The NBA preseason, which is a three-week period in early October, can give you some insights into teams and their ability to win. Sport bettors often wonder if the preseason is worth betting. Let’s look at what you can learn from the preseason and what sports betting opportunities it offers.
The preseason is when you get to see new players acquired through offseason trades, free agency or the draft. You’ll begin to get an idea of individual talent and drive. Early in the preseason, the starters won’t see much playing time, but as you get into the second week, they’ll be used more. Each team plays about eight preseason games as a warm-up to the 82-game season.
Veterans and Returning Players
How are the veterans looking? Pay special attention to players who were injured last season and those in their 30s. The NBA season is tough on the legs, and old legs that are tired or damaged will have a difficult time contributing on a daily basis if they are hurting. Look for signs of wear and tear, fragility, or susceptibility to injury.
The Final Week
The last week of the preseason is when you will really start to get a feel for each NBA team and their potential. This is when starting line ups come together, the sixth man becomes apparent, and a team’s strengths and weaknesses start to show. Pay special attention to any guys who may be on the roster bubble. How well are they playing, and what will their role be?
Should You Bet?
Although you may want to wager on games during the NBA preseason, this is not a good idea. Coaches are experimenting with rosters and systems, the games themselves mean nothing in terms of standings, and there’s a lot of substituting going on. It’s impossible to properly handicap a game. Even if you get a contest right, you probably won’t know why.
If you feel the need to bet, do one of two things: Put together some mock wagers based on your handicapping of certain games and track how well you do. Keep an accurate accounting of your wins, losses, and bankroll. If you really feel the need to wager on some games, then try the totals. Playing the over/under is a lot safer than trying to pick a winner in the preseason.
Are You Ready?
Make the NBA preseason your preseason too. This is your time to warm-up, to make adjustments in your handicapping process, and to focus on specific teams on which you’ll wager throughout the season. As you become more acquainted with various teams, take notes regarding their starters and the depth of their bench. Start to project how you feel they will do, and refine your data and observations. You should be ready to bet as soon as the regular NBA season kicks into gear.