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Tipico Sportsbook Tips: NBA vs. NFL

Tipico Sportsbook Tips: NBA vs. NFL

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With another Tom Brady Super Bowl win in the books, NFL football is now in the rearview mirror. The betting world will turn its collective attention to other sports. The main one from now until March is going to be the NBA. NBA/ betting is different from betting on the NFL, and you should understand those differences before trying to play in that market.

Here are some of the major differences to think about before transitioning over.

The schedule

NFL teams play one game per week. Most of the time those games are on Sunday. We make a big deal about playing on Monday night or Thursday night if it means short rest between games or a longer rest period to get healthy. Rest time has been shown to help or hurt teams in the win column that have too little of it or get extra opportunities to recover from previous games. In the NBA/, we do not have a neat tidy schedule of games. Some teams may be playing on consecutive nights, others might be playing after two or three days of rest. Teams play multiple games in a week and sometimes have to take multiple flights to different cities in that short timeframe too. Like the NFL/, the more rest equals the better win percentage and vice versa. Unlike the NFL, we have to really dig into when and where these teams played last, as it is not a cut and dry one game per week kind of league.


Another difference between NFL and NBA is the way injuries are handled. The NFL has strict reporting rules and an army of beat writers at every practice to keep us up to date on injury news. We may have guys who are game-time decisions in football, but we normally know that will be the case well in advance of kickoff and have ample time to figure out how to wager depending on which way the news breaks. NBA teams have a morning shootaround too, which is the best way to get some of this information. With that said, NBA games have more surprising late scratches and players sitting out unexpectedly than any other sport. The league tried to curb some of the sitting for “REST” this year, but it still happens far too often. In the NFL, we want to get our money down as early as possible because even an injury to a major non-QB player is not going to move the spread by that many points. In the NBA, we see unexpected swings sometimes late in the day when a big name like LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo is announced as out.

In-game betting

A final difference between NFL and NBA betting is the volatility of scoring. In the NFL, even the best teams usually take a few minutes to score. We see lead changes in football games, but not nearly as much back and forth as you can have in a basketball game. Basketball is a game of runs. One team hits a bunch of shots and goes up by 8-10 points, then the other team grabs a few rebounds and steals and brings it back down to 2 points. The moneyline and spreads adjust according throughout the game, offering many opportunities to get the odds you want on the team you want them on, if you are patient. It is not uncommon to have dozens of lead changes in a basketball game. You rarely have more than a couple lead changes in football, so the opportunities to get plus money on an in-game bet are way lower. I rarely pass on an opening line in NFL that I like, but in basketball, you very often can find a more advantageous line in-game if you are willing to wait for the situation to be right to take it.

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