Within the past few seasons what’s become known as “in progress” or “in game” wagering has become one of the fastest-growing components of sports betting.
Rather than having to wait until halftime, for example, in order to make your next wager once a game has started you now have the opportunity to wager during time outs in the middle of a quarter, half, inning or period.
This has become especially attractive for NBA wagering as the structure and flow of the game result in perhaps the highest degree of volatility of the major sports. Double digit swings in a matter of minutes are commonplace as coaches dole out playing time to starters and reserves depending upon game situations, foul trouble, personnel combinations and a myriad of other factors.
One of my favorite strategies has long been to look for games in which the favored team in basketball or football is trailing at the half. Depending on the halftime margin the trailing team — favored to win the game — would be favored in the second half by a number that, if the second-half line resulted in a push — would still lose the game.
With in-game wagering we can jump in at any point when there’s a pause in the action. Books often offer both point spreads and money lines for these wagers. Because of the volatility in the NBA there are many opportunities to play the game favorite to win the game as a nice money line underdog when trailing. I look to find such spots generally in the second and third quarters.
It’s not unusual to find a team that has a double-digit second-quarter lead fall behind by double digits in the third quarter. Thus you could have plays on both teams in the game — on the money line — at underdog prices such that you are guaranteed a profit.
Of course, it’s best to have the game underdog be up by double digits when you make your first such wager, taking the favored team at an underdog price. The opposite scenario is a bit riskier.
Jazz at Grizzlies: Utah is one of the best teams in the West and Memphis one of the weakest. Yet two weeks ago, on this court, the Grizzlies upset the Jazz 107-106 as 8-point underdogs, setting this up as a nice revenge spot for Utah.
Utah’s backcourt duo of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell are averaging a combined 40 points per game although Conley did not have a great game in the first meeting against his former team. Given a second chance before his former home fans, expect a better effort from Conley and for the Jazz to win by a comfortable margin. JAZZ
Hawks at Rockets: Atlanta began the season playing seven straight Unders but has gone 10-0 to the Over since (through Monday).
Atlanta’s road games have averaged 10 more total points than its home games and this total likely comes in the low 230’s. Houston has been more of an Under team thus far but this matchup of their strong offensive rating combined with Atlanta’s low defensive numbers, especially on the road, suggest a higher than expected scoring game. OVER
Mavericks at Lakers: Dallas’ Luka Doncic is averaging 30 points per game and is within .2 assists from averaging a triple double. The duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James are averaging a combined 50 points per game for the Lakers.
The Mavs have won and covered five straight, They are 5-2 both SU and ATS on the road. MAVERICKS
Last week: 2-1