While there are several prominent basketball leagues around the world, none are as prestigious as the National Basketball Association. Thanks to its mix of famous stars and high-scoring action, the NBA draws lots of betting action. If you’re interested in joining the fun, keep reading as we discuss different types of wagers and offer tips on how you can win more money.
Basketball doesn’t have any unique types of bets like baseball’s run line or hockey’s grand salami. Instead, it deals with common bets like the moneyline, spread, and totals. Let’s discuss these wagers below along with a few other types of NBA wagers below:
Moneyline (a.k.a. Straight) – The moneyline is a straight-up bet on whether a team wins or loses. Odds are attached to the favorite and underdog to even out betting action on the game. Here’s an example: New York Knicks +150 vs. Boston Celtics -160. In this example, you’d win $1 for every $1.60 wagered on the favored Celtics, and you’d earn $1.50 for every $1 bet on the Knicks.
Spread – The spread requires favorites to win by a certain amount, and underdogs to avoid losing by a certain amount (or win). For instance, if the Atlanta Hawks’ spread is -4.5, they must win by 5 points or more for a successful wager. If the underdog Charlotte Hornets are +4.5, they must lose by less than 4 points or less for a successful bet.
Totals (Over/Under) – The over/under sees you bet over or under a given point total. For example, if the totals line is 212.5, over bettors would win if the two teams combine for 213 points or more. Under bettors would win if the combined point total is 212 points or less.
Parlay – A parlay is a combination bet that sees you pick the winner of two or more outcomes. If any one of your selections loses, then the entire parlay is lost. But on a positive note, you’ll also win more money than a normal moneyline or point spread bet. One example of a parlay would be selecting the point spread winner of 3 games (a.k.a. 3-team parlay).
NBA Futures – Futures allow you to wager on the outcome of events in the distant future. A popular example involves picking which team will win the NBA Finals.
NBA Prop Bets – Props let you wager on outcomes that don’t have anything to do with the final score. One example is betting on the game’s highest scorer. Another example is an over/under on how many three-pointers a team makes.
Another way that you can bet on NBA games is through live wagering (a.k.a. in-play betting). These bets allow you to wager on occurrences after the opening tip-off. This is exciting because, prior to live wagering at online sportsbooks, you couldn’t place bets on games after the action started.
Most live wagers involve updated moneylines or point spreads on the game’s outcome. And the lines will be heavily skewed towards the winning team as the contest gets closer to being over. For example, if the San Antonio Spurs are winning by 8 points with 4 minutes remaining, you won’t get much value by wagering on them.
You can also find other types of live NBA bets, especially when you’re dealing with a playoff game.
Tip #1: Judge Teams’ Betting Value through ATS – Many bettors know the importance of understanding how teams perform against the spread (ATS). But you should take this a step further by also trying to figure out teams’ value relative to their ATS performance. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers are always a popular team to bet on based on their history and fan base. But they were a really bad ATS bet in 2016, going 35-46-1 ATS.
Tip #2: Check Home and Away ATS – A good distinction you should make when spread betting is determining how NBA teams fare against the spread when they’re home and away. Some teams have a tendency to play better than expected either on the road or home. A good example is the 2017 Dallas Mavericks, who were below .500 ATS on the road, but 9 games above this mark at home.
Tip #3: Consider the Fatigue Factor – The NBA features a grueling 82-game schedule, with each team dealing with extended road trips. That said, you should always consider how fatigue will affect a team’s performance, especially on game #6 of a 6-game road trip.
Tip #4: Use Software to Spot Trends – You can find a lot of nice software tools that allow you to pull countless pieces of information. Going further, you can use software to compile statistics and spot trends before they happen.
Tip #5: Test Out Trends – Once you spot a trend using software, you can test it out by making some bets and measuring your progress. As SportsInsights points out, the 2015-16 NBA season saw road teams go 2,127-2,062 ATS (50.8%) on the second night of back-to-back games. Road teams that lost the first game of back-to-backs did even better, going 1,108-1,039 ATS (51.6%).
Getting started with NBA wagering at SportsBetting is easy! Just click the prompt to open an account on our homepage and fill in your details. Once your account is confirmed, you can navigate to the Cashier section and make a deposit using one of 11 methods (at this time).
When your account is funded, visit either our Live Betting or Sportsbook section to begin placing bets. In the Sportsbook, click Basketball, then choose NBA from the drop-down menu. This gives you a variety of lines to click and add to your betting slip. As for Live Betting, you can scroll to basketball and see what live wagers are available after the desired game(s) start.
Also note that you can place bets from anywhere thanks to SportsBetting.eu mobile.