Betting Against the Public in the NBA (2003 – 2009)

SportsInsights is pleased to bring you this year’s “Bet Against the Public” results for the upcoming NBA Season.  Our database now includes six seasons worth of data — and almost 8,000 games.  Most importantly, the results continue to show that “contrarian sports investing” can help put the “wind in your sails.”  In this article, we also present results for “betting against the Public” — on Visiting teams.  Visiting teams appear to be undervalued in the NBA. 

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NBA Data 2003-2009

The SportsInsights NBA database now includes six complete season’s worth of data.  Here are some notes on the data that we used for this article:

  • Data for the past six seasons (November 2003 through June 2009)
  • Includes the regular season and playoffs
  • Excludes pre-season and All-Star Games
  • Almost 8,000 games.

You can purchase SportsInsights’ historical database to perform your own research by visiting the following webpage:

Data is available for seven major US sports — and may be purchased as a group — or for individual sports.

Betting Against the Public — NBA

Over the years, SportsInsights’ proprietary “betting percentages” (obtained from actual sportsbooks) have proven to be a good contrarian sports investing tool.  Our Members can often find value by finding the most “lopsided bet” games of the day — and “Betting Against the Public.”  More specifically, if we see less than 23% of the bets on one team, it means that the public might be undervaluing that team.  There are a limited number of games below the 20% level.

Table 1: NBA and Betting Against the Public (Last Six Seasons, ending June 2009)

Betting % Win %
40% 50.7%
35% 50.2%
30% 50.7%
25% 50.1%
23% 51.1%

NBA Visitors Undervalued

The past six years of NBA data has shown that Visiting teams may be undervalued more than Home teams.  That is, if you “Bet Against the Public” and select only Visiting (or Away) teams (Table 2), your winning percentage would be higher than when both Visitors and Home teams are selected (Table 1, above).  The 53.7% winning percentage we bolded in the chart below is pretty solid — for a very simple system.

Table 2: NBA Visitors and Betting Against the Public (Last Six Seasons, ending June 2009)

Betting % Win %
40% 52.1%
35% 51.5%
30% 52.8%
25% 52.1%
23% 53.7%


Summary prides itself in being an industry leader in sports information services.  We hope that you will make SportsInsights your one-stop shop for everything from live betting odds and scores to sports investing information — and betting systems.  Our Members enjoy some of the most innovative sports marketplace information available!  SportsInsights develops analytical tools that build upon sports marketplace indicators (such as “betting percentages” and “line moves”) to give our Members an edge over other handicappers.

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself.