NBA Betting Strategies

NBA Betting Strategies

Malcolm Darnley
6 Min
Betting NBA Totals
Third Game Playoffs Strategy
NBA Betting Systems

Betting is fun, but only if you’re winning. If not, it’s frustrating, not to mention your money is going away.

That’s why you need to come up with good strategies to mitigate the risk of losing, and increase your shot at earning a profit when betting on NBA games.

Follow these simple strategies to increase your bankroll.

Getting An Edge With Early Season Wagers

Oddsmakers, like sharp bettors, benefit from the data available when picking their NBA betting strategy. When the season is tipping off, rotations are not established, especially when a team is getting used to a new head coach.

Or, if a roster changed quite a bit in the offseason, rotations help to get the team’s best version.

Due to this, in the first part of the season, larger line movements occur, and the NBA odds are less efficient.

Oddsmakers, just like the NBA teams, are figuring out stuff. Lines are more flexible, and you can get an edge.

Possession-Focused NBA Totals Betting

It’s not for nothing that NBA totals betting strategies have lower betting limits than sides. The oddsmakers are more vulnerable predicting totals in comparison to handicapping each team.

Possessions per game is the key here. provides detailed stats in this category. The number of possessions per game is strictly related to the pace and tempo that each team employs.

Defensive-focused teams are more methodical and will be on the lower spectrum of possessions. These are directly tied to their playbook.

The teams that “run-and-gun” and are fast in transitions, with short possessions, will score more. Their up-tempo brand of basketball opens more chances for them.

Using these stats to determine a game’s scoring outcome is easier than picking who wins on the spread or moneyline.

Using “Runs” On NBA Live Betting

NBA live betting is a popular option. Here’s the catch, basketball is a game of runs or streaks. Teams will often go for 10 points in a row, then get cold as the other rebounds with a 15-2 run, and so on.

Understanding this gives you an edge. A “runs” strategy is if you liked a team as a pre-game bet, but thought the point spread was high or missed a key number.

Let’s say the Nets were -13, so you didn’t bet on them before the start of the game. Then, the opponents start with hot hands and get to a 10-0 run.

The spread might fall from -13 to -10 or lower. You then capitalize.

The “Third Game” NBA Playoffs Strategy

The NBA Playoffs offer new challenges for basketball wagers.

The best thing that could happen to you as an NBA Playoffs bettor is to have a team down 0-2 going into Game 3.

The third game is the best opportunity for a team that is winless to get that first victory. It’s also the first game of the series where the home team is the lower seed.

The oddsmakers know this, but most bettors don’t. Now, you have the tip.

Betting On NBA Playoffs

The playoffs are a different type of basketball. The teams play at full force, there is no load management, they bring their best version. The teams also have the chance to really study their opponents, as they face them in a best-of-seven series.

The oddsmakers also have more focus on each series, as the games are numbered. Betting on the postseason is like betting on a whole new league.

Betting On NBA Finals

After the excitement of the NBA Playoffs, only two teams remain. The champions of each the Eastern and Western Conference face off to determine the NBA champion.

Two juggernauts fight for the title, the spreads are not too big, and the games are hard-fought. The NBA Finals is one of the most wagered events of the year, so lines move as the public gets their action in.

NBA Handicapping

From early fall into the beginning of summer, the NBA action is non-stop.

This means, every single day, you have the opportunity to handicap games. 

If you become a master of handicapping art, the NBA can do wonders for you. And we’re talking money here, big time.

So, being the good guys here, we’re going to share some tips, thou always cross-check with what the public is betting, for you to factor in before placing a handicap bet.

Let’s dive into them.

Tracking Line Movements

In the NBA, betting lines often come out more than 24 hours before the actual game. There are exceptions, like a major injury to either side. This gives you proper time to see how public bettors react.

The strategy here is to come up with your selection based on the opening lines, and then look for the odds that move in your favor.

This gives you a slight edge to an existing pick. Always be keen on spotting any drastic movements on a particular game. Unless you know the reason, the line changed so much, it can help you.

Money Management Systems

In some sports like the NFL, you have a 17-game regular season. You can get a bit carried away. Not in the NBA, we have a full 82-game calendar (although in 2020 it was cut to 72 because of the pandemic).

If you don’t have any management on your bankroll, you may find yourself losing money before the season even heats up.

One good rule you can follow is to never bet more than 3% of your bankroll on any game. It doesn’t matter how confident you are, upsets happen, and by not betting over 3%, you can survive any mishap.

Also, if you make any wagers in a close gap of time, you can burn your cash. Slow and steady is the way to build your bankroll, especially in a long season.

The Home Court Advantage

Listen carefully. Do not underestimate home court advantage now that the crowds are back. In the NBA, it’s an immersive environment, where fans can take a toll on road teams.

Even bad teams can get pumped at home and leave you empty-handed. In the spread, home court equals about three to four points, give or take. Always look for the teams that have a positive home record.

Key Statistics to Focus On

Every sport on God’s green Earth uses stats now, and the NBA is no different. Instead of going through numbers or stats, you don’t even understand, there are three stats you need to focus on. These are points in the paint, rebounds, and turnovers. 

A team that thrives in this category is well-coached and takes care of the little things, which open up for the team’s success.

As Kawhi Leonard says, “Board Man gets paid”. If a team can dominate the tempo of the game by controlling the rebounds, they have a big edge.

As for the turnovers, taking care of the ball results in more scoring opportunities. It also forces the other team to earn hard-work points. No easy layups, right?

Betting On The Fatigue Factor

It’s a long, exhausting season in the NBA. Sometimes, teams go back to back. Other times, it’s back-to-back on the road. You need to consider this. Especially now, as some big-time players get load management, missing games to rest.

This can mean your bet could go south if you didn’t pay attention as to who is available. Oddsmakers are aware of this, and they adjust the betting odds for particular games.

If you follow the information carefully, this is a great chance to bet on the fresher team.

Using Advanced NBA Betting Systems

A betting system is usually smoke and mirrors. However, some of them offer a lot of value.

Blowout System

This is fading a home favorite after blowing another team out in the previous game. This system implies that you bet on the underdog team they face, and against the home favorite on the spread. It is not a much-recommended team, but if you keep track of load management and stuff, it may be useful.

Bounce Back System

Get a team that had a poor offensive performance on the road, preferably under 40% shooting. Then, bet on them in their next home game. You aim for the team to bounce back once they have a home-court advantage.

Once again, is betting on ludicrous logic. “Hey, this team shoots poorly, let’s put our money on it”.

The Three In Four Betting

This method tells you to play the over in games where both teams play their third games in four nights. This almost never happens nowadays.

Nevertheless, the advice is to not follow this. What totals are they using for metrics? What are the real betting opportunities? Stay far away from this.

The Tunnel Betting Scheme

This is a risky one but is the one with the most potential. It consists of betting both sides of the total and looking for a middle, so you win both bets.

You need to bet on the odds early, and they need to move a lot to get middle. At least it gives you a chance to get a real profit.

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About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.