NBA betting can be fun and profitable, but only if you know the right betting strategies. Of course, you must also know the basic rules of basketball, NBA teams, and how the league works. If you’re new to basketball betting, though, don’t feel intimidated. Read below for a complete guide of how to bet on the NBA.

 NBA Betting: An Introduction

Nearly all modern betting sites offer NBA betting markets. You could still travel to the nearest betting shop to place a bet. But these days, it’s more convenient to wager on sports using a cell phone or your laptop.

With 82 teams games played in a regular season, the NBA offers plenty of betting opportunities. You could bet on up to eight games per week as the 30 NBA teams battle out one another from September to April. 

Teams play each of their three division opponents four games, two at home and two away. They also play six non-division teams four times and another three non-division sides three times. And before the regular season completes, they face off with opposing conference teams twice, once at home and on the road.

The NBA playoffs consist of 16 teams, top eight teams from each of the East and Western Conferences. In the first round, teams from the same conference face-off. Winners then play winners from the opposing conference. After that, the NBA heads off to the finals in a best of seven series.

  • An interesting fact about the NBA season: home teams win 60% of their games. So, when you think of backing a team on the road, ensure you have enough reasons to support your decision.

NBA Odds Explained

Most bookmakers in the country offer NBA betting odds the Las Vegas way. The favorites have odds accompanied by a minus sign (-) while the underdogs are expressed with (+) odds. In an example, the San Antonio Spurs may have odds -150 against the Charlotte Hornets’ +150 because bookies believe the Spurs will win the game.

If you also believe the Spurs will win, you must wager $150 to earn $100 from the bookies.  By contrast, you only need to bet $100 to win $150 if the Hornets win the game.

Lately, European and UK bookmakers that use decimal and fractional odds are also acquiring licensing to operate in the US. The best bookies allow you to switch from decimals to American odds at will, so you shouldn’t fuss over how odds are formatted. But if you’re interested in understanding how fraction and decimal odds work, read this guide

NBA Markets: The Best Wagers

If you’ve bet on football or baseball before, you’ll be familiar with most NBA bets.  There may be a few differences, but basketball wagers are reasonably easy to understand. Still, you must always research and bet on sites that provide the highest odds. curates the best betting sites for Americans. They have a well-organized guide for bookies with the highest payout rates to NBA bettors. Payouts reflect a bookie’s odds, and the best paying bookies translate to high odds.

Odds aside, these are the most popular bets in the NBA:

  • Money Line

Money line bets are the most straightforward wagers in any sport. They involve predicting the winner of a game. With the NBA’s 82 games in a season, you could back 41 winners throughout the campaign. 

But before you place money line bets, always do your research to find games that provide high returns for your investment. Using statistics like how home teams 60% of the time, you can research to identify teams likely to win while on the road. Betting on them will usually attract better odds than backing the Warriors to beat the Knicks.

  • Totals

If you can’t find a money line bet with good odds, check out the totals section. They involve betting over or under how many points a game ends. They’re attractive odds because you can quickly draw patterns of how teams fare against one another by examining past team records.

If you spot teams that over 110 games each whenever they meet, you can back them to score a total of 220 points in their next match. Similarly, some teams play defensively and seldom concede more than 110 points. If they also don’t score beyond 110 points, you can back them with an under 220 bet.

  • Point Spreads

Point spreads are also referred to as handicaps or betting lines. They’re wagers in which bookies award or deduct several points from a team theoretically. In an example, favorites the Toronto Raptors can be deducted eight points before they meet the Brooklyn Nets.

Bookies compensate the handicapping by offering better odds for the teams involved. However, the Raptors must win by over eight points for your bet on them to count as a win. 

To ensure they’re no draws, betting sites provide point spreads in the form of decimal points. With the teams mentioned above, the Raptors could be deducted -8.5 points instead of eight points. That way, there’s no possibility of Toronto winning by exactly eight scores.

You could also bet on the Brooklyn Nets. Because they have a +8.5 points’ advantage on gambling sites, you don’t have to worry about them losing to the Raptors. Your only concern should be that they don’t lose by more than eight points.

If the Nets lose 108-116, you’ll still win because they lost by a margin of eight points. If they win the game, you also get a profit from the bookies. If they get blown out by nine or more scores, you lose. 

  • Props and Futures

Bookmakers allow you to wager on nearly everything that could happen in the NBA. You could wager who scores the first points, who gets sent off or how many dunks will be made in a game. With futures, betting sites let you predict something that will happen at a later date. For instance, which team will win the NBA championships? Who will be the MVP or the rookie of the year? 

To Conclude

Learning the basics of basketball betting won’t make you an expert at it. But it helps you understand the different betting markets available and decide which fit your betting styles. With that in mind, you can find stats and information from sources like Doc’s Sports NBA to help you place bets more confidently.