Saturday, 2 November 2013

Shiny Shoe Tips

Emp asked:

"Do you only trade in-play on the NBA or do you also have pre-match bets that you keep on?"
I do occasionally have punts on the NBA pre-game, but rarely. For me and my limited resources, the only way to consistently make profits from this sport is to take advantage of pricing errors in-play. I was discussing the topic of finding a pre-game edge with NBA Tips 1 yesterday on Twitter, and as I said then, "if a price looks to offer value, it's because someone knows something you don't".

The problem with betting NBA pre-game is that all the basic statistics are out there for everyone. What is not public knowledge is the advanced analytics that according to the Washington Post last month, three-quarters of teams have full-time staff working on, and by definition, inside information. In a sport where a team has only five players on a court at a time, a star player likely to miss a game through injury or coach's decision makes a big difference to the odds.

There was a Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs regular season game last season, where the Spurs rested their 'big three' - Parker, Duncan and Ginobili. My phone rang, a well meaning friend anxious to give me the 'breaking news' and looking for a share of the certain profits. Except of course that by the time my friend heard the news, it wasn't news. The prices and lines had long since moved on, and anyone backing the Spurs in good faith prior to this decision was left with a poor deal. (In the event, a 'weak' Spurs team actually came very close to beating the Heat and covered the updated spread).

Joseph Kennedy is reputed to have said "that he knew it was time to get out of the market when he received stock tips from a shoe-shine boy".
Does anyone actually follow free tips from an unproven tipster? I don't know if the NBA Tips1 tipsters polish shoes during their day jobs, but I suspect their main income is not from betting or the sport of basketball. Self-proclaimed as the UK's leading free tipping site, although how much competition there is in this area is debatable, the results so far this season are a little disappointing:
I already mentioned their error in how many games are played in a season and their willingness to offer (losing) tips on meaningless pre-season games. Pre-season games are not played to win - they have one purpose which is to get the team ready for the regular season. To their credit, they did stop that, and they are clearly very enthusiastic about the NBA (as we all should be), but what are their tips based on? Based on what do they feel that their tips offer an edge, or are they for entertainment purposes?

There are few meaningful statistics available, and even if there are, there's the inside information problem as mentioned earlier. Last season's statistics are of interest, but for many teams, not relevant because players have moved on and new ones have come in. I could be very wrong, and be writing a big apology at the end of the season, but I am not seeing any evidence that at the moment, they have much idea of what it takes to win in the NBA.


RandomMan said...

So major European football leagues offer value (sometimes) but NBA doesn't. Why is this? Surely all statistics are as readily publicly available on both sports.

Cobo said...

Hello Cassini,

Are you sure that "advanced not publicly available stats" reasoning can only be made for NBA? I don't know, it may be the same in baseball, hockey, tennis... At least I really don't know where to get info like distance a tennis player run on each match, placement of shots, etc... and that is being tracked for sure. Of course, in that case the effect anything has on the player is even bigger than in basketball.
I talk about tennis as it is what I trade, but the situation may be the same on other sports.

Also, as much as I completely agree with your post on numbers VS intuition (people not relying on numbers), I certainly think there are people with an innate ability to price risk and take advantage from it consistently. Needless to say, these are just a few compared to the number of "pro" tipsters giving advice.

Coming back to the NBA, if they have those advanced stats they for sure should be able to track the price in play far more accurately than you or anyone else. Couldn't the same argument be made about in-play as in pre-match? If advanced stats where the reason why it's impossible to win pre-match long term, it should apply to in-play too in my view (and this is just a thought out the top of my head). Could you develop a bit further on why it applies to pre-match and not in-play in your view?

Thanks a lot. Good luck with the NBA!