NBA extreme betting systems

We’ve just passed the midway point of the 2023-24 NBA season, which is a great time to update or refine the systems that bettors are taking advantage of every day in the VSiN Analytics Reports. Without a doubt, the readers I hear from most regarding the analytics reports are those taking advantage of the system data offered, which analyzes factors like streaks, schedules and extremes that affect how teams play in follow-up games. I’m going to update the Extreme Stats Systems here. 

All sports go through waves of changes that involve style or pace of play, rule modifications and other tweaks. These lead to ever-changing expectations in scores and other key stats. We’ve experienced the years of juiced balls in baseball, hands-off rules in college basketball, adoption of the air raid offenses in college football, and rules changes for safety purposes in the NFL, among other things. All of these typically resulted in higher scoring totals. I’m not sure any of it compares, however, to the absurdity of the transformation we’ve witnessed in the NBA in recent years. For a variety of reasons, average team scoring per game has gone from 96.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season to 114.9 PPG this season.


Bettors still employing trends and systems built for the “old days” need to adjust to the new norms that are occurring on a nightly basis. With that in mind, I thought I’d share several systems that have arisen in recent seasons in this new style of play that bettors can employ to generate profits. They take into account a team’s extreme stats from the prior contest and how they react in the follow-up game. 

I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to make consistent profits in NBA betting, and any other sport for that matter, is through the use of systems. That’s the reason why these make up such a huge part of the Analytics Reports in all the sports offered. These are different than trends in that trends tend to be team-specific, thus shorter-lived and riskier to follow. Systems are league-wide, allowing similar teams from different seasons to fit into certain fundamental angles that have provided reliable predictability. We all know that nothing in sports betting is a lock, but I feel that systems provide the foundation on which successful sports betting is built. They come with no bias and if built on solid principles, typically perform consistently, and in some cases, spectacularly.

One of the key fundamentals I like to use in the building of systems for any sport is the circumstances of extremes and how teams react to them. On any given night in the NBA, there can be extreme performances, in scores, in results against the point spread and in stats accumulated in the games. These will generate highlights on social media for fans to digest, but what I’m specifically looking to find out is how teams fare in the follow-up game when coming off one of these extreme situations. After all, unusual performances tend to sway oddsmakers, thus opening up chances for bettors to take advantage if they know how the teams will react. 

Considering all of that as the foundation of the data I analyzed, take a look at these systems I uncovered using NBA results from recent seasons, starting on or around 2018. I used this time frame because the scoring per game jumped by nearly 5.0 PPG after the 2017-18 season and has stayed at this defenseless level since. It includes results through Monday, Feb. 5. 

Fade teams off of overtime games 

Teams that played in an overtime game the prior day are on a 47-77 SU and 50-70-4 ATS (41.7%) slide, including 21-40-2 ATS in the last 63 games and 17-29 ATS when a pick ’em or favorite. 

This is a fairly simple system that will be relatively easy to recognize if you believe in it. Now the 41.7% (or 58.3% if fading) record isn’t gaudy by any means, but it does make foundational sense. Teams had to play extra minutes, and those extra minutes were likely the most intense of the game. Naturally, there will be some added fatigue in the follow-up game. This system is streaking lately and it carries even more weight when the OT team is favored.

Extreme scoring systems 

135 points in a win is a team score to watch for 

Teams that won their last game while scoring 135 or more points are on a 178-110 SU run but a 127-157-4 ATS (44.7%) skid in the follow-up game when favored. The record against divisional foes in these games is a concerning 24-32 ATS.

Lofty scores are the new norm in the NBA, but what used to be about 115 points as an impressive effort has moved to 135 points over the last decade. Watch for oddsmakers to over-adjust on these high-scoring teams in their next games, and look to fade them in the role of favorites, particularly when facing divisional rivals. Every game is unique, so don’t assume these scoring outbursts create momentum.

Allowing 135+ points in a game is a sign of trouble

NBA teams off of a game in which they allowed 135+ points and are now favored have gone 123-74 SU but 85-108-4 ATS (44%) in the follow-up game over the last 5 1/2 seasons. Included among this is a 73-95 ATS mark when not playing the next day.

Again, more and more teams are hitting the 135-point mark on any given night. Watch for the teams that allow this many or more to struggle in the next outing when expected to win. When you consider that the record in games more than a day later actually worsens, it seems that these brutal defensive efforts have a lasting hangover effect.

Back-to-back scoring outbursts could be the beginning of a trend

NBA teams coming off back-to-back wins in which they scored 130+ points in each outing have gone 62-46 SU and 61-45-2 ATS (57.5%) in the follow-up game since 2018, including 24-17 ATS as underdogs.

At 57.5%, this system would seem to be an easy one to convince even recreational bettors to take part in. Back teams that scored well in consecutive victories. It’s that simple. When oddsmakers commit the mistake of placing these teams as underdogs, hit it even harder.

Teams losing despite scoring well are dangerous

Since the start of the 2018-19 season, NBA teams coming off back-to-back losses in which they scored 115+ points have bounced back extremely well in the next outing, going 104-106 SU but 112-85-3 ATS (56.8%), including 83-43 ATS when installed as underdogs.

There is some clear foundation to this system, as teams are losing despite playing well offensively. It doesn’t take long for teams that are clicking on that end of the court to find success.

Favorites flush low-scoring totals quickly

NBA teams that come off a game in which they scored 90 points or fewer have responded well when favored in the next outing, going 119-42 SU and 99-60-2 ATS (62.3%) in their last 161 tries. 

