By Chris Goudey
WagerWeb.com Contributing Writer
your resident Fantasy Sensei, it’s my job to provide you with tips and tricks you can use to dominate your fantasy leagues. Winning a fantasy league is great and a real good way to trash talk your friends, but at the end of the day all that smack doesn’t pay the bills. You might win $100-$200 in your league, but there is a way to use that skill to make some real money.
Most of the online sportsbooks offer what are called proposition bets for all the major sports. These are bets that are different from your standard point-spread or over/under bet in that you are usually betting on a single player to do something in a game. The skills you use to do well in fantasy (knowing playing time, hot/cold players, defensive matchups, etc.) can be applied in proposition betting as well.
There are some books (WagerWeb.com included) that
offer prop bets for individual NBA players. If you are a winning fantasy player, you can use the same stats you use to set your daily or weekly lineups to win money betting on NBA props. As an example, if you have done research and discovered that Lamar Odom has scored much better at home than he does on the road, you could possibly find a “Lamar Odom over/under x amount of points” bet on the day he has a home game and take advantage of that knowledge. In this case you’d bet Odom over whatever the amount of points is. If he was on the road for that particular game, you would bet under.
There are not many books out there that offer props that are unique to their site (many books copy other books’ lines), so it pays to research as many books as you can and have money in as many of these books with unique lines as possible. The reason to do this is you have access to as many “soft” or beatable lines as you
can. When you bet NBA props, it is very important to be able to bet them right as they get posted on the site. If you don’t get them right as they post, sharp bettors will force the book to change the original line, and it will make a less advantageous situation for you.
There are people who are very successful in prop betting, and they use the exact same skill set that any successful fantasy player would use. Defensive matchups in the NBA are extremely important and knowing which teams are stronger or weaker on that end of the court is crucial. You can study the stats for scoring defense, rebound margin, assist differential, and home/road splits and gain a huge advantage over most prop oddsmakers.
There are many soft lines posted, and the reason for that is simply because the
oddsmakers don’t have the time to do that in-depth research that a bettor might have. When there are 13 NBA games in a night, you’re talking about bets on up to 60-70 players, and when you see that many players posted, there are bound to be a few exploitable lines in there. The key to being a successful prop bettor is knowing which trends to look at (I use home/road splits, recent performance, and playing-time evaluation in addition to the defensive matchup) and taking advantage.
Before the bets get posted every day, I will set a line in my head for each player that I think will be put up. Let’s say for example, I think Dwyane Wade is going to have a total of 28 points. If I see a line like 25 put up, I’m going to jump on the over as soon as I see it. Being prepared ahead of time is critical because as I said, those lines move very quickly and you have to be ready. If I saw a 31 for Wade,
I’d pound the under.
Prop betting is becoming more and more popular as people get more involved in fantasy sports, and I think you’ll see a lot more props for all sports as we go forward. If you are prepared, know which numbers to study, and have access to the bets right as they post, you can become a big winner!