NBA Betting Odds
The National Basketball Association is big business in the United States, and it has been the source of increased gambling interest over the past few years. As states continue to legalize sports betting, the NBA sees more and more gambling action from the public.
Throughout the entire year, online sportsbooks are stacked with NBA betting options, from day-to-day lines on individual games to futures markets that remain open all season long. From the player that will score the first basket of a December game to Game 7 of the NBA Finals and everything in between, bettors have a seemingly endless number of choices.
In this guide, we will explain how the odds work and discuss strategies you can adopt in order to improve your chances of success when betting on the NBA.
Typically, online sportsbooks post betting odds for upcoming games about a day in advance. Then, as the game nears, oddsmakers add dozens of individual markets for each game, and bettors can fill out their bet slips.
Being able to read the odds and decipher the numbers you’re looking at is important. In the United States, American odds will be displayed by default. Each game has a favorite and an underdog. Favorite comes with a negative (-) symbol attached, while the underdog comes with a positive (+) symbol.
Bettors can calculate how much they stand to win on their own, but a great thing about mobile betting sites is that they do it for you. Once you have filled in a betting slip for a game and placed your desired wagers, the odds will be automatically calculated based on the amount you choose to bet.
Throughout the course of an NBA contest, betting lines continue to update as the game moves along. This allows bettors to put their money on various categories until deep into the fourth quarter.
For odds for other professional sports visit our sports betting odds hub.
Popular NBA Online Bets
When looking at NBA odds at online sportsbooks, there are many different types of bets available. But the first step needs to be understanding the basic moneyline, spread, and total, as these are the key to grasping more advanced markets such as props and futures. In this section of the guide, we will run through all of the most popular bet types you may come across:
This is probably the simplest type of bet there is at any sportsbook. All that is required is for the bettor to predict who will win the game. Factors such as recent form, the schedule, or a mounting injury list could determine which team you may wish to wager on. Moneylines are a great entry point into NBA betting and may suit novice bettors who are just trying to get their feet wet.
Point spreads are very popular in all sports, including the NBA. Oddsmakers set a spread to make the game even for bettors to wager on, and the spread is the same on both sides. Favorites need to win by more than the point spread, while underdogs can lose by less than the point spread and still win your bet.
Totals, also known as over/unders, are another option that are easy to understand. Sportsbooks set a total for an NBA game, and bettors must select whether the game’s final score will be over or under that number.
NBA prop bets are individual wagers based on in-game events other than the moneyline, spread, and total. These bets can be on a game, player, or team props, but many of the most popular options revolve around player performances. For example, you can bet on the over or under for an individual player’s point total. If you put money on LeBron James Over 25.5 points in a game and he scores 26 or more, the bet is a win.
Parlays are wagers which have multiple sides included in one bet slip. Because you are making multiple picks at once, the odds are increased, and the payouts are big, making betting parlays exciting. But, at the same time, parlays are risky because one wrong pick spoils the entire bet.
Futures are bets on something long-term and take much longer to settle than the few hours it takes an NBA game to be played. These can revolve around teams if you want to bet on a division winner or the NBA champion, or they can be based on players if you want to guess who the Most Valuable Player will be. Most futures are placed before the season, but some can be placed during the year as well.
Win Totals Bets
Arguably a more sophisticated NBA betting market, the NBA season win totals are beginning to gain more popularity. It requires picking over or under on a total for many games a franchise will win in the regular season. A normal schedule consists of each team playing 82 games. A market may well be presented as ‘Milwaukee Bucks to Win Over 51.5 games’, so if they win 52 games or more, your bet will be a winning one.
Remember, the regular season is a marathon, and teams will suffer dips in performance levels and results. Nevertheless, this is quite an easy betting option to understand, especially with those who recognize and are familiar with betting totals.
NBA Betting Tips & Strategy
Betting on basketball is easy to do, but actually winning money can be difficult. That is why it always helps to have a plan in place for your wagers. But don’t worry, because we have several tips and strategies that you can follow to ensure your success.
Having a solid strategy will give you more confidence and simultaneously boost your bankroll. Of course, there is a large amount of patience required, and you should always learn from your mistakes and understand what you can do better next time around. By following these three betting tips, you will notice a difference in your betting performance over time and get the results you want.
Shop For The Best Odds
It’s always a smart idea to shop around for the best odds. Look for the bookmaker that provides competitive odds so that you can get value for money. Of course, it helps to have multiple sportsbook accounts so you can compare lines and be ready to hop on the best one.
