Jakes Takes: Q&A with Huddle’s Basketball Traders

November 1, 2023

Jakes Takes: Q&A with Huddle’s Basketball Traders

With the NBA season having freshly kicked off, we thought that it might be fun to do a little Q&A featuring Huddle’s lead basketball trader, Aaron Thompson, Graham Eversden, and me (Jake Moszkowski). I was curious about a few things – what Huddle has planned for basketball props in the coming months, what the trading team thought about the young basketball season, any markets they were excited about, volume, the players themselves, and more! 

Check out how Huddle is giving our partners an edge over the competition this NBA season HERE

Jake: We’ll jump right into basketball, if that’s okay with y’all?

Graham/Aaron: Absolutely, shoot (no pun intended).

Jake: Haha, well… are there any popular markets that you’ve seen early in the season, either from Huddle or other books out there? Anything that you expect to gain popularity as the season picks up steam? Something that casual viewers or bettors might not expect to hear right off the bat?

Aaron: Looking at micro-markets (micros) specifically, companies like DraftKings and Pointsbet both offer possession outcomes (the next next-made shot as a 2-pointer, 3-pointer, or free throw). Possession markets are some of the most interesting markets to bet on because it keeps you fully engaged in the action. Everything happens in real time. This is a market Huddle is investing heavily in and we believe our micro-betting product will help our partners gain an edge over their competition.

Jake: Within that vein, is there something marketwise that Huddle is launching that you’re super stoked about? Could be something you think is going to be popular, or maybe just personal preference.

Aaron: Our big push is launching our market-leading player props and micro-betting product with our partners. Our unbeatable uptime makes wagering on in-play player props in real time a game-changer.

Graham: I think that’s key – the difference maker is being able to wager constantly while the game is going on. If Embiid scored six points in a few possessions, maybe you want to ride the hot hand and bet the adjusted over in real time.

Aaron: Or maybe you think they were just lucky shots, and you’d like to bet the adjusted under. Having that option should create some cool fan experiences. 

Jake: Are these markets purely for the NBA? Or will these be offered for college basketball as well? 

Aaron: We are always looking to provide our partners with the best products available, so our immediate focus is on the current NBA season. However, March Madness is still a few months away and our competition-agnostic program allows for rapid roll-out to other leagues.

Jake: Got it, I look forward to seeing the future of the product! As much as I love the NBA, my college is finally good at basketball, so I’d love to be able to place bets on USC basketball. On the topic of college basketball, are there any rookies that are going to have an unusual impact on trading/pricing for Huddle’s team? I feel like this season we’ve already seen quite a few young guys who’ve made an impact – some perhaps bigger than expected.

Aaron: Generally, how we go about our projection system is pretty consistent. We have our bespoke player rating system, a scale that takes both offensive and defensive contributions into account. We have some outstanding college basketball guys on the team ( as well as some guys who pay incredibly close attention to the Euroleague). They do an excellent job coming up with ratings for players that are generally unknown to the casual viewer. For every guy like Victor Wembanyama, there are a half dozen Euro players that most NBA fans have never even heard of. Huddle prices every player on the court so we’ve got accurate player ratings for those players and our partners can be confident in our pricing.

Jake: Makes sense to me. Is there a learning curve when it comes to projecting rookies?

Aaron: College basketball to the NBA is a pretty sizable jump however the jump is lessened for Euro players who have been playing grown men professionally. It’s rare for a rookie to have a positive impact defensively as they adjust to new schemes, pace of play, and playing grown men for the first time. You can YouTube almost every NBA superstar now talking about their 'welcome to the league' moment.

Jake: Are there any players that either of you have noticed bucking the trend?

Graham: It’s a small sample size, but Chet Holmgren stands out. We expected him to be offensively good as a 7-footer who can hit threes. But were we expecting him to get 7 blocks in his second career game? I don’t think so. 

Aaron: Yeah, yeah, Chet’s defense has been really good. I’d also throw Brandon Miller into the mix. He hasn’t started yet, but he’s hitting 50% of his shots, 45% from 3. He’s shown some flashes offensively that I wasn’t expecting from him. Yes, he was the 2nd overall pick, but him taking and making big threes in clutch time? Wasn’t expecting that. On the flip side, Scoot Henderson… he’s in a tough position. The Blazers are bad, but I haven’t been super impressed with him so far. 

Jake: Yeah, I think that Hornets fans, at least for the moment, have to be a little happy that Miller looks like the better fit and the better pick. I remember that most vocal fans were upset about not taking Scoot, but Miller’s clean offensive game looks to be something that Charlotte needed. Wrapping things up, let's end on a basketball pick - who do you think will be: MVP, Rookie of the Year and Finals Matchup?

Graham: I’m taking Jokic again for MVP, because he still looks absolutely unstoppable out there. I’m from Phoenix, so the homer in me wants to take Booker, but Jokic is the guy. Rookie of the Year, I think most people are going to take Wemby. For the Finals, I’m taking the Bucks and Suns. Dame is probably the best player he’s ever had by his side, and that should solve the 4th quarter offense issue for the Bucks last season. And in the West, I’m a homer, I’m taking the Suns. Can anyone stop a playoff trio of Durant, Beal and Booker if they’re all healthy? 

Aaron: I’ll be different and take Giannis again, for that third MVP trophy. Rookie of the Year, I’m inclined to lean Wemby too, unless the Thunder are a playoff team and Chet is definitively the second-best player on that team (behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander). If he finishes with some absurd block totals, I could totally see him winning. For Finals, I’ll go Celtics and Nuggets and Celtics winning it with that young core, best lineup from 1–6. 

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