When the NBA season ends a lot of basketball bettors just take a breath and then move on to their next sport to bet on. You are missing a big opportunity, though, if you don’t take a short time to look back at the past basketball season to see how it went, and to look forward to next season to see how it may turn out. By doing this before you put the season to bed you are going to give yourself a big edge at the start of next NBA season by putting the work in now. Here are four things you can do when the season ends to give yourself an edge on next year’s betting opportunities:
Evaluate playoff teams – It makes sense to take a close look at the teams that made the NBA playoffs while those playoffs are still fresh in your mind. There will obviously be a lot of changes between the end of one season and the start of the next. The only way you can accurately assess the impact of those changes, though, is by having a good baseline to start from. That comes from getting an accurate picture of the pro basketkball teams at the end of their last play. Assessing teams in the playoffs is particularly useful because those teams are sure to be playing at full intensity. Did the teams have obvious skill shortages that they need to address? Maybe they needed to refine their inside game or their perimeter shooting? Was there good chemistry between the players, or between players and coaches? Does the team have depth issues at guard, forward or center? Why did they end up losing? By taking note of what is going on at the end of the playoffs you can get a very good sense at the start of the next season as to whether those same problems still exist. That means you’ll have a more accurate picture of where teams are at than most sports bettors, and you will be better positioned to make sound investments early in the season. When the season starts lines can be at their softest and are ready to be exploited by people who are prepared to do so.
Consider coaching changes – By the time the playoffs have happened most NBA coaching changes have been made, and for those spots that haven’t been filled yet you can usually have a good sense of what is going to happen. When the changes are fresh is when it makes sense to assess the changes and collect your first impression. Was the coach a first choice, or was he a consolation pick? Was he welcomed by the media and the players, or was there controversy? Does he coach in a similar style as his predecessor, or will the summer be used to make changes and adjust focus. Will the coach ideally look to change the roster to suit him, or can he work with the foundation that is in place? By the time the new season starts there is so much to deal with that it can be hard to spend enough time looking at new coaches, and a lot of the more subtle but important impacts of the change will be overlooked. By putting the time in now to assess these changes you’ll be more prepared than most to hit the ground running when handicapping the next season.
Look for leaks – This is by far the most important thing to do at the end of the NBA season, so if you are only going to do one thing make sure this is it. At the end of the year it is crucial that you look back at the records you have kept of your bets made during the season. You need to look at your overall performance, but you will gain even more from breaking down the results into smaller pieces. For example, by looking at different types of bets you can often spot strengths and weakness that you didn’t know you had. Are you really good at betting on small favorites, but not profitable when betting heavy favorites? Do you bet underdogs on the road better than at home? Are you profitable on sides but not totals? Do you bet Western Conference teams better than Eastern Conference ones? The more ways you can think of to evaluate your results, the more you can potentially learn. After you have broken down your results you can have a better sense of the types of bets you should be focusing more time and money on, the types of bets you need to work on, and what types you just shouldn’t be making. There is nothing a sports bettor can do to improve their bottom line more significantly than this type of analysis.
Set goals – I don’t want to go all new-age on you, but setting goals is very useful for sports bettors, and you stand a much better chance of achieving those goals if you take the time to write them down. If you leave your goal setting to the beginning of the season then it can get lost in all the work and the excitement and it won’t get done. By doing it in the spring you have the luxury of spending more time doing it, and your last season’s results are fresh so you can more effectively look at where you are and where you want to get to.