How To Bet On NBA Basketball
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and to this day, it’s popularity around the globe is increasing with each passing day. Millions of people around the world tune into various leagues and tournaments each year.
Because of the sheer number of games each season, basketball is also one of the most popular sports to bet on. Bookmakers offer a range of betting types and markets to choose from, creating many opportunities to find value. The most popular league in the world is the National Basketball League (NBA) in the United States.
In 1946, the NBA began with just 11 teams, and since then has evolved into 30 teams split into two different conferences. Teams are based in the United States, with the lone exception being the Toronto Raptors of Canada. The NBA has an increasingly global reach, with international players from all parts of the world filling out NBA rosters throughout the league, becoming more prevalent each year. The NBA is also making strides to make appearances worldwide, having preseason games in China each season, as well as an annual NBA Africa game.
With the NBA season beginning in early October, and extending to late June, there are many opportunities to find value in the betting market. Numerous games are played each day, and it’s important to look into factors such as a team’s travel schedule and injury report. In addition to the NBA, bettors have the option of betting on college basketball games which is a popular choice for many. The college basketball season culminates with March Madness, a highly competitive and popular tournament that is a feeding frenzy for basketball bettors everywhere.
Spread Betting on NBA Matches
Spread betting is the most popular form of basketball betting, and it is also known as betting on the line. Whatever you choose to call it, the concept is the same, it is handicap betting. When you go to your favorite sportsbook, you will see NBA games listed as such:
Houston Rockets -4.5 vs Los Angeles Lakers +4.5.
This is a simple line. All this means is that if you are betting on the Rockets, they must win by at least 5 points. If they win by 4 or less, you lose. On the contrary, if you bet on the Lakers to cover the spread at +4.5, they cannot lose by more than 4 points. If they lose by 4 or less, or win the game outright, congratulations on winning your bet.
Everybody loves an underdog story. What’s even better than an average underdog story is betting on an underdog that comes out on top. But betting on the favorite is often considered the safer bet, so the average bettor prefers that. This can mean that the market is often distorted in favor of the underdogs, particularly ones with large handicaps. This is evidenced by looking at a couple of simple statistics to demonstrate this when it comes to betting on basketball.
Over the last 10 NBA seasons, team playing on the road as underdogs of 12 of more points have covered the spread line over 53% of the time. We see trends similar to this in college basketball as well, as underdogs of 17 or more points have been seen to cover the spread over 53% of the time as well. Now, only betting on these underdogs will not get you anywhere near rich, but it goes to show you that there is value in betting on teams that are undervalued. It is important to keep this in mind when assessing your bets. When a team is looked at as having no chance of winning, they have a solid chance to cover the spread. And remember, when betting on spreads, your underdog does not have to win the game outright, they only have to cover the spread.
Favorite Betting – Following the Public on NBA Matches
Just as the average bettor likes to bet on the favorites, popular teams also reel in more bets than usual. For example, because of their prestiged team history and reputation, almost everybody has heard of the Los Angeles Lakers. They have a storied history, and a list of stars who have played for them over the years that is almost endless. Just because they are popular, does not mean they are a smart team to bet on. We can look at some simple statistics to back this up.
We already know that if a team is heavily favored, they may not be the best bet. We also now know that just because a team is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s a smart bet. For example, take the Lakers. In the 2019 regular season, they 34-46-2 against the spread. That means that if you took them to cover the line the oddsmakers made, they only made you money under 43% of the time, a shockingly low number. In fact, over the last 10 years, the Lakers have only covered the spread under 47% of the time, second worst in the league over that span.
On the contrary, the Brooklyn Nets, a team that the average fan may not be very familiar with, went 45-37 against the spread. This means that if you bet on the Nets, again a team that is not very popular, you won money 55% of the time. This goes to show you that just because a team is popular nationwide, it doesn’t mean it is smart money to bet on them consistently. It can really pay to find situations to bet against these teams, and these trends are something to keep an eye on when doing your research.
NBA Totals Betting – Overs & Unders Total Points
Betting on the total points scored is a very popular bet in basketball. Put simply, the total is the defined number that both teams combine to score in a game. Depending on the league or tournament, this number will vary significantly. In college basketball for example, the games and playing style are much different than the NBA, and the total points are almost always lower on average.
With scoring on the rise in the NBA, the points totals will often land in the 200-240 range, with the average often coming in at around 220. To put it in perspective on how much scoring is increasing over the years in the league, the average points scored in 2018-2019 was 111.2, while it was 96.3 in just 2011-2012. Fans love watching high-scoring games, and the talent level is increasing each year. The rules have been altered in favor of the offenses, and defense is becoming harder to play each year. The result is higher scoring games, and you must keep this in mind when betting on totals.
