How to Bet on NBA Games
Getting started on NBA betting means finding the best NBA betting sites. In fact, if you want to make sure to get the best deals on all the markets, it is even a good idea to sign up at more than one. Having all the cards on the table will help you make the best NBA bets.
The NBA is the only other professional league that offers comparable betting options to NFL football. The high-scoring and sometimes lopsided nature of the game mean spread betting is a popular choice, along with all the multiple bet options that go along with that, like teasers.
While NBA basketball betting may not be as popular as football, the season runs for longer and features far more games to wager on. The strategies and information below will help you whether you’re looking at NBA preseason odds or making the best bets for the NBA finals. So let’s examine all the ways you can bet on the hardcourt.
NBA Basketball Betting Against the Spread
The standard NBA spread looks like all the others: the home team will be on the bottom; the favorite will have a negative number, and the payout will be listed next to the spread. (If you’d like to learn more about the basics of spread betting, go here.)
Basketball spreads don’t see as much line movement as their football counterparts because they’re not available for as long and because less money is bet on the NBA.
As with the NFL, NBA spreads account factor in a homecourt advantage, but as you’ll see, some teams are so dominant that they’re favored no matter where they go.
As a result, the spreads can get pretty sizable when it comes to the NBA – especially when good teams are playing at home. But betting big favorites also comes with big risk. Not only could you fall victim to the back-door cover, but NBA players are notorious for going half-speed in the regular season. That is, if they go at all.
The newest trend in the Association is resting superstars during the year, and sportsbooks are always on top of it. So, if you see a loaded team like the San Antonio Spurs going off as +8 underdogs, the bookies didn’t screw up; chances are the Spurs’ best players are resting that night. In the sport with the fewest players on the court/field at one time, staying on top of starting lineups is crucial when betting the NBA.
Spreads in the NBA will usually stay in the same range as NFL games: it’s rare to see a favorite of over 20 points, except in the NBA All Star Game, and only big mismatches will see double-digit spreads. For the most part, NBA spreads will be single digits in favor of the home team.
NBA Basketball Moneyline
The moneyline is an option if you just want to try picking winners, but the return can be lacking in a league that is seeing more and more super-teams.
If you haven’t viewed our section about reading and understanding odds, that line means it would take a bet of $2,000 to win just $100 if you bet on Golden State to win. Conversely, the payout on a Utah upset would be big: $1,000 on a $100 bet. That guide will help you with NBA odds too.
Hoping for underdogs to win every night isn’t a great NBA betting strategy, thanks to a few powerhouses like Golden State and Cleveland stomping their way through the league, particularly in the playoffs. The best way to get any value out of those teams on a nightly basis is by using multiple bets like parlays, round robins, or teasers.
Other Types of NBA Bets
NBA Betting Strategies and Tips
Having a few good NBA betting tips up your sleeve can mean the difference between going bust and going home a winner. Nothing can replace the keen sense one gets from years and years of watching and loving basketball, but some studying and paying attention to the right details can go a long way. Plus, even for basketball experts, learning some of these tips will help you make the best NBA bets.
Here are two key NBA gambling tips and strategies.
Keep an Eye on Fatigue
It can be easy to imagine teams as static things. Like if a team is better one day, then they will come out on top the next. However, you are making a bet on the NBA game tonight, not the one from last week. And making the best NBA bet tonight could mean understanding which team is more worn out. Sometimes the fatigue is not factored into NBA odds, given you a strategic advantage.
So, how to tell? One thing is to check the schedule. You’re looking for two things:
- Have they had close or intense matchups recently?
- Have they been traveling a lot?
If you think a team may be fatigued, that does not mean they will lose, but they are likely to be overestimated. This is a good time to look at the spread, where margins matter most. This lesson even applies to NBA preseason odds, even though it can be less gruelling.
Triple Check the Lineup
Some teams rely heavily on talent concentrated in just one or two people. Even the most well-distributed teams have imbalances. If someone besides their big five is staring, check out carefully how the backup compares. Of course, they may be a big step down in terms of quality, but the team may be able to compensate by rearranging strategy. What happened last time with this starting lineup?
Live Betting and the NBA
Basketball is a high-speed sport that lends itself well to live betting. The score can go up every few seconds, and the shot clock ensures that will happen.
Plus, each basketball game comes with lots of different bets that you can make in the game. With the game being so fast, it is important to have an NBA betting site that updates their odds quickly. We have recommended sites on this page.
Here are some live bets you make during an NBA game:
- Outright winner
- Halftime winner
- Score races between players
- Odd or even game totals
Given the extra excitement of the live betting, it may be best to steer clear of your favorite. Just to keep a cool head. That being said, there are lots of reasons to get into live betting on the NBA:
- Extra excitement
- Make NBA bets today
- Variety of NBA basketball odds on each betting line
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Betting on NBA Basketball Games FAQ
Find answers to common questions bettors like you have when researching which sportsbook to join.
The best bet will always be the most fun bet. However, if you are looking for a safe bet, pick teams veiled at less than -150.
Yes, it is. In some rare cases, you will have to use local sportsbooks.
You can bet on the NBA at any of the online sports betting sites you find on this page.
There are lots of different NBA bets. From props, to lines and spreads, you will have many options. Let fun and entertainment be your main guide.
In addition to the NBA, you can also bet on college basketball and sometimes the Chinese or European leagues as well.