Friday, January 9, 2009

Interesting NBA trends/bets (sport, gambling)

Was bored and looking on (great NBA stats site) and came across two stats that might provide good betting opportunities.

First, in the quarter by quarter results, one thing stood out to me and that was that the overall winning (and losing) margins per quarter were significantly higher in the first and third quarters. I guess it makes sense because the starters play the most amount of time together during those quarters. Maybe this means that if you want to play a favorite (probably more useful for -7 or more favorites) you should just aim to play them in the first and third quarters. While I was looking this up, I came across a guy on ebay trying to sell a betting system. It's essentially a form of a martingale, but the thing that intrigued me was that the guy wanted to bet only the first quarter and then only the third quarter of games that he picked. This would make sense along the lines of the quarter by quarter stats, and also I can see how he suggests to stop betting that game once you've won the first quarter, as a big lead might make the play in the third quarter different.

In general, I think that betting on quarters might provide the best edge to non-professional bettors who follow trends. Consider a team that always plays its best in the first quarter (for this season, look at Toronto, who have a 70% win percentage in the first quarter). Some might just say this is an abnormality that will revert to the mean over time. But what if this has something to do with the underlying fundamentals, like their stamina, their coaching etc. The bookmakers don't/can't cater for these differences and most quarter lines are usually just 1/4th of the regular game lines, usually skewed toward the favorite. You could seriously profit from such a trend because the quarter line will always be relatively wrong. For example you could hedge by taking Toronto in the first quarter and betting against them for the game.

Another stat of interest, especially for those who like to use power rankings to determine their bets, is the W-L profiles on the site, which list scoring and winning percentages against teams classified as good/ave/poor. The most astounding number is the Lakers' net points against good teams, which is still unbelievably in double figures. Two other trends to note are that Denver tends to mop up against poor teams but is a regular loser against good teams and that San Antonio is 100% so far this season against bad teams.

1 comment :

thg said...

How about Toronto and Boston each scoring more points in a five minute overtime than they did in the whole 4th quarter?

This lay observer thinks Boston must provide some betting opportunities, especially by quarter. Rivers seems adamant about using the entire second unit for stretches of the 2nd quarter and they're just not up to the task. And, it seems that the Celtics are pretty good in the 3rd quarter, probably because the first units plays and has had time to make halftime adjustments. The Celtics are well coached in the Xs and Os, and their experienced players are able to follow the plan.

As I said, just a lay person's observations.