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In a nutshell:

"...The player has a very big advantage: The player can pass. The player doesn't have to bet on every proposition. The house can't pass."
- Sonny Reizner
 

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A Crash Course in Vigorish

A very important thing to
know

Are You Geared to Gamble?

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Binomial Distribution & You

Handicapping: Begin with Common Sense

How to Beat the NFL Preseason

How to Spot Key NFL Lines

How to Spot Positive NFL Situations

How to Spot Winning Bettors

Howard Schwartz on Sports Betting

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Bob McCune on Baseball Betting 
An important article by Bob McCune, adapted from his classic book, Revelations In Sports Betting!
 

NBA = $$$$

Of the two, basketball - not football - is the 'bread-and-butter' sport for professional gamblers

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While football has traditionally accounted for more than 40 percent of the money risked with bookmakers, most professional-level sports bettors will confirm that basketball - not football - is much more attractive to full-time bettors. In the National Basketball Association, after all, there are more than 2,500 betting opportunities per year; - many times more than in the National Football League.

In the NBA, in essence, every day is 'Sunday.' Games go off virtually every day. NBA propositions - including sides and totals - make up a very big part of a professional handicapperís action.

The general betting public prefers football for several different reasons. One of the reasons must surely be that basketball action comes very fast. Pro football 'happens' once a week, which gives part-timers enough time to develop an interest in the next game. On the other hand, pro basketball is played every day, so do-it-yourself part-time gamblers can easily fall behind in their record-keeping. With so many games coming so quickly, it is very difficult to keep abreast of the stats and injuries and myriad subjective factors that influence each and every game.

Nevertheless, make no mistake about it, most any professional-level handicapper will tell you that pro basketball is easier to beat than pro football, and there is plenty of evidence to substantiate that claim. Check this quote from Las Vegas linemaker and ex-professional gambler Roxy Roxborough:

"If I were still a professional gambler I wouldn't play NFL football...For starters, there aren't enough games. So trend analysis, which was one thing I was big on, is pointless. Second, you can't turn your money over fast enough to get a reasonable rate of return because you only get to choose from 14 or 15 games a week and each team only plays 16 games. I just never saw pro football as being a viable betting opportunity. That's why most pros end up in what they call linear sports, sports such as baseball and pro basketball."

With bookmakers throughout the world the rules concerning betting on pro basketball can be quite different than the rules concerning betting on pro football. The reason is, they get a disproportionate amount of winning bettors compared to the NFL. For example, some bookmakers will not allow parlays on sides and totals of the same NBA game. Others will not allow parlaying NBA totals at all, and betting limits are generally much smaller on NBA bets than NFL bets. These different standards are the result of bookmakers taking defensive action against sharp bettors.

Over the years our percentage of wins against the NBA is roughly 57.75%.

In an average year against the 600 NFL sides and totals (including exhibition season) wherein we have enough information to form an opinion, we average about 230 opinions. Thatís about 37% of the time. Against the 2100-or-so NBA sides and totals wherein we feel comfortable forming an opinion, we have upwards of 800 opinions. Thatís about 40% of the time.

Note that with more than 800 opinions against the NBA and only about 230 opinions against the NFL, a single year of betting against the NBA equals more than three NFL years. Once one understands the overall situation, itís not hard to understand why the NBA is much more important to a professional gamblerís bottom line than the NFL.

Most pro bettors wonít be at full speed until there are a dozen or so "regular-season" games in the can. However, there are certain subjective factors that can contribute to a valid opinion, even very early in the going, before stats can give you a starting point. During these early games we suggest you consider these points:

1. Younger teams tend to do better than older teams. The aging veterans of the league do not figure to have kept up their body-building regimen during the long layoff; - at least, not as well as rookies and 2nd-year men. Basketball requires extreme durability. It doesnít take long for too many Big Macs to effect a basketball playerís performance.

2. Early-season games figure to be lower scoring than many people expect. For all the same reasons we think younger teams will do better than older teams,  the average early game will tend to be lower scoring than games later in the year. With all the extra calories on the court, look for a lot of second-stringers to get plenty of playing time, and expect games to slow down, especially late in the second half.

3. Teams with the most new starters figure to make the most mistakes. Those teams returning with the most players from last year will tend to do better than teams with a lot of new faces, - especially in the early going. Sometimes, teams with lot of new players can almost be regarded as expansion teams, and their record from last year must be ignored. Those teams with the new starters figure to take the longest to get into sync, therefore they figure to make the most mistakes in the early going.

There are other more specific subjective factors that apply to individual teams, of course, but the above three principles generally apply to the league as a whole. Keep in mind, too, that early stats figure to be very unreliable, and last yearís stats can be pretty much forgotten. If you use stats in your predictions, begin a new database after the regular season begins. Donít use stats from exhibition games, and be especially careful when mixing home stats with visiting stats.

--J. V. Miller

 


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How to Profit from Parlays
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Successful Gamblers

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NFL Stats

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How Professional Gamblers Beat the Pro Football Pointspread
- J. R. Miller
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How to Profit from Parlays
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Successful Gamblers
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Education of a Sports Bettor
- Bob McCune
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NFL Stats
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Revelations in Sports Betting
- Bob McCune
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