Advanced Hardwood Statistics
Similar to our article on advanced baseball stats, basketball bettors can benefit from looking at new-age statistics that go beyond the box score. Too many NBA gamblers focus on situational handicapping and don’t often take into account advanced statistics when evaluating their daily card.
We still recommend watching as much basketball as possible, because unlike baseball, where merely viewing stats can give us a better picture of how games play out – basketball needs a more hands-on approach.
Like MLB baseball, much of the NBA’s statistics that they league utilizes every year are outdated and often extremely misleading. Below, we’ll go over some of the top advanced statistics that bettors need to be aware of to get that extra edge when handicapping.
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True NBA Shooting Percentage
Field-goal percentage is perhaps the most misleading statistics in the minds of many NBA fans and bettors. Evaluating players or teams based on the traditional field-goal percentage stat that the NBA uses has long been outdated.
True Shooting Percentage does a better job of accurately valuing a player in terms of his offensive efficiency. Instead of factoring just two-point field-goals, it factors in free throw percentage, and three-point field goal percentage.
One of the biggest issues with using traditional field-goal percentage statistics is it discounts a player’s contributions at the free-throw line. If a player is getting the line more often, that equals more opportunities for scoring and, therefore, more points. The metric has a ton of value for evaluating the effectiveness of individual players and teams as a whole. It offers hidden value for those who look beyond the traditional numbers the NBA has used to determine which players or teams are shooting the ball efficiently.
It’s one of the best indicators of true offensive performance on the court. Of course, it doesn’t take into account defense or pace of play, so it must be used with other advanced statistics to for handicapping purposes.
Assist To Turnover Ratio In NBA Games
It shouldn’t be groundbreaking basketball knowledge that teams or players that who turn the ball over often won’t score as many points as those who pass the ball productively will score more points.
Assist to Turnover Ratio helps us determine just that. Teams or players who distribute the ball more productively will have a higher ratio compared to those that are careless with their passes.
Turnovers are deadly in the game of basketball since they often offer easy baskets in the other direction and can change the momentum of the game in an instant. The teams turn the ball over less often and have more assists are usually near the top of the standings. Teams that are less efficient are typically near the bottom of the standings. It’s the same each and every year.
The best aspect of this metric is that it doesn’t need to be utilized with any other statistic. It works wonderfully to give us an excellent bead on a team’s offensive abilities without consulting other statistics.
NBA Pace Factor
Pace Factor is one of the best metrics to evaluate a team’s pace of play and possessions. This statistic won’t do much for bettors in terms of head-to-head matchups or point spread handicapping, but is one of the stats that is paramount for totals betting.
The statistic is broken down extensively by the guys over at CaptainCalculator.com. It’s pretty simple. Pace Factor measures the average number of possessions by a team in a basketball game. Possessions are defined by a team’s offensive possession of the ball. Each possession ends when a team scores a bucket, loses the ball via turnover, or by committing a foul or violation.
It should be easy to see how this statistic can help gamblers when evaluating totals. Teams that have more possessions will score more points per contest while those on the lower end will run at a slower tempo and score fewer points.
However, sample size with this statistic is important. Looking at last year’s numbers at the start of a season can be deceiving, particularly if they had changes in their front office and player personnel. Teams that have kept much of the same regime and roster from the previous year can rely upon more from last year’s numbers. Once you start using pace factor as a variable when capping NBA totals, you won’t ever stop utilizing the statistic.
NBA Free-Throw Rate
Free-Throw Rate ties into some of the above statistics, but at its core, it measures the ratio of foul shots to field goal attempts. The stat can set to account for a team’s or player’s free throws attempted based on the number of field goals attempted or FTA/FGA. The stat itself has an abbreviation of FTR.
The metric further delves deeper into offensive statistics. Teams that have a faster pace of play will increase their scoring chances (and possibly get to the line more) as we mentioned above with Pace Factor, but that doesn’t tell us the whole story. Just because a team gets to the line more doesn’t mean they’re sinking their buckets from the charity stripe.
Free-throw rate allows us to see which teams and players are getting to the line and converting their attempts. Free-throw attempts aren’t worth much unless teams are making their shots at the line. Thanks to Free-Throw Rate, we can tell which teams and players are getting to the line often and converting.
In Conclusion – NBA Advanced Hardwood Statistics
All of these metrics are excellent tools to incorporate into your NBA handicapping, but it’s important not to rely solely on them when betting the NBA. Many of them are already utilized by the oddsmakers when they build their original numbers. Of course, line shopping and incorporating other factors is also crucial as well.