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How to Make Money Betting on Basketball: Five Sharp Picks

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

I’m going to walk through a variety of sharp basketball bets. In my opinion, the best way to learn about profitable betting strategy is to see real examples of sharp picks. Sports betting can be intimidating at first, but it’s one of the rare forms of gambling where you can actually have an “edge” and win long-term.

I know that profitable betting strategy can be confusing – here’s a quick EV betting tutorial if you’re new to it. Just read this – thousands of people are making big profits with OddsJam.

Again, I’m not a writer, so I apologize for any typos or if anything isn’t clear. Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you have questions!

Two Sharp NBA Bets

I have two sharp NBA picks, and both were found on the OddsJam Positive EV Tool. This is the betting tool that I use most on OddsJam. The tool I use second most is the OddsJam Screen.

Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Odds, Pick & Predictions

The first play I’m on is the Mavericks 1H moneyline. I bet this at +140 odds on Caesars sportsbook.

As circled in the screenshot above, the profit margin (e.g. “edge” or EV) of this bet is 2.19%. Although a 2.19% ROI may seem small, you have to remember that sports betting returns are daily. The stock market returns an average of 8% every year, and we’re getting 2.19% every day with the OddsJam Positive EV Tool. If you place bets with 2.19% every day, then you should earn roughly a 65% monthly ROI with OddsJam (2.19% x 30). That’s how you grow your bankroll with Positive EV betting.

With a $1,000 bankroll, here’s what 2.19% daily returns mean…

  • Month 1: $1,000 Bankroll Grows to $1,650
  • Month 2: $1,650 Bankroll Grows to $2,720
  • Month 3: $2,720 Bankroll Grows to $4,490
  • Etc.

On OddsJam, you can filter for specific sportsbooks, leagues, etc. The software is fully customizable. Anyways, my betslip is below. I locked in this sharp NBA bet for $1,750. Since this bet has a 2.19% profit margin (or “edge”), the profit margin of my bet is 2.19% x $1,750 = $38.33. You just multiply your stake by your “edge” to get your profit margin in dollars. This means that my bet is worth $38.33. I would not trade you my bet for $20… This is a key concept in sports betting: expected value. If you don’t understand it, then please email us at [email protected] and we can do a tutorial!

Bucks vs. Jazz Odds, Pick & Predictions

I have another play for the Bucks vs. Jazz game – it’s also from the OddsJam EV Tool. I’m on the Bucks -3.5 point spread at -110 odds on WynnBet sportsbook.

Although the profit margin on this play is only 0.75%, remember that these returns are daily. Earning 0.75% daily yields a 22.5% ROI each month… Anyways, I hit this bet for $2,200, and my betslip is below.

A Few “No Brainer” College Basketball Bets

Next, I have some college basketball bets from OddsJam. I have one play on Caesars sportsbook, and my second wager is on WynnBet. It is critical to have multiple sportsbook accounts since you never know where the value will be. Sometimes, there’s mathematically profitable (e.g. Positive EV) bets on Caesars. Other times, WynnBet is asleep at the wheel. More sportsbook accounts = more profitable bets = more money in your pocket.

A Sharp CBB Bet on Caesars Sportsbook

First, I’m on Texas State 1H moneyline at +130 odds on Caesars sportsbook.

“Alex, why aren’t you betting the full-game moneyline? Why first half?” Well… that’s where the value is. I’m just following the value. Sometimes, there’s “edge” in the full game moneyline, and sometimes books are “asleep at the wheel” in their derivative markets.

All I care about is placing mathematically profitable bets. It’s really that simple. I don’t care if I’m betting on the NBA, the NFL, soccer or tennis. I just want to find Positive EV bets with an “edge” over the sportsbook.

I locked in this play for $250, and my betslip from Caesars is below. As seen in the screenshot above, no other sportsbook is giving odds above +112 on Texas State 1H ML. Being able to grab +130 on Caesars is crazy good!

A Profitable NCAAB Pick on WynnBet

Next, I have a sharp college basketball pick on WynnBet sportsbook.

“Alex, isn’t this too many bets?” Nope. More is merrier in sports betting. If your plays have an edge, then you want to place as many bets as possible on a daily basis. You’re essentially looking to form a portfolio of mathematically profitable (e.g. Positive EV) wagers, as this reduces variance and the probability of brutal losing streaks. It’s the same reason why investment advisors recommend buying “index funds” as opposed to putting all of your money in one stock: diversification.

I bet over 150.5 points in Bryant @ Liberty. As seen in the screenshot above, most sportsbooks have the total for this game set at 151 or 151.5. Being able to get o150.5 @ +100 odds is a “no brainer” bet!

Remember that line shopping (e.g. browsing odds) is 100% free on OddsJam. This sports betting software has real-time CBB odds from 100+ sportsbooks, including Caesars, DraftKings and WynnBet.

My betslip on WynnBet is below. I hit the over for $500. I’m staking $500 to win $500 in profit.

A Basketball Parlay: Two Legs

Positive EV betting also works for parlays. If all picks in your parlay are Positive EV, then your parlay will also be Positive EV. That’s just how parlay odds work.

Both of my parlay picks are college basketball bets. As seen in the screenshot above, Caesars sportsbook was slipping up big time in the niche college basketball games. Using the Positive EV Tool, I was able to find two incredible CBB picks with profit margins above 5%.

