The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular sports leagues in the entire world, let alone the United States. With that fame has come an escalating interest in betting on the sport, which is currently reaching a fever pitch as legislative hurdles continue to fall and the industry has grown across the country.
Thanks to the advancement of online betting sites in US states where gambling is legal, the NBA gambling experience has been enhanced miles from where it used to be in the days of purely brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. The introduction of these mobile platforms has provided a convenient, easy-to-use service while sparking the evolution of additional markets and an ever-growing number of wagering options.
In this basketball betting guide, we’ll detail different betting types, tips, strategies and other important information for how to bet NBA online.
It is legal to wager on professional basketball in the United States, so long as your physical location is inside a state with legislation passed to allow it. NBA betting online has been made legal in eight states as of October 2019 and they’re listed below:
In 2019, the pool of states accepting sports wagers online grew with the addition of Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and Iowa. Several other states are projected to join the fold in 2020 and beyond as the industry will only continue its rapid growth.
Each territory that has opted to include gambling on sports and the NBA has produced significant revenue thanks to the current boom the industry is experiencing.
Just because you’re looking to get in on the action and begin placing basketball bets, that doesn’t mean you mindlessly choose a site to sign up for. There are several factors to take into account before depositing your hard-earned money anywhere and choosing the platform that is right for you can enhance the overall betting experience. Consider the following advice before making up your mind on where to do your NBA betting online:
Putting together a list of your preferences can go a long way toward helping you decide on the best online betting sites for you. How you value welcome bonuses, promotions, the range of markets offered, and the quality of the betting lines among other things can dictate where you sign up.
All online sports betting sites all serve the same function but don’t all do so in the same exact ways. Once you know what you like, these subtle differences will help you narrow down your options.
When it comes to that list of preferences mentioned above, it usually starts with bonuses and promotions. A generous welcome bonus immediately puts you ahead of the curve and a consistent flow of promotions always provides a great incentive to continue using the platform. Compare these offers from various NBA betting sites to find which suits you best.
Going with the theme of weighing your options, we’d highly recommend signing up for multiple sites at one time. That’s double the bonuses, promotions, and betting markets to shop around and get a feel for. The layout of the site, the helpdesk support options, and wagering options will vary a little, but using more than one will make narrowing it down to the best online betting sites a little easier.
For an all-encompassing look at what each platform offers, sites like BonusSeeker are a valuable resource. We are aware of the best characteristics of each brand and what they have to offer. Looking through a few review pages will provide you with a starting point on what amenities are offered at each site.
|Ranking||NBA Sportsbook||Bonus Offer||Claim Now|
1st Place (Winner)
William Hill NJ
Bet $50, Get $50 (Real Cashback!)
DraftKings Sportsbook NJ
Risk-Free Bet Up To $200
Get Two Risk-Free Bets Up To $500 Each
FanDuel Sportsbook NJ
Risk-Free Bet Up To $500
SugarHouse Online Sportsbook PA
First Deposit Bonus Up To $250
As is the case with most sports, there are plenty of markets available when it comes to betting on basketball. So before placing any wagers, we want to help keep you informed about the popular NBA online bets available at all platforms.
Using an example from FanDuel Sportsbook that will help us break down several basketball bet types below.
NBA moneyline betting is simply a wager on which team will win the game, regardless of the point spread. The amount of money you must risk increases when betting favorites and potential profits increase when betting on underdogs.
To properly understand all aspects of the game line, moneylines should be looked at relative to the number 100, which represents ‘even money’ in sports betting. Favorites will have a negative (-) symbol adjacent to their line while the underdog will have a positive (+) sign accompanying its odds. The further away from the 100 these odds go, the bigger the favorite or underdog.
Using our above example, the Nets (-410) are favorites while the Knicks (+310) are underdogs. In the case of moneylines, the odds are directly correlated to the risk and payouts of the wager.
