When to Bet Home Underdogs in the NBA

betting on nba basketball strategy

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Knowing when to bet underdogs in the NBA can be extremely profitable for bettors. Prior to games played on Friday, December 17, 2021, underdogs are 216-211-3 winning 50.6 percent of the time this season. Home underdogs this season are winning at exactly a 50 percent clip, 75-75 overall. So, when is the right time to bet on a home dog?


Check Injury Report

These days, bettors need to check the injury report daily and prior to game time. With the number of COVID-related issues, several teams have been left shorthanded at times this season. The Chicago Bulls even had to cancel two games.

Bettors may find a home underdog they like and then find out their opponent will be missing its best player. It’s a great time to snag the home dog if you can get it before a line change occurs.


Check Travel Schedule

In the 2021-22 NBA season, there are three stretches where a team will play eight games in 12 nights. Memphis, San Antonio, and Portland will each have to manage the grueling span of nearly two weeks. 

Let’s use Memphis as an example. The Grizzlies have won eight of their last nine games. Let’s say they are nearing the end of their 12-night stretch. An opponent is a home underdog against Memphis. That underdog presents some serious value. Teams that are tired often struggle in these types of games. They are also prone to rest their star players, especially on the second night of games on consecutive days or nights.


Watch for Back-to-Backs

In conjunction with the injury/illness report, check the schedule to see if a team is playing on back-to-back nights. Teams will often rest star players in at least one of the two games on successive nights. The Philadelphia 76ers have been doing that with C Joel Embiid. 

NBA teams will play an average of 13.5 back-to-back games this season. The Detroit Pistons, for example, will play 12 back-to-backs. In all 12, their opponent for the second game will have had a day of rest. Now, it’s unlikely a team will be a home underdog against Detroit this season, but if they were there’s a great opportunity waiting for bettors that check the schedule.

A home underdog going like – say Portland – going up against one of the better teams in the league that has been on the road for 10 to 12 days and is resting a star player offers plenty of value to the NBA bettor. The Trail Blazers, a sub-.500 team as Dec. 17, are also a pretty good team at home. Sitting at 11-18 and in 11th place in the Western Conference, Portland is 10-7 at home. 

Bettors looking to capitalize on underdogs should pay attention to injury reports, travel schedules, and recent trends. So far in the new season, one of every two home dogs is winning against the spread. Watching those key factors can help you choose the right home dogs on which to wager.