How To Bet On NBA: Betting Strategies & Tips

Learn how to bet on NBA games online. Key betting strategies and tips.

The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular sporting leagues in the United States. The level of play in the NBA is incredible compared to other countries and their level of basketball. Folks get excited a little after football starts, as they know the NBA is going to get started. There are typically games every night of the season in the NBA from the month of October to the month of May. 

The postseason runs in May and June, and then an NBA Champion is crowned. Betting on the NBA has increased big time in popularity. It is very important to know what you are doing, follow the latest trends, and have an idea of what you are doing when betting on the NBA. 

Things can change quickly, and you do not want to be betting blind. Make sure you know the NBA Betting lines and odds and what they mean before placing any wagers.

Btw, make sure to keep up to date with the current matchup schedule, odds, and teams.

NBA Betting Lines And Odds

The first things you need to know about betting on the NBA are what point spreads, totals, and moneyline bets are. Let’s take a look at each and give an example.

Point Spreads: This is how many points the “favorite” is “supposed” to win, according to oddsmakers. Therefore, if you see a (-), that’s the “favorite.” So, Chicago Bulls -5 over Los Angeles Lakers: this should mean that the Bulls are a 5-point favorite over the Lakers. The Lakers would be the “underdog”. Most point spreads are -110, so for every $110 you bet, you would win $100. If if you took the Bulls -5, and they won by $6 and made a $55 – you would win $50.

Totals: This is how many points oddsmakers are projecting to be scored in the game. You then can choose to bet “over” or “under” that number. This is the COMBINED points for both teams. So if the Chicago Bulls/Los Angeles Lakers total was 205.5, anything at 206 or more is the “OVER,” while anything at 205 or less is the “UNDER.” These are also -110 with the “juice” that the sportsbook takes. $110 to win $100.

Moneyline Bets: This is just a straight bet on who is going to win the game.  So if you see Chicago Bulls -200, and Los Angeles Lakers +175, that is what the payout would be. Therefore, the Bulls just simply win the game over the Lakers, no matter what the final score difference is. For the Bulls at -200, you would have to bet $200 to win $100, as they are the “favorite.” But, the Lakers as the underdog, at +175, it would just take a $100 bet to win $175 if they won the game.

There are three different formats for odds when betting on the National Basketball Association: American, Decimal, and Fractional.

American: Here, you will see a number +125 or -125. This is how you determine your moneyline bet. 

Use our sports betting calculator to see how much you would win when you bet a certain amount, with any odds type.

Fractional Odds: When you get fractional odds, you multiply the fraction showing by the amount you bet to show a winning profit of your bet.

Decimal: these odds vary because they will show the amount you would win, which includes the original bet. These are shown one number, which would be the amount you win on a $1 bet. So 2.25 would be $2.25 for every $1. 3.35 = $3.35 for every $1 wagered.

Here are the next 4 games in the NBA, with the current odds.

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Other Popular NBA Betting Types 

There are many other popular NBA bets to wager on. A few of them include future odds, such as:

  • Odds to win NBA Title – You can bet this before the season. Oddsmakers will take into account the rosters of the teams and the moves they made and give each team odds to win the title. These are often available during the season as well, but they move according to how well or poor the team has been playing.
  • Odds to win Divisional title – Same thing here. These tend to be shorter odds, as there are less teams in a division.
  • Odds to win Conference Title – One more just like the last two here. The Eastern and Western Conferences will both have a “favorite” and odds, and all the rest of the teams will have odds that follow suit.
  • Odds to win Most Valuable Player – Another to bet before the season, and also can be available during the season. 
  • Odds to win Rookie of the Year – Before the season starts, you may get some good odds on a guy you think will break out in his first year, that maybe oddsmakers are not as confident about.

There are also many game props for an NBA game. When you bet a game prop, you are betting something that will happen inside the game. For example, if the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets were playing, you may get opportunities to bet on things such as:

  • Nikola Jokic Over/Under 9.5 Rebounds
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo Over/Under 32.5 Points
  • Jamaal Murray Over/Under 7.5 Assists

In the NBA, there are also parlays and teasers available. Parlays are popular in the NBA as they combine multiple bets into one. So instead of getting payouts on each of the individual bets that you like, you can parlay them together and give yourself a chance at a bigger payout. The problem with parlays is that you must win ALL the bets in a parlay to win the bet

Teaser bets are also common. With teasers, the bettor will buy some points, and most parlay at least two bets in it. For example, if the Chicago Bulls were -3, and the total was listed at 205.5 against the Lakers, a standard teaser would be like buying the 6 points. Then – the bet could be moved to Chicago Bulls +1 and the UNDER 203. 5 of the game. We moved 4 points on the spread and 2 points on the total.  Again – in a teaser, BOTH legs must win.