Despite a very poor offensive outing the last time out, oddsmakers have still installed this team as a favorite. That should tell you something. In most cases, the previous game was simply an off night or a bad situational spot.

Quality of wins/losses can matter 

Close wins haven’t provided momentum going forward

NBA teams that won as favorites by a close margin (1-3 points) have gone 221-121 SU but just 142-189-11 ATS (42.9%) in the next game when favored again. 

You would think close wins would be galvanizing for a team, but they haven’t been. Considering these favorites win most often in the follow-up game but fail to cover, it seems as if they are being overvalued in the favorite role by oddsmakers.

Blowout wins are a warning sign for the next game for hosts

NBA home teams coming off any game in which they beat the point spread by 20 points or more are 229-179 SU but 177-220-11 ATS (44.6%) over the last 5 1/2 seasons. The worst situation for these teams comes against divisional rivals, 32-57 ATS.

We saw earlier where close wins were red flags, now we have a system where we are looking to fade home teams when they are coming off a huge point spread win. They have a hard time living up to what is likely an inflated number in the following game. Teams qualifying for this beat the point spread by 20 points, not necessarily the opponent. For instance, if Team A is playing at home and won its last game by 15 as an underdog of five or more points, they would qualify here. Things are worse when the opponent is a divisional rival.

Divisional upsets can create urgency

NBA teams that lose as favorites to divisional opponents have bounced back well when facing another divisional foe, going 83-47 SU and 77-51-2 ATS (60.2%) in that follow-up try over the last 3 1/2 seasons.

With a 60%+ win rate, teams coming off divisional upset losses seem to bring a renewed focus to the court in follow-up games against other division rivals.

Teams that win outright versus divisional rivals as double-digit underdogs have trended sharply UNDER the total in the next game, going 56-34 (62.2%) in their last 90 tries.

I’m not sure what the reason for this is. Perhaps this team comes out flat after such a huge win. Whatever the case, 62.2% warrants consideration on the total.

Unusual shooting performance systems

NBA teams off a game in which they were granted 35 or more FREE-THROW ATTEMPTS trended UNDER the total the next game, 256-202 (55.9%) since 2021.

In today’s age of limited defensive contact, teams shooting 35 or more free throws in a game is increasingly rare. It’s a good bet that those additional free throws led to a greater, and perhaps not warranted point total in the prior game. That in turn influences the current total being inflated somewhat. UNDER is the usual result.

NBA teams that have made 50% or more of their 3-point field-goal attempts in a game have responded the next time out by going just 196-215 SU and 182-226-3 ATS (44.6%) over the last 3 1/2 seasons. 

Games with teams hitting at least 50% of their 3-point attempts can usually be best described as “random.” If you go through the log of such games in recent years, there is little rhyme or reason to it. As such, I wouldn’t count on the follow-up contest for such teams coming close to that. Often these teams are overpriced, and when they do quickly come back down to earth with their shooting, their backers suffer.

Similarly, NBA teams that have made 20 or more 3-point field goals in a game have struggled the next time out, going just 207-206 SU and 184-217-10 ATS (45.9%) the next game over the last 3 1/2 seasons.

This is quite similar to the system just above, focusing on the quantity of 3-point field goals made rather than the percentage. As extreme as the league has become in recent years for its 3-point prowess, hitting 20 or more in a game is still somewhat rare. Don’t count on follow-up performances being just as good.

NBA road teams coming off a game in which they made 20+ three-point shots have gone just 107-137 SU and 106-132-6 ATS (44.5%) in that next game over the last 5 1/2 seasons.

It seems that red-hot 3-point shooting does not travel well from arena to arena, as teams that hit 20 or more bombs in one game but have to hit the road for the next outing have not fared well. Returns to normalcy, different city, different arena, travel fatigue and potential oddsmaker over-adjustment are likely all contributing factors. Avoid these teams regardless of what you saw in the last outing.

Teams not making many free throws bounce back well

NBA teams coming off a game in which they made six free throws or fewer have bounced back well in the next outing and are on a 143-114 SU and 148-102-7 ATS (59.2%) run.

With hands-off defense and 3-point shooting dominating the game, there are often games where one of the teams makes six or fewer free throws. We can argue the competitive merits of this until we’re blue in the face, but instead, let’s take advantage, find these teams in the box scores that don’t shoot or make a lot of free throws in a game, then back them in the next outing. Surely the refs will help tilt the scales the next time around, right?

Unusual defensive performances

NBA teams that hold an opponent to 36% or lower field-goal percentage in any game have produced well the next one as well, going 106-76 SU and 106-73-3 ATS (59.2%) since ’21. 

Unlike hot or cold shooting, strong defensive effort in one game can be relied on somewhat going into the next game. Teams coming off a game in which they hold an opponent to 36% shooting or less are typically dialed in defensively and playing well together. That’s usually a good recipe.

NBA teams that have allowed 20 or more 3-point field goals in a game have rebounded well when favored the next time out, going 129-47 SU and 98-76-2 ATS (56.3%) over the last 3 1/2 seasons. 

A lot of times, it is simply more than the team’s defensive effort in that last game that led to great shooting success for the opponent. Typically, that kind of bad luck doesn’t happen multiple games in a row and is something bettors can usually rely on to go against. 

Add these NBA systems to your library going forward and reap the rewards. All of these systems will continue to be tracked and qualified in the daily Analytics Reports on VSiN.