Taking the Nets’ moneyline means laying down $410 to win $100, risking over quadruple what you can profit in the end. On the other side, a $100 wager on the Knicks pays out $310 because bettors need them to win outright and don’t have the nine-point spread as a safety blanket.
Gambling on the spread is not merely a selection of which team will win, but which will ‘cover’ a predetermined point spread provided by sportsbooks. Not all teams are equal, so the point spread is oddsmakers’ way of evening out the game for betting purposes.
Just like moneylines, favorites come with a negative symbol and underdogs have a positive sign. The favorite must win by a certain number of points and the underdog needs to either win outright or lose by fewer points than noted in the spread.
Using our example, the spread is nine points. The Nets (-9) cover the spread if they win by 10 or more points and the Knicks (+9) cover if they lose by eight or less. In the event the Nets win by the exact spread of nine, the wager is called a ‘push’ and the original investment on both sides is returned.
While the moneyline determines how much you wager and the payouts, things work differently here. Every spread is accompanied by the odds for selecting that side. Notice the Nets are -9 (-110)? This means the odds for that bet are -110 and we’d have to wager $110 to win $100.
This number is referred to as oftentimes as the 'juice' on the bet. Whatever that number is represents how much you must pay in order to win $100. Consider it a vig or commission fee imposed by bookmakers for sports bettors making a wager.
Most spreads start with standard -110 odds and move based on the action of the betting public. There is less variation in risk and reward than moneylines because the odds are evened out by the spread
Wagering on NBA totals simply means placing an over or under bet in regards to the total number of points that will be scored in a given basketball game. Factors like injuries, schedule, and pace of play can have a huge impact on whether a game goes above or below the projected total.
In our above example, oddsmakers set the total for the Knicks and Nets at 225.5. The over hits if the two teams combine for 226 or more, while 225 or fewer points would be an under. In both instances, it would take a $110 risk to win $100.
A common question for people new to sports betting wonder what are prop bets? Props are essentially yes or no wagers on whether a given event will occur in a game. Rather than betting on moneylines, spreads, and totals, props are more unconventional markets that tend to focus on in-game events and player stats among other things.
Below are just some of the categories offered at most online sportsbooks for NBA games:
These wagers may not be tied to the ultimate outcome of the game, though some of them are, and have erupted in popularity as more and more markets have been included for all sports including pro basketball.
NBA parlay bets allow you to combine multiple sides (also referred to as legs) into one wager in exchange for a more favorable payout. Parlay bets are generally made up of money lines, spreads, and totals, although sportsbooks have evolved to include props and multi-event as parlay-eligible.
These wagers are a favorite among better because of its low-risk, high-reward nature in which a small investment can earn a large payout. When it comes to parlays, every side needs to win in order for the bet to hit and just one loss spoils the entire wager. Because of this, parlays are considered among the toughest bets to win when gambling on the NBA or sports in general.
Below we will look at a conventional example of an NBA parlay:
In the above parlay, three teams are parlayed together at the standard -110, which adds up to a +597 value on many platforms. The inclusion of underdogs and additional teams boosts the odds and potential payout but also increases the risk of losing.
The math with parlays is complicated, but these wagers have become more popular with the growth of the online sports betting sites, which can easily calculate the odds.
NBA futures bets are exactly what they sound like: wagers on whether an event will or won’t take place at some point in the future. In the NBA, futures wagers are extremely popular with some of the following categories:
Most of these bets are placed prior to the season starting, but some markets do remain open as the regular season progresses. Futures bets are wildly popular because they can provide a rooting interest for a longer period of time and can come with generous payouts.
Handicapping NBA games is not an easy thing to do so getting involved in the action without knowing what you’re doing is the easiest way to lose your money. Most of these lines are carefully crafted and meticulously poured over each day, so how do you help yourself make the right bets?
Here are some NBA betting tips to keep in mind when you’re checking out basketball lines throughout the regular season:
Just like on Sundays during football season, many bettors make the mistake of placing wagers on too many games when it’s a full slate. This can put you in a bad spot because you’d have to come through with a pretty high percentage of wins in order to actually turn any profit.