How can you succeed in betting on point totals? One of the key factors is to not pay attention to a team’s recent performance. For example, the Miami Heat may have averaged 115 points over their last 10 games, but these numbers can be skewed by the fact they scored 150 in a triple overtime game 3 games ago. That outlier will impact the recent results, and could alter your strategy.
The better strategy is to look at how often a team goes over or under a given points total. For example, if the Heat’s total is listed at 210, look how often they have gone over or under that indicated total. If you can identify a trend either way on that 210 line, you may want to consider making that bet.
Another thing to consider is the recent meetings between the teams playing, as this will give you a good idea of how these teams play against each other. It also helps to look at how teams perform at home vs away. If a team tends to go over their points when playing at home, you may want to consider that bet. You can often find a stark contrast between teams playing at home or on the road. Lastly, consider the situation. Two teams may be playing on the second end of a back-to-back, and are either fatigued or resting players entirely. Teams also tend to struggle towards the end of a long road trip, especially if they are changing time zones. Because of this, they may be inclined to play at a slower pace to conserve energy. This is something to keep in mind, as a sharp bettor always considers the circumstances of the game being played.
How To Bet On The NBA
NBA Odds Explained
NBA odds in the United States are often defined in its most popular form, the MoneyLine.
As with any sport, understanding the betting odds will be crucial in turning in a profit with betting on the NBA. If you do not understand what you are betting on, you will never become successful at placing bets. The more you understand, the more successful you will be.
NBA Betting Odds Explained
In this section we will discuss how to bet on the NBA and the diverse range of NBA odds available at virtually every bookmaker in the industry. As you can assume, there are many different ways to bet on the NBA. From the more traditional NBA bet types to the more exotic, bookmakers everywhere provide you with a deep menu of markets to exploit through the NBA season. Here we will look at the most popular NBA odds.
NBA Point Spread Betting Explained
The NBA handicap is the most traditional and popular form of betting on basketball games. This is commonly referred to as the point spread, but can also be expressed as the handicap or betting line for a game.
So what is an NBA point spread?
An NBA point spread is the final margin a bookmaker estimates for a game that it lists. This is regarded as a 50/50 bet, as the bookmakers give this bet a 50% chances of happening on either side of the spread. When you are betting on an NBA point spread, you are betting on which side of the margin is the winning bet.
How To Bet On NBA Basketball Points Spreads
Let’s take a look at an example. You’re looking through your favorite sportsbook, and you come across a game you like.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-6.5) @ -110 vs Charlotte Hornets (+6.5) @ -110
What do those numbers mean?
In this example, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 6.5 points favorites. This means that in order for them to cover the spread, they must win the game by 7 points or more. On the contrary, the Indiana Pacers cannot lose by 7 or more. If they win, or lose by less than 7, they cover the spread.
The -110 next to each team is the odds given for placing the bet. On straight point spreads, oddsmakers always list teams as -110. That is because they are essentially considered 50/50 bets, and the -110 is near even odds. In this scenario, an $11 bet will return $21, or a $10 profit.
How do you know if your NBA spread bet is a winner?
How do you know if your NBA spread bet is a winner? It’s a simple. In the above scenario, let’s just say the final score is Cleveland 111, Charlotte 102.
If you had been on the favorite, in this case Cavaliers(-6.5), you subtract 6.5 points from their final score. In this example, the adjusted final score would be Cleveland 104.5, Charlotte 102. In this game, your Cavaliers bet at (-6.5) would be a winner.
However, if you had bet on the underdog, in this case the Hornets(+6.5), you add 6.5 points to their final score. In this game, the adjusted final score would be Cleveland 111, Charlotte 108.5. As you can see, even with the Hornets getting 6.5 points on the spread, they still come out as a losing bet.
When a team wins a point spread bet, that is considered “covering the spread”.
NBA Betting Tips: Get the Best Odds
When you are going through the different sportsbooks, you will often see odds being slightly different on the same game. Most bookmakers list their spread beats as EVEN or -110 odds. We suggest doing some research and finding out which book has the EVEN odds, as this will pay slightly better per win.
What is a good strike rate on NBA spread betting?
If you were to randomly bet on NBA spread bets throughout the course of the season, you will most likely have a hit percentage of around 50%. This is again of course because bookmakers give these spreads about a 50% chance of hitting, making them a 50/50 bet.
If you can hit on around 54% of your NBA spread bets, you will generate fantastic profits. This sounds easy, all you have to do is be 4% better than the average. That being said, it is difficult to achieve, which is why it is important to do your research on the teams and follow the tips we indicated in the guide above. If you can achieve this 54% strike rate, you will be raking in the profits all season long.
How To Bet NBA Total Points – Over & Under Betting Tips
Each year, scoring is increasing in the NBA. The rules are changing, and players are getting more talented with each passing day. Because of this, the games are incredibly entertaining to watch, and bettors love playing bets on the over/under totals.
