Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook
- A difference between money and ticket percentages can indicate sharp action on an NBA game.
- Using the Bet Labs database, we analyze how NBA bettors can profit from these differences.
On Monday’s seven-game NBA slate, the majority of tickets have been placed on the over in five games. This is nothing new. Casual bettors like cheering for points and the over usually receives a majority of bets.
In 16,885 regular season NBA games in the Bet Labs database, a majority of bets were placed on the over in 13,129 games (77.8%). See what I mean.
While a majority of bets are normally on the over, the line does not always increase. For example, in early betting 56% of tickets are on the Nets-Cavaliers over, but the line has dropped (see live odds).
Oddsmakers do not adjust lines based on public action. Sharp bettors move lines and one way to tell which wagers the pros have made is comparing money percentages to ticket percentages.
If there are more dollars than tickets on a game, that is an indication of smart money. Often, when there is more money than tickets on a game the line will move, and it has been profitable to follow the line movement even though bettors aren’t getting the best of the number.
Since 2015 (when we began tracking dollar percentages) if there is at least 10% more money than tickets on a game and the line increases, the over has gone 370-332-7 (52.7%).
The most profitable time to follow the money is in non-division games where the line increases by at least one point:
Professional bettors don’t always win, but being on the same side as smart money is advantageous. Money percentages and line movement indicate sharp bettors are on two overs tonight.
I’ll be following their action and betting the over as well.
- Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (7 p.m. ET, NBATV)
- Atlanta Hawks vs. Golden State Warriors (7:30 p.m. ET, no channel listed)