Focus on just one or a couple of games from the NBA schedule that night, because fewer teams and lower odds could equal more wins in the long run. Adding extra games to a parlay can increase the payout, but it also makes the wager ore difficult to win so do so at your own risk.
Sometimes determining how the game will play out from the perspective of totals can be easier than choosing a side to bet on, so trying your hand at these other markets can be profitable. Once the season gets into full swing you can take a look at each team’s pace of play and scoring stats to help determine your stance on a total.
The lines on props definitely see less action from the public and professional bettors, so those odds remain relatively untouched. Most sites offer a variety of prop markets offered for every game, allowing most people to find something they like.
Plenty of sites will present you with a prediction alongside statistics that tell you a team has a great record on Wednesdays or a winning stream against a given opponent that dates back a few seasons when rosters and circumstances were totally different. Stay away from trends that don’t matter and when there’s one you like, make sure it’s relevant to the game.
The NBA is always difficult to bet on, but especially early in the season. The first several games of every season, sometimes more, results are to be taken with a grain of salt. Let some type of pattern develop in the early season before putting too much money on NBA games. Because results in the first few weeks of the season may not be reliable to use for betting purposes, beware of teams and trends that regress back to the mean.
Aside from knowing how the various bet types of work, you should also be aware of some common NBA betting strategies to employ while hunting for your favorite lines.
We did just go through some tips, sow hat’s the difference? Tips are mostly just things to keep in mind that can help you make an informed decision, whereas strategies are rules that bettors live by when placing wagers.
One of the best NBA strategies is looking for the largest public concentration and simply going the other way. The public has the potential to inflate the lines on both spreads and totals, creating value on the opposite side. More times than not, it’s favorites and overs getting hit by the betting masses.
Reverse line movement is when the majority of the bets are coming in on one side, but the line doesn’t reflect that and actually moves in the opposite direction.
Monitoring movement on a certain game and comparing it with betting percentages gives you a chance to spot an advantageous line and/or potential value. Veteran gamblers know to bet lines and not teams, so winning betters will pounce in a situation like this regardless of which team is involved.
The schedule can be demanding, so one NBA betting strategy is to target teams that are dealing with tough schedules, especially on the road and fade them by taking the other side. For teams on the second game of a back-to-back, the third game in four nights or playing the last game of a lengthy road trip, fatigue could be a factor.
You can read all the NBA expert picks you want and pour over the betting data available before a game, but things can still go the opposite way. Sports can be unpredictable and the best feel for a game can be found by actually watching it.
Consider taking in the opening quarter or half of a game and see if there’s an opening on the live betting line or maybe in a second-half market. Injuries, foul situation and the pace of play, and the score all can play a role in how you place in-game bets.
The regular season is already a massive attraction for bettors, and things reach a whole new level in the postseason. NBA playoff betting dominates as spring turns into summer and accounts for much of the action sportsbooks see at this time of the year.
More casual bettors flood the market, which can have an impact on the odds. Because there are so many fewer games, each line and total is poured over closely by oddsmakers and professional handicappers as well. For that reason, lesser-used markets like props can hold even greater value than the regular season.
Belonging to an online sportsbook during the postseason comes with amenities as well. Players are oftentimes given an upper hand as NBA playoff promotions are introduced while additional markets are available for each game and series. Since the sports gambling industry is hitting the mainstream
The public’s interest in basketball only intensifies once all 2,460 regular-season games and 13 playoff matchups are through. The last series of the pro basketball season is one of the biggest annual spectacles in American sports, which makes NBA Finals betting is as popular as it’s ever been.
Due to the growth in the use of online sports betting apps it has become convenient for the casual gambler to enhance the game-watching experience by putting a few bucks down. Each game of The Finals has become its own mini Super Bowl of sorts, with tons of additional prop betting markets for each game and series.
As is the case throughout the postseason, bettors would be wise to take advantage of these markets because conventional odds are at greater risk of being hard to read due to an increase in betting action.