How to Bet on Basketball Online: Everything You Need to Know
Here, we bring you our ultimate guide on how to bet on basketball. This is a game popular all over the country. Most people know how the game works, but what about how betting on the game works?
On this page, we will look at how to bet on basketball, the different bet types, tips and strategies and all the terminology you need to know for the ultimate basketball betting experience.
How to bet on NBA Games
This is our passion and our skill – and we want to pass on these skills to you. That’s why we want to impart all of our tips and strategies. NBA games go on practically all through the year – so whether you want to bet on pre-season, regular season, post-season games or even the highly anticipated NBA Finals, look no further.
So, let’s take a look at how to bet on NBA games – and the best sites for NBA betting.
Basketball Betting Explained: NBA Betting Lines
Once you know what you’re doing, there are lots of different types of NBA bets to choose from. As soon as you understand how NBA odds work, the betting world is your oyster. So, here are the main types of bets to look out for:
- Moneyline Bets
- Race to Points
- Points Spreads/Handicap
- Winner Margin Bets
- Over/Under Bets
- Special Bets
- Long Term Bets
Moneyline Bets: Betting on a Winner
The most common and straightforward basketball bet is the moneyline bet. To make this bet, simply choose a team to win, and place a moneyline wager on them. If your chosen team wins the game, you win your bet. It is that easy!
The moneyline will winner is defined with a minus symbol (-) follow by a number, and the underdog is symbolized by the plus symbol and followed by a number (+). A great way to wager on who you think will win or lose.
Moneyline bets can be confusing due to their different payout levels. Picking a massive favorite will return less money than picking a massive underdog, as this follows logically. If the sportsbook offered everyone the same payouts for either option, people would predominantly bet on the favorites – resulting in huge losses for the sportsbooks and ultimately driving them out of business.
Sportsbooks balance action on both sides of the game by encouraging betting on underdogs with higher money line payouts. Conversely, to discourage a large amount of betting on favorites, sportsbooks offer lower payouts for correct picks. The extent of payouts is determined by the size of the favorite or underdog and how much activity it is receiving.
A basketball moneyline wager requires attention to how much one stands to win if correct. Betting on the expected winner may sometimes not be feasible due to inadequate reward for the risk taken. To help better comprehend the concept of moneyline betting, a dedicated resource page has been created. It covers all areas of moneyline betting, including what is needed to increase the chances of profitable returns.
Race to Points: First Past the Post
Race to points in the NBA is a fun little wager. It lets you bet on which team you think will reach a certain number of points first. While this is generally team-based and game-based, it can also be done by quarter or half and specified for both teams’ combined scores. For example, if the New York Knicks were playing the Chicago Bulls, you may predict that the Knicks will be the first team to get 20 points. If they do, you win!
Spread Betting: How to Bet on a Favourite and Make a Profit
Spread bets can be complicated; however, they offer a chance to bet on games you wouldn’t typically consider. The sportsbook will predict the number of points a team will either win or lose by. You can then bet based on which team will do better or worse than the prediction. An example, if the sportsbook thinks the Mavericks are going to win by 8 points, your spread bet would look like that.
- Mavericks -8 (-110)
- Magic +8 (-110)
You think the Mavericks will win the game by 10 points, so a spread bet on them is appropriate. The sportsbook thinks they will win by 8 points, meaning they must exceed that margin to give you a successful bet. If they outperform this expectation – winning by 9 points instead of 8 – you will have won your bet. As such, you believe that the Mavericks can surpass the predicted margin of victory.
You can place a spread bet on the Magic, who are expected to lose by 8 points. So, if they lose by less than 8 points, you could win this bet. This means that even if the team you bet on loses, you could still be successful if their performance exceeds expectations.
Spread bets in basketball provide an opportunity to bet on many games. They are typically advantageous for betters, as they payout the same amount (just slightly worse than even money) for both sides of the bet, regardless of which team wins. This enables one to also bet on teams that are more likely to lose.
Winner Margin: How Big is the Defeat?
You can try to predict the margin by which the winning team will win. So, if the Golden State Warriors were to play the Indiana Pacers then you could place a wager that the Warriors will win by 10 points. You will only win if the points difference is 10 in favor of the GSWs.
Over/Under: Betting on Totals
The total bet, also known as an over/under bet, is the third most popular form of basketball betting. This bet is placed on the total cumulative score of a game and can be used to make predictions in many aspects of a basketball game.
Sportsbooks set a line, the over/under, on how many points they predict will be scored in the game. Punters can then bet on whether they think more or fewer points will be scored: ‘over’ for more and ‘under’ for fewer. Generally, over/unders in basketball pay out the same on each side of the bet.
Consider a basketball game between the Mavericks and Magic. In this hypothetical example, the sportsbook believes that the combined points scored by both teams will total 214. This is represented as a totals bet in the sportsbook.
- Mavericks o214 (-110)
- Magic u214 (-110)
When betting on the total number of points scored in a game, it is called taking the ‘over’ or ‘under.’ To take the over, bettors must believe that the two final scores added together will exceed 214; taking the under would mean expecting fewer than 214 points. The team names listed in sportsbooks next to each line are intended merely for space-saving purposes and serve no other purpose.
