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    NBA Prop Betting Strategies

    Veteran handicapper Mike Somich breaks down his NBA prop betting strategies.

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    NBA Prop Betting Strategies

    With the NBA on the home stretch, let’s take a look at the ever so popular player NBA prop betting market and some of the ways to attack and not attack the market based off of how these players are lined. I went into this exercise with the hypothesis that points will be the key since that will make up the largest percentage of line and you can add up to 4 points in a single possession while with rebounds and assists, it is unlikely to get more than one in a single possession. With some players who dominate rebounds, but do not score as much, I would focus on rebounds. However, those players PRAs are generally lined equally to the total of the three categories.

    This goes against the basic premise that if you play someone who averages a large number of assists and rebounds while scoring as well then you can win the PRA even if the player does not have a prolific scoring game. Many bettors assume it’s a hedge in a way against a low scoring game.

     

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    Let’s look at the stat stuffers as a key example. These are the guys who have a chance to go for a triple-double on a nightly basis. Some of the more popular guys include the likes of Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic. They will generally have a high points prop and numbers between 8-10 in both the rebounds and assists numbers.

    Let’s look at Doncic’s lines tonight as an example.

    Points: 31.5 (o -150)

    Rebounds: 8.5 (o +100)

    Assists: 8.5 (o -145)

    P+R+A: 49.5 (o -115)

    This is a normal line for him. The first thing that should jump out is if you add the single categories up, the PRA is one higher than the total. Now, with the juice, that seems to make sense, but the fair number with that juice is actually 49, not 49.5.

    I’ve tracked these players over the last month and what stood out was if they miss their point total, in this case Luka goes under 31.5, then they hit their PRA total just 28% of the time. My hypothesis was such that points are the key to the PRA total and the math backs it up. For example, if Luka scores 28 points, or 10% below the projected number, then he would need 21 total rebounds + assists to go over the PRA number. That would represent over a 20% increase in the projected totals on the two stat lines that are more difficult to accrue.

    In Doncic’s case this season, the PRA under is 10-2 when Luka scores 29 points or less. In contrast, when Doncic scores 34 or more, he’s 22-2 to the over. That’s an astounding difference when you look just 2 points above or below the projected scoring total.

    With players who are two stat monsters, the data gets even worse. Tonight, Rudy Gobert has lines of 13.5 for points and rebounds (no assist line) and an PRA of 28.5. When scoring 11 or less this season, he has gone over PRA zero times this season. When scoring 13 or less, is PRA under is 23-4 this season.

    The bottom line is the PRA bet is not a hedge, in most cases, it’s a trap. Over the long run, playing single categories is the more profitable strategy.

    Mike Somich
    Mike Somich
    Mike Somich is the host of the Handle on weekends for VSiN. He brings over 20 years of gambling experience including playing poker professionally, multiple $75,000 horse racing tournament scores and years of betting sports. He currently focuses on the NFL, NHL and College Basketball.

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