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Computer Stats Biggest in the NBA
May 2nd, 2022

Arguably the sport we hear run-of-the-mill gamblers and fair to middling touts claim is the hardest to predict would be the NBA. Some even imprudently claiming it’s a true crapshoot. We strongly disagree, but that is because we are learned enough to realize not all weapons used in handicapping are weighed evenly in all sports. For example, with college basketball here, our news and notes from our private clipboard has endless valuable lowdown.  They are compiled from hometown newspapers and the team’s own press releases.

But in the NBA, the computer programs become most valuable. Retired NBA handicapper Curt Thomas will be the first to admit he is not a great expert on team personnel and is even more upfront in admitting it cost him in other sports, when he had his own service. However, he is a certified computer nerd. He found the sport that had the highest number of unique systems with lofty z-scores was the NBA and not surprisingly the one that past results were a precursor to future final scores. 

Using winning percentage to date, margin of loss/victory in recent games, and pointspreads to measure perceived difference in quality between opponents, top a list of parameters in which he finds comparing teams in similar situations in past years goes a long way forecasting future results. Thomas believes with the so many x-factors involved in NBA travel schedules over an arduous season, the patterns of when a team suffers a letdown or has a fire lit under them, are much more distinguishable than all the other sports combined.

Forensic handicapper Stevie Vincent of  agrees even though he uses trends and angles instead of systems. Again, systems are not team specific such as “Bet with a team with a winning percentage of .600 or above off a double-digit road loss”, while angles are team and/or coach specific. “We use angles with great success picking pro basketball totals” Vincent says. He believes forensic handicapping is best in using past patterns to distinguish when teams will adjust the pace of games, hence a goldmine for predicting over/under plays.

Those computer nerds getting picked on by the jocks in high school was quite easy to predict. Talk about revenge of the nerds, now the propeller heads make their biggest profits knowing the high paid jocks are every bit as predictable, especially in pro basketball.


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Joe Duffy is founder of featuring the world’s top sports service selections.
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