NBA betting systems using DraftKings betting splits

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With the success and popularity of the DraftKings Betting Splits systems we have offered on VSiN for both college and pro football, it was only natural that it would lead us to analyze the same data sets for the NBA. Unfortunately, our database guys only started cataloging this information at the turn of the calendar to 2023, so while we could still analyze a large data set of 771 NBA games from last season, it was still just a partial season’s worth. That said, in studying this significant sample, I uncovered several strong betting systems that can help you navigate the upcoming NBA season using the methodology. To summarize the findings, the majority handle bettors proved to be much more successful at wagering the NBA at DraftKings than football on everything except moneylines. The majority number of bets groups, although over .500, lost units in all facets.

 

About mid-season last year, I set out to study the college football betting splits data provided on VSiN.com by DraftKings. I felt that a book like DraftKings, known for servicing all levels of recreational bettors, providing this type of data would offer a ton of great betting opportunities if savvy bettors knew how to interpret the numbers. As it turns out, I was right, but by somewhat different means than I thought I would find.

You’ve probably seen the newsletters, promos, and VSiN show hosts touting the Betting Splits Data from DraftKings, and righteously so, as we believe it to be a fantastic resource for bettors. These pages on VSiN.com that we have built utilize the data that DraftKings so graciously provides to us, detailing the breakdowns of the money and ticket splits for point spreads, money lines, and totals.

Why is this Betting Splits information so valuable? Well, most specifically, it lets us see which games are the most publicly supported each week. We all truly believe that the “betting public” does not win over the long haul, and with the amount of money DK spends on acquiring customers, you have to assume that most of the bettors that play there would be considered “public.” In other words, the collective opinions of this group of recreational bettors are right out on display for all of us to analyze and take advantage of.

Most of the theories I believed about public bettors losing more often than not came to fruition, particularly for the NFL, a sport heavily wagered by public bettors. The NBA, however, was proven to be a different story in the later parts of the 2022-23 season, as you’ll see in a bit. When considering the handle as the majority, these bettors won on point spreads and totals but lost on moneyline wagering. My best explanation is that bettors of the NBA aren’t as novice of a group as the NFL bettors. You can’t be a “weekend warrior” and bet the NBA. You need to be willing to take on the daily grind, and you would only do this if you were successful. Otherwise, it’s a tedious, painful, money-losing process almost every night.

Before digging into some of the system data I uncovered during the 2022-23 NBA season, I should remind you of the two common betting generalities for recreational players who wager at places like DraftKings. That is the majority bet favorites on point spread and Overs on totals. The numbers are staggering. According to the final ticket/handle numbers last NBA season for games dated 1/2/23 and later, the majority wagers were on favorites and/or Overs in at least 84% of the games. These numbers are more dramatic than both college and pro football. However, that didn’t stop the overall group from making profits.

As a little background on this exercise, I basically tried to analyze the records of the “majority bettors” at DraftKings and the side/total they preferred for games. I also broke it down further, sometimes by the percentage of majority and by some various team statistics. There are two fields of analysis for each wagering option that DraftKings shares the data for both sides and totals: 1) handle 2) number of bets. These can produce varied results, but I generally subscribe to the theory that the total handle is a little less “public” than the total number of bets.

These were the overall records of the majority bettors for the 2022-23 NBA season from 1/2/23 on, using the key terms HANDLE and number of BETS.

 

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As one of the original founders of StatFox, Steve Makinen has been in the business of sports betting and data analysis for almost 25 years now. In his time in the industry, Steve has worked in a variety of capacities on both sides of the betting counter, from his early days of developing the StatFox business, to almost a decade of oddsmaking consulting for one of the world's leading sportsbooks, to his last seven years as Point Spread Weekly and Analytics Director with VSiN. Steve has always believed that number crunching and handicapping through foundational trends and systems is the secret to success and he shares this data with VSiN readers on a daily basis for all of the major sports.