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NBA Betting Online Tips and Odds to Win

NBA Betting Online

USA Basketball is very popular not only in the US but also globally. Meanwhile, NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. Gambling goes hand and hand with the NBA because of its popularity. You will see a huge variety of bets available at each and every basketball game.

Navigating through scores of NBA betting lines can be confusing and challenging. Today I try to cover all the different types of bets you can make on NBA basketball games to help clear things up for new and experienced bettors alike. Learning how to bet on NBA games is simple if you get the right info.

Understanding the different lines, how they work, and how they may or may not suit your level and interest is essential to learning how to bet on NBA games. Hence, keep reading to learn how to enjoy basketball and NBA betting.


In this article:

  • Basketball Betting rules and tips
  • How to bet on Basketball and win
  • Best apps and sites to bet on Basketball
  • Different types of Basketball betting
  • How to bet basketball over/under


Is NBA Betting Legal?

NBA and basketball betting laws depend on where you live. Sports betting is not legal all around the world. Even in the US, sports betting laws and regulations vary from state to state. For example, sports betting is legal in Australia. But there is no single piece of legislation governing gambling activities in this country. Instead, it is regulated at both state and federal levels. On the other hand, In countries like IRAN and UAE, any kind of sports betting is illegal as are all other forms of gambling. Some countries that have legalized sports betting(basketball betting included) are:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom

You might be wondering, why the US is missing? Because as I mentioned earlier, sports betting laws for American residents depend on the state they are living in. Once upon a time, the only place you could bet on the NBA within the US territory was in Nevada. Sportsbooks have been legal there for decades. Not to mention that online sports betting has been legal for the better of a decade. But betting on the NBA is now legal in many states, and the list is growing rapidly.

Here is where you can legally bet on NBA games for the time being:

State Sports Betting is Legal Online Sports Betting is Legal
Arkansas Yes Yes
Colorado Yes Yes
Delaware Yes Yes, launch undetermined
Indiana Yes Yes
Lowa Yes Yes
Michigan Yes Yes
Mississippi Yes Yes, on-property only
Montana Yes Yes
Nevada Yes Yes
New Jersey Yes Yes
New Mexico Yes, at multiple tribal casinos Yes
New York Yes Yes
North Carolina Yes, pending launch Yes
Oregan Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Yes Yes
Rhode Island Yes Yes
Tennessee Yes Yes
Virginia Yes Yes
Washington DC Yes, pending launch Yes, pending launch
West Virginia Yes Yes


Note that in some states, you should visit a physical sportsbook to bet. But online basketball betting is becoming more common.


How To Bet on Basketball and Win

The first step to betting on basketball and the NBA is understanding odds and lines. Although these are simple concepts, they look intimidating at first. These information-dense tables show you everything you need to know about a bet before placing a wager.

I will teach you how to read them with examples. But first, let’s look at the  NBA and basketball betting odds. Odds reflect the payout that corresponds with a given bet. Most often you see odds represented as positive or negative numbers. If the number is negative, that team is the favorite. But, if the number is positive, that team is expected to lose. The actual number value shows you the payout you will get for winning per every dollar bet. For instance, if the bet pays +200, you would win $2 on a $1 bet, for a total payout of $3. But, if a bet is paying -200, you will win $.50 on a $1.00 bet, resulting in a total payout of $1.50. So, the more a team is favored to win by, the less you win betting on them. On the contrary, the more a team is expected to lose, the more you win by betting on them.

Second, let’s see how the spread (or the “line”) works. Spread represents the number of points a team is expected to win or lose by. I will explain how to bet on the spread later. But for now, just remember that it is represented by a positive and negative number assigned to each team, usually in increments of half a point. For example, if a team is showing -4.5, they are expected to win by 4.5 points. On the other hand, if a team is showing +4.5, they are expected to lose by 4.5 points.

Now I will move to the different types of NBA and basketball bettings.


Understanding the Popular NBA and Basketball Bets

When you register for an NBA betting site, the first lines you see are Moneyline bets, spread bets, and totals bets. These fall into the category of single-game bets. Because these bets involve outcomes of one particular matchup.

Single-game bets are pretty easy to understand. But before you pick the NBA game to bet on, you should read NBA odds correctly.

