How I made over $500 by betting only $25 on each NBA game for a week

Kevin Davis explains how he took advantage of a Draftkings promotion on the NBA restart to make over $500 in the first week of basketball’s return. And he shares tips on how you can do the same.

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In the world of legal sports wagering, there are more opportunities to be a profitable sports bettor than existed with your neighborhood bookie. With the return of the NBA regular season at the end of July in the form of a bubble in Orlando, I set forth to make money speculating on what would be different in July and August compared to earlier this season. Additionally, I wanted to combine my theories with a promotional offer from a legal sportsbook. When I came up with a strategy and promo to supplement it, my plan was to bet $25 on each nba game for the first week of the NBA bubble. After the first week of the NBAโ€™s return, I made a net profit of $514.61.

NBA Bubble Betting Strategy

As I outlined in my American Betting Experts article from July, my strategy for approaching the NBA bubble from a betting angle had two theories. The first theory was that NBA players would be out-of-shape from not playing games and this would result in worse defense play. My second theory was that the eight seeding games in the bubble would be so inconsequential that the best teams would put less effort into some of their games than normal. Based on this I identified two types of wagers that I wanted to lay, moneyline and team point total over wagers on underdogs.

Finding the Right Promo Offer

There were many attractive promotional offers for the return of the NBA season, and I took advantage of many of them unrelated to my bubble betting strategy. For my bubble betting strategy, DraftKings had the best promo. DraftKings was offering loss insurance on moneyline wagers for teams that lost but scored at least 110 points. If you bet on a team to win the game (a moneyline wager), you would either win your bet if the team wins the game or you lose if your team loses the game. For the DraftKings promo a third outcome could happen where your team could lose but if they scored at least 110 points, you would get your money back as a free bet up to $25. From that point on my strategy was simple I was going to bet $25 on the moneyline for every NBA underdog for the first week of the bubble.

Evaluating Past NBA Games

I was able to gather historical odds for all regular season games played during the 2019-2020 regular season from October to March. I wanted to find out the return on investment (ROI) for if I bet on the moneyline for every team. I also wanted to find out what the ROI would have been for betting on the moneyline for every team if I could have applied the DraftKings promo to any of their games. I broke down four different categories for ROI: moneyline favorites, moneyline underdogs, moneyline favorites (with promo), and moneyline underdogs (with promo). The results of my analysis supported my betting strategy.

What I found from my analysis surprised me. It was unsurprising to find out that if you blindly bet on every moneyline favorite this season you would have an ROI of -5.4% despite favorites winning 67.6% of the time. However, what was surprising is that blindly betting on every moneyline underdog this season would have a return of investment of 1.9% this season. This is despite underdogs winning only 32.4% of the time because moneyline underdogs pay much better than moneyline favorites.

After finding out the true ROI for moneyline wagers, I applied the value of the DraftKings promo to each moneyline wager. I quantified the value of a $25 free bet with the theory that I would have won only won 50% of my spread wagers for a net profit of $11.36. When you factor in that 12.1% of moneyline favorites, and 22.6% of moneyline underdogs lose but score at least 110 points, it increases the profitability of moneyline wagers considerably. For moneyline favorites it increased the ROI from -5.4% to 0.1%, and moneyline underdogs from 1.9% to 12.2%. If DraftKings had this promo year-round and you bet on every underdog to win, your $25 bet would net a profit of $3.05. For 954 games with an underdog, this would have equated to a profit of $2909.70. With 37 games over the first week in the bubble, I was expecting to make $112.85.

The Result of my Bubble Betting Strategy

The result of my bubble betting strategy is that I laid a total of 37 wagers for $25 apiece. Surprisingly, I made a profit of $514.61 which was much higher than my expected profit of $112.85. This was the result of two factors.

The first factor was that on Tuesday August 4th, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Milwaukee Bucks in what was the largest NBA upset since 1993. However, even if you take away the $375 in profits I made from that wager, I still would have made $166.25 which is larger than my expected profit. The second factor in why my strategy was profitable was because more points were scored in the first week of the nba bubble than during a typical nba game. As a result, more losing teams scored at least 110 points.

Of the 37 moneyline wagers I laid on underdogs, 12 of them resulted in a $25 free bet, 15 resulted in a win, and only 10 resulted in a $25 loss. As a result, my ROI was 55.6% when I was expecting an ROI of only 12.2%. The first week of the NBA bubble was a betting experience that I will never forget. I am looking forward to making more money betting on basketball during the playoffs.

Going Forward

DraftKings just announced that they are continuing this promotion until the end of the regular season. I am going to continue betting $25 on DraftKings on every NBA moneyline underdog until the season ends on August 14th.

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