Lastly, live betting has become more and more popular over the years. When live betting, you must be ready and available basically at the device and with your sportsbook. Here, you can live bet the result at the end of the quarter, half, or game. You can also live bet the total points for the same time periods or even specific upcoming plays. There are advantages to live betting, but it takes paying attention or careful strategy to be profitable in the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions about Betting on Games in the NBA

Betting on the NBA is not an easy thing to do. If it was easy, there would be millions making money hand over fist by wagering. But rest assured, the National Basketball Association is not rigged one way or the other. Yes, there have been officials scandals and even player scandals in the past, but the entire season and league are not rigged one way or the other.

Betting on the National Basketball Association takes patience, persistence, and wisdom. Unless you are a member of the team, such as a player, coach, trainer, etc., betting on the National Basketball Association is perfectly legal in the United States.  It is always important to make sure you are betting within your means and doing so responsibly. 

Betting at a legal onshore sportsbook is required in the United States, as offshore books are not legal in the United States. There are many legal and safe sportsbooks in the United States, and each have pros and cons to them. Nowadays, there are no big red flags as far as deposits and withdrawals, as the legalization of sports betting has cleared a lot of those previous hurdles.

As we mentioned earlier, the key terms for betting on NBA games

  • Point Spreads – how many points a team is favored by, or underdog as.
  • Moneyline – what amount you could potentially win betting on a specific team.
  • Total – the amount of total points scored in the game.

Best Online Sportsbooks For NBA Betting

One of the best tips for betting on the National Basketball Association is to shop for the best available lines and odds that are available. The only way possible to do that is to find a reliable, trusting sportsbook that is easy to use and readily available and then also add to the list. The more sportsbooks that you can use and trust, the better odds you may be able to find.

The legalization over the years has allowed United States Sportsbook markets do not have the red flags there were before PASPA. Now, it is very stringent to own and operate a sportsbook, which should ease bettors minds before they start playing. 

The first thing you should do when you get ready to start at a sportsbook – be sure you know it’s fully licensed and regulated. Then, do they have solid payout and deposit options for you to use? Do they provide plenty of betting opportunities? Do they have customer service for those that are in need of assistance? Be sure to check those aspects out before you start giving them any of your money to play with.

In the United States, DraftKings and FanDuel certainly have popped out as the best of the best, but Caesars, BetMGM, BetRivers, WynnBet, and PointsBet are all good legal options. Some are in most legal states, while the rest you will need to check to see if it’s legal and available in the state you are betting from.

Basic Tips For Becoming A Sharper NBA Bettor

When you start betting on the National Basketball Association, you will be shocked to know how much information you can actually consume. If you are serious about being a winning sports bettor you’d need to spend time researching teams and players.

Girl, you got this!

Know the coaches. Know their tendencies. Know the teams. Know who they match up well against. Know who they struggle against. Be sure to understand how much time they are going to be playing their better players. Do they have the momentum to win this game? Are they playing their top guys, or is their star sitting because he has played a lot lately?

There is an ongoing list, but the moral of the story here is – do your research on teams and players. Read articles, check tweets, watch for yourself, listen!

Another factor to being a good sports bettor with the NBA is to manage your bankroll effectively. Betting on the NBA is likely not a get-rich-fast opportunity. It certainly can be, but the alternative is even easier – and that becomes poor quick betting on the NBA.

So, make sure you understand the long haul of the NBA season, and it can be a grind. You do not have to bet on every game. You do not have to bet every day! Manage your bankroll effectively. Know and understand what this means. Realize how much you are willing to bet and stick with the plan. Before you stick with the plan, MAKE the plan!

Do not bet emotionally. Sure, you have a favorite team, and you are mad at them. Or maybe you are going to the game and want to place a bet that they will win because you want them to. While these things happen, and sometimes they work out well for the bettor, understand these are NOT conducive to long-term winning betting on the NBA. 

Also, don’t chase a loss. Okay, you lost a bet. That sucks. Move on, and get the next one. Don’t double up on the next game just because you want that money back. Betting on the NBA is a marathon, not a sprint!