Consider this example because I will use it in the following sections :

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
g Golden State -6.5(-110) -200 O 210.5(-110)
g Boston +6.5(-110) +180 U 210.5(-110)


NBA Moneyline Betting

The most common and simplest NBA bet is the Moneyline. Betting the Moneyline means you are betting on who will win the game straight up. But the margin of victory does not matter.

Reading Moneyline odds is easy. The team that has a “+” number next to it is the underdog. And the team with a “-” next to it is the favorite. The associated numbers represent the implied probability the sports betting site has assigned to each team’s chances of winning. Also, you can use the odds to calculate your prospective winnings.

A positive Moneyline (e.g. Boston Celtics +180) means how much you can win on a $100 bet. But a negative Moneyline (e.g. Golden State Warriors -200) indicates how much you must wager to win $100.

In the example, if you bet $100 on the Boston, you would win $180. Your total payout would be $280. This number is your $100 stake plus the $180 profit. To win $100 betting on Golden State at -200, you should wager $200. Obviously, betting on the favorite is riskier for the same reward.


NBA Point Spread Betting

Betting against the spread has many different names. For example, betting the spread, point-spread betting, and betting against the spread (ATS). But they all refer to the same thing. Spread betting is unique because you are not picking an outright winner or loser.

If you spread bet on the favorite, they have to win by a specified number of points. But if you bet on the underdog, they should not lose by the specified number of points.

Betting the spread may sound confusing. So let’s practice using the above example. The Golden State Warriors team has a negative number next to it and is the favorite to win. If you bet on the Golden State, they should beat the Boston (home team) by at least 7 points to successfully “cover” the spread and make you a winner.

Another way to calculate is to subtract 6.5 points from Golden State’s total at the end of the game. If after deducting 6.5 points, Golden State is still the winner, they successfully covered the spread.

Do you want to bet on Boston? Well, they should win the game outright or lose by 6 points (or fewer) for you to win. A “+” sign in the spread stands for underdog status. This is a simple and reliable way to figure out which team oddsmakers think is least likely to win.

One of the most confusing parts of spread betting is the inclusion of half-points (In the above example, the spread is 6.5 instead of 6 or 7). Experienced sports bettors call these half points the hook. This is a mechanism that eliminates any possibility of a tie, or “push.” Clearly, there are no half points in basketball. So when the half point is added to the spread, you either win or lose your bet.

If there is no hook, the game may end in a push. Generally speaking, a push will result in the return of your wager. But be careful that some sportsbooks treat a push as a loss.

Spread betting is incredibly popular, particularly for NFL or NBA betting.

Sports betting sites use spreads to encourage equitable betting on both teams. This is the safest way to secure a profit for operators. If there is an equal money bet on both teams, the sportsbooks pay the winners from the pool of money collected from the losers. Meanwhile, they pocket the five or ten percent vig (bookmaker’s fee) they collect from everyone.

Remember that the spread is not fixed, meaning it can (and will) change based on the balance of bets. If bettors place significantly more money on one team, the sportsbook adjusts the spread to encourage more betting on the other team. But don’t worry. If the lines change after you placed your bet, your bet is locked in at the odds you initially wagered on.


NBA Over/Under or Totals Betting

If you are not interested in betting on a specific team at NBA sportsbooks online, over/under bets might be for you. Totals betting is relatively straightforward. Here, you are placing your bet on the total points scored in a game. The total score is calculated by adding the points each team scored together.

In the above example, the total is set at 210.5. If you bet on the over, this means you are betting that Golden and Boston’s combined final scores will be more than 210.5 points. Just like spread betting, half-points are aimed to avoid any possible push or tie.

As you see both the over and under have a -110 next to them. Just like the Moneyline, this number indicates the payout. According to the example, whether you bet on the over or the under, you must wager $110 to win $100.

Although most often the over/under odds are set at -110 or -105, the payout for the over and under is not always the same. The sportsbooks sometimes offer more tempting odds to attract more action on the less popular side of a given wager.

When multiple games are involved, NBA betting becomes a lot more complicated. Because there are a greater number of games, so you have more variables to consider. But the added complexity means you have the chance of much larger payouts. The multiple games bettings are parlays, teasers, and props.


Parlays Betting

In this case, you wager on the outcome of more than one event or proposition. The outcomes may be in the same game or spread over multiple games.

For instance, you want to bet on the Celtics winning and the total score of the game will be under 210.5. A parlay allows you to bet on both outcomes with a single stake. Also, it is possible to add another event to this stake. If you win all parts of your parlay, the payout will be much bigger than betting on just one event.

