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How to Bet on NBA Basketball

From era to era, new stars are always rising to the top in the NBA to produce an exciting product for fans and bettors alike. The NBA is one of the most popular sports in the United States and it also has a strong following in the sports betting community as well.

Basic Odds and Betting Options

Lopsided skill discrepancies between the top teams in the league and the rest of the pack make point spread betting the easiest way to bet on NBA basketball.

A point spread helps even the game from a betting perspective between two teams that aren’t evenly matched. For example, the Golden State Warriors at home are extremely likely to beat the Sacramento Kings. To make the game more interesting, the point spread on that game might be Sacramento +17.5 at Golden State -17.5.

In this scenario, bettors who take the Kings win on their wager if the Kings pull off the upset or if they lose by less than 17 points. Bettors who take the Warriors will need Golden State to win the game by 18 points or more to cash their tickets.

Bets can also be placed on the moneyline for NBA bettors who don’t want to bet the game against the spread. For example, if the San Antonio Spurs are a 6.5-point favorite at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, bettors could instead bet the Spurs to simply win the game outright at -260 (bet $260 to win $100) or on the Trail Blazers to pull off the upset at +220 (bet $100 to win $220).

Totals bets allow bettors to wager on whether a game will go OVER or UNDER a set number of points. If the total is set at 181.5, the combined total of points between the two teams must be 182 or over for the OVER to cash or 181 or under for the UNDER to hit.

NBA Betting Strategies

Unlike in other pro sports where it doesn’t play much of a factor, home court in the NBA has a noticeable effect on the game, especially in the cases of certain teams. Always factor home court into your handicapping of a game and consider home underdogs, especially when the opposing team is on the end of a long road trip or has played multiple games in recent nights and could be suffering from fatigue.

Momentum can be a big factor within NBA games, but it is also noticeable over the course of a season. When an elite team like San Antonio or Golden State gets hot, it can often string together huge winning streaks both straight up and against the spread. Similarly, bad teams can rack up blowout losses in bunches as well. Look for these spikes in season momentum and try to get in on them early.

Finding a Suitable Sportsbook

Most sportsbooks offer pretty similar lines on NBA games. There are differences in odds from sportsbook to sportsbook, however, and some also offer additional prop bets and other options. Compare and contrast the lines offered at different sportsbooks during the regular season to help you in your wagering decisions.