How to Bet On Sports | NBA Betting

Next to the NFL in football as the top professional league when it comes to online sports betting, the NBA in basketball is responsible for quite a bit of the action that today’s online sportsbooks take in. One of the best things about the NBA is the sheer number of betting opportunities that exist over the course of a season that starts in mid-October and runs all the way into mid-June.

The simple math of 30 different teams playing an 82-game regular season followed by four rounds of postseason play that feature a best-of-seven playoff series in each round makes betting on the NBA highly attractive even to the casual sports bettor. There are basically three different ways you can bet on a NBA game with a set pointspread being at the top of the list. You can also bet on the total line as well as a moneyline for all of the games.

Oddsmakers set pointspreads for NBA games with the intension of drawing an equal amount of betting action on both sides of any matchup. Unlike football where the spreads tend to revolve around the different scoring increments in the game such as three points for a field goal and seven points for a touchdown and extra point conversion, the spreads for a basketball game can vary from game to game. A certain amount of points (usually three) can be attributed to the home team in a NBA matchup, but the actual spread for every game is still more of a handicapping tool that is designed to push bettors in one direction over the other.

Also Read: How to Bet on Sports | MLB Betting

Sportsbooks realize that betting public tends to lean towards favorites and this especially true when it comes to the most popular teams in the NBA. The spreads for teams such as Golden State and Cleveland tend to be much higher given just how good (and how popular) both teams have been for the past few years. Many times, the pointspread for their games will add value to the underdog simply because the books already know that a good deal of money will be bet on the favorite.

The next way to bet on NBA games is the total line, which is an OVER/UNDER bet on the combined total score of a game. The total line in the NBA can range anywhere from the mid- 180’s on the low end all the way up to the high-230’s on the high end. Once again, sportsbooks understand that the same betting public that loves to bet on popular favorites also tend to lean towards the OVER in NBA game, especially if the matchup features two really high scoring teams.

Going back to last season, Memphis played Miami in late-November in a battle between two of the more defensive-minded teams in the NBA and the total stayed UNDER the 185-point closing line. Later that season, Golden State was playing Houston and the total went OVER the closing line of 232 points. Understanding each team’s scoring trends both on offense and defense is the first step to understanding the how the total line is set for each NBA game.

The final way to bet on NBA games is on the moneyline. The betting odds are based on a straight-up head-to-head matchup with a higher risk for betting on the favorite and a bigger reward for taking a chance that the underdog will win the game. The bigger the gap between the two teams, the bigger the risk/reward factor becomes in that game. Straight-up upsets take place all the time in the NBA, but you have to know when and how to take advantage of these opportunities when they exist. For example, a road favorite playing its third game in four nights could present a good opportunity to go with the moneyline on the underdog.