Does Positive EV Betting Work for Other Sports?

I want to make it clear that these concepts of finding value and an “edge” apply to any sport. On verified bet tracker Pikkit (username = oddsjam_alex), you can see that I’m up $25,343.26 in profit on NHL bets in 2022. I don’t think I’ve watched an NHL game in three years…

With OddsJam, it’s all about the data and the market. There’s a reason that sportsbooks are still in business – the industry is run by “touts” and “handicappers,” people who (in general) know very little about math, data and profitable betting strategy.

A Sharp NFL Bet

Here’s an NFL bet that I’m on: Cardinals vs. Broncos 1H Over 17 @ -110 odds on WynnBet sportsbook. Just like my basketball picks, this betting pick is straight from the OddsJam Positive EV Tool.

Making money sports betting really is as simple as this:

  1. Find Positive EV bets. Sportsbooks have different lines from one another. This is why it’s so simple to make money betting on sports – just hunt for inefficiencies in the market! These books want to be unique and set lines independently. OddsJam hunts down the rare, few betting opportunities where a sportsbook is slipping up and offering mathematically profitable (e.g. Positive EV) bets.
  2. Deal with variance. I discuss variance in this article with my five top tips for new sports bettors.

As seen in the screenshot above, most sportsbooks have the 1st half total set at over/under 17.5 points. WynnBet is the only sportsbook with their ‘mainline’ over/under at 17.0.

Seventeen points is two touchdowns and a field goal. Thus, if there’s 17 points in the 1H, then:

  • Our bet will push
  • Anybody who bet o17.5 1H Total Points will lose

My betslip on WynnBet is below.

A Profitable NHL Pick

I also have an NHL bet on FanDuel sportsbook. I’m on under 6 goals in the Sharks vs. Kings game at +118 odds. Again, Positive EV betting is as simple as placing the bet in bold with a circle around it.

Don’t overcomplicate sports betting! I don’t understand why most sports bettors make everything so complicated… Just find enough value to beat the vig, deal with variance, and print big profits. OddsJam really is that simple.

You can see in the screenshot above that BetOnline (a sharp, offshore sportsbook) has the o6 goals at -118. Again, we’re betting the u6 goals at +118 on FanDuel. This is called a “pick em” market since there is no hold (or vigorish) between sportsbook, as seen in a vig calculator.

My betslip on FanDuel sportsbook is below. This bet has a 1.49% profit margin, and our stake is $84.70. Thus, this play has $1.26 in profit margin ($84.70 x 1.49%).

You may think that $84.70 is a “random” stake. However, this is all that FanDuel allowed me to wager, as seen in the screenshot below. I tried to bet $250, but the sportsbook gave me a max bet size of $84.70. This is called a “limit” in sports betting, and it’s the reason why I have 0 desire to bet on sports full-time. Sportsbooks determine max bet sizes, not you.

Does Positive EV Betting Work for Fantasy Sports?

Positive EV betting absolutely works for fantasy sports.

Look at this incredible play I found on Kyle Kuzma… PrizePicks has his over/under (e.g. point total) set at 20.5 points. Every sportsbook has Kuzma at 22.5 or 23.5 points.

Again, the strategy is treating every sportsbook as an independent data point of where the line should be set. If 50 sportsbooks have Kuzma’s point total at 22.5 or 23.5, and you can get over 20.5 on PrizePicks, then it’s a bet with clear value.

I included this play on Kuzma in a 6 pick Flex Play on PrizePicks. My betslip is above. I’m staking $80 win $2,000.

I also locked in few plays on Underdog Fantasy. This DFS platform offers higher payouts than PrizePicks on most plays, as well as higher betting limits. Thus, I prefer Underdog Fantasy to PrizePicks.

The first play I went with is Darius Slayton over 3.0 receptions on Underdog Fantasy. As seen in the screenshot above from the OddsJam NFL Screen, all sportsbooks & PrizePicks are setting Slayton’s receptions line at 3.5. There’s clear value on the over 3.0!

My Underdog Fantasy betslip is below.

I’m on:

  • Donovan Mitchell u4.5 Assists
  • Darius Slayton o3.0 Receptions
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander u5.5 Rebounds

If all these player prop bets win, then I’ll turn $1,000 into $6,000 on Underdog Fantasy. All of these picks were found on the OddsJam Positive EV Tool or the Odds Screen.

Then, I found an incredible play on Derrick Henry on the Positive EV Tool. I’m on Henry Under 2.5 Receptions. Again, the implied odds on Underdog Fantasy is -122 for a 3 pick entry, as explained in this DFS strategy guide. My betslip is below!

Bonus Plays: More Sharp Betting Picks!

Although these aren’t basketball picks, I thought I’d point them out… Both plays are from the OddsJam Screen.

As seen in the screenshot above, the Odds Screen has two big discrepancies that are highlighted. Here are the plays we’d want to go with as sharp, data-driven sports bettors:

  1. Parris Campbell u4 Receptions: As seen in the screenshot above, all sportsbooks have Campbell’s receptions total at 3.5, yet Underdog Fantasy is at 4.0. Clearly, there’s value on the under 4 receptions for Parris Campbell on Underdog Fantasy!
  2. Adam Thielen o4 Receptions: For Thielen, we’d want to take over 4 receptions. All of the sportsbooks & PrizePicks have the over/under set at 4.5 receptions.

Long story short – follow the data!

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