When it comes to futures betting, bookmaker odds represent a combination of two things: team form and reputation. Good reputations can sustain short odds for out of form teams, while bad reputations can provide consistently good value odds for in form teams. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to disentangle the impact of form and reputation. This is where the ASAP Power Rankings, published by the All Sports and Prices Index, can come in handy. Unlike bookmaker odds, which include punter sentiment and reputation, the rankings are purely based on team form.
With the NBA season approaching the halfway mark of the shortened 66-game schedule, it is interesting to compare the championship winner bookmaker odds to the ASAP Power Rankings. It appears that discrepancies between the rankings and odds could be used to predict odds shifts.
Below are the latest power rankings. For those who are interested to know how the power rankings work, according to the website: “After each game, teams record a computerised rating. This rating is based on the scoring mechanism of the sport. Factors which go towards the rating include points differential and home/away percentages. What this means is the ‘ASAP Rating’ is able to define the likely difference in performance quality between one team/player and another for tomorrow’s game.”
Below are the current ASAP Power Rankings.
One team that jumps out immediately is the 22-6 Oklahoma City Thunder (7-3 in the last 10 games). The team currently has the best record in the Western Conference and has the second shortest odds to win the championship, however they are currently ranked 11th in the power rankings. The rating system also suggests that Philadelphia (20-9 record) and San Antonio (20-9 record) are good value wagers, while the LA Lakers (17-12 record) represent bad value.
As a side note, as is always the case with futures markets, the best place for betting is Betfair because you can bet both for and against specific teams. This enables you to back a team now and then bet against them later at different odds to lock in a profit and/or hedge your bets. To provide some comparison of how the Betfair odds compare to Sportsbet, below are some Betfair championship winner odds (adjusted for a 5% commission), with the latest Sportsbet odds in brackets (both are of course subject to change).
Miami – 2.653 (2.86)
Chicago – 6.32 (6.00)
LA Lakers – 14.3 (15.25)
Oklahoma City – 6.32 (6.00)
Dallas – 18.1 (19.75)
San Antonio – 25.7 (13.5 – not a typo!)
Philadelphia – 42 (21.0 – not a typo!)
It’s interesting to see that the latest odds seem to better reflect the ASAP Power Rankings than the older odds. These Power Rankings may be a useful tool in predicting future odds shifts, which makes them handy for Betfair users who wish to bet on odds changes through backing and laying the same team.
For example, the table above suggests:
Chicago – good value
Oklahoma – bad value
San Antonio – good value
Philadelphia – good value
LA Lakers – bad value
Charlotte – bad value
New Jersey – bad value
Since the publication of the table, the odds have moved in the following directions:
Chicago – shortened (6.75 –> 6.00)
Oklahoma – no change (6.00)
San Antonio – shortened (26 –> 13.5)
Philadelphia – shortened (26 –> 21)
LA Lakers – lengthened (11 –> 15.25)
Charlotte – lengthened (331 –> 501)
New Jersey – lengthened (81 –> 321)
You could make the case that six of the seven odds shifts above were predicted by the discrepancy between the power rankings and the bookmaker odds.
Obviously, this approach is rather crude. For example Portland have lengthened from 26.0 to 27.0, while the Clippers have shortened from 15 to 11.5. It would have been difficult to predict these shifts based on the table above.
Also handy is the chart of the Power Rankings over time. The Dallas Mavericks’ poor start to the season shows up clearly in the graphic.
On top of the power rankings, the All Sports and Prices Index also provides form guides and margin predictions for upcoming fixtures. Below is a screenshot for an upcoming game:
The All Sports and Prices Index is free to use, and is a great resource for NBA punters.