Through the course of the NBA season, most attention is paid to the standings. These tell basketball fans and NBA bettors how the teams in the league are performing, and both the Western Conference and the Eastern conference standings change almost every day. They’re important, as they determine which 16 league teams earn a spot in the playoffs.
NBA Standings Explained
The NBA standings consist of the following categories: “W,” “L,” “PCT,” “GB,” “Home,” “Road,” “DIV,” “CONF,” “PF,” “PA,” “DIFF,” “STRK” and “L10.” When viewing the standings online, it is common to be able to click on the category and sort the entire list by that column. Each of these categories plays a role in how teams are viewed and are particularly important for bettors. Once the regular season ends, the NBA playoff standings have a much more important role.
“W” is for the number of wins a team has, while “L” is the number of losses. Ties don’t exist in the NBA, so the win/loss record for a team is the first thing fans and bettors looks at. “PCT” is the team’s win percentage, which is calculated by dividing the total games played by the number of wins. With an uneven schedule, the “PCT” is often what is used to determine which team is on top of the NBA standings.
“GB” determines how many games behind first place a team is. This is followed by the team’s record of wins at home and the record on the road. Historically, teams are better playing on their own court than away and, when betting on an NBA game, these two columns are important factors to be considered.
Division and Conference Performances
The next two categories in the NBA standings represent a team’s record in its own division, “DIV,” and its conference, “CONF.” Some teams do well playing against other teams in their own division, but struggle against other division teams. This data will also play a crucial role in determining how to place a wager.
These two categories are followed by points for, “PF,” and points against, “PA.” This show how many points a team is averaging per game and how many points they are allowing. These determine the highest and lowest scoring teams in the league. The next category, “DIFF,” is the difference between the PF and PA. A plus sign (+) indicates that the team averages more points than it gives, while a minus sign (-) indicates that it, on average, is outscored.
The final two columns typically seen in NBA standings, “STRK” and “L10,” represent how a team has been playing in its most recent games. The first is the team’s current streak, which shows if a team has won three in a row (W3) or lost seven (L7) in a row. The final category is “Last 10,” which shows how a team has played in their most recent ten games.
Be sure to check out and follow NBA standings all season, as they change a lot, especially early in the season. However, as the season gets underway, some of the more interesting trends can be found in the categories outside of the “wins” and “losses” columns.