Advanced Statistical Terms You Should Know When Betting On NBA Games  

Betting on NBA games can be an exhilarating experience, but to truly excel, understanding advanced statistical terms is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into key concepts that can enhance your betting strategies and provide a deeper understanding of the game. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a newcomer, mastering these terms will give you an edge in making informed decisions.

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Player Efficiency Rating (PER) measures a player’s overall impact

The Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is a comprehensive statistic developed by John Hollinger. It measures a player’s per-minute performance while adjusting for pace. PER combines various statistics, including points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and more, into a single number. A league-average PER is set at 15, making it easy to compare players. Higher PER indicates better performance, making it a valuable tool when assessing player impact on the game.

True Shooting Percentage (TS%) accounts for all types of shots

True Shooting Percentage (TS%) provides a more accurate measure of a player’s scoring efficiency by accounting for field goals, three-pointers, and free throws. Unlike traditional shooting percentages, TS% reflects the different values of these shots. This metric is crucial for evaluating how efficiently a player scores, which can be particularly useful when betting on player performance and point spreads.

Usage Rate (USG%) reveals a player’s role in the offense

Usage Rate (USG%) indicates the percentage of team plays a player is involved in while on the court. It accounts for shot attempts, free throw attempts, and turnovers. High usage rates suggest a player is heavily involved in the offense, which can be a double-edged sword. While it shows the player’s importance, it can also lead to higher fatigue and turnover rates. Understanding USG% helps in predicting a player’s potential impact on the game.

Defensive Rating (DRtg) evaluates defensive contributions

Defensive Rating (DRtg) measures the number of points a player allows per 100 possessions. Developed by Dean Oliver, this statistic is pivotal in assessing a player’s defensive prowess. A lower DRtg indicates better defensive performance.
When considering basketball teams odds, DRtg becomes particularly important. Bettors can use DRtg to evaluate how well a team or player can limit opponents’ scoring, which is crucial for predicting game outcomes and total points. By understanding defensive contributions through DRtg, you can better assess the odds for different basketball teams, enhancing your betting strategy.

Offensive Rating (ORtg) assesses scoring efficiency

Offensive Rating (ORtg) is the counterpart to Defensive Rating and measures the number of points a player produces per 100 possessions. It includes scoring, assists, and turnovers to provide a comprehensive view of a player’s offensive contribution. High ORtg suggests a player or team excels in offensive efficiency. This statistic is particularly useful when betting on NBA team totals and individual player props.

Rebound Rate (REB%) captures rebounding effectiveness

Rebound Rate (REB%) calculates the percentage of missed shots a player rebounds while on the court. This metric is divided into Offensive Rebound Percentage (OREB%) and Defensive Rebound Percentage (DREB%). High REB% indicates strong rebounding abilities, which can influence game flow and outcomes. Understanding REB% helps bettors predict which teams might control the boards and gain extra possessions.

Pace measures the speed of play

Pace refers to the number of possessions a team uses per game. Faster-paced teams generate more scoring opportunities, leading to higher game totals. Conversely, slower-paced teams emphasize defense and control, often resulting in lower-scoring games. Bettors can use Pace to anticipate game flow and predict total points, which is crucial for over/under bets.

Win Shares (WS) quantify a player’s overall contribution

Win Shares (WS) is an advanced statistic that estimates the number of wins a player contributes to their team. It considers both offensive and defensive contributions, providing a holistic view of a player’s impact. Higher WS indicates greater overall value to the team. This metric is beneficial for long-term betting strategies, such as futures bets on team performance and player awards.

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) adjusts for shot value

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) adjusts traditional field goal percentage to account for the extra value of three-point shots. This statistic provides a more accurate measure of a player’s shooting efficiency. Bettors can use eFG% to evaluate shooting performance, particularly when comparing players who take a high volume of three-pointers.


Advanced statistical terms like PER, TS%, USG%, DRtg, ORtg, REB%, Pace, WS, eFG%, and BPM provide a deeper understanding of NBA performance metrics. By mastering these statistics, bettors can make more informed decisions and gain an edge in their betting strategies. Whether you’re analyzing player performance, team dynamics, or predicting game outcomes, these advanced metrics are invaluable tools in the world of NBA betting.

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