of betting on how many points the Los Angeles Lakers may score, you could wager on how many points Lebron James will record, or how many rebounds a player may have. Once again, if a stat is kept, then you may very well be able to wager on it.
Finding the Right Bet
Now that you understand what prop bets are, it helps to understand what types of bets you should be wagering upon. To help you, we will look at the good team and player options you should consider when you are trying to make it big with your NBA bets.
Avoid Who Scores First
This is a sucker bet, to be honest. The truth is that you are likely to be right 50% of the time. It also means you will be wrong 50% of the time. At that rate, you might as well be betting on coin tosses.
The only time you should even consider a bet like this is if there is a clear mismatch between centers for the opening tip-off. If Utah has a guy who is 7-1 and Denver has someone who is 6-8 taking the opening tip, it is likely Utah will gain the first possession and has the best chance of scoring first. That may seem like good enough odds to get you involved, but they still aren’t going to be much better than 55%.
The truth is that defense shuts down good offenses even in basketball. When a team plays exceptional defense they frustrate their opponent. They force bad shots, bad turnovers, and stupid fouls.
Fouls is where you want to pay the closest attention in a contest like this. A good defensive team is likely to record more fouls on average. It is part of the game. However, if the team they are playing is lousy at foul shooting this helps in taking the under.
Be Leery of Three-Point Shooting Teams
The one thing to worry about a three-point shooting team is that a whole group can go cold in short order. They may hit 25 one night, then come up with 12 the next. You need to really dig at some numbers to choose this type of prop bet.
Like Player Matchups
Now for a look at some player options. The first is related to matchups. If you are looking at taking James Harden to score 30 against the San Antonio Spurs, you can’t simply look at his point totals against the Spurs. Dig deep into how he has performed against the guy who will most likely be guarding him. If there is a proven track record of success for that player or he has no track record at all, you may want to stay away from such a wager, even if Harden has had success against the Spurs in the past.
Watch the Fouls
This is a stat that can really help you if you are looking for player point totals. Back to Harden as an example. If he is facing a team that is prone to hack and he has been hitting 80% or better from the line, then consider that he is likely to have 12-14 points from the free-throw line alone. Throw in six two-point shots and a couple of three-pointers and you have your 30 point night.
This can be a really great stat if you expect a close game. If Houston is favored by three in the contest, think about the strategy for the other team. If they are losing by a couple of points late, then they are likely going to be fouling like crazy and Harden could easily be the recipient of a number of those free throw attempts.
As you can see, prop bets can be fun, but they require you to do a little homework. If you do them right, they can also be extremely lucrative for you.