It is always important to track all your bets. Study what has worked for you and maybe what has not. You can do this yourself, or there are many tracking tools on the internet. But, track all your bets, with how much, when, and who you bet on. This will help you big time down the road!

How To Bet On The NBA Playoffs

Betting on the NBA Playoffs is certainly a thing. While it is different than the Super Bowl, as that is just one game, betting on the NBA Playoffs is more than an entire month’s worth of action. This really is no different than betting on the NBA during the regular season.

The playoffs typically start in April, and the NBA Finals are in June. There are now 20 teams that make the postseason, and the format has changed over the years. They now have the one-game play-in, so these are great opportunities to bet a winner-take-all mentality. Nothing else changes here, though. Use good bankroll management, study the teams, players, coaches, matchups, etc.

Then – once they get to 16 teams, which was the old traditional format, it’s typically a best of 5 or best of 7 series. The NBA has moved to the best of 7 model, so whichever team wins four games first moves on. This goes on for four rounds until we crown a champion. Teams that play in the NBA Finals oftentimes play an additional 25 games in their season. In fact, it takes no less than 16 to win the NBA Finals.

How Bet on NBA Games Online Legally

Sports betting has gained legality across more than 30 states in the United States. It is essential to comprehend the distinction between its online and in-person legality. In-person sports betting involves physical sportsbooks, allowing bettors to place wagers at windows or kiosks. 

Betting is legal in 33 states

Presently, 33 states permit in-person betting, while 25 states offer the option for online betting.

Currently, two states are in the process of legalizing both online and in-person sports betting. Additionally, there are two states in the midst of attaining approval solely for online sports betting, and one state is awaiting validation for in-person sports betting.

The following states do not allow sports betting, neither in-person nor online:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah

Prior to depositing funds with a sportsbook, it is prudent to conduct a brief verification to ensure that the chosen sportsbook possesses the necessary sports betting license and adheres to regulations. This precautionary step helps ensure a secure and compliant betting experience.

Tips To Know Before Betting On NBA Games

Getting back to betting on the National Basketball Association, let’s take a look at a few more tips to know before you get started.

  1. Understand how important line movement is and why it is important: Just think about it. There is a reason this moved.  The books may be wanting you to go one way or the other, or there may be a ton of money on onside or the other. Follow line movements and understand WHY they are moving the way they are. Be sure to get the reasoning as to WHY. Follow the trends. Dig deep before blindly betting.
  1. Know injury news and follow it: The NBA will sit guys. That is widely known. Teams that play back-to-back games may not play all their guys. THIS IS VITAL to know before you start placing a bet. Maybe you have an idea who is going to sit, and the sportsbook has not adjusted yet. While it’s scary and risky to try to be smarter than oddsmakers, there are also advantages here. Be sure to follow injury news when betting on the NBA.
  1. All NBA games are played indoors, so weather is not a factor. But, where the game is played is definitely a factor. Some teams are really good when playing at home. Vice Versa, some teams are horrendous when playing on the road. Be sure to know and follow what teams have tendencies based on where the game is played.
  1. If you are new to sports betting – start small if you are unsure. You feel like you have an idea how it all works? Start small. Start small and build your bankroll, then maybe you can re-evaluate your unit sizes from there.

Conclusion

In the grand scheme of things, engaging in National Basketball Association betting offers not only a ton of fun but also a bunch of opportunities for profitability. Bettors can make decent money through NBA betting, but a feat done by those who approach it intelligently.

Successful bettors follow smart bankroll management strategies, diligently analyze teams, coaches, and players, and exercise sagacity in their wagers. They always utilize multiple sportsbooks, opting for establishments they are intimately acquainted with and have confidence in. Their knack lies in securing the most favorable odds. These adept individuals adeptly sidestep potential pitfalls, abstaining from unfavorable parlays when the odds fail to align in their favor.

As you go forward on the journey of betting on the NBA, it is imperative to perform responsible betting practices and become well-versed not only in the intricacies of the teams and the league but also in the art of selecting and placing bets.

Embrace a philosophy of continuous learning and adaptation. With each bet placed, strive to come up with fresh insights and modify your approach accordingly. Sometimes, the alterations required may be minor; at other times, an entirely new strategy may be warranted. Yet, the ultimate objective remains the same: to win some money wagering on the National Basketball Association.

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