When betting on the over, it does not matter which team wins the game or which score is tallied – whether it’s 215-0 Mavericks or 215-0 Magic, 118-110 Mavericks or 118-110 Magic; if the combined points are more than the available line, you win. You do not have to pick a winner in an over bet.
Totals bets are a great way to bet on the game flow of a basketball game. If you anticipate an offensive-focused game, you can choose the over; if you predict it to be defensive-focused, opt for the under. Moreover, these bets can provide entertainment since they allow recreational betters to bet against both teams. Take an over and support neither team with each play!
Quarter Bets: One Step at a Time
These usually have great odds and are popular with NBA and European basketball punters. It’s simply betting on an outcome in one of the quarters. For example, you could bet that Brooklyn Nets will be beating the Utah Jazz at the end of the first quarter.
Special Bets and Props: Betting on the Players
Today, we will discuss proposition bets, a type of basketball bet that covers everything outside the other categories. Proposition bets allow you to wager on outcomes proposed by the sportsbook. Examples include betting on whether a player gets more or fewer than three blocks in a game and whether there will be a technical foul in a game.
When it comes to basketball prop bets, the options vary. Generally, more prop bets are available when betting online, especially for higher-profile games such as the NBA finals. Conversely, fewer wagers may be offered for lower-stakes games between less successful teams.
Long Term Bets: Predicting the Future
Futures betting is a wager on activities that occur in the future. NBA futures betting is available year-round, even during the off-season. Examples include predicting the NBA Finals winner, Conference winner, playoff teams, and player awards.
- Division Champions
- Season Win Totals
- Conference Champions
- Game Lines Occurring Tomorrow or After
Live betting is increasingly popular and it’s easy to make these bets on a mobile phone or app. This article provides details about live betting, offering strategies specifically for NBA live betting.
Live betting is the ability to place a wager after an event has already started. Sportsbooks will adjust their odds throughout the game to account for how it’s progressing. Waiting to place a bet is also beneficial, as many players prefer to understand the flow of the game before wagering.
Live betting requires careful timing. Many sportsbooks update their live odds after each basket or shot, so tracking a sportsbook’s app or in-person odds boards can help provide an understanding of how quickly odds can change.
Basketball Betting Glossary
Here are some of the most important NBA betting terms in our betting glossary:
|Basketball Betting Term||Definition|
|Accumulator (Parlay)||A series of bets placed into one big bet (all parts of the bet must win)|
|Chalk||A team expected to win by a large margin|
|Dog||Short for underdog – the team expected to lose|
|Even Money||A bet that pays out the same as the stake (+100)|
|Margin||How much a team wins by|
|Push||If the point spread lands exactly on the line you get your stake returned.|
|Stake||The amount of money you put on a bet|
|Juice / Vig||The sportsbook commission|
|Drift||Odds moving up or down|
|Exotic Bets||Any bet other than a straight or multiple bet|
Best Basketball Betting Tips: NBA Betting Strategy
If you feel like you’re ready to get started, then you should check out our best basketball betting tips and NBA betting strategy. With a little help, you can start making those profits whilst having fun.
Know the Sport
You should try to avoid betting on the NBA game with little or no information on the sport. You need to know what to research for the game and what teams you should bet on. You will need to understand the different statistics, how to analyze the game and make sure you know the sport back to front.
Research team Form and Player Injuries
The form of the team is important to know and it is essential to read up on player injuries before even considering betting on the game. There’s no point betting on a team to win if you don’t realize their best player is out for the game.
Manage Your Bankroll
Before betting on a game, you should have a budget and stick to it. If you don’t do this, then you will start eating into other funds and possibly start chasing losses. This leads to making some bad betting decisions. So, set limits and stick to them and find out more about how to effectively manage your bankroll here.
Bet With Your Head
Don’t bet on a team or player just because you’re a fan. Many NBA bettors bet on their favorite team. However, you shouldn’t do this unless you have done extensive research and this has indicated that they are the most likely to win. If you don’t want to bet against your team, either choose another type of bet on the game (such as Totals) or pick another game.
How to Bet on Basketball and Win
So, all that being said, let’s look at how to bet on basketball online and win:
- Pick your preferred sportsbook from our list of NBA betting sites.
- Open a new account, following the instructions carefully.
- Make your first deposit. Choose your deposit method and fund your account.
- Claim your welcome bonus (Check our list of best bonuses).
- Find your bet, click on the odds and add to your betslip.
- Confirm and wait for the results.
Signing up and placing your first wager with a bookmaker is the starting point for beginners. To become an expert, however, one must avoid being distracted by media noise. This is especially difficult for NBA fans attracted to podcasts, TV shows, radio programs, interviews, and training videos.
Successful NBA betting requires filtering out the hype media outlets create and utilizing available data. By doing this, bettors can make informed decisions with a greater chance of success.
Researching key statistics is essential when betting on NBA. Pro Basketball Reference provides data for individual-versus-team match-ups that help identify winning teams. Generally, the top-performing teams throughout the season have the highest chance of receiving trophies.
‘Fading’ is a betting strategy that involves going against the public’s favorite team. This can happen when the public puts so much money on one side that the odds become more favorable for betting on the other team.
Oddsmakers are making popular choices less attractive, reducing their value. This is beneficial for bettors, who can take advantage of shifts in lines to maximize their potential winnings when betting on the team of their choice.