Common NBA Playoff Series Betting Mistakes

NBA series bets can be a great way for sports bettors to find value in the playoffs. If you aren’t careful, though, they can also be very costly. Here are four mistakes people make when making these bets. By avoiding them you significantly increase your chances at making a profit over the long term:

Blindly backing favorites – The betting public has a well known bias – they tend to back the favorite blindly and enthusiastically. They think that the favorites are favored for a good reason, and they can’t imagine that they could lose. That means that they are drawn to the favorites regardless of what the matchup looks like or whether they are worthy of the attention or not. It is a rare situation where the public doesn’t back the favorites. The oddsmakers know that, and they set the lines accordingly to limit their risk and maximize their profit potential. That doesn’t mean that smart NBA bettors can’t bet on favorites – in many cases they are favored for a reason. It just means that you need to be more cautious, more insightful, and more studious in your handicapping than the general public so that you are betting on the favorites when it makes sense and looking elsewhere when that is the better play.

Overvaluing underdogs – This is the opposite of the last problem. There are some people who are consistently seduced by the idea of making bets with potential payoffs at better than even money. Some sports bettors get the idea that you can be right less than half the time and still make a profit if they are betting underdogs, and they think that that provides a quick route to profit. The problem is, though, that underdogs are underdogs for a reason, and oddsmakers aren’t in the business of setting easy lines. There are some underdogs that are indeed a very good bet, and are very capable of winning their series. Those underdogs can present very nice value for the savvy bettor. For every one of those underdogs, though, there is at least one that is the inferior team, is going to struggle to play the majority of games on the road, and is going to be challenged to win the series. Just like you need to be careful to be sure a favorite is worth backing you need to be just as sure that an underdog is one that can win and is at a fair price.

Not looking for value – People who aren’t successful betting NBA series bets over the long term tend to make one mistake consistently – they think that making winning series bets is about picking who will win the series. That’s just a part of the equation – and a small part at that. Far more significant than that is deciding how likely each team is to win, and whether the price you can get for betting on them adequately reflects that likelihood. If you are right seven out of ten times you can still lose money if you are betting too many heavy favorites. You can be wrong seven out of ten times and still make money, though, if you are betting big NBA underdogs. Your win percentage means absolutely nothing with these bets, and if you think it does you are destined for trouble. Focus entirely on making sure that the potential reward outweighs the risk of the bet – that there is value, in other words. If you do that, and you can effectively assess the likelihood of a  team winning a series, you are on the road to long term profits on NBA series wagers.

Forcing your bets – There is the potential to find excellent value in professional basketball series bets – really juicy potential returns. The problem is, though, that for every one series bet that is attractive there are several that really aren’t. It’s quite possible that there won’t be a single attractive bet in an entire playoff round. Or there could be three or four value filled bets. When you are making series bets you need to be particularly sure that the bets make sense, and that the risk is outweighed by the potential reward. That’s important in every bet, but especially important here because there is much more uncertainty – more things that can happen to sabotage your bet – over a whole series than in just one game, and because your money is locked up for the whole series. Make sure you do your handicapping homework on all fronts before making series sports bets.

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