NBA Basketball Betting Guide
The NBA has been played in the US since 1946 although initially the league was called the Basketball Association of America. In the early years of basketball the sport was never that popular, but that changed in the 60’s. In the 60’s the Celtics helped the NBA grow in popularity throughout the United States, but it wasn’t until the 80’s that the sport became internationally recognized.
Michael Jordan was drafted into the NBA in 1983 and Jordan changed the sport forever. Michael Jordan became a superstar in the NBA overnight and he helped the game gain international notoriety. Nowadays the NBA is widely bet on in the USA and lots of other countries around the world due to technology allowing bettors anywhere in the world to bet on basketball.
How to Bet on the NBA
Chances are you’ve bet on other sports before and already know how to bet on sports. If you don’t know how to understand odds or other basic handicapping skills you need to read through our beginner section before reading through our NBA betting guide.
• You can bet on a team to win the game (Moneyline).
• You can bet on a team to win or not lose by a certain number of points (Point Spread).
• You can bet on the total number of points scored in a game (Over/Under).
• You can bet on multiple NBA bets on the same ticket (Parlay).
• You can bet on 2+ teams with an adjusted point spread that moves in your favour (Teaser).
• You can bet on the moneyline, point spread and over/under for a single quarter or half of an NBA game.
• You can also bet on NBA Prop bets and NBA Futures bet with online sportsbooks.
How to Handicap NBA Games
Handicapping basketball games can be a lengthy process if you want to make sure you’re not missing anything. For anyone that wants to bet on the NBA seriously, I recommend building your own NBA databases using Excel. You can make databases that have any stats you want and you can then use the historical databases to search for trends that the average handicapper won’t find.
In the meantime you can use the internet to find all the handicapping information you need to look at for a game. We’re going to look at what you need to do in order to handicap an NBA game. This process should take bettors about an hour or two at the most and that’s why it’s important to narrow down your card every morning before doing any research.
1. If you have your own database you’ll be able to quickly create your own lines. You’ll need to adjust these lines based on different variables such as home/