Remember that there is no prize for getting two out of three events correct. Each bet within the parlay must be correct for it to be graded as a winner. For this reason, parlays can provide huge payouts on a small wager. Why? because the probability of predicting multiple events correctly is generally very low.

Assume you make the following three-bet parlay:

  1. Boston Celtics at +6.5
  2. BOS vs GS Over 210.5
  3. Los Angeles Lakers at +3.5

Now suppose that all three parts have a 50/50 chance of succeeding. The rough payout on a three-bet parlay like this would be about +550 or +600. This means you would win $550 or $600 on a $100 wager. Awesome! But your chances of winning all three are just 12.5%. Oopss!

But I don’t mean you should always avoid parlays. I only mean that you should recognize the degree of difficulty and learn it well before putting your money down.

Parlays can include various combinations of Moneyline, point spread, or totals bets from either one game or multiple games. But few sportsbooks allow you to make a parlay on both the Moneyline and the spread of the same game. These outcomes are closely related, so sportsbooks do this to reduce their risk.

Although some sportsbooks allow a limitless number of events for parlays, others place a cap at a predetermined ceiling.

Remember, making parlays is a more advanced betting strategy. Managing multiple games at once can be difficult, so proceed with caution.


Teasers Betting

This is a type of parlay. Hence, you should wager on more than one event outcome. Here, all bets are placed on the total or the spread, and you can adjust the spread or total in your favor. Sure, your payout reduces according to the amount you shift the numbers to your advantage. Let us practice with an example:

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
g BKN +5.5(-110) +130 O 212.5(-110)
g NYK -5.5(-110) -160 U 212.5(-110)


Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
g DET +6.5(-110) +190 O 212.5(-110)
g UTA -6.5(-110) -230 U 212.5(-110)


Now, you look at the line for the first game and want to go for the New York Knicks laying 5.5 points with their home-court advantage. But you also want to add some extra and bet on the spread. By looking at the second game, you may not trust Utah to beat the Pistons by a whole 7 points. But you are still confident the Jazz will come out of the game with a modest lead.

This is where a teaser works. You can manipulate the line in your favor at the cost of a reduced payout compared to a standard parlay bet.

Most online sportsbooks offer basketball teasers that allow you to adjust the spread by 4, 4.5, or 5 points. Depending on the number of selections you choose to include in your bet, some of them offer something called sweetheart teasers. These sweethearts give you the option of manipulating the betting line by 8 to 10 points.

Although teasers seem very appealing, remember that you still need to predict all events correctly to win the bet. Look over the fine print of your sports betting site’s terms and conditions. Because some sportsbooks remove an event from the teaser if the result is a push, but others may count it as a loss.

The NBA has soared in popularity over the past few decades, and betting has grown along with it. As a result, several creative and fun bets are now available at online sportsbooks during the regular season and NBA Finals.

Currently,  NBA betting options are nearly limitless. You can bet on player performance, major awards such as the NBA MVP, championship futures, and more. Even some propositions allow you to bet on the outcome of a single play!


Here are other NBA betting options available for you:

Prop Betting

With proposition betting, you can bet on things other than the results of games. For instance, you can wager on specific players or events within games.

The options available here vary from how many points a particular player will score in the second half to who will have the most blocks throughout the regular season.

Many prop bets are structured as over/under(s). For example, a sportsbook may set LeBron James’ point total for the Lakers’ next game at 24.5, with odds on both the over and the under at -110.

Note that no matter the prop, the sportsbook defines your options clearly and includes the requisite payout on either outcome.


Futures Betting

Shortly after the end of NBA season, most sportsbooks provide the option to bet on the winner of the following year’s championship. This is called a futures bet. Some lucrative futures bets have paid lavishly in recent years.

Individual awards like Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player are other popular NBA futures bets. Star players who are expected to be in the running will be listed. Also, most sportsbooks offer a FIELD option. This option allows you to bet on every player not listed as an option.

If you place the bet earlier, potential winnings for these wagers will be higher. Of course, this is harder to predict award winners with less information to go off. But this is the nature of gambling;  the higher the risk, the higher the reward.

