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From October through June bettors and fans alike will have NBA basketball on their televisions every evening. With so many games available to bet on – how should you pick where to place your wagers?

Looking at the money and bet percentage splits, of course. We’ll provide you with the data directly from sportsbooks here ahead of game each night during the season so you can see where both the public money and percentage of tickets are concentrated for each game.

The public won big on the Warriors in both the moneyline and spread markets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, as Golden State blew out Dallas with ease. Below are the bet and money percentages on the odds for Game 2 of Heat vs Celtics:

 Heat vs Celtics Game 2 Betting Splits

All data and percentages via DraftKings Sportsbook

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NBA Betting Trends

  • The Celtics are receiving over half the handle and tickets to cover 3.5-points for Game 2 in South Beach on Thursday. Despite still missing Al Horford due to covid protocols and Derrick White out for personal reasosn – the return of Marcus Smart to the lineup has shifted bettors confidence to Boston
    • Miami’s win in Game 1 was their fourth cover in the last six against the Celtics

Looking for the latest NBA odds? – Get current spreads, totals, and moneyline odds for all games this week here.

What Are NBA Betting Trends and How Do I Use Them?

Every bet placed on NBA games is tracked and entered in to a system at your sportsbook of choice. Using all those transactions, bettors, analysts and fans alike can track trends based off the total number of bets placed and total amount of money bet on any game across the spread, moneyline or over/under total markets.

With that data, you can see the public consensus (as well as where the sharp money is) for every game before placing your bet.

What’s the Difference Between Bet and Money Percentages?

Money percentages – or percent of the handle – refers to the total amount of money wagered on an event, often broken down by bet type.

The money percentage pools all the money wagered on any game together, first sorting it by the type of bet (moneyline, spread, or total points scored), and then breaks down what percentage of the handle is bet on each side.

Whichever side the handle is weighted to can signal the sharp action (if the amount of tickets on that side are low), or if that side is being heavily bet by the public (if the ticket percentage is high).

Bet percentages, meanwhile, are frequently referred to as “% of tickets” or “% of bets”. Tickets are just a term used for all the bets placed.

To get the bet percentage, you look at all the bets placed (regardless of the amount of money risked on each one), again, sorting first by the type of bet, and then look at the percentage of tickets on each side of the game.

This can help identify which side both high-stakes and low-stakes players are trending towards.

Noticing Sharp Action While Betting on the NBA

As broken down above, ticket percentage does not consider the amount risked on each ticket – it just counts each bet placed. If we compare the bet percentage and money percentage of the same team (for the same bet type), you’ll notice the sharp action if the figures aren’t similar.

For example, if the Lakers have 86% of the tickets bet against the spread, but only has 47% of the money, we now know the bets being placed on the Lakers are quite small – or the bets being placed on the opponent are quite large.

A noticeable difference between a team’s bet and money percentages can help signal sharp action. In order to calculate this, just subtract their bet percentage from their money percentage. If the result is a positive number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on this team. If the result is a negative number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on the other team.

While that’s not a 100% accurate formula to determine the sharp action, it can give you a general idea of where the money is.