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Pro Basketball Gambling

March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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NBA: San Antonio-Phoenix Series Betting Preview
2010-05-03

This past weekend we heard Apuestas Deportivas Apuestas NFL Futbol Americano Online Bingo NFL Betting Odds a great deal about how Boston and Cleveland don’t really like each other. While this information is certainly true it pales in comparison to how Phoenix and San Antonio feel about one another. That is Microsoft and Apple doing battle, this is the real deal like Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald’s vs. Burger King, Jennifer Aniston vs. Angelina Jolie. What’s more the Suns have been bounced out of the playoffs four times by the team from southwest Texas since 2003. This is going to be war. Sportsbook.com provided the series odds, installing the Suns as -145 favorites. Let’s take a look at the matchup.

Steve Nash did not practice the previous two days before this Western Conference semi-final opened, resting his sore right hip. The most obvious question was it a reoccurrence of the infamous hip check former Spur Robert Horry laid on Nash or something completely different.

The Suns have had the home court advantage over San Antonio the last two times these teams have met in the postseason and came up short. They believe this time will be different, not being strictly a running team and being able to play defense for extended periods of time.

"It's like super-transition `D' against these guys," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "They're really playing well, and the best shooting team ever, basically, from 3. Great chemistry, sharing the ball, playing 'D'. Alvin (Coach Gentry) and his group have done a great job. The players have really bought in, and they do a lot of things really well."

Phoenix will have to use similar formula that allowed them to win four of last five games against Portland. Running a controlled break which leads to layups or find spot up shooters like Jason Richardson and rain down three’s.

The Suns also received bench contributions from a number of players from Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley to Channing Frye and others. The Suns are 26-7 and 23-9-1 ATS since Feb. 19 (have not lost two straight since Jan. 25-26) and this streak coincided when they collectively bought into Gentry’s preaching about team defense and Amare Stoudemire deciding he wanted to be one of the best players in the NBA. Stoudemire loves to see the Spurs coming with 24.6-point playoff average against them (28.8 PPG if rookie season is dropped) and he posted 32.7 points and 11.3 rebounds on San Antonio this season.

Grant Hill might be 37, but he missed so much time over a five year period of his career, his legs are that of a much younger player and he is the Suns best defender. Whether he starts on Manu Ginibili is immaterial, since eventually he will make his way over to him defensively.

Though both teams have many new faces, Nash knows what to expect and believes the series will come down to "the usual suspects." For San Antonio that is Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili, especially right now.

Duncan has slowed from his early days, but he is still a crafty veteran and the Suns don’t have that big physical guy that could create more problems for Duncan even if Robin Lopez returns. Duncan should expect to see several combo defenses and will have to find shooters and cutters when the Suns double him.

Parker has accepted his role off the bench, still seeing ample minutes as George Hill takes over as true point guard. This allows Parker to freelance more without the ball and forces defenders to chase.

If it were not for Hill and Ginobili, a reasonable argument could be made the Spurs might not have made the playoffs when Parker was injured. The Argentinean has done everything, scoring literally anywhere on the floor and became the emotional leader. He is the one player in this series that could single-handedly win a game or two by himself.

Richard Jefferson could play a prominent role in this noteworthy conflict. The former Net and Buck didn’t have much of an impact during the regular season, but after being a non-factor in Game 1 loss to Dallas, the rest of the series he was steady contributor and if he can keep the Suns J-Rich busy on defense, it’s shown his point production diminishes.

Most of the confrontations in this series are expected to have totals of 200 or higher and Popovich’s teams are 53-36 ATS when the number is 200 or higher.

This series really comes down to a test of wills. Can Phoenix keep their poise and not let a few Spurs antics get to them? In the past San Antonio had a size edge over the Suns, they do not this time, will that be a burden? This has the look and feel of seven games and even that might not be enough for regulation play. As long as Nash is healthy, the Suns should finally knock off their nemesis like they did in the regular season (2-1 and 3-0 ATS), however it won’t be easy.

Pick- Phoenix (-145) in seven over San Antonio (+115)


NBA: Chicago is bullish on road trip
2010-01-29

The Chicago Bulls’ season-high seven-game road trip had all the makings of a disaster after they opened with losses to a pair of Western Conference also-rans. Four games later, it’s looking like the spark that’s turned the season around. The Bulls try to close the trip with a fifth straight win Friday night against the New Orleans Hornets, who look to protect one of the West’s best home records upon returning from their own successful road swing. The Hornets are the 4-point favorite at Sportsbook.com, but 70% of bettors prefer the piping-hot Bulls.

Chicago (22-22, 21-21-2 ATS) has won four in a row for the third time since Christmas, but this latest run is easily the most surprising. The Bulls were 4-15 on the road after losses to Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers to open this trip, but they’ve knocked off four consecutive playoff contenders.

Coach Vinny Del Negro (who was rumored to be almost fired right after Christmas) has seen his team shoot 50.6 percent from the floor while holding opponents to 39.4 percent, and its most impressive defensive effort came Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Chicago limited the Thunder to 36.9 percent shooting, hounding Kevin Durant into a 7-for-19 effort and leaving with a 96-86 win. The Bulls win made them 7-0 ATS in road games playing against team with a 51 to 60 percent win percentage this season and tonight offers another such opportunity.

Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas keyed a 96-85 win over New Orleans (25-20, 22-23 ATS) on Dec. 26 at the United Center. Noah had 17 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, while Thomas had 21 points and nine boards off the bench. Chicago, which has followed its previous four-game win streaks with at least two straight losses, hasn’t won five in a row on the road since concluding the 2005-06 season on a six-game run. The Bulls are 17-6 ATS playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last two years.

The Hornets have won 16 of 20 at home (10-10 ATS), where they return following an impressive trip. New Orleans closed with a third victory in four games - its only loss coming in overtime to Denver on Saturday - after Chris Paul had 38 points in a 123-110 win over Golden State on Wednesday. The Hornets were 6-15 and 9-12 ATS on the road heading into the trip. “This was a big trip for us. We won in some tough venues,” said Paul, who averaged 27.8 points on 58.8 percent shooting. “Everyone knows the road has been our Achilles’ heel so far.”

The play of Paul’s new backcourt mate has also been critical. Rookie Marcus Thornton averaged 18.5 points in the final two games of the trip, starting after New Orleans shipped Devin Brown to the Bulls for backup center Aaron Gray on Monday. Brown, who has yet to play for the Bulls, led New Orleans with 22 points in Chicago last month.

The Hornets’ fortunes Friday, though, may depend on David West. The two-time All-Star, scoring 17.7 points per game, has averaged 11.0 in the last two losses to the Bulls and his team is 3-5 in last eight meetings with the Bulls with two covers.

New Orleans is a four-point favorite with total of 198 at Sportsbook.com and is 24-9 ATS in home games revenging a same season loss vs. opponent and is 8-1 UNDER at home trying to get even with same team off a road loss. Despite the four consecutive road upsets, normally Chicago doesn’t set up very well in a spot like this with 12-26 ATS record off an upset win as an underdog over the last three seasons. They are 9-0 OVER as visiting dogs off the upset surprise win by 10 points or more.