5 Essential NBA Stats for Betting

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Basketball returns to our screens in October and UK betting sites are already gearing up for what is destined to be another bumper season.

With five teams whose price is lower 7/1 to win the NBA championship this year, obviously no one can quite determine who will lift the trophy in the finals next spring.

The Golden State Warriors (6/1) and the LA Clippers (7/1) are the current favorites of British bookmakers.

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But there are over 1300 games to play before that happens – and there are unlimited opportunities for bettors to find their way around.

But where are the best bets this season? Here has Gambling.com we’ve analyzed the run numbers over the past decade and compared them to what you could expect from the game in the 90s.

And guess what? Matches feature more points than ever and an increasing number of away wins.

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

NBA statistics: last 10 complete seasons

Season matches Points per game Home points per game Away points per game
21/22 1323 220.64 111.27 109.38
20/21 1171 223.94 112.56 111.38
19/20 1143 223.29 112.67 110.62
18/19 1312 221.98 112.39 109.59
17/18 1312 212.43 107.4 105.03
16/17 1309 211.24 107.16 104.08
15/16 1316 204.97 104 100.97
14/15 1311 200.09 101.24 98.85
13/14 1319 201.82 102.22 99.6
December 13 1314 195.89 99.58 96.31
Avg: 1283 211.629 107.049 104.581

1. Average points per NBA game

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

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

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The reason for this spike in points is believed to be the increased speed of basketball at this elite level and the scoring of more three pointers than ever.

Non-traditional rosters, more space for players to thrive, and improved fitness levels all contribute to earning more points.

2. Points per team at home

Backing home team points in basketball is quite common on betting apps, especially when the odds of a big favorite are so low that the profit margin isn’t worth the risk.

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

In the early 1990s, you could expect 108.49 home points per game. But during that decade, the tally fell each year to a low of 92.94 in 1999.

The number didn’t resurface past the 100-point mark until 2013, and over the past four seasons we’ve averaged 111.27 points per team at home.

This matters because NBA bettors are now more likely to bet on the home team with +110.5 points, especially if they are heavy favorites. Finally, this bet is starting to pay off.

3. Points per away team

NBA basketball

Scoring trends found in the 1990s and 2010s with home teams are also replicated with away teams.

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

These days, the NBA’s away team point average hovers around the 109 mark. The gap between home and away point totals has narrowed.

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

The games are getting tighter and the top NBA betting sites are taking notice. But not because home teams score less. That’s because away teams have found a way to average 20 points more than they did 25 years ago.

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4. NBA Home Winning Percentage

All of this translates into a dramatic drop in NBA home winning percentages over the past three decades. Our data shows how home bankers are now rarer than ever.

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

The probability of a home win won in the 1990s was pegged at 61.49%. That’s effectively a two in three chance of winning, and that means the basketball bettors had some confidence in siding with the hosts.

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

Over the past three years, home teams have won 54.60% of the time in the NBA, making it harder for bettors to back the hosts with the same confidence as before.

NBA stats: home wins vs. away wins

Season matches Home wins Away wins
2021/22 1323 54.80% 45.20%
2020/21 1171 54.65% 45.35%
2019/20 1143 54.68% 45.32%
2018/19 1312 59.07% 40.93%
2017/18 1312 58.69% 41.31%
2016/17 1309 58.29% 41.71%
2015/16 1316 59.42% 40.58%
2014/15 1311 57.59% 42.41%
2013/14 1319 57.92% 42.08%
2012/13 1314 61.34% 38.66%
Averages: 1283 57.65% 42.36%

5. NBA Away Win Percentage

Of course, a drop in home winning percentage increases away winning percentage across the league – and bettors find value in backing the road team every night.

There was a time in 1991 when away teams only won 34.21% of the time, but now they sit at 45.20%.

The reason for this rise in away results is something that is seen in professional team sports.

Just like in football, the NFL, rugby and baseball, the negative factors of outdoor play have been reduced over the past three decades.

Teams now fly to play games, compete on pretty much the same terms, and leave with no issues. Sports stars are so used to playing on the road that it doesn’t affect them as much.

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

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