Betting on the NBA - players market

Updated: 12794 Basketball

I continue my examination of the NBA betting markets with one,which is not very popular among punters as bookies expanded it onlyrecently, but at the same time I consider it very interesting as italways offers just two options and in

Betting on the NBA - players market
Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

I continue my examination of the NBA betting markets with one, which is not very popular among punters as bookies expanded it only recently.


At the same time I consider it very interesting as it always offers just two options and in all honesty, is not that difficult to understand. 

The players market rarely offers any serious odds, but there is a very simple system everyone could exploit when picking a winner.

Not just that, but there is no need for in-depth knowledge of every player in the NBA as the bookies often limit the availability of betting to the star players 

Even bettors who do not regularly follow the league could find a winner with a few minutes of basketball research.

For more basketball strategies and pointers please check the betting school. 

What Is A Basketball Players Market

Despite being considered an outside market for those interested in betting on the NBA, the player's market has been gradually expanding as the sport becomes more popular in Europe.

It is gaining that popularity mainly because of its simplicity and basically deals with the possibility of a player accumulating over or under in certain types of stats.

Basketball Player Markets

  • Player Points
  • Player Assists
  • Player Rebounds
  • Player Assists 
  • Player Steals
  • Player Turnovers
  • Player Threes Made
  • Player Double Double
  • Player Triple Double
  • Player Points and Rebounds
  • Player Points Assists and Rebounds
  • Player Steal and Blocks

The analogy with football is more or less a combination between the total number of goals/cards and the goalscorer markets. 

To put it differently, it is either a player scoring over or under 1 goal.

However there are way more options and unlike football, the selection of players available is usually more limited as the bookmakers generally only include star players, in-form players, or players, who are particularly good at a certain aspect.

There are three major components of the basketball stats line and these are points, rebounds, and assists, which as a result shape 90% of the NBA players betting market.

From time to time, especially when we have a player, producing exceptionally well in steals or blocks, those two are also included

As we started to get more franchise players developing in the NBA, the bookies began to often put up respectable lines in all of the three major components.

The bookies reacted by introducing a fourth major betting option, which is accumulative bets on over or under, a total number of points, rebounds, and assists. 

Player Betting Accumulators

You can mix and match players, and mix and match player markets to create an Acca.

While still relatively young, these are also gaining interest and have been researched by punters mainly due to the less likelihood of a player consistently putting up close to triple-double performances.

Basketball Player Research

People often are missing the point when betting on NBA players and just follow a one-dimensional strategy of looking up the player and based on his averages or his current form they immediately make the selection. 


Like in many other situations, less experienced punters are also going with the well-known approach of just backing the favourite. 

You have heard that LeBron James is the best NBA player, so he will obviously cover the points line more often than not and there is your bet. 

While averages and form do play a role, it is vital to understand that finding the right bet is a combination of not one or two variables.

For one, bookies also follow averages and form, 

The line of a player, who hits 20.7 points per game in the last month, will most probably be 20.5 

You can't skip the necessary research even if the guy is a well-known name to those less-involved with basketball. 

Here is a quick introduction of the variables one must start with.

Basketball Defence

Since we already know what are the main options on the players market, we must examine what actually influences them and defense influences every single one of those. 

A player's points, rebounds, and assists are direct results of the opponents' ability to limit him in any aspect of the game. 

How to determine the ability of the opponent is pretty straight forward and includes the following: 

  • Game pace and seconds per possession
  • One must know if the player of interest faces a fast-paced or slow-paced opponent. 
  • Slower teams logically allow fewer points and are involved in low scoring affairs.
  • Overall team defensive efficiency.
  • Examine which teams are top and bottom on the defensive efficiency table.
  • Like mentioned, teams that do not allow many points, in general, are less likely to be easy to score against even by the all-star players. 
  • Teams that are rebounding well are less likely to allow a lot of offensive rebounds even to the best big men in the league. 
  • Teams that defend the perimeter (three-point shots) better influence the assists rates as point guards get around 30% of their assists per game by finding an open man on the outside.

Individual Defensive Efficiency Per Position

If you like a player and you consider betting on his points or rebounds, always check the match-up he faces on the opponents' team.


If he faces a good defender on his particular position, he will certainly have a more difficult time scoring points even if the team is not among the defensive elite. 

If he is facing a solid rebounder, he is less likely to rebound as much as expected. 

This is also extremely important for the assists as point guards, who face better defenders are much more likely to look for pass-first rather than attack the rim or score.

Historical Match- Ups

Once we know the defense of the opponent, we must look one or two seasons back to examine how the particular player we are interested in did against this opponent.

Head To Head

How has the player performed in say the last 3 seasons against his defensive opponents?

How did he deal with the defender he faces, it might actually be a favorable match-up and historical data in a way navigates our conclusions in one direction or the other.

Team Scedule, Playing Time and Game Importance

Even if a player is in superb form and rides an impressive streak covering the bookies lines, he could have a night off if the game is part of a difficult stretch and the opponent is far inferior. 

Think about this - best players are usually given more rest when a game is decided early and a blowout is expected. 


That is a real gift to bookies, who offer the usual line and inexperienced punters immediately think the star player they picked will dominate the weaker opponent,

But often with the game shaping as an easy win early on, the player is rested and does not play much in the second half. 

Never ever think that when a player faces the easiest opponent, it automatically spells over on all his stats. 

Remember that playing time is just as important.

Lastly, one must remember that the time of the season a game is taking place also influences the market. 

A team that is out of the playoffs might want to rotate and give more playing time to its rookies 

A favorite that has secured a playoff spot could do the same if a particular game is not going to have an impact on the seeds.

Basketball Player Betting Summary

Without a doubt, this NBA players market is becoming much more interesting, the bookies are expanding the betting options when it comes to basketball.

Player Research

If you get to know the strengths and weaknesses of players you have way more chance of profiting.

As long as we do our homework and do not commit any rookie mistakes, this could be a tidy little market with enough potential for generating profits. 

By starting from a simple understanding of what are we actually betting on and following it up with quick research into the defensive statistical data, even the less-knowledgeable can be successful. 

It is best to follow up on the research and stay in tune with the statistical changes as the season progresses.

Always take notes of the schedule, solid streaks or unconvincing ones, and the overall team situation and goals.

Further reading is available on the basketball betting advice pages, with tips on offer on the basketball tipping pages.

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