Look For Reverse Line Movement
This is one strategy that all novice bettors would be wise to adopt. Reverse line movement occurs when the public is on one side of a game, but the odds shift toward the other side. It tells us that the professional bettors could potentially be fading the public, and you may want to also.
Research Stats Before Games
Before putting your money on anything, be sure to do some statistical research. It’s important to know what the team you’re looking at does well compared to what the opponent does well. This can go a long way toward determining your pick. The same can be done for the success of offenses and defenses when betting totals.
Start Small & Get More Adventurous
The temptation with all the NBA gambling options is that you may wish to bet on everything. However, it is best to start small initially, with both the amount you bet and the number of bets you place. Going too fast, in the beginning, can lead to a quickly diminishing bankroll, so betting on a daily sport like the NBA requires patience, limits, and discipline. It all begins with starting slow.
Bet With Your Head, Not Your Heart
Sometimes, it is easy to be swayed and follow what your heart says. When it comes to NBA betting, the best piece of advice is to go with what your head is telling you. This can be achieved by reading various tips, expert advice and staying tuned into the latest NBA betting developments. If you can cut out betting on your own team, you will be much calmer when you place your bets, and you will ultimately be more successful.
Understand The Rules
Of course, understanding the rules is essential to success at sports betting, especially in basketball, where the NBA rules differ from the college game. If you’re betting totals, it helps to know that quarters are 12 minutes and the shot clock is 24 seconds long. Each player is also allowed six fouls rather than five in the NCAA game.
Advanced NBA Betting Systems
Understanding moneylines or parlays is one thing, but actually making money while betting on the NBA is another. If earning profits was easy, every bettor would be able to do it. Bettors would be wise to give themselves every opportunity to gain an edge, which is where betting systems come into play.
Having a solid strategy will give you more confidence and simultaneously boost your bankroll. Of course, there is a large amount of patience required, and you should always learn from your mistakes and understand what you can do better next time around. In this final section, we will look at a few of the more advanced systems that can be used for NBA betting and how they function.
Bounce Back System
The Bounce Back system entails being able to spot when a team is on the home court after turning out a bad performance in their previous game. Typically, bettors will back teams that boast a solid field goal percentage and have a great home record. This system can be useful for totals in addition to individual teams.
The Blowout System acts in the opposite way to the Bounce Back System. Oddmakers and bettors alike whip themselves up into a state of frenzy when a side wins by 15 points or more. Turning out blowout victories regularly is quite rare, and factors such as player fatigue or overconfidence can lead to a team slipping up in the next game. A blowout win for one side is likely to see their odds drift to repeat the feat in the next game.
The NBA schedule can be demanding. The back-to-back betting system relies on predicting how a side will fare when playing on a second consecutive date. Teams with back-to-backs tend to tire in the second game, and it can be profitable to wager on the other side.
Drawing upon elements of the Bounce-Back and Blowout Systems, the Zig-Zag Theory provides a handicapping strategy that can be used in the NBA playoffs. Here, a team that slipped to defeat in a previous game in a series is more likely to bounce back and cover the spread in the following matchup.
The Tunnel System
The tunnel system is a betting method that uses varying odds from sportsbooks to build a middle ground. For example, a bettor may take an Over 224.5 at one sportsbook and spot the total at 227 on another site. If they take Under 227, the bettor has built a tunnel where the total can land to win both bets. Thus, the bettor is guaranteed to win one of the two wagers.
Betting On NBA Playoffs Online
After the drama of the regular season, the NBA playoffs come into full swing. Here, the brackets are decided based on a franchise’s performances throughout the regular season. Games are a best-of-seven-elimination format. The drama increases every step of the way on the road to the NBA Finals.
All NBA playoff games have sportsbook odds covering every angle of the affair. Bettors can choose between a variety of moneylines, spreads, totals, and props. There are even futures bets based on the result of the series, how many games it will go, and the exact result.
Betting On The NBA Finals
Arguably one of the grandest sports spectacles in the United States, the NBA Finals are a must-watch for any bettor or fan. The NBA Finals consist of a best-of-seven-game format where the first to win gets the title. Comprising the Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions, the finals are a huge betting opportunity at sportsbooks.
Betting sites offer the same myriad of choices that exist for the regular season and the playoffs, plus more. There are never more props available than during the NBA Finals, and there is surely something for every kind of bettor out there. In fact, props are perfect for this time of the season when oddsmakers and sharps are all over the standard moneyline, spread, and total.