The betting advantage in NBL

Another fantastic two wins nblgfin Australian basketball (NBL) on the weekend with both bets easily covering the line. This year has been quite amazing so far with NBL betting as our record shows. A small number of bets so far, but it seems as though we have been on the right side of the line and may have one up on the bookies.

Eight bets on the head to head betting with a 59% return on investment (ROI), and 11 bets on totals betting with a 22.7% ROI. This is even better than our long term of 10% ROI on h2h and 7.3% ROI on totals. So why the difference?

Well it has been well documented that the length of the quarters has been reduced from 12 minutes to 10. This would have a big influence on the total score line, and it is interesting to think about how this would play out.

At first glance one could assume that the total number of points should decrease by about 16.7% (or 2/12ths), however this is not necessarily the case.  Better players will play a greater percentage of the total court time, and more fouls should occur, but of which will increase the score above the first reduction.

In the pre season tournament in Darwin, an average of 172 points was scored per game, but one would think that if anything this would be lower than the norm, as more second rate players were tested out and skills could be down on normal performance.

However it hasn’t eventuated this way. Since then an average of just over 165 points has been scored per game. This graph is shown below which looks at the bookies line as well as the total points that are scored:


The line of best fit shows the bookmakers line over the 16 or so matches that has so far been played. It is obviously decreasing, starting around the 170 mark, and decreasing till about the 165 mark.

Aside from the incredibly boring 130 point game between Wollongong and Cairns last Saturday (of which we picked the under), the scores have been pretty even with eight results going under and six over.

There is some evidence that the bookmakers have been overcompensating for the totals, which is what could easily happen when rules change. Take matches 5 to 11 or even 8 to 11, where we get 5 of our 6 matches below the line. The line following this is lower, however, perhaps because the teams following are generally higher scoring teams or else wise, the overs have all won.

In fact this year, we’ve only had 2 under bets, despite the decreasing line odds, and both were winners. For overs we have had 5 wins from 9 bets.

As far as head to heads go, it seems that the home ground advantage is quite underrated by the bookmakers. We’ve had only one major bet on the away team that lost, but all other bets have been on the home team, and all but one smaller bet has won. Our average probability for the home team this year is 65.7% (or equivalent to odds of 1.52), whilst the average odds for the home team has just been 1.69. A good difference.

Either way, Australian Basketball or NBL has been very profitable so far this year, exactly like it has been in the past.

You can get the free predictions for NBL here.

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