“Team win totals” is the other popular futures bet. Before the start of the NBA season, oddsmakers set each team’s projected win total, based on their predicted season-long performance. Similar to the other totals bets, you can take the over or the under. It is referred to as season props and typically they are available for all 30 NBA teams. Be cautious about putting a large portion of your bankroll on a season prop. Because that money may be tied up until the season is over!

Remember that many sportsbooks close these bets shortly before the season tip-off. In addition, the majority of sports betting sites do not allow you to include futures within any parlay bet.


NBA In-Game Live Betting

Many sports betting sites offer live NBA betting markets. This allows you to place bets on games that are already underway.

In live betting, similar to a regular pre-game bet you can bet on the Moneyline, spread, total, and several interesting props. Hence, the spread and odds will be adjusted in real-time, according to the progression of the game and the number of incoming bets. Live betting is very exciting but you act quickly when you see a line you like.

Before I move on to the next section and give you a list of the best NBA betting sites and apps to bet on basketball and NBA games, let me provide you with NBA betting tips to help you have a better experience out of your wagers:

  • Bet early.
  • Check the team’s schedule.
  • Watch for moving lines. How? Like this H
  • Know WHY the line is moving and don’t just bet because it moved.
  • Only bet if you think the new line is a good bet. Again, don’t just bet because it moved.
  • You should not wait to jump on a bad line, but timing and waiting can be beneficial as well.
  • Remember, sportsbooks are wise but they make mistakes too.
  • Take a look at teams that are favored in an away game after they are blown out in their previous game.
  • Pay attention to how a team makes most of their points because it can be important when you are looking at consistency. A team that relies heavily on 3-point baskets is great. But note that it’s a lot easier to go cold on shooting 3-pointers than on posting up and driving to the basket. So, keep in mind, teams that focus more on points in the paint are going to be more reliable and will be less susceptible to cold streaks.
  • The impact of injuries is crucial when it comes to NBA betting. Unlike football where there are 11 players on each side of the ball or baseball where there are nine players, a basketball team only plays five players at a time. This means one player can have more impact on the game than in any other team sport. So, remember to study and react to injury reports.


Best NBA Betting Sites for 2021

Sports Betting Site Key Info Overall Rating Bonus
Betway Makes it easy to get started and then keeps you there with its huge selection and numerous ways to bet. With some of the best promos you’ll find at any sportsbook, Betway is a fantastic platform to wager with.  



100% up to $1,000

888sport It offers tons of betting options for new and experienced bettors alike. Find great odds on sporting events from around the globe wherever you’re located. 5/5 Bet €10 Get €30
BETVICTOR BetVictor has several decades of sportsbook experience and provides a solid all-around product while still offering enticing promos and value-priced odds. 4/5 Bet €5 Get €30
Paddy Power One of the most popular and esteemed gambling sites in the UK & Ireland, this household name offers some of the largest odds selections in the industry. With over 100 lines per game and a premium live-streaming service, Paddy Power is a top sportsbook. 4/5 Risk-Free €20 bet
UNIBET Unibet is an awarding-winning, mobile-first sportsbook available in more than 100 countries worldwide. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, most recently entering the newly legal US market. 4/5 100% Deposit Match up to €25


What Is The Best App to Bet on NBA Games?

NBA Betting App Rank Key info
22Bet #1 Plenty of betting and bonus options, safe and reliable
BetUS #2 The Best Real Money NBA Betting Site Online
BetOnline #3 Variety of Betting Options
MyBookie #4 Unmatched Customer Service and Quality #5 Over 25 Sports to Bet on
Bovada #6 Fast Payout and Variety of Banking Options


Advantages of using an App vs. Betting at the Casino:

  • Convenience and ease of use.
  • Always have access to the best lines as you can check lines 24/7.
  • Thanks to technology, there are more betting options because the best NBA apps don’t have to limit the actions they can offer.


Where To Get Basketball Predictions

There are plenty of prediction sites where you can check the latest basketball predictions and tips. For example, bettingexpert, sportytrader, protipster worth checking.



Betting on the NBA can be pretty simple or very complex. It depends on your level. To get started, I recommend finding the best sportsbook that suits your needs and level of expertise. Carefully examine the terms and conditions of your sportsbook as well as the bets you make.

Do your thorough research, learn what kind of bettor you want to become, and most of all, have fun! Equip yourself with all the knowledge you need to bet on sports. After all, remember the house doesn’t beat you: It just allows you to beat yourself.


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