Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

NBA Development Workbook 🏀 Chapter 4


Chapter 4

Utilizing Free Tools

Being familiar with free tools and having a few tips/tricks to quickly find information can help you be more efficient with research and help you save time when you’re up against the clock.  Some of you that are newer to NBA DFS may have heard about “The Popcorn Machine” and thought “What the heck is that?” or maybe you even went to the page and found it intimidating to figure it out. I wanted to show those unfamiliar with it how it can be useful and how to comprehend the information it tells us. I also will touch on Twitter lists and how you can use them to find information quickly.

The Popcorn Machine

What is it?

A free website that shows player rotations. It shows you when the player was on the court during the game, what they did during that time frame, and an individual’s +/- for a given time period (+/- tells us how the team did when an individual was on the court. For example, if a team was tied when a player checked in, they grew a lead of 5 points, then the individual checked out, his +/- would be +5).

When to use it?

The website is extremely useful if you want to know player rotations, how well players play together, who’s closing out the game, as well as a variety of other things. I often use it when a player is projecting well and making my builds, but I have questions about his playing time, who he’s typically on the court with, if he will close the game, etc.  

Here’s a quick screen share on how to use it if your unfamiliar:

Twitter Lists

What are they? 

Twitter lists help you keep the people you follow, organized. They group certain followers together and create a timeline based on just those accounts you have added. You can follow lists that have been created by others or make your own.

Why Use Them?

Twitter lists can be helpful when you want to quickly find information based around a particular team or player. I use them when the news I’m looking for may not be a big story that is flooding my regular timeline and I need to dig down to the beat writer level to find what I’m looking for. I have a list built around each individual NFL team (and will begin building them for the NBA this week) that contains several beat writers following that particular team.  

Here’s a quick screen share on Twitter lists:

 How Last Week Went :: 

Last week went great in the research department. I’ve started to keep track of a few things like “How well does Jokic do in games the Nuggets win by less than 10 pts?” and also started a good list for optimizer rules from X’s class (this is behind the paywall so unfortunately I can’t share it but it’s pretty easy if you haven’t purchased his course to come up with a few of your own and see how they do).

Unfortunately, I closed the week with a -16% ROI.  Adam Levitan mentioned how painful it is to do the solo pod coming off a losing week, and I agree. It’s hard to write this but losing weeks are probably the weeks that we are going to learn the most.  How often are we really reviewing our play and trying to get betting while winning…?  Probably not as much as when we are losing. 

I had a profitable start to the week coming off a 2nd place finish in a low-dollar, large field gpp and was feeling great. But then the week pretty much flipped upside down. What went wrong…? Well for starters, one night I completely punted away all my buy-ins by not staying on top of the news (something that saved me a couple weeks ago, hurt me this week). I simply forgot to check my questionable players after lock and unfortunately, neither of the two played. This is a terrible mistake and one that I need to avoid at all costs in the future.  It led to none of my lineups cashing that night and led to a really bad week overall.

What I’m working on this week ::

1. Continuing to work on players correlations

2. Building NBA Twitter lists  

Collective Questions ::

Do you have any NBA DFS tips/tricks/tools to share?

Any feedback on the first few weeks? Anything you would want to see out of this NBA article?