Watch for Big Line Movements When Betting on the NBA

When it comes to sports gambling, there are no universal, sure-fire strategies to employ from one sport to the next. Yes, there are basic gambling rules you should always follow in order to be successful. Not chasing after a bad beat or never wager without a bankroll are good standard rules for every form of gambling. However, when it comes to sports gambling, each sport will require a different set of strategies to factor in as every sport is different. Sure, picking the winners is a good place to start but understanding how each sport offers different odds for different reasons is more important. For instance, when it comes to betting NBA basketball, one of the best strategies to employ is watching for big line movements to inform your wager. Of course, line movements are not unique to NBA gambling, but they do mean more to the sport for several reasons.

The Thing About the NBA

Every sport is different even though they share certain characteristics. What makes the NBA so different is the number of games being played, how they are scheduled, and how much scoring there is. NFL and NCAA football only play one game a week, and that’s a big difference. MLB and the NHL have a loaded schedule just like the NBA, but not the scoring, and that’s also a big difference. NCAA basketball has similar scoring while playing about half the games. For these reasons, the NBA is special and this needs to be taken into account before building any type of NBA betting strategy. Especially when watching the line movements.

Smart Money Moves Lines

The term “steam chasing” is one you will hear very often in sports betting. Basically, it’s a sports betting strategy used in about every sport. When a line or the odds move significantly and quickly, this is called steam. Now, the reason for these steam moves is because a lot of money just came in on one side of a game or bet. This forces the sportsbooks and oddsmakers to adjust the line to even out the game’s action.

The sportsbooks strive to have an even split on the action. They want as much money on both sides of a wager. This allows them to collect from the losers and shortchange the winners via the juice, thereby making money, and- as all the tall buildings in Vegas can attest- it’s a very successful strategy. However, sports gamblers can counteract this fact of life by watching for those big line movements and chasing the steam. The idea is that the big money it takes to move a line must be smart money and following their lead is a good play. This strategy works, especially in the NBA.

NBA Ideal for Steam

Unlike other sports, there are two factors in the NBA which make it perfect for chasing steam. The first is the amount of games. In an NBA season, there are numerous games each and every day. The second is the amount of scoring. The NBA frequently sees close games where the final scores are in the 100’s and an eight-point loss is really a blowout. This doesn’t happen in any other sport. With a limited amount of time to place a wager, any significant line movement is easy to spot. Plus, any significant line movement completely changes the odds. A two-point line movement in the NBA is much bigger than a two-point swing in an NFL game because of the scoring. Being able to watch the lines of a few NBA games for a few hours for steam plays is much easier than watching NFL games for days at a time. It happens fast, and being able to act as quickly as possible on those movements is the key to chasing steam.

Triple Your Accounts, Double Your Winnings

In order to effectively chase steam, you will need at least three accounts with different sportsbooks. Remember, you aren’t just looking to follow the smart money, you want to follow the money on the same number they placed their wager on. For example, let’s say the Chicago Bulls are two-point favorites versus the Golden State Warriors. If enough money is placed on the Warriors all at once, the line will move in a big way. You see that the line moves to make the Warriors a one-point favorite. That’s a three-point steam. Of course, this is at one sportsbook and not the others. You then take this information to another account at a different sportsbook and try to get the same number, Warriors plus 2, that the smart money took. The ability to see the movement and place the same wager at a different sportsbook before they change their odds is key. And more importantly, it works.

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