Over the years, we have gotten into many discussions and debates about what are the easiest and toughest sports to handicap. Mike Godsey, the namesake of GodsTips.com, made a convincing argument it was football and had the track record to prove it, especially in the NFL. Curt Thomas, a 900 number scorephone legend, felt the NBA was, by light years, the easiest to accurately predict.
We decided, while others spent large amounts of money on daily radio and weekly cable television infomercials, we’d invest our capital into the product itself. We made Curt the first and only full-time NBA handicapper for GodsTips.com, then known as God’s Picks.
Among the many reasons that Thomas says pro hoops is the most profitable is that the NBA has some of the most unheeded stats. We have always preached time and time again, that ratings are so much more important than rankings.
The way we have always exploited that of course, is first taking the pure numbers that others just rank, and put them into their proper perspective simply by comparing the numbers to that of the cumulative average of their opponents to date.
Using the most basic numbers, points for or against, here is again an illustration.
Most would consider a team that averages 107.1 points per game to be a “better” offense than a team that scores 99.7. However, we decipher much further and much more accurately by keeping the raw numbers in context.
Example: Phoenix is the team that averages 107.1 points per game, but if it is against teams normally allowing 105.1, that’s a point per game “rating” of +2.0 points. However, perhaps they are playing Miami, a team that played mostly slow down Eastern Conference teams.
Miami scores 99.7 points but it’s to teams normally allowing 94. Miami’s rating is +5.7, hence actually higher than the Suns. The great unwashed thinks Phoenix has a better statistical offense, simply because of rankings.
Even more importantly, points for and points against are less accurate in predicting future success than shooting percentage for and against, we repeat, relative to their opponents normal average.
An angle occurs when one team has a significant ranking advantage in points per game, but the other is rated higher in both points per game and shooting percentage. The perfect storm happens when this occurs at both ends of the court—offensively and defensively.
To the most frequently asked question, why is it important that one team have a higher advantage in rankings, but the other in ratings? After all, wouldn’t a superior team have the edge in both?
The answer is absolutely if your only goal is to judge which team is superior, but we are talking against the spread. Betting the odds is finding the variation between perception (the line) and reality.
One not need be a Rhode Scholar to tell you the Spurs would be very likely to beat the Knicks in San Antonio, but we want to know who is more likely to cover the spread.
Also as to analyzing steals, blocked shots, free throws, turnovers and so many other stats; yes we do account for those. Elaborating would take another article or three or 20, because the answer goes well beyond a simple yes.
But we did demonstrate Handicapping 101 on how to measure perception against reality, and GodsTips.com NBA Guru Curt Thomas believes the “perfect storm” happens inordinately more often in the NBA.
Joe Duffy’s sports betting selections are at www.GodsTips.com. He is the founder and CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com, the top source for free and premium sports betting content.