What is an NBA Over Under bet?
While point spread bets can be a bit confusing to someone just starting out, over under totals are much easier to understand. In this case, the oddsmakers will set a total number of points they expect each team to combine for, with a 50% chance for the total to land on either side of the number.
So for example, we’ll look at a game below:
Memphis Grizzlies vs Utah Jazz
O 221.5 (-110)
U 221.5 (-110)
In this particular example, the oddsmakers expect an average of 221.5 points to be scored, and you must decide whether the total points scored by each team will combine to be over or under that total. Again, this is considered a 50/50 bet, with a 50% of either result happening.
In this example, if we bet the over 221.5, we need the Grizzlies and Jazz to combine for 222 or more points. If the total was Grizzlies 117, Jazz 107, the combined total points was 224, meaning the winning bet was the over. If the score was Grizzlies 108, Jazz 106, the total points scored would equal 214, meaning the bet lost by 7.5 points.
Many bookmakers will also offer individual team totals. For example, they would set the Grizzlies total at 110.5, meaning if you place this bet, you only concern yourself with what the Grizzlies do, and the other team’s points scored are meaningless to you. This adds another wrinkle for the average bettor to play around and play some more creative bets.
How To Bet On NBA Moneylines
Finally, let’s take a look at NBA moneylines. A moneyline bet is a simple bet placed on which team you think will win. No spreads, no point totals, just which team wins. Simple right?
Let’s take a look at an example below.
Toronto Raptors ML(+195)
Golden State Warriors ML (-210)
This is a simple bet. The Warriors are favorites with (-200) odds to win, while the Raptors are the underdogs, with (+195) odds to win straight up. All you have to do is pick the winner. Obviously, the favorite will win you less money than picking an outright underdog winner. In this example, betting $10 on the favorite Warriors will win you $15, or a $5 profit. Conversely, betting $10 on the underdog Raptors will win you $29.50, or a $19.50 profit. As you can see, picking the correct underdogs is key to making a profit when it comes to betting on NBA games.
NBA moneyline bets are very popular due to the extreme simplicity of them. It’s simply which team you think is going to win. However, you must pay attention to the odds given to each team to be successful in the long run.
NBA Outrights And Futures Betting Tips: How to bet on NBA Futures
Another popular betting strategy in the NBA is betting on futures and outright markets. This typically involves betting on who will win:
- NBA Championship Winner
- Eastern Conference Winner
- Western Conference Winner
- Division Winners
- NBA Most Valuable Player
- NBA Most Improved Player
- NBA Defensive Player Of The Year
- NBA Coach Of The Year
At the time of publishing, we can see that the Golden State Warriors are currently the favorites to win the NBA Championship, with odds of -300, followed by the Toronto Raptors at +225.
Every NBA futures and outright market works the same way. You place a bet on the team or player that you think will win a particular championship or award. If that happens, your bet is a winner.
These types of bets are very popular because it keeps every night of the season interesting. If you have a bet for a team to win their division, you will most likely be keeping track of their wins and losses throughout the season. The same can be said for betting on a player to win a particular award. If you have Player X to win MVP, you will be following and tracking their stats to see how they compare to the competition.
NBA Special Bets: Other Types of Basketball Bets Available
Due to the growing popularity of the NBA, and the explosion of sports betting, bookmakers now offer a wide variety of NBA odds to bet on. The most popular of these additional markets are:
Alternative Point Spreads
- Winning margin
- First quarter winner
- First half winner
- Second half winner
- Winner of each quarter
Alternative Player Prop Bets
- Individual player points
- Individual player rebounds
- Individual player assists
- Individual player triple-double
NBA Betting Tips: Find the Best Value Bets
As with any sports, being successful in betting comes down to finding value bets. What is a value bet?
To put it simply, let’s consider a coin toss. You know that there is a 50% chance for the coin to land either way. Let’s say that someone gives you +120 odds that the coin will land on tails. This is considered a value bet because the tails value is currently undervalued, as it should be EVEN odds, not + odds, because it is a 50% chance.
Let’s consider an NBA game. Let’s say the New York Knicks are playing the Brooklyn Nets. We strongly believe given our analysis that the Nets should have a 60% chance to win. We are being given EVEN odds for the Nets to win, meaning they have an implied probability of 50% to win or lose. Is this a value bet? Yes it is, because we believe the Nets have a 60% chance to win while their implied probability in their odds is only 50%.
How To Bet On The NBA And Win
As you can see, a significant part of your success on betting on the NBA will come down to your ability to identify value bets. This is true everywhere you look, no matter the market you are betting on. If you can consistently find value across the various markets and options to bet on, you will be profitable more often than not. Learning how to find value bets is a crucial skill to learn.
