Basketball is one of America’s most popular sports, with the NBA season running from October to June. But the NBA is also notoriously one of the most challenging leagues to bet on. Games often change at the drop of a hat, and it takes discipline, courage, and a solid strategy to ensure you make killer profits consistently.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to bet on basketball and win. Why? Simply put – I hate the bookies! By the end of this article, I want to make sure you understand exactly what it takes to win more bets watching the sport you love.
It’s my aim to reveal to you the best basketball betting sites you should use, as well as some awesome strategies and tools that will help you turn losses into wins more often. This is going to make sports betting fun.
Ready? Let’s make a start.
Best NBA Betting Sites
Bovada is America’s premier sports site. It’s reputable, secure, and offers all the good stuff you want – reliable payouts, competitive odds, and an excellent user-interface.
Its in-play NBA action is one of its standout features. You can stream games live, the in-play stats are updated super fast, and because the layout is so easy on the eyes, the whole experience is hassle-free.
Sign up today and grab a 50% welcome bonus worth up to $250.
BetAmerica is another hugely reputable U.S. sportsbook that’s safe and secure, and which offers a wide variety of payment methods. There are lots of NBA lines available, and BetAmerica also comes with an in-depth introductory guide to betting on the NBA on its website.
Sign up today and grab a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000.
As well as live NBA action, MyBookie also offers lines for NBA2K Twitch championship games, where you can watch and bet on gamers who compete against each other in eSports tournaments.
MyBookie has a huge array of lines for every match, from exact results to over/under for each quarter for the real NBA action.
Sign up today and grab a 100$ sports welcome bonus.
Betting On Basketball: Full Guide
Helpful Stats & Facts For Betting On NBA
Before you develop a betting strategy, it’s important to fill your basketball betting knowledge with some stats.
The NBA is a numbers game. In this section, I’m going to reveal a few helpful stats and facts that you should bear in mind when placing your bets. I also advise that you research your own stats and add them to a spreadsheet.
- Milwaukee Bucks averaged more points per match in the 2019/2 season than any other team
- Dallas Mavericks had a higher offensive rating than any other team (116.7)
- Phoenix Suns had a higher assist per match than any other team (27.2)
- LA Lakers made the most blocks per game than any other team (6.6)
- Chicago Bulls made more steals than any other team (652)
- LA Lakers had a higher field goal percentage than any other team (48)
- Dallas Mavericks scored more 3 pointers than any other team (1,136)
The Most Popular Types of Basketball Bets
There are different types of basketball bets you can place, and it’s important you find ones that work for you. Here are the most popular types explained:
NBA Point Spread
The points spread is the most popular NBA bet, generally speaking, because basketball is such a high-scoring sport. At the same time, NBA games are often so tight.
A point spread NBA bet line looks like this:
- LA Lakers to win the game -6.5
If you opt for this bet, the Lakers must win by 7 points or more for you to win the bet.
Over/Under (total points)
Before a match starts, bookies set a predicted total number of points shared between both teams. For example, if the Bucks are playing the Celtics, the bookies might go with 205. It’s then up to you to decide whether the actual total points are over or under.
The beauty of this bet is that it can be done in-play. As the match goes along and points are scored, and shots are missed, bookies will keep adjusting their total number of points. You can place the over/under bet for quarters and halves.
The moneyline bet is simpler than the point spread, but the payout is typically smaller if you go for the favorite. Essentially, you’re betting on either the favorite or the underdog to win. It doesn’t matter about the point spread – all you need is your team to win outright.
Basketball Betting Strategy
Okay, this is what you’re really here for – a basketball betting strategy that, while it won’t guarantee wins all the time, can put you in consistent profits if you stick at it. I’ve personally used it over the years, as have other bettors.
Essentially, it’s called “betting the second half” and it’s as simple as it sounds: You wait until half-time and then you make your move.
What move do you make?
It depends on how the game is going. But here’s the thing: Bookies have for years tended to offer inaccurate odds for the second half of an NBA game. They’re not as inaccurate as they used to be because they’ve wised up, but there are still lots of opportunities for you to find value and make a killer profit.
For example, let’s say the favorite has taken a battering in the first half. Because they’re the clear favorite, the bookies expect them to mount a comeback in the second half, and they’ll adjust their odds in order to shade their 2nd half-point spreads.
But if you’re watching the game and can see that there’s no way the favorite is getting back in this, you can find value in backing the underdog at the start of the game and then covering yourself by backing the favorite at the half-way point. Note that you must back the underdog at the beginning of the game for this to work.
There are other bets you can do at the halfway point, too. NBA games are notorious for one team taking a big first-half lead before being pegged back in the second. If you watch a game closely enough, you can make good calls at the halfway point.
Top Tips For Betting On The NBA
A solid strategy is one thing, but there are lots of other things to bear in mind when betting on basketball. Here are some more tips:
Beware of Totals
I mentioned earlier how the over/under bet is a popular NBA bet – and it is.
But the sportsbooks decide their pre-game totals according to past games. As we all know, though, each NBA contest is very different.
Moreover, a high scoring contest can quickly turn into a low scoring contest, especially once subs have been made (and vice versa). Therefore, it’s really important that you don’t get sucked into thinking a total bet is a sure thing.
Look At The Injuries
Injuries play a key role in any team match, but they’re super important in the NBA. The NBA is unlike any other sport in that some superstar players literally carry a team. For example, if Doncic is missing for the Mavericks or Leonard is missing for the Clippers, those teams will probably not score anywhere near as many points as they usually do.
Focus On Defense
As NBA fans, we tend to focus on offense.
As bettors, we need to focus on defense.
Because if you can uncover key stats associated with defensive rebounds, steals and blocks, you might be able to find a value bet whereby you accurately predict a high-scoring team to suddenly come up short.
Common Online NBA Betting Tools
Betting is always so much easier when you use the right tools. Here are the most popular NBA betting tools that other bettors and I use:
- Swish Analytics – As mentioned, the NBA is a numbers game. To help you crunch the data and make sense of it all, I highly recommend using Swish Analytics
- OddsPortal – OddsPortal is a one-stop-shop for shopping around for the best NBA odds. Some bookies offer better odds than others, and you must maximise your profits by finding the best odds for each bet
- Bet Calculator – Need help to figure out the true value of a bet? Use Bet Calculator, which comes in especially handy when you’re placing parlay bets
- Dunc’d On – If you want to listen to experts go deep into match analysis, uncovering stats you could only dream of uncovering by yourself, Dunc’d On is an essential podcast for online betting
Sports betting is always better when you know what you’re doing. Use the strategies and tips in this article to help you up your NBA betting game so that you start making consistent profits over the long-term. Don’t forget to download tools to help you, too!
P.S. Let me know in the comments how you get on!