We will finally get back to a “normal” routine schedule for the upcoming season.
Let us take a look at some key areas to in order to effectively handicap. For this grapevine we will focus on the numbers side not the situational side. However remember the intangibles like travel, injuries, motivation, revenge, look ahead, let downs etc. are all equally as important as the numbers.
I like to focus on offensive FG% and defensive FG%. This really deals with efficiency. Just looking at points for and against can be misleading. Just because you are putting up many shots and scoring points does not indicate success.
Turnovers kill a team. Play against teams that have a high turnover ratio play on teams that create turnovers and who also take care of the ball themselves.
Rebounding is a big key. The team that controls the boards both offensively and defensively wins the game. Rebounding is all hard work and effort. Second chance points and extra possessions lead to wins.
Free throw quantity and percentage. In other words getting to the line. Getting to the line more than your opponent and making your free throws leads to covers. Jump shots and 3 point shooting is the rage now in the NBA. The smaller faster player. However outside shooting runs hot and cold similar to the baseball team heavily dependent on the home run. Teams that can also score in the paint are more consistent in their results.
When handicapping totals you want to focus in on pace of play. How many shots does a team get off each game? The faster the pace the greater chance for a higher scoring game. Split the pace of play stat like all stats you accumulate with home vs. away. Most teams play quicker at home than on the road.
Similar to umpires in baseball referees play an important factor in totals. Some referees call much more fouls than others while some referees let them play more.
Fatigue will lead to lower scoring games so look at teams on extended road trips and/or playing a bunch of games in a short time period.
Pay extra attention to the point guard. He is equivalent to the QB in football. The point guard controls the pace, is a huge factor relating to turnovers and he is responsible for setting up his teammates for easy baskets.
Remember as always you need numerous factors in order to make a bet. Do not just jump on 1 item and pretend to think that it is nearly enough in order to pull the trigger on a bet.