USA Basketball is very popular not only in the US but also globally. The NBA(National Basketball Association) is one of the most favored sports leagues worldwide. Gambling goes hand and hand with the NBA because of its popularity. You will see a huge variety of bets available at every basketball game.
Understanding NBA betting lines, different types of betting lines, how they work, and how they may or may not suit your gambling level and style is essential to learning how to place successful bets on NBA games. However, all this information may seem complicated and confusing, especially for novice sports bettors. Here is where I come into the picture with my detailed NBA online betting guide. Stay with me to learn how to place successful bets on basketball and NBA games.
In this article:
📚Basketball Betting rules and tips
📚How to bet on Basketball and win
📚Best apps and sites to bet on Basketball
📚Different types of Basketball betting
📚How to bet basketball over/under
Is NBA Betting Legal?
The answer depends on where you live. Especially if you are from the United States, NBA and basketball betting laws depend on your state. Sports betting is not legal all around the world. For instance, although sports betting is legal in Australia, there is no single piece of legislation governing gambling activities in this country. However, sports gambling is regulated at state and federal levels in Australia On the other hand, sports betting is illegal in countries like IRAN, KSA, and UAE, as are all other forms of gambling. Some countries that have legalized sports betting(basketball betting included) are:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
You might be wondering why the US is missing? Because as I mentioned earlier, sports betting laws for American residents depend on the state they live in. Once upon a time, the only place you could bet on the NBA within the US territory was in Nevada. Sportsbooks have been legal there for decades. Not to mention that online sports betting has been legal for over a decade. But betting on the NBA is now legal in many states, and more are being added to the list.
The following table shows the US states where you can legally bet on NBA games for the time this article is written and published:
|State||Sports Betting||Online Sports Betting|
|Delaware||Legal||Legal, launch undetermined|
|Mississippi||Legal||Legal, on-property only|
|New Mexico||Legal, at multiple tribal casinos||Legal|
|North Carolina||Yes, pending launch||Legal|
|Washington DC||Legal, pending launch||Legal, pending launch|
Note that in some states, you should visit a physical sportsbook to bet. But online basketball betting is becoming more common.
How Do You Read NBA Odds?
NBA odds are not different than any other sports betting odds. They show you how likely are the outcomes of your bets. Similar to other sports, there are three formats to list NBA odds; American odds, Fractional or Decimal odds. Although they look different, they all say the same thing. Higher odds are listed for the teams that are not very likely to win, i.e., bets that are not very likely to happen.
On the other hand, teams that are more likely to win or bets with higher chances of happening will be listed with lower odds. If you are a newbie in sports betting and want to start by betting on NBA games, all you need to do is to look at the numbers(odds) next to your team. If the team’s odds have a positive sign, say +110, your team is an underdog. In other words, if you place $100, you will win $110(in fact, $210: your initial wager plus your winning). On the other hand, if your team comes with a negative sign, say -200, your team is the favorite. This means if you bet $200, you win $100(in fact, $300: your initial wager plus your winning). This is pretty much it for reading NBA betting odds.
How To Bet on Basketball and Win
The principles of basketball betting are similar to other sports except for a few differences that we will discuss later in this article.
Similar to NFL, you can place your basketball and NBA bets preseason, mid, and post-season. Let me review different NBA bets in this section:
Common NBA Bets
As I have said, NBA betting is similar to NFL betting, where you can place your wagers on sides via point spreads and Moneyline. Also, you can bet on totals(over/under). In a nutshell, NBA betting odds is the same as football.
NBA Side Bets
NBA point spread bet means you place a 110(or closer to this) wager on the favorite or the underdog. You get extra points against the final game margin if you bet on the underdog. On the other hand, if you bet on the favorite, you lose points against the final game margin. NBA point spreads are listed in half points. Although there is a possibility of a tie in the NFL, in NBA, there is no point spread of exactly half(1/2) points. Let us look at an example:
|Golden State Warriors||-4.5(-110)|
The favorite in the example above is Golden State Warriors with the negative sign. The 4.5 spread means the Warriors should win by at least 5 points for the bet to win. On the other hand, the underdog with the positive sign and 4.5 spread means the Bulls need to win the game outright or lose by 4 points or less for the bet to cash out.
This is the simplest way of NBA betting, where you pick the winner and back it. In other words, you predict who the winner is, regardless of the scores, and bet on the team’s winning odds. NBA Moneyline betting is similar to other sports Moneyline bets. It is worth mentioning that Moneyline odds correspond roughly to the point spread odds. Look at the table below:
|Favorite Spread||Favorite Moneyline||Underdog Spread||Underdog Moneyline|
Shopping around to find the best NBA Moneyline odds is essential. Because sportsbooks significantly vary Moneylines, shopping around and finding the best lines is vital for placing successful NBA bets. Although the bookmakers on this page offer the best and most competitive NBA odds, I urge shopping around and making sure to bet on the odds with the best chances of winning.
