5 Essential NBA Stats For Betting

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5 Essential NBA Stats For Betting
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Basketball returns to our screens this October and UK betting sites are already gearing up for what is destined to be another bumper season.

With five teams all priced within 7/1 to win the NBA Championship this year, it’s evident no-one can quite pinpoint who will be lifting the trophy come the Finals next spring.

The Golden State Warriors (6/1) and the LA Clippers (7/1) are the current favourites with UK bookmakers. 

But there are more than 1300 games to be played before we get to that - and there’s an unlimited number of opportunities for punters to get stuck into.

But where do the best bets lie this season? Here at Gambling.com we’ve crunched the numbers on points scored over the past decade and compared it to what you could expect from the game back in the ‘90s.

And guess what? Games feature more points than ever before, and a growing number of away wins.

Here are five essential NBA stats to get you going with your punts in 2022/23 season.

NBA Stats: Last 10 Full Seasons

SeasonMatchesPoints Per MatchHome Points Per MatchAway Points Per Match
21/221323220.64111.27109.38
20/211171223.94112.56111.38
19/201143223.29112.67110.62
18/191312221.98112.39109.59
17/181312212.43107.4105.03
16/171309211.24107.16104.08
15/161316204.97104100.97
14/151311200.09101.2498.85
13/141319201.82102.2299.6
Dec-131314195.8999.5896.31
Avg:1283211.629107.049104.581

1. Average Points Per NBA Game

The NBA is the highest-scoring basketball league in the world, and we’ve witnessed a big increase in the average points per NBA game since 2016. 

There is an average 218.92 points scored per NBA game over the past six years. Between 2012 and 2015, the average was 200.70 per game. And way back in the 1990s fans witnessed 199.64 per game.

It’s believed the reason for this spike in points is the increased speed of basketball at this elite level and the scoring of more three pointers than ever

Non-traditional line-ups, more space for players to flourish and improved fitness levels all contribute to yielding more points.

2. Points Per Home Team

Backing the home team’s points in basketball is fairly commonplace on betting apps, especially when a heavy favourite’s odds are so lean that the profit margin isn’t worth the risk. 

And the average home points per NBA game has steadily fallen and then increased again over the past 30 years. 

At the start of the 1990s you could expect 108.49 home points per game. But over that decade the tally fell every year to a low of 92.94 in 1999. 

The figure failed to resurface past the 100-point mark until 2013, and over the past four seasons we’ve witnessed an average 111.27 points per home team.

Why this is important is because NBA bettors are now more likely to wager on the home team edging +110.5 points, especially if they’re heavy favourites. Finally, that wager is starting to pay off.

3. Points Per Away Team

NBA basketball

The scoring trends found in the 1990s and the 2010s with home teams is also replicated with away teams.

In the 1998/99 season away teams scored on average just 89.56 points per game. That’s still more than the average points scored by EuroLeague teams, but nevertheless a poor reflection on the NBA at the turn of the millennium.

These days NBA average away team points hover around the 109 mark. The gap between home and away points totals has narrowed. 

Whereas in 1991/92 home teams scored 4.3% more points than away teams, in 2021/22 it was just 1.7%.

Games are getting tighter and the best NBA betting sites are taking note of that fact. But not because home teams are scoring less. It’s because away teams have found a way to score on average 20 more points than they did 25 years ago.

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No
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#ad. 18+. Gamble Responsibly. Gambleaware.org. New bettors; Code SPORT; Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; Valid 60 days; Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply.

4. NBA Home Win Percentage

All this results in NBA home win percentages falling dramatically over the past three decades. Our data shows how home bankers are now rarer than ever before. 

While the big boys like Golden State, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks are good wagers on new betting sites to reach the latter stages of the playoffs, it’s now common wisdom that practically anyone can beat anyone else in the NBA.

The likelihood of a home win earned in the 1990s was set at 61.49%. That’s effectively a two-in-three chance of winning, and meant that basketball bettors had some confidence in siding with the hosts.

But that percentage dropped to a low of 54.65% during the Covid-19 impacted 2020/21 season, and it hasn’t really recovered since. 

In the past three years home teams win 54.60% of the time in the NBA - and that makes it harder for punters to back hosts with the same confidence as they did before.

NBA Stats: Home Wins vs Away Wins

SeasonMatchesHome WinsAway Wins
2021/22132354.80%45.20%
2020/21117154.65%45.35%
2019/20114354.68%45.32%
2018/19131259.07%40.93%
2017/18131258.69%41.31%
2016/17130958.29%41.71%
2015/16131659.42%40.58%
2014/15131157.59%42.41%
2013/14131957.92%42.08%
2012/13131461.34%38.66%
Averages:128357.65%42.36%

5. NBA Away Win Percentage

Of course, a slump in home win percentage boosts the away win percentage across the league - and punters are finding value in backing the road team each evening.

There was a time in 1991 when away teams won just 34.21% of the time, but now they’re sitting pretty at 45.20%.

The reason for this uptick in away results is something that is being witnessed across professional team sports. 

Just like in football, NFL, rugby and baseball, the negative factors of playing away from home have reduced over the past three decades.

Teams now fly in to play games, compete in roughly the same conditions, and jet out again without a problem. Sports stars are so accustomed to playing on the road that it doesn’t affect them as much. 

Meanwhile, improved environmental standards for pitches, courts and basic facilities means home advantage is further reduced.

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Joe Short

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