It’s the last day of the regular season in the NBA. Professional sports bettors are frothing at the mouth and sportsbooks are going crazy trying to keep their lines up-to-date. Some of you may be asking what is so special about the last day of the NBA regular season. The answer is that there is correlation everywhere and wild stuff happening across the board. Which teams are resting their starters? Who is playing for a spot in the playoffs? Who wants the top-seed for home field advantage? There are so many moving parts and a lot of money to be made.
This got me thinking that it would be a good time to discuss how to get information more quickly than the sportsbooks. Then, how do we use that information to make a winning bet. Let’s get into it…
Begin By Identifying the Key Players
The first thing that one has to know before they can scour information feeds is which players will move lines. Back when I was semi-professionally betting the NHL, I would have a list of 5 or 6 players on each team that, if they were announced to be out, would move the line. While a missing player in the NHL only moves the line a little, a player in the NBA could move the line a lot! At the time of this writing, Luca Doncic is worth about 6 points to the Mavericks line. Imagine the windfall that you could bring in if you learn he is out of the lineup before the sportsbooks do.
Where Do I Find the Best Player Information?
In a perfect world, one would have an insider who works for the team they wished to bet. Getting a call or text before information is released to the public is obviously the best way to beat the books. In reality, most of us don’t have this leisure.
The next best thing is to follow all of the local beat reporters on Twitter. A few of my follows on Twitter for the Tampa Bay Lightning are Caley Chelios and Bryan Burns. After the morning skate, one or the other would tweet out the line pairings that the team would use in practice.
What am I looking for? My key players. Is Victor Hedman in the lineup? Stamkos? Kucherov is back! etc.
Though Twitter seems to be the best, one can also find info on a variety of other bulletin boards, Reddit, etc.
I Have New Information! Now What?
The next thing to check is whether or not that information has been built into the line. As soon as information is released, one will start to see some line swings. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but typically I will compare the information against my Don Best feed. Most sports books (and serious bettors) use Don Best information to aid them in making bets. If, say, Victor Hedman is likely to be out of the lineup and I don’t see him on my Don Best injury feed, then that information might not be worked into the lines yet.
Obviously, if one checks the odds and see some steam moves around the same time that they found the information, then the information is in the process of being worked into the lines.
The exchange of information in our society changes at an amazing rate. The fact is that this blog post will possibly be obsolete in the next two years, because there is some better form of information available. So, the best advice: stay on your toes and always keep an eye out for new information.