NBA betting provides those who are enthusiastic about sports betting but basketball a great time. With the NBA basketball season running from late October to early July with the finals, the season is long and exciting.
If you know what you are doing and are constantly doing your research, NBA basketball betting can become highly profitable. Betting on National Basketball Association games is ranked in the top four American sports leagues to follow. Also, it’s the most popular basketball league in the world. So, as you can probably guess, the NBA basketball games draw in millions of viewers and even more money.
Like we said earlier, NBA betting can make you lots of money if you know which bets to make and when. There’s a rise in handicapping over/under bet lines and basketball props on top stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry among others.
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Knowing how to read NBA odds isn’t difficult once you’ve grasped it. There are different bets you can place on a basketball game. Commonly, US bettors go for the moneyline, point spread, and over/under (or totals).
To read NBA odds, remember that the plus sign (+) shows who the underdog is. While the minus sign (-) shows who the favorite to win is.
There are many different types of bets on the NBA that you can make. The NBA season is long, which means that you’ll have some time to experiment on the different bet types. Let’s take a look at the bets you can make on a game.
NBA Point Spread
This bet is used with teams that are unevenly matched. It’s about more than picking a straight winner. Oddsmakers give the weaker underdog team a certain amount of points so that if they do lose, you can still win your bet. Let’s take the example of the Golden State Warriors playing against the Sacramento Kings. The Warriors were the match favorites, playing against the Kings at home. So, to even out the odds and make the game interesting, the point spread could be Golden State -17.5 and Sacramento +17.5.
Bet on the Golden State, and they’ll need to lose by 17 points or less. Sacramento would need to win by 18 points or more for your bet to pay out.
NBA Against the Spread
Betting against the spread involves you betting against the match favorite. If you were to take the home/road dynamic, betting on a road team would be betting against the spread because home teams tend to win more than 50% of the time.
Another name for this type of bet is a totals bet. However, in a totals bet, you’ll be betting on the combined score of each team. With the over/under NBA bet, you’ll be wagering whether they’ll score more than the set score or less. Since the NBA is the highest scoring sport of all major American sports, it’s common to see totals sitting in the 200s. Usually, the bet is written like this:
|Heat||197.5 over – $105 bet||100|
|Pistons||197.5 under – $115 bet||94|
The final score of the game was 194, just 3.5 point shy of the predicted total. It’s important to note that total lines do change from their time of release. Just make sure you check your data before placing a bet.
This bet type is about picking who the outright winner will be. Remember if a team is a favorite to win, they have a minus sign next to their name. For example, let’s say tonight’s NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers, the Spurs are -260 and Portland is +220.
To bet on the Spurs to win, you’ll have to bet $260 to win $100. If you’re feeling it in your bones (and you’ve done your research) and you think the Trail Blazers are going to dominate, then you would need to bet $100 to win $220. Betting on the underdog is riskier but far more rewarding if you’re right.
Quarter/1st Half Lines
NBA basketball games are 48-minute matches divided into four 12-minute quarters. US bettors can wager on these – the first quarter and first half lines before the match stats. Generally, the first quarter line lets you predict who you think will cover the spread at the end of one quarter. Meanwhile, the first half lines are essentially the same but only count for the first half. It’s important to remember that teams have different playing styles – some are great at the beginning while others are fourth quarter teams.
These are available during halftime only. This line takes into consideration what happens in the first half to create a new spread for the rest of the game. Therefore, halftime lines make the rest of the NBA game a totally different game.
Parlay bets are essentially bets that you can combine to increase your payouts. However, for your parlay to win, all your bets must be right. Combine spreads, totals, and moneylines to make more from your parlay bets. A teaser is essentially the same as a parlay wager but with this one, the sportsbook gives you points to increase your odds of winning, but decreases your overall payout. So, if you place a bet on a 4-point teaser and the Boston Celtics spread is -10, it becomes -6. The 4-point advantage is included in each part of the wager.
These are essentially proposition bets on who will win their conference or the NBA Championship. You can also pick who the MVP is, or the over/under for a specific team at the start of a season. Bare in mind, as the season progresses, the odds fluctuate and most teams fall off the list by the end of March. Despite the NBA Championship being won by only eight different teams in the past 30 years, bettors like to take chances on dark horses because of better odds.
Check out our guide on other basketball leagues:
Our expert bettors have come up with some NBA betting tips to make betting easier.
Firstly, don’t disregard the underdogs, especially if they’re playing against a favorite that’s on the end of a losing away trip or has been playing multiple nights.
Secondly, consider the team’s momentum. When they’re on a roll, they can string together some decent wins both up and against the spread. Keep an eye out on winning momentums and take advantage of the streak.