Let Market Guide NBA Ratings



The NBA regular season got underway last night with three games. Tonight is the first really BIG night of the season, with most of the league seeing action.

Hopefully, you saw the season coming and got your Power Ratings ready several days ago. I think it's best to have numbers that reflect your own thinking about any sport. You're not going to beat the masses by thinking exactly like they are. But, I do believe that, in a sport like basketball, you should use early market prices as a guide with your own rankings.

Why do I think that?

  • Even if you are right on the money with the teams you know best, there are many lesser teams that you're probably going to miss by a couple of points. Are you really confident that you've got somebody like Memphis, Minnesota, or Sacramento pegged properly? If you live in one of those areas, maybe you're right about your local team. I doubt you're right about all three.
  • Early season NBA numbers aren't influenced much at all by public money. You have the oddsmakers opinion in the opening number. You have the sharps' opinions in the initial moves (money hitting the board from professional wagerers). To the degree any square money (from the public) is going to hit, it will be in TV games involving superstars. In short, RESPECT the lines you're seeing on the board because they're pretty well informed.

Now, I'm not saying that the NBA is unbeatable early in the season. You have to pick your spots carefully, and focus on teams or situations that may be under the radar. We've had some coaching changes. We've had some personnel changes. We have a few guys with "chip on their shoulder" motivation that could lead to very fast starts for somebody.

Look for those, AND respect what the market is saying! It's a delicate balance...but one you can walk if you're disciplined and attentive.

Here are some clues about how teams stack up based on the early numbers in Tuesday and Wednesday action. Remember that home court advantage is typically worth 3 points in the NBA. With that in mind:


  • Miami opened at pick-em, and moved early to -1.5 at Boston. That tells you oddsmakers think Miami is about 3 points better in Power Ratings than Boston on a neutral court...and that sharps either think it's a bit higher than that, or were just taking position to exploit potential public action.
  • Portland opened at -6.5 vs. Phoenix, then moved to -7.5 by midday. Remember that Phoenix is supposed to have a down season. Oddsmakers have Portland 3.5 points better in their ratings, while sharps think it's more than that.
  • The LA Lakers opened at -8 vs. Houston, before seeing the line fall to -7. That means oddsmakers have the Lakers pegged at 5 points better than Houston in their ratings. Sharps will have it closer until Yao Ming gets hurt again.

If you compiled early Power Ratings, are you in agreement with those assessments? Consider shading your numbers in those directions if you're not.

WEDNESDAY (using oddsmakers openers only because of publication deadlines)

  • New Jersey is seen as 1 point better than Detroit.
  • Boston is seen as at least 5 points better than Cleveland (if there was an adjustment for a back-to-back spot on the schedule, it's more than 5 points).
  • New York is seen as 1 point better than Toronto.
  • Minnesota is seen as 1 point better than Sacramento.
  • Milwaukee and New Orleans are seen as even.
  • Oklahoma City is seen as 3 points better than Chicago
  • Dallas is seen as 4 points better than Charlotte
  • San Antonio is seen as 6 points better than Indiana
  • Denver is seen as 1 point better than Utah
  • Portland is seen as at least 6 points better than the Clippers, more if there was an adjustment for a back-to-back (note that I've talked to a few sharps who are very impressed with Blake Griffin in his return from injury for the Clippers...and are looking to bet the Clips early in the season).

A few Wednesday games were off the board at press time because of injury situations. I'll trust you to make the proper assessments once the numbers go up after accounting for home court advantage.

Do your best to have quality Power Ratings in the NBA. I can tell you firsthand that oddsmakers are giving most of their priorities to football right now. They're going to be slow to react to developments...even high profile developments. Try to bet the openers so you can beat the sharp money. Watch as many games as you can this week to get a good read on as many teams as possible.

If you'd like some help in pro hoops, sign up with the man who's smack dab in the middle of the legal sports wagering markets. I know how easy it is to beat early season NBA because I do it for my clients every year! The pro basketball market may be softer in the next 4-5 weeks than at any other time this season. Take advantage online. Game day releases go up a few hours before tipoff. You can also purchase longer term packages. If you have any questions, talk to one of my representatives at 1-877-822-2276. We have some great offers on combination packages with my hot football. Baseball's World Series (starting Wednesday Night) can be added to any package for a nominal increase.

It's great to have so much going on this week in the world of sports. Whether you're talking football, pro basketball, or baseball's Fall Classic, you can rest assured that the best information is always going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!


Today’s Hot Plays