NBA Betting

Betting on the National Basketball Association can be both fun and profitable, in this article Sport Betting Online will go over the basics of NBA betting, the state of league, and some advanced ideas on what to look for this year in the NBA. With the shortened season and large amount of games each night, offense is down and teams are overloaded with injuries. This makes each night more unpredictable and even harder for bettors to find value in the oddsmakers’ lines. For a broader look at the sport across the world check out our other basketball pages.

Types of NBA Betting

For each NBA game there is a standard point spread, with an underdog and a favorite. If you wanted to take the Los Angeles Lakers -5 against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers would have to win 5 points or more for you to win your bet. If the Lakers win, but only win by one point, you will lose your bet. If the Lakers win by exactly 5, the bet is a “push” and your bet is refunded.

The NBA also offers totals, which is an over/under of combined points of both teams. If you wanted to take the over 203.5 a Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks matchup, both teams combined will need to score 204 points or more, for you to win your bet.

Lastly, like most other sports the NBA offers moneylines, these are bets with no point spread, instead odds are given for each side to win outright. The NBA also offers parlays and teasers, along with future bets. Another popular and profitable niche among sports bettors is NBA player proposition bets. NBA player props allow bettors to bet on an individual player’s statistics, such as, points scored, rebounds, or assists.

We’ll dive deeper into prop bets and give strategies for all types of NBA betting in this article. First lets take a look at the best basketball bookmakers online.

Best Online NBA Betting Sites

50% Up to $250
50% Up to $1000
15% Up to $2500
50% up to $3000
50% Up to $2500

The State of the Association

The NBA season has been different this year for fans and bettors. Scoring is down, back to back games and a tight schedule has fatigued many teams across the league. Tired legs have led to short jumpers and sloppy basketball. Oddsmakers have already adjusted totals to the decrease in offense, rendering the edge to bettors much smaller. Also, due to the large amount of games each day, bettors have a long list of games to cap, making it even harder to find value. Here are some aspects to consider when capping your NBA matchups.


This is probably the most important thing to keep an eye on. Injuries, especially to key players are factored heavily into the line. When injury news breaks, certain games will have reduced limits or may be pulled off the board completely. In some cases, teams will play better in spite of an injury to a star player. Other times, an injury can be devastating to a team’s chemistry. There are so many “game-time decisions” for players making it especially hard to gauge if a player is going to give it a go or sit this one out. It is important to figure out how an injury will affect a team’s play.


As I mentioned fatigue is a huge factor, it is important to be aware of a team’s schedule, and how they’ve played coming off back to back games. In this season most teams will go through periods of playing three games in three nights, this especially affects older squads. Coaches may give players rest or slow the tempo down to give their teams a breath.

Some teams may feed off their home crowd especially well and have a great record at home. However, on the road they struggle. It also should be noted that generally, bench players are most affected in when you compare home and road splits. Educate yourself before making a play on how your team reacts to the arena they are playing in. Also, look for situations when a team may be due for a “let down” game after a big win. Occasionally, NBA teams will lose focus at certain points during a long season and bettors will need to capitalize on this.

Another factor to consider is matchups. If a team is very weak at center or a backup is starting and they are facing a great rebounding team and/or a great frontcourt, you may want to consider a play. Although, this is factored into the line, by knowing the lineups and players, you can help determine how well the oddsmakers are valuing the injury. If you spot a matchup where you see a clear advantage, you may want to look more closely at that game.


Some bettors don’t really like to bet/follow trends, I’m very weary of capping solely based on trends because that will surely lose you some money in the long haul. Trends, though, are still viable use when capping NBA games, but they must not be the only factor. I’m all for betting a team who isn’t getting the respect of the oddsmakers and has covered the last five games against the spread but sports bettors have to cap based on a variety of factors. So, beware of overvaluing a trend.

Often this is the case with totals, a trend might tell you Golden State and Phoenix have gone over the total the last five times the two teams have played. I’m fine for using this as a reason to lean towards the over but you need to look at the full picture. Trends can go back as far a season ago and they aren’t useful if the teams have vastly changed players or coaches.

Prop Betting

Props can be very profitable for some NBA Bettors. Often times, prop lines will differ the most sportsbook to sportsbook, offering value those who can spot a weakness in a line. Finding the best price, with a prop bet you feel has an edge can be a very +EV bet.

Historically some players have shot extremely well in certain Arenas or against certain teams. For instance, Kobe Bryant has a vendetta against the Phoenix Suns and seems to torch them for 30 points every time they face each other. Again, this is a trend, so take it for what it is worth.

What to look for in a NBA Basketball Sportsbook

Basically, almost every sportsbook in the world will have NBA betting available for a huge choice of games. So finding a book should not be too hard, however, there are other aspects to consider. It is important to look at the limits for sides and totals at the site you are thinking of depositing into, especially if you a high volume bettor. Also, many sportsbooks may offer overnight lines and some post lines faster than others. In addition, those interested in NBA betting a lot of props may have to be a bit pickier. Some sites offer a vast selection on each game and others will only have a few props available. As always, look for a reputable online sportsbook, with good security and reliable payouts.

Major NBA Betting Events

All of the major events in Basketball are held in the United States under the organization and regulation of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  Throughout the season, there are four major tournament series that take place with competitors from the professional league and college basketball leagues from the USA, the details of which we’ve outlined below:

  • NCAA March Madness: March Madness is a tournament series that consists of a 68 team bracket playing for the chance to advance to the final four (the best 4 teams from each region).  Of the 68 teams, 31 get automatic bids into March Madness based on conference championship games in their respective leagues.  The rest of the teams are selected through the NCAA selection committee based on track record, standing and several other factors. March Madness was founded in 1992 and is the biggest College Basketball event in the country with millions of fans throughout the continental United States.
  • Final Four: The Final Four tournament is essentially the culmination of March Madness whereby the best four teams compete to become champion of the series. The Final Four is one played over a weekend ending on a Monday each year and is one of the most watched games broadcasted in the United States.
  • NBA All-Star Game: The NBA All-Star Game as the name suggest brings together the best talent from both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams in the NBA.  Players are selected to play in the game through fan ballot voting and reserve players are chosen by a group of coaches.  Founded in 1951, the All-Star Game is a one game match that is extremely popular with fans and showcases some of the best players from within the league.  Another cool feature about the All-Star game is the fact that players are usually out of position since starting spots are based on votes cast by the fans to determine position.
  • NBA Championship: This is the culmination of the regular season in the NBA and features qualifying, quarter final and semi final rounds before the championship series.  All of the series are played in a best of 7 format with the final two teams competing for the Championship trophy at the end of each season.  The NBA Championship was started in 1947 & is the oldest tournament in the National Basketball League. We here at SportsBettingOnline like to offer out readers free NBA picks from our resident sports bettor Joe. Feel free to join in and have a flutter!


Betting on the NBA can be a challenge to master. As always, make sure to look around for the best price for your bet, whether that be a prop, side, or total, it is imperative to get the best line available. When capping games, use all the information available and follow the NBA closely. Learn how teams play together, how they react to adversity, play on the road, and react after a big loss or a big win. Good luck with your NBA betting!

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