NBA Betting Explained

Pro basketball is one of the top sports for bettors, and it’s no surprise why. The NBA is exciting and dramatic and features the best players in the world competing at the height of their craft.

If you’re a new or novice basketball bettor and are interested in getting in on the action, you’re in luck. There’s no shortage of NBA markets to gamble on. Here’s a look at the types of bets available for basketball bettors.

  • Moneyline: Moneyline betting means, simply, which team will win. The betting favorite will typically have minus odds. The underdog will mostly have plus odds.
  • Spreads: To make lopsided games more interesting and to entice bettors to take the action in games that appear one-sided, sportsbooks offer against-the-spread betting for all basketball games. Betting against the spread might seem complicated, but it’s not. You simply pick a team to win or lose by a certain amount. For instance, if the Los Angeles Clippers are a 3.5-point favorite in their game against the Lakers, you’d need the Clippers to win by at least four points to cover. If the Lakers lose by three or fewer, Lakers bettors win. Odds for ATS games typically range from (-105) to (-115), depending on how likely the spread is to be covered.
  • Totals: Betting on Over or Under a certain number of points. If the score is more than the number listed, the Over wins. If there are fewer points, the Under hits.
  • Props: Some bettors don’t want to have their money tied to an individual game’s outcome, but they might put their money on a player to go Over or Under a certain amount of points, rebounds, assists, all of them combined, or to make a certain number of three-pointers in a game. These are prop bets.
  • Parlays: Combining multiple events to get better odds. Every event needs to hit or the whole bet fails.
  • Futures: Betting Futures means to bet on an outcome like a championship or individual award. If you think Kevin Durant will win the NBA MVP and care to bet it, you can do so at almost every online sportsbook and cash in if he earns the award.

Basketball Betting Tips

Winning money betting on basketball can be hard, but when you do, it is rewarding. When trying to come up with a winning parlay, I like to combine a few — roughly three or four — likely outcomes that all should hit. Sometimes these parlays are (+150) or shorter, but profit is profit.

When betting on individual games, I like to target home underdogs, especially when the road team is favored despite having an inferior record. Target lines and spreads that don’t seem to make sense, and you’ll find yourself cashing in.

NBA Betting Picks

Not all of us have the same betting strategy. Some like the lottery ticket approach — putting together seven- or eight-leg parlays with long basketball odds that are unlikely to come together. Others prefer prop parlays or boosts that sportsbooks offer.

What is most important when putting together betting picks is that we’re educated. We are doing our homework and looking for trends and edges then passing those on to prospective bettors. They don’t always hit, but there’s a method to what seems like madness.

How to Place an NBA Bet

First, make sure you find a signup bonus you like, such as the BetMGM promo that allows users to bet $10 on the moneyline of a game and get $200 in free bets.

Betting on the NBA can be as easy as signing up for an account and depositing some funds. Here’s a list of the steps:

  • Sign up for an account at an online sportsbook. Click through the links on our page or use the appropriate promo code, such as GAMEDAY, to unlock the best deal.
  • Deposit money to earn a first-deposit bonus — usually either a second-chance bet or deposit match, depending on the sportsbook
  • Peruse the NBA section of your preferred sportsbook
  • Choose the market that you want to bet
  • Enter the amount you want to bet
  • Root for the bet to hit!