How To Bet On NBA Games

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers

NBA basketball is one of the most popular sports to bet on. Whether you're making a futures bet to pick the winner of the NBA title, or taking a side or total in a single game, there are lots of factors that play into making the right NBA bet. Travel schedules, the injury report, and recent trends from a specific team are just a few things to keep an eye on that can affect the outcome of your NBA wager.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned bettor, here are some tips on how to bet on NBA games.

Reading NBA Betting Odds: Basketball Odds Explained

NBA betting odds are part of all wagers related to the NBA. Whether it's a spread, total or moneyline bet, odds are what you need to read and understand in order to know what you're risking.

A typical spread or total bet on the NBA will have -110 odds on either side. This means a bettor will need to risk $110 in order to potentially win $100. If the odds were -200 or -300, then you'd risk $200 or $300 to win $100. The more you are risking, the larger of a favorite the side is. Adversely, if you take an underdog at +250, then you only need to risk $100 to potentially win $250.

Moneyline Betting on NBA Games

Moneyline betting is simply picking the winner of an NBA game. However, moneyline odds can range anywhere from +100 (even money) to plus or minus numbers as high as 1000, in extreme circumstances with two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum. If a team is favored to win, the odds will be listed as a negative number, like -200, meaning you have to risk $200 to win $100. The underdog will have a positive number like +200, meaning you only have to risk $100 to win $200.

Over/Under Betting

Betting the total, or the over/under, is picking whether the two teams in the NBA game will combine to score more (over) or less (under) than the number provided. For example, if you see a total at 210.5 and bet the over, the two teams must combine to score 211 points or more to win the bet. If the two teams combine to score 210 points or fewer, you lose the bet.

Points Betting on NBA Games

Points betting on NBA basketball certainly has its advantages, if you wind up on the winning side. Let’s say you’re betting $10 on a team that is favored to win by three points (-3). You can earn $10 for each extra point they win by. If, for example, the Boston Celtics were favored by three, and they beat the New York Knicks by a score of 100-90, you’ll earn $70 for the seven additional points they won by.

If points betting on NBA sounds like your thing, then you’ll want to check out PointsBet. They’re currently the only NJ Sportsbook that offers points betting to New Jersey bettors.

Futures Betting on NBA Games

There are numerous betting options on futures in NBA basketball. A futures bet is predicting who will win the championship, a conference title, an MVP award or even Sixth Man of the Year.

Futures odds for individual awards before the season are often all plus money until a clear favorite separates himself from the pack. Same typically goes for the NBA Title and even picking conference winners.

Parlay Betting on NBA Games

Parlay betting in NBA basketball is identical to all of the other sports. For a parlay to cash, the two or more legs you select must all win -- if one loses, the entire bet loses. You can combine moneyline, point spread and total bets in a parlay. The more legs you add the larger the potential payout will be.

Teasers

Teaser bets in NBA basketball give you the chance to shift the point spread or total up or down. The amount of points you can change is often dependent on how many teaser legs you are playing. Two and three leg teasers are the most common. Instead of playing three individual games with the spread at -110 odds, a 5-point, 3-leg teaser will give you +120 odds. If the spread in all three games happens to be 4.5 points, and you take the favorite in all three, you are essentially turning the 3-leg teaser into a 3-leg moneyline parlay, but with the aforementioned +120 odds.

Prop Betting on NBA Games

Prop bets are one of the most common ways to get some action on NBA basketball games. Bettors can wager on how many points a specific player will score, how many rebounds they’ll grab, how many assists they’ll have, and so on. You can also parlay NBA prop bets for potential big wins.

Best Sportsbooks for NBA Betting

Numerous sportsbooks will gladly be the home for your love of betting on NBA basketball. But knowing which one to pick can be a tricky and time-consuming exercise. As a result, our expert team has put together an in-depth guide to the best NBA basketball betting sites for you to bet with.