I’m sorry to get you excited, but there is no cut and dry way to always win your bets in the NBA. It is shocking to see how many people think that there is a system or strategy that can guarantee their success. There is simply nothing around that can guarantee you will cover 80% of your spread bets or 70% of your over under picks. There is no foolproof way to bet on the NBA. So do not be fooled by the so-called “experts” who claim their system is guaranteed, and they will win for you everytime. They are lying to you, and you must be careful. The real key is making smart bets and finding value bets.
While it would be amazing if we had a surefire, foolproof system to give you, that does not exist. The key to becoming a consistently profitable NBA bettor requires you to do your research, and it takes time and dedication to find the key trends to identify.
How To Bet On The NBA and Be Profitable
In this section, we will walk you through a 10-step guide that will increase your overall profitability when you are betting on NBA games. We will show you step by step to bring you from an amateur bettor to someone who starts betting like a true industry expert.
Bet Only When There Is Value
We know by know, you are probably sick of reading that you must only bet when there is value. But we must say it again- betting on the NBA successful all comes down to your ability to identify valuable odds. If you bet on the NBA with no regard to the odds being given for a specific situation, you will find yourself losing money. When you find value, it becomes much easier to become consistently profitable.
Just like any other sport, identifying value bets in the NBA is not easy. It takes a lot of time and experience to understand what exactly makes a bet a value bet, but after time, it will become second nature. Eventually, you will be able to look at the game’s for the following day and immediately be able to pick out a couple games that look like they could be value bets at first glance.
We discussed NBA value betting earlier in this betting guide. If you did not read it, please check it out before progressing.
Be Prepared To Learn
Taking their time learning the ropes of betting is difficult for many in the beginning. Many people begin betting on a sport because they enjoy watching it, and they feel like have a lot of knowledge on it. You understand the game, and you know the players and the teams that are successful. Put simply, you consider yourself something of an expert.
But let’s be clear. There is a difference in possessing a deep understanding of the NBA and it’s players and a deep understanding of the NBA betting markets. It goes without saying that possessing previous knowledge on the NBA will help you in some ways, but it is not all it takes to be successful. To be profitable on NBA betting, you must have an in depth understanding of the markets you will be betting on. Understanding the NBA, it’s players, and it’s stats, is a completely different ballgame than understanding how to become a profitable NBA bettor. It is important not to confuse these two different extremes.
Understand NBA Betting Markets
When you are an inexperienced NBA bettor, you have a significant task in front of you. That is to take your prior knowledge of the NBA, and adapt it to knowledge of the NBA betting markets. This will take time and effort, but once you get the hang of it, you will find that you will ingrain a knowledge of the NBA markets, and how to find and take advantage of value bets throughout the course of a season.
Think of it like this. It is generally pretty easy to identify a game that you think will be high-scoring. Here’s the kicker, the oddsmaker probably thinks the same thing, and your job is to determine whether or not the game will go over or under the indicated line. Additionally, it is easy to predict whether a particular successful NBA team playing at home will win against a mediocre opponent. The hard part is deciding whether or not it is worth it based on the odds being given on said game.
The point is simple. If you want to be a profitable NBA bettor, you must be willing to be patient and ready to learn.
Or check out how the best NBA tipsters do it here and take some tips from them.
Bet on Your Favorite Teams
If you are just beginning to bet on NBA games, it is beneficial to begin betting on teams that you are already interested in. Sure it would be great to jump right in and bet on the league as a whole, but the best way to gain experience and record your results is with teams you are already familiar with.
Let’s say you are a fan of a team. You probably already follow this team closely, know their strengths and weaknesses, their roster, and everything about them. You know they approach games, and the playing style that suits them. You also probably have intimate knowledge of the teams in their division due to the fact that you are keeping track of their results as well to see how your team stacks up. Betting on these games offers a great opportunity for you to begin. I understand you may want to jump in head first to the league as a whole, but by starting slow with teams you are familiar with will give you the needed experience to become an advanced bettor.
Bet The NBA Markets You Know
As we have already discussed, the most popular NBA markets are:
- Point spreads (handicaps, lines)
- Moneylines (straight up, head to head)
- Point Totals (Over/Unders)
These are the most popular. As you now know, there are countless other markets you can explore and choose to bet on. It is best to begin with these markets to familiarize yourself with NBA betting as a whole as they are easy to understand. Further, exploring these simple markets is a good way to gain experience and will allow you to exploit the more nuanced and exotic markets in the seasons to come.
In fact, it is common for a seasoned, profitable bettor to only focus on one of these markets. They choose their specialty, and profit consistently from it. If you find you have a skill at picking point totals, stick with that. If you are having success with moneylines, exploit those advantages. Specialization can lead to a lot of profits in NBA betting. Find the markets you are in tune with, and profit from them.
