How to Bet on the NBA

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Profitable Betting for NBA Basketball

The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues, featuring some of the world’s best-known sports stars. In the last two decades, the National Basketball Association has grown – with more than 2.8 million people (average) now watching play-off games.  In turn, betting on the NBA is becoming increasingly popular, with sportsbooks offering more and more ways for you to get involved.

This page covers the five main ways to bet on the NBA. To boost your profits, you need to look beyond a simple money line or spread bet on your home team. Putting your knowledge to the test and mixing props and live (in-play) betting is where the money is at.

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How to Bet on the NBA


Betting on the MBA: Classic Bets

For many years there were three main bets offered by sportsbooks on each game. These bets are still hugely popular – standing the test of time among all the newer ways to place basketball bets:

  • Point Spread: In this bet, the favoured team is given a points deduction to make the contest a more even one. After the deduction, both sides are offered at either similar or exactly the same odds.
  • Totals: This is a wager on whether the total number of points by both teams combined is over or under a given total. The total is set, once again, so that both sides of the wager have a relatively equal chance.
  • Money Line: This is the most straightforward of these classic bets, as its simply a wager on which team will win a game. In a one-sided game you will see short odds on the favored team and long odds on the underdog. A good market if you think an upset might be on the cards.

Profitable Parlay Bets on NBA Matches

Parlays can be high paying bets across a number of games. To place a parlay, you need to pick at least two selections. Each selection must win for the bet to be successful.

Many will place parlays across a number of games on the point spread. If you place a single point spread wager, you win just slightly less than the amount of your initial bet. If you place a 4-team parlay on the point spread, and each selection wins, then you will be looking at winning around twelve times your initial stake.

The more selections you pick, the more you win. Parlays are available on the point spread, the money line and the totals, and combinations of those bets. If you are based in Canada, you will be used to two match minimums on sports bets.

Betting Guide NBA

Proposition Bets on NBA Games

Prop bets cover action that takes place within a game, as opposed to the final match outcome. Many of the prop bets will be based on the performance of individual players. For example, you could place a wager on whether or not Stephen Curry scores more or less than 28.5 points in a game. Another example would be betting on whether Lebron James has more or less than 7.5 rebounds in a game.

During big events, such as the NBA finals, sportsbooks will add an element of fun to the prop bets.

Wagers on offer could be whether or not there will be a brawl during the finals, or odds on whether a fan will streak onto the court. You find lots more prop bets around the team’s star names during the finals.

While prop bets have an element of fun, they also offer profitable opportunities for bettors that really know the game and in-form players. Your knowledge will help you spot opportunities that casual followers of the NBA would not.

Check out the fantastic selection of NBA props for yourself at now!

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NBA Futures

Futures are longer term wagers, usually based on an entire season. The most popular futures bet on the NBA is the eventual winner of the Finals. This bet can be placed both before the season starts and during it.

As well as the overall winner, you can also place wagers on which teams will win the Eastern / Western Conferences. Other player-based futures wagers are available, such as which player will be the MVP for the season.

Keep in mind that futures bets will tie up your stake money for a long time.

Live Betting on NBA Matches

Live betting is one of the largest growth areas in sports betting in recent years. The NBA is the perfect league to enjoy live betting.

This format involves betting on matches as they happen. Betting lines will update in real time, based on the action on the court.

The three ‘classic’ wagers (money line, point spread and totals) can all be enjoyed live. As the game progresses you will see the point spread and the totals line move around based on the action. The money line odds will also move quickly based on the current situation. When live betting on the NBA you have to be quick - the odds will change quickly in line with the pace of the game. If you take too long placing a bet, the odds you wanted will have gone and you miss out.

You can bet using mobile devices (iPhones and Android), which lets you place live bet wagers while enjoying the action at a sports bar or even at the court.

Other live bets that you can find available on NBA games will be based on which team is winning at the end of a period, or which team will throw the next 3-pointer. The range of live bets on offer will change from sportsbook to sportsbook giving you more opportunities to find a market you like.

Get a Free Live Bet on the NBA at BetOnline

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