The National Basketball Association (NBA) is considered as the premier men's basketball league in the world.
Originally known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the NBA was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946 with just 11 teams. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League.
Today, through expansions, reductions, and relocations, a total of 30 teams (29 in the US and one in Canada) compete in the NBA. The 30 teams are divided into two conferences of three divisions with five teams each.
An NBA season begins in late September with the opening of training camps. This allow the coaching staff to evaluate players and determine the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will begin the regular season.
The regular season starts in the last week of October. Through the course of the season, each NBA team plays a total of 82 games - 41 at home and 41 on the road.
The NBA Playoffs begin in late April, with eight teams in each conference going for the Championship. The three division winners, along with the team with the next best record from the conference are given the top four seeds. The next four teams in terms of record are given the lower four seeds.
The NBA Playoffs follow a tournament format. Each team plays an opponent in a best-of-seven series, with the first team to win four games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs.
The final Playoff round, a best-of-seven series between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals, and is held annually in June. The victor in the NBA Finals wins the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
With an 8-month long season, so many teams and so many games to bet on, NBA punters sure have a lot of work ahead of them to be able to select winners. Here are a few tips to consider before placing an NBA bet.
Through the course of the season, each NBA team plays six of the teams from the other two divisions in its conference four times (a total of 24 games), and the remaining four teams three times (12 games). Finally, each team plays all the teams in the other conference twice apiece (30 games).
This means that each team can go against a strong or weak team at any given night. This also means that some games are more important than others - especially when teams jockey for position or struggle to make the playoffs.
It is generally perceived that home teams get the calls from the refs. But in the world of NBA betting, home court advantage is typically worth three or four points.
At the end of the 2011-2012 season, the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder were 28-5 and 26-7 at home, respectively. Meanwhile, the two worst teams, the New Orleans Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats were 11-22 and 4-29 at home, respectively.
Looking at the above home records, clearly the home team gets an edge.
Any NBA team can ride on a winning or losing streak. Any NBA team win against a stronger team one night and lose to a weaker team the next.
So expect peaks and valleys. Though teams get a certain rhythm as the season unfolds, there are just some nights where shots don't fall.
That's why having a consistent and long-term approach to NBA betting is crucial to offset the effects of bad nights on your bankroll.
During the 2011-2012 season, the Miami Heat had a 28-5 record at home, awesome right?
However, they were just 18-15 on the road! Even the Indiana Pacers were a better team on the road at 19-14.
So do differentiate between team performance at home and on the road.
As in any other sport, some teams are simply overvalued than others because of public perception and popularity.
It is better to place value on what the team did during the offseason than making a pick based on how many times their star players land on the cover of your favorite magazine.