You already know the key to long term NBA betting is finding value bets. But another key component of NBA betting is deciding your money management, and staking strategy. What does this all mean? It means that you must decide how to manage your bankroll, and how much you should be placing on each bet.
Managing your bankroll and how much to place on each bet is serious. If you are not taking either seriously, or are just not keeping track of your strategy, then you are most likely going to be losing money in the long-term. If you are wagering random amounts with no consideration to the value and situation of the bet, you cannot be surprised when each month finishes up and you have lost money again.
Further, your betting bankroll should only be as much as you can afford to lose. Again, never bet more than you can afford to lose. This is extremely important, and people who do not follow this tend to find themselves in trouble. Even if you have an incredible eye for identifying value bets, if you’re not exploiting that value with responsible staking strategy, you will end up losing money. Identifying value is crucial, but is only half the battle. Identifying how much to place on each game is also important.
Keep A Record Of Your NBA Betting
If you’re still reading this, it is safe to assume you want to become a successful and profitable NBA bettor. Every serious NBA bettor needs to keep an accurate log of their bets. And we do not mean keeping track of only some of your bets, or your winnings. We mean detailed, accurate records of each bet. If you do not keep a log of your betting, you are more likely to lose and will not be able to learn from your mistakes.
Your record of NBA betting should include these notes:
- Bet Type (market)
- Bet Details
- Your Stake
- Your Odds
- Your Profits/Losses
Keeping records provides you with the ability to track your results, and review your betting history. This review process is a crucial step to eventually becoming a profitable NBA bettor, and is something you must take seriously to reach that level. When reviewing your bets, you can see which markets you are successful in, and which you tend to struggle in. More importantly, you can see the bets in which using poor judgement, or making a rash decision ended up costing you money. To put it simply, an accurate betting record will help you learn from your mistakes, and increase your self awareness when betting on NBA games.
Access NBA Team Performance Accurately
The task of identifying profitable betting value comes down to one skill, properly assessing a team’s performance and potential. If you can become an expert at this skill, you will be a successful long-term NBA bettor.
While that sounds simple and easy to accomplish, being able to consistently perform that task is no easy feat. Think about it like this. Bookmakers have the most capable analytical minds at their disposal to give them the ability to create for the most part, the most accurate NBA odds.
The good news is that although they are skilled, NBA oddsmakers do not get it right everytime. Think about the average NBA season, there are consistently 2-3 teams each season that come out of nowhere and have a stellar season. At the time of this writing, oddsmakers gave the Brooklyn Nets a projected win total of 27.5. The Nets shocked everybody, finishing with 42 wins! That goes to show you that although their system is solid, there are holes to be found. That is why it is crucial for you to put the work in and find the value bets, because they are there.
Being able to assess team performance and potential are extremely important. How can you learn to do this accurately? There are number of angles to consider.
Home Vs Away Form
This is often a hot topic of debate across a number of sports. Many experts and analysts believe that a number of teams possess a distinct home-field advantage, or in the NBA’s case, home-court. Others argue that the playing field and environment does not affect a specific team’s performance more than it would another, and that the home-court advantage is consistent for each team across the NBA.
Home-court advantage in a given NBA game is worth roughly 2.3 points. What does this mean? It means that if two teams have the same exact talent level, the team playing at home will be 2.3 points better because of the home-court advantage. When we think of home vs away swings, this amounts to about a 4.6 point adjustment in play.
Let’s look at an example. The Boston Celtics are playing the Philadelphia 76ers. On a neutral court, the Celtics are considered a 5 point better team. If the Celtics are playing at home, we will add the 2.3 point advantage, making them a 7.3 point favorite on their home court. On the contrary, if the game was being played in Philadelphia, the 76ers would gain 2.3 points in value, making the Celtics only 2.7 point favorites on the road, as opposed to 7.3 point favorites at home.
Why does home-court give teams an advantage? There are a number of explanations to look at. The most prominent of these theories is that home crowd noise heavily interferes with referee decision making in a very fundamental way. Referees are human (trust me), and are just as easily influenced by a crowd of people as you are. It’s just psychology. When watching a big game, you’ve no doubt noticed the home team getting a friendly whistle and some “hometown calls”. The ref is much more likely to swallow his whistle in a big spot if the call is going against the team playing at home. Just imagine the boos he’d receive! As much as you don’t like it, it happens, and it is part of the game, and goes a long way in explaining the home-court advantage.
Injuries And Roster Additions/Subtractions
If you are a seasoned follower of the NBA, the beginning of the season can be the most profitable time for you. This is because possessing a detailed understanding of current NBA rosters and off season additions and subtractions will give you a good idea on which teams will be overrated or undervalued to start the season.