NBA totals or over/under bets are listed similarly to point spreads, in half points. NBA over/under bets work as they sound. Bookmakers set a combined total number of points scored by both teams at the end of the game. You will bet on either over or under that number. For example, O/U odds is set at 155.5. If you think both teams will score more than this number, you bet on over. But if you think they will score 80 points, for example, you bet on under.
Parlay tickets allow you to combine two or more bets to increase winnings. However, for a parlay ticket to win, every single pick should win. Also, the more picks, the harder the parlay to win. For this reason, you should be careful while placing NBA parlay bets. Because combining several bets into one ticket decreases your chances of winning.
A teaser is similar to a parlay ticket, except that you combine multiple games instead of bets. In fact, a teaser is a single ticket in which at least two teams are picked, and each one should win for your ticket to pay off. Another difference between a teaser and a parlay is that in a teaser, you can move the line/point in your favor. But you receive less-favorable odds than you would get by winning a parlay ticket.
To place a teaser, you should look at the games and their point spreads or their totals. Then, pick the games/ teams you want to play; the number of teams you want to bet on in your teaser ticket. Then, you should choose the kind of teaser you want to play. Three common kinds of teasers are 4, 4.5, and 5-point variety, which change the normal point spread in your favor. Let us look at this example.
Suppose you want to play the following three teams:
New York Knicks:-10
Los Angeles Lakers:+3.5
Suppose you choose to play a 3-team/4-point teaser. In this case, the line for each team moves 4 points in your favor. So, the lines now look like this:
New York Knicks:-6
Los Angeles Lakers:+7.5
As you can see, the point spread for each team moved 4 points in your favor. If you win, you get 9-5. In other words, you would win $360 for every $200 you wager. But remember, to win your teaser ticket, you should win all of the games; otherwise, you lose.
Prop bets are fun because there are many opportunities to bet. The outcomes of prop bets are independent of the outcome of the game. The most popular NBA prop bets are wagering on specific players or events during the game. For example, you wager on whether player X gets more than two blocks in the game. Typically, sportsbooks list prob bets as over/under(s).
As the name suggests, in future bets, you will bet on something happening in the next season or next year’s event. For example, as soon as the NBA season ends, you can find future odds for the winner of the following year’s championship. Although some lucrative future bets have paid lavishly in recent years, this betting market is unsuitable for impatient bettors!
NBA Live Bets
In-play or live betting is one of the most popular sports betting markets. NBA live betting allows bettors to place their wagers during the game. The odds adjust in real-time, and several betting options are offered, including spreads, totals, Moneyline, and many exciting props.
NBA Betting Tips
Before I move on to the next section and give you a list of the best NBA betting sites and apps to bet on Basketball and NBA games, let me outline the best NBA betting tips:
✅ Bet early.
✅ Check the team’s schedule.
✅ Watch for moving lines. Avoid betting on a line just because it moves. Make sure to bet only if the new line is better.
✅ Pay attention to teams’ strategies. Monitor how each team scored most of their points. There may be tactics and patterns involved that help you make more accurate predictions.
✅ When it comes to NBA betting, the impact of injuries is crucial. Unlike football where 11 players play on each side, in basketball, only five players play at a time. In other words, one player has a significant impact on the team’s performance and the game outcome. So, monitor injury reports and react accordingly.
Best Online NBA Betting Sites
There are plenty of gambling sites where you can place NBA wagers. However, not all of them are trusted and legit. For this reason, I put together a list of the best sportsbooks to bet on basketball and NBA. All the following sports betting sites are analyzed thoroughly for safety and reliability. Rest assured, pick any, and start betting.
|Sports Betting Site||Overall Rating||Bonus||US Players|
|Betonline||5/5||100% up to $1,000||Accepted|
|Bovada||5/5||Up to $3,750 welcome bonus||Accepted|
|Fan Duel||4.5/5||Up to $1,000 welcome bonus||Accepted|
|Tiger Gaming||4/5||Up to $1,000 welcome bonus||Not Accepted|
|888 Sports||4/5||Welcome bonus: €30 in Free Bets + €10 Casino Bonus||Accepted|
|BetMGM||4/5||Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000||Accepted|
To Sum It Up
Betting in the NBA can be pretty simple or very complex, depending on your sports betting experience and knowledge of the game. For this reason, I recommend signing up with one of the recommended trusted sportsbooks to get started. Then, carefully read the general conditions and each betting option’s odds and terms.
I hope you use what you have learned from this article, do your homework, and bet wisely and responsibly. Most important of all, have fun!