Finding Huge Upset Winners in the NBA

by Wayne Root

I have my own beliefs on how to spot a huge live underdog in the NBA. A typical winning streak for a very good team may hit double figures. Conversely, about the longest winning streak for a bottom dweller is usually maxed at three games. It’s amazing how often that team just can’t win that fourth game. Afterwards, another long losing streak awaits. Additionally, those very bad teams typically only have one three game winning streak. Thankfully, there are more than one horrific NBA team.

The gap between the really good teams and the really bad ones is probably bigger in the NBA than in any other professional league. The haves are so far from the have nots right now, it’s like they are playing different sports. When teams like that meet on the court the result is typically predictable and far from surprising. That alerts our betting senses to begin our analysis, Every so often, though, one of the lesser teams in the NBA will shock one of the good ones. Therefore, we must look to see if the huge underdog is going for that third win in a row to start with. Because those upsets are rare you can make a very nice return if you can correctly spot when the upsets could happen.

The most reliable way to spot potential upsets is to look at NBA games that have caught the eyes of smart money bettors. Hopefully since you’re reading this, you know about smart money and our seasoned professionals. If, for example, the Suns are playing a bad team then you would expect the large majority of the public money to be on the Suns. The line should either stay steady or increase as a result. If the line falls in a case like that, though, then it’s a clear indicator that someone has been betting very heavily on the underdog. That’s not something the public would do unless there was an obvious reason like a major injury, so it has to be the smart money that is getting thrown around. There are certainly worse things you can do than paying attention to where the smart money obviously is and following it; such as guessing on you own.

The betting public will always think that LeBron is always LeBron– probably the best player in the league. Sometimes, though, even LeBron doesn’t play like himself. The easiest single way to spot a situation where an underdog could have a good day is to find situations where the NBA star isn’t playing like a basketball star. It could be that the player has put together substandard performances a couple of games in a row, or that he seems to be injured or playing at less than full health. We’re even aware of ( or at least try too) problems at a star players home life or side businesses. Life happens to all of us. When a talent is dominant he can drag the whole team down if he isn’t at his best, and even a bad team can take advantage of that and so can you as a wanting successful sports bettor.

I love certain, timely. specific look ahead games. Too many sports bettors have zero idea on upcoming games as they rarely consult the schedule. Favorite looking past underdog happen all the time. A team won’t be at their peak performance in 82 games. The Lakers aren’t going to be thinking about their game against Sacramento very much if it comes the night before they play the Phoenix Suns. That doesn’t mean that they are going to play badly enough to lose, but combined with other factors it could put the underdog over the top. At the very least, it could give the underdog more of an edge than they would have had otherwise. Not only will the favorite not be too excited about the game, but the underdog could be particularly motivated to make some noise against one of the heavyweights. Bad teams love nothing more that gearing up to take down Mr Bigshot. That might just be their super bowl game; the closest they’ll get at best.

We also look for our rested underdog up against that tired favorite that’s played four games in six days. Teams that are well rested can have an extra jump in their step. More significantly, the time off could give the underdog more time to practice and to prepare specifically for the opponent. The NBA schedule can be very quirky and teams can play three games in four days one week, then not play for four days the next week. Teams understandably can get run down when the schedule is brutal especially if the games come on the road. A team coming off a long road trip is tired More importantly, they may have a busy first day home attending to the kids, wife, business and family matters. Imagine the distractions and issues of just opening the mail. That first game back at home is usually unfavorable to the home team big favorite.

If you have trouble pulling the trigger on that huge underdog, don’t be a stranger, after all, that’s our only job; to find that gem that pays big bucks. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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