NBA Betting – The Basics

NBA betting can be complex as there are so many variables to consider. Factors like stats, analytics, current trends, home-court advantage, and player performance drastically impact the outcome of a game. Even the enthusiastic NBA fan may find it hard to stay abreast with ever-evolving news related to the league.

It can be a daunting task to make well-informed basketball bets and even more difficult to consistently pick winners. So in this article, we will provide you with the basic information that you need for betting on different sports and leagues such NBA.

Let’s get started.

NBA Quick Overview

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the top-tier professional basketball league in the world, with teams in the United States and Canada. Established in 1946, the NBA boasts a rich history and culture.

With the current roster of 30 teams, each team plays 82 games during a regular season before qualifying for the postseason. The top eight teams from both conferences advance to the playoffs culminating with a championship series between the Eastern and Western Conference Champs.

As one of the most-watched American sports leagues worldwide, players from many different countries now compete at the professional level making it the most diverse league around today. 

Types of Betting Markets in the NBA

NBA Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are bets on which team will be victorious in a game without considering a point spread. Sportbooks will set odds on each team to win the game outright. Favorites will have negative odds, while underdogs will have positive.

For example, if the odds for a certain game were:

  • Los Angeles Lakers: -134
  • Miami Heat: +115

This means you would need to risk $134 on a Lakers victory in order to potentially win $100 or bet $100 on a Heat victory in order to potentially win $115.

NBA Point Spread Bets

This is a more complex type of bet than moneyline bets. Point spread bets are based on the number of points a particular team is expected to win or lose by. Oddsmakers will set up a point spread and then you can choose which team you believe will cover that spread.

For example, the Orlando Magic will visit the Boston Celtics. The oddsmakers set a point spread of 6.5 points, with the Magic being the favorites and the Celtics being the underdogs. If you bet on Orlando to cover this spread, they would need to win by 7 or more points in order for your wager to be successful.

NBA Totals Bets

Totals bets are a type of bet that involves predicting whether the total number of points scored by both teams in a game will be over or under a certain amount.

For example, let’s say the oddsmakers set an over/under the line of 225.5 for an upcoming game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. If you bet on the “over”, then for your wager to be successful both teams would have to combine for 226 points or more. If you bet on the “under” then both teams must combine for 225 points or less.

NBA Prop Bets

These are bets on specific occurrences within a game rather than the outcome of the game itself. There are three kinds of props:

  • Player Props which involve predicting the performance of individual players
  • Game Props which usually involve predicting the correct score
  • Team Props involve predicting a team’s first-half points or if the score will be odd or even

These betting markets add a new level of excitement to NBA games, as they allow you to wager on what you think will happen within the game rather than just waiting for the conclusion.

NBA Parlays

A parlay is a type of bet that involves “linking” two or more individual wagers together. If any of the wagers involved in the parlay lose, the entire parlay is considered a loss. However, if all wagers are successful, then you stand to win significantly more money than you would have by just placing each wager individually.

For example, let’s say you wanted to parlay the following NBA games:

  • Los Angeles Lakers -7 vs. Miami Heat
  • Dallas Mavericks +4 vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Washington Wizards – 5.5 vs. Orlando Magic

If all three of these wagers were successful, then you would win your parlay and stand to make significantly more money than if you had just placed each bet separately. Parlays offer higher rewards due to the increased risk taken on when placing them but they can be an effective way to add excitement to NBA betting markets.

NBA Futures

Futures bets are wagers made on the overall outcome of a season or an entire series. They involve predicting which teams will make it to the playoffs, win their divisions, or even go all the way and win the championship.

These bets offer higher payouts due to the long-term nature of the wager and the greater probability of the bet being successful.

NBA Betting Strategies

Betting in the NBA requires knowledge and experience in order to be profitable in the long run. There are some basic strategies you can use to increase your chances of success:

  • Study Statistics and Trends – Knowing who is playing well, which teams have good records against one another, or which teams have a good home vs away record can help you make more informed decisions.
  • Consistency – Don’t get too caught up in trying to win big all the time and focus instead on consistently picking winners over the long run.
  • Bankroll Management – This is one of the key components of any successful betting strategy. Make sure to only bet what you can afford to lose and never chase your losses.
  • Shop for the Best Lines – Different sportsbooks will offer different odds on the same games, so look around and find the best line available before placing your bets.
  • Look for Bonuses – Many sportsbooks offer bonuses and promotions which can help you get better value for your bets. Free bets, Risk-free bets, and other types of promotions can be great tools for boosting your bankroll.

By following these strategies, you should be able to make more informed decisions and increase your chances of success when betting on the NBA.

NBA Betting FAQS

  • Is it legal to bet on NBA games?
  • How NBA odds are being set?
  • How do I know which team will cover the spread?
  • Are NBA wagers more profitable than other sports?