I know nothing about basketball.
Has anyone ever conducted a study on sports gambling strategy? One thing I like to do is instead of betting small dogs (4 pts and under) against the spread in football games, I tend to bet them vs the money line. I find a potential for a bigger return is mitigated by a minimal risk. All I am doing is is basically trading 1, 2, 3 or 4 points and saying the odds are that if they cover this, they will win the game outright. I have seen studies on taking home dogs, home favorites or dogs in general, but I have yet to see a study of whether something like this could be a potential advantage play.
Our wondrous host does the same thing, but often on the high point spread games. My guess is that you will not be able to find an advantage play if you have a money line spread of say, -130 on the favorite, +110 on the dog on what would be a 2 point spread.
I am talking football and I do consider 4 a small spread. HFA is 3 points +/- meaning a 3 pt favorite at home is 3 point dog on the road.
If you consider 4 a small spread, I don't like your chances of making any money. The number of games decided by 3pts or less is huge. If you consistently lay 4 points on teams just because you think that they will win, there will be many, many instances where they win but don't cover (and, of course, a lot of instances where you are wrong and they lose -- no one is perfect, or even close to it)
What you say about HFA being 3 is very true, but remember 2 things:
1. The HFA is real! That's why it gets points
2. Not all points are created equal. Moving from a 2.5pt favorite to a 3.5pt favorite is huge. Moving from a 4.5pt favorite to a 5.5pt favorite is not such a big deal.