For example, a team may have used their free cap space on a star guard to insert into their lineup. The media, fans, and pundits will go crazy, and talk about how big of an addition this player is to the team. Expectations will rise, and everybody will expect big things. What may go missing is that with the money to sign the guard, the team had to let go of two key big men off the bench. This won’t get any mainstream attention, but the loss of these big men will impact the team’s ability to protect the rim and give solid minutes on the boards when the starters come out of the game. The team gained starpower, but lost toughness, and it will diminish the team’s outlook for the season. This will be lost on the media, fans, and potentially the bookmakers. Understanding what helps win games over the course of the season, and knowing the importance of role players can help you identify value on these teams early in the NBA season.
Additionally, the ability to accurately assess the impact that an injury on a team’s outlook can help experienced bettors exploit NBA odds. This is similarly true when a team has an injury to a key player who does not receive a lot of fanfare. Meanwhile, injuries to key players can often be overestimated. Never forget the importance of a team having valuable role players ready to step up in a star’s absence. Always consider the players who will be stepping into bigger roles when an injury takes place.
A perfect example of this is the 2018 Boston Celtics. Most fans would say that Kyrie Irving was their most important player, but when Kyrie was ruled out for the playoffs, the entire team stepped up. The team rallied around their roles players, and ended up making it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Fans and pundits didn’t expect this, but sharp bettors knew the impact of the Celtics role players and took advantage of this.
Many fans sit and wonder how a team of lesser talent can cause trouble for a much more talented team. This is especially true in the NBA, where matchups and play style play a key role in the outcome. This can be especially true in divisional matchups, where teams match up with each other often and get a good feel of how to exploit the other teams weaknesses.
While some teams may struggle in certain areas, they often possess a strength that can adequately counter the more talented teams weakness. Possessing a detailed understanding of basketball and each teams roster will provide you with many value opportunities, and ways to exploit said teams weaknesses. Again, teams that are big underdogs are often great value plays, and finding out which teams possess the ability to make life difficult will help you become a profitable NBA bettor. These teams may not win the game, but they may easily cover the spread, leading to you winning.
Develop An NBA Betting System Or Betting Model
Developing a successful betting model to find value in NBA games is well worth the effort to create. Unlike other sports leagues such as the NFL, where there are only 256 regular season games, the each NBA team has 82 regular season games, giving you 1230 games to bet on. The sheer amount of games gives you ample opportunity to work through some models and pick the one that makes you profitable. It’s worth the time and effort.
While one NBA betting system or model may only consider point differential, there are a number of other models that take a number of factors into account, while looking into a broad range of numbers and analytics. Speaking broadly, the majority of NBA betting models take into account the following:
- Points For/Against
- Shooting % For/Against
- Rebound For/Against
- 3 Pointers Made/Against
- Points Per Possession For/Against
- Individual Player Point Differential/Against (Plus-Minus)
Whichever statistical NBA models you choose to employ, the premise remains the same- to accurately assess the potential of a given team taking into account their matchups and circumstances. This determines if there is any value to exploit in the particular matchup.
Mark The NBA Schedule
The NBA schedule is long, and it is a marathon, not a sprint. The length of the schedule not only means that there are numerous games to bet on each night, but the long-term demands of the NBA schedule mean that there are ample opportunities to spot value opportunities when picking games. This is referred to as “situational analysis”.
Situational analysis, put simply, is determining how a team is going to perform in a certain circumstance. For example:
- How does a particular team perform at the end of a long road trip?
- How does a team perform on the second night of a back to back on the road?
- How do teams perform in their first game on the road after a long stretch of home games?
There are many situations to consider, and these are only tipping the iceberg. Because of this, before the season begins it is paramount to look through the schedule and find certain situations that you may be able to find value when it comes. Point out situations that are irregular for each team, and where their play may be affected by things they don’t control, such as scheduling. Look for league wide trends such as historical data as well as trends for each team.
For example, let’s say the Toronto Raptors are 0-10 against the spread in the final game of a road trip of at least 3 games. While this trend can be seen as completely random, it is certainly something to keep in mind when you see the Raptors have a road game on the end of a road trip of 3 or more games.
Conducting situational analysis such as the ones described above can go a long way into becoming a profitable NBA bettor across the course of the season.
Follow NBA Tipsters
Following NBA Tipsters is another easy way to generate profits betting on NBA games. Finding a group of stable and consistent NBA tipsters will help you build your betting bankroll quickly and with relatively little work.
I know what you’re thinking, “great, so just follow some tipsters, and I’ll make money right?” Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Finding reliable tipsters who you can trust is easier said than done. By just searching Google, you will find a list of hundreds of “NBA tipsters” who claim that they have a betting system that never loses, or they’ll make you boatloads of money. Please, do yourself a favor, and never pay for NBA betting tips. These tips will often require subscription fees, which are expensive in their own right, and will often end with you losing money because these picks are unreliable.
The great news is that there is a number of reliable and profitable NBA tipsters in the americanbettingexpert community. These guys post their tips throughout the season, and the best part is that they are verified and free. You can find each tipster’s record posted so you can do your research and find which guy you want to follow throughout the NBA season.
Have Multiple Bookmaker Accounts For NBA Betting
It may seem convenient to only have one bookmaker for all of your NBA betting. The problem is that by doing this, you are going to lose money in the long term and it can easily be the difference between being profitable and negative.
We recommend all NBA bettors have at least three bookmaker accounts. Having at least different accounts will afford you the flexibility to skim through these and find the best odds for each game on any NBA market.
Yes, it may seem like taking a team at (-125) as opposed to (-130) amounts to little difference, but over the course of a couple long NBA seasons, this difference can amount to thousands. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. So please, have at least three NBA bookmaker accounts to make sure you are capitalizing on the best odds each time.
How To Bet On NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoff Format
The NBA playoff format has changed a number of times over the course of its history.
The NBA playoff format currently consists of 8 teams from each conference, ranked 1-8 based off of their regular season schedule.
There are 8 teams from each conference, meaning 16 teams each season compete in the NBA playoffs.
The NBA playoff schedule is as followed:
- Opening Round
- Conference Semifinals
- Conference Finals
- NBA Finals
Matchups in each round of the playoffs are a best of seven series, meaning the first team to win 4 games will advance to the following round.
NBA Playoffs Home Court Advantage
Home court advantage in the NBA playoffs is based off of regular season record. The NBA playoff-series schedule based off of regular season win-loss record is as followed:
- Game 1: Better win/loss record hosts
- Game 2: Better win/loss record hosts
- Game 3: Lesser win/loss record hosts
- Game 4: Lesser win/loss record hosts
- Game 5: Better win/loss record hosts
- Game 6: Lesser win/loss record hosts
- Game 7: Better win/loss record hosts
This is for both conferences, and in the NBA Finals, when a team from each conference meets, the team with the better record will host as well.
NBA Playoffs Odds
Just like the regular season, there are a number of different NBA odds to bet on. Let’s look at the most popular NBA playoff markets.
Individual Game Betting
This is just betting on a single NBA playoff game. Just as the regular season, the most popular individual game bets are:
- Point spread
- Point totals
NBA Series Betting
Series betting is placing a bet over the course of an entire NBA series. The most popular NBA series bets are:
- Series Winner
- Series Correct Score
- Total Games Over/Under
Series Winner Betting
Series winning bet is very straighforward. You simply bet on which team you think will ultimately win the series.
Series Correct Score Betting
Series correct betting is betting on the exact result of the series. For example, you can bet on the Brooklyn Nets beating the New York Knicks 4-2 in a series.
Many bettors like this type of betting because it pays more than the series winner, and it also adds some fun and intrigue to watching the series.
Bettors also like to bet on a number of series correct scores. For example, if you think the Nets/Knicks series is destined to go 7 games, but are unsure of the winner, you can place a bet on the Nets winning 4-3, as well as the Knicks winning 4-3. You will still in most cases end up profitable even though you played both sides.
Or, if you think the Nets will win the series easily, you can bet on them winning 4-0, as well as 4-1. As you can see, this type of strategy takes a little more thought than an average series bet.
Series Total Game Betting
Series total games betting is simple. You simply bet on the number of games you think the series will be. Which team wins the series is irrelevant, but some bettors like to mix their correct score bets with their total game betting, to multiply their winnings. For example, you could bet on the Nets winning the series 4-2 and the series going to 6 games total.
Conference Championship Betting
Conference championship betting is also simple. You simply pick which team will come out of their conference bracket and advance to play in the NBA Finals. If your team makes the NBA Finals, you are a winner.
Conference champion bets are popular, but still not as popular as an NBA Finals bet.
NBA Finals Betting
While each round of the NBA playoffs has their own level of intrigue, everybody is interested in the NBA Finals.
You can bet on the NBA Finals at every bookmaker.
So how early can you bet on the NBA Finals. These bets are similar to the NBA future bets discussed in this guide above. Most bookmakers will refer to this market as NBA Championship Winner Betting Odds, with the market listed under NBA Futures.
Most bookmakers will offer win only for this type of bet, meaning if you place a bet on a particular team, the only way to win is if that team wins the NBA championship.
Some bookmakers however will offer an each-way bet on the NBA championship. What this means that if your team makes it all the way to the NBA Finals, but ends up losing, you will still win a reduced amount.
How To Bet On NBA Playoffs
What are the best NBA playoff strategies? Is betting on the NBA playoffs different than betting on the NBA regular season? Here we discuss the best ways to ensure your NBA playoff betting is profitable.
How To Bet On NBA Playoffs And Win
- Isolate Each Teams Strengths And Weaknesses
- Determine Who Can Win A War Of Attrition
- Determine Which Team Is Best Equipped To Win The Final Two Minutes
- Monitor The Evolving Impact Of The 3-Point Shot
There is an old saying, defense wins championships. Clean offensive execution is key, especially in crunch time. In short, if you want to pick the right championship winner, you need to know who is best at the things needed to win a championship.
Let’s start with a pair of factors, factors that are so intrinsically related for purposes of betting the NBA playoffs that we should talk about them together right off the bat.
Isolate Each Team’s Weakness
This is crucial to NBA betting because each team is going to be playing each other until one wins 4 games. This gives the coaching staff ample opportunity to pinpoint an opponent’s weakness, and devise a strategy to take advantage of it. Champions find your biggest weakness and expose it over and over until they win the series.
Favorites that have a distinct matchup advantage will often finish their series in quick work.
On the opposite end, an underdog can often “luck” its way into a series win. To do this, the underdog must, you guessed it, pinpoint their opponents weakness and take advantage of it repeatedly.
The market is slow to adjust to these advantages because the odds are often based and skewed by the regular season results of the teams, rather than specific matchup tendencies.
If you want to beat the market, and be profitable in the NBA playoffs, you must evaluate the individual chess pieces for each team and the big picture strength and weakness. You should look at:
- Offensive Efficiency
- Defensive Efficiency
- Turnover Percentage
Determine which teams run efficient offenses, and which ones rely on isolation ball and incredible individual efforts. When watching the beginning of a series, keep an eye out for a weak defensive link that can’t be hidden.
If you don’t have a clear picture of these things to begin a series, don’t panic. The best head coaches will often just make this clear by the way they attack their opponent in the second half of the first two games. If you don’t have the series down early, you can still make it a profitable series by making adjustments on these key things.
Determine Who Can Win A War Of Attrition
The long, grueling schedule of the NBA regular season creates a war of attrition of sorts. It is a test of survival for some teams. This adds an extra element when looking to become a profitable bettor. This is really key in a playoff series where the relative talent levels of each teams basically cancel each other out.
In recent seasons, you will be watching a game, and the sideline reporter will give a live look at the head coach telling his players to “keep fighting”, and “not give up”. The game is a chess match, but an exhausting chess match. These saying may sound cliche but they’re crucially important, especially in the playoffs.
As a bettor, it is often best to not try and guess which team has more “guts” or “grit” going into a series. However, one way to pinpoint these attributes is by looking at each team’s relative depth, which teams have better health, and which teams can survive the playoff schedule where games are more often and less spread out over the season.
And, by knowing the past results from the playoffs, you can be better equipped to find out which team can survive a tough stretch.
Pick in mind that picking late-game spreads in the early rounds often comes down to which team realizes they can’t win anymore, and are ready to stop fighting. In short, they are ready to throw in the towel for the offseason. In later rounds, it often comes down to which team can survive the wear and tear of the playoffs, and not wear down.
Determine Which Team Is Best Equipped To Win A Games Last Two Minutes
Here we go, it’s crunchtime, who will pull away. So many NBA playoff games are decided in the final two minutes. Handicappers must be well equipped to determine each teams strengths and weaknesses in these late game moments.
It was often thought that the last two minutes of a close game came down to luck, and which team got a lucky roll or two.
More conventional thinking has lead to more forward thoughts. Often, passing the ball around often looking for the best look has been more successful than one star player trying to do it all himself, known as “hero ball”. Successful defenses are more sophisticated than ever with their defensive strategies, and are more equipped to shut down these star players in key moments. Luck is still a factor, but strategy is as well.
See what you can learn from each teams regular season strategy in late season games and how it will transfer to tense playoff moments.
And, by watching tight finishes in early rounds, you can see which players and coaches are more equipped to handle these tight situations. You need to enter the playoffs knowing that there are going to be many late game playoff situations that impact your betting.
Monitor The Evolving Impact Of The 3-Point Shot
In recent seasons, 3-point volume has increased each season. If you’ve been paying attention to the box scores, you know that the great teams are shooting more 3-pointers than ever, and making more. Analytical breakthroughs have shown the success in this strategy.
Many teams are taking this strategy to heart. We’re not saying that teams never knew 3 pointers are more valuable than twos, but with the growth in analytics, one thing is clear, 3 beats 2. 3 point attempts are up and quick pace offense gives teams more chances than ever to capitalize on their 3 point opportunities.
That means that a team can dominate the paint for the whole game, but if the other team connects on 17-40 from deep, that is going to be hard to keep up with. Hot shooting can take a team far.
If you run into a series where each team is taking 30-40 attempts from deep each game, the series can come down to which team is more likely to make a high percentage of these shots.
As always, the world of sports is always changing. The smart bettor needs to stay on top of these trends, and to be truly effective, must stay a step ahead.