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Basketball is one of the most popular sports on the planet. While there are many professional leagues operating in other countries, it is the NBA that generates the most interest. There are matches almost every day between October and June which creates countless wagering opportunities.

This NBA betting guide will cover a variety of topics to help you find success with your NBA wagers. We will provide you with a list of best US Sports betting sites that offer the best NBA betting odds as well as explanations of the types of bets you can make. You should also be able to glean other helpful information that will assist you in becoming a profitable bettor.

NBA Betting Tips

Betting on NBA Basketball

It’s not just the action on the court that garners so much interest among NBA fans. There are also loads of intriguing storylines such as long-standing team and players rivalries. Certain players seem to elevate their game when they face particular opponents just as some teams have the knack for shutting down impact players on the opposing team.

Every game presents bettors with a plethora of wagering options. Unlike the days before the internet and the best NBA betting apps, bettors have a lot more than just sides and totals to wager on. With so many NBA prop bets to choose from, it’s easier for bettors to zero in on a strong bet. With many US states legalizing sports betting, it’s also a lot easier to shop around for the most advantageous NBA betting lines and odds. This isn’t to say that making money from NBA betting is a walk in the park. It isn’t. However, those who employ some basic strategies improve their odds of being profitable.

 

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NBA Betting Odds & Lines

One of the first things you need to understand is that betting odds are expressed in a few different ways. Even odds, for example, appear as 2.00 in decimal form and +100 in American odds form. Those who display their odds in fractional form will see even odds as 1/1. Most Canadian basketball bettors prefer American and decimal odds.

Moneylines

There are a couple of different ways for bettors to wager on a side. The easiest way is betting on the moneylines. In other words, you are simply selecting a team to win. It doesn’t matter if the team you bet on wins by a single point or by 50 points. A win on the court is a win for you.

Spreads

Perhaps the most popular wager is betting against the spread. Simply put, the spread is a number that those who make NBA betting lines come up with to help balance the betting action. Instead of merely having to have your team win, your team must win by a certain number of points. Alternatively, those who take an underdog against the spread can still win their wager if the team they bet on loses as long as the team doesn’t lose by too many points.

Why bet against the spread? Well, let’s say the Detroit Pistons are playing the 76ers in Philadelphia. You want to bet on the Sixers, but they are a whopping -450 on the moneyline which isn’t too appealing at all. However, the odds for betting Philly against a -9.5-point spread are set at -110 which is much more palatable. While the wager certainly involves higher risk, it also has the potential to yield bigger rewards.

On the flip side, you might want to back Detroit. While the big plus money on the underdog looks appealing, you may simply feel that Detroit is in for a loss. Rather than betting the Pistons on the moneyline, you can wager on them to not lose by more than 9.5 points. This results in lower risk, but it also means a lower potential payout.

Totals

Another common NBA wager is the total which is sometimes referred to as over/under bets. This is the NBA betting site’s projected number for the combined score. You either bet on the score going over that set total, or the score going under the total. Let’s say the game total is set at 202.5. If you bet on the over, you’d need both teams to combine for a total of 203 points or more. If you wager on the under, then the total score would have to be 202 points or less. The best NBA betting sites offer odds on team totals as well as first and second half totals.

NBA Prop Bets

As mentioned, NBA betting sites offer odds on a lot more than just moneylines, totals, parlays, and spreads. Many bettors have found success with NBA prop bets. An example of a prop bet could be “Will LeBron James Score a Triple Double?” or “Will the game go into overtime?”. Some prop bets are similar to totals. For instance, “Will Kevin Durant Score more than 29.5 Points” or “Will the Teams Combine for 41.5 Fouls?”. NBA betting sites usually have dozens or even hundreds of prop bets to choose from.

NBA Futures Betting

With the new NBA season underway, the fans couldn’t be more excited to see their favorite team battle it out in an 82-game long regular season. However, the bettors, on the other side, are excited because they now get to find some great betting action across the board. Besides the traditional bets, NBA futures betting has proven to be among the most popular ones. So, what are futures bets? Think of it as a form of a long-term investment, in which you bet on an event that will occur in the future. To give you an example, you can decide to test your luck with the NBA Conference futures betting, and bet $100 the Los Angeles Lakers to top the Western Conference. Your bet would come through, only if the Lakers are on top of the Western Conference after the regular season.

 

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NBA Betting Tips

Information is power. The more information you have about a certain matchup, the better your odds of winning the bet. You’ll be placing an informed bet at the very least. Let’s go over some of the information that can help you be a more successful NBA bettor.

Odds

Getting the best odds is critical no matter what you bet on. An NBA betting site might have a flashy welcome bonus and lots of promotions, but experienced bettors understand that getting the best NBA betting odds is a key component of any profitable betting strategy. The top basketball betting sites listed on this page give you those great odds. Before you go out there on a search for the best NBA odds, make sure you learn more about the different odds formats.

Injuries

An injury to a second-string depth player probably won’t have much of an effect on the outcome of a game, but an injury to a star player probably will. One doesn’t need to look much further than the 2020-21 playoffs when both Anthony Davis and LeBron James were hobbled in their first-round clash with Phoenix. This isn’t to say that the Lakers would have won if Davis and James were 100%, but their injuries definitely didn’t help the cause.

Understanding the type of injury a player has is crucial. Ailments like groin pulls and muscle strains can linger. Even though a player recovering from such an injury is in the starting lineup, that player probably isn’t 100%. Furthermore, that player runs a higher risk of re-injuring himself causing him to leave the game. You should also consider that a player who is reinserted into the lineup after missing significant time will need a while to get back into game shape. It behooves NBA betting enthusiasts to keep a close eye on those injury reports. At the same time, it’s important that you don’t over-react when a player goes down.

It’s also worth mentioning that teams that have already punched their tickets into the postseason often rest players. As with injuries, it’s important to put it into proper perspective and not overreact. In fact, a playoff-bound team that is resting a star player is still a strong bet because those teams are typically deep. Don’t automatically abandon your point spread system just because a player is out of the lineup.

Tanking

NFL teams do it. NHL and MLB teams also do it. But some NBA teams have turned tanking into an art form. There have been some awesome races to the bottom over the past few decades and we will undoubtedly see more of them in the years to come. Teams that appear to be aiming for high draft picks usually aren’t worth betting on, but they often make for great fades.

 

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Revenge & Rivalry

If you have seen The Last Dance or the recently released Malice at the Palace, you have some good insight into rivalry and revenge scenarios. You understand how and why the Chicago Bulls gave it the proverbial 110% against the Pistons in the early 1990s. You know that it wasn’t just “thug mentality” that caused the historic melee involving the Pacers and Pistons in 2004. No. These were examples of intense rivalries.

The Lakers and Celtics have one of the longest-standing rivalries in the league. Of course, there have also been plenty of player rivalries such as Larry Bird vs. Julius Irving, Michael Jordan vs. Isiah Thomas, and even LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant.

Revenge games are quite similar. You can be certain that the Phoenix Suns will have their matches against the Milwaukee Bucks circled on their 2021-22 schedule. Expect Brooklyn to do the same thing with Milwaukee. Philadelphia will probably want to make a statement against Atlanta too. Never underestimate the power of motivation and plain ol’ bloodlust.

Offenses and Defenses

Some teams know how to rack up the points. Some teams are very strong defensively. Some teams are strong on both sides. You can expect plenty of scoring from two high-scoring teams that have weak defenses. Conversely, two defensively minded teams with less scoring punch often produce fewer points.

Understand Basic Basketball Strategies

You don’t necessarily have to be a professional basketball player or a coach to understand fundamental basketball strategies. Simply put, some teams struggle when they face a particular scheme. Of course, an effective strategy is most often a team effort. A certain strategy might be effective against one team, but it may not work against another team. Having this type of knowledge will take you a long way toward winning more wagers.

 

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Live NBA Betting

Live betting is hugely popular these days. Bettors have the opportunity to check out the flow of a game before they make their wagers. This can be an advantage. Another benefit that live betting offers is the ability to hedge or double down on a pre-match wager. However, there are also some pitfalls that you should avoid when live betting. With so many live NBA betting options, it’s easy to go overboard and disregard solid bankroll management practices.

It’s a good idea to have a live betting plan in place. That is to say, come up with certain scenarios that would create advantageous betting opportunities before the game starts. For instance, if a favorite comes out slow and falls behind early, you will get better odds on them to win the game. If your team is losing, you can either ride it out until the end or plan on hedging at a certain point. Just remember that basketball is prone to scoring runs and the shape of a game can shift dramatically in the blink of an eye.

Conclusion

We have covered some of the basic concepts of NBA betting, but there is a lot more to it. Even professional bettors are constantly refining their strategies by introducing new angles. They gather as much information and NBA betting tips as they can. They then use this data to place informed wagers that have a better chance of winning than bets made by NBA public betting fanatics.

Experienced bettors understand that NBA betting is a marathon and not a sprint. The goal is ending the NBA season in the black. Again, this is no easy task. However, adhering to a solid strategy and doing your homework increases your chances of making a profit over the long haul.

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Contributors

Contributors

Hi, I'm Adam Thompson

"Two decades covering sports and the evolution of online betting. My experience as a handicapper uniquely qualifies me to evaluate which operator is best."

Interests
  • Sports Betting
  • Daily Fantasy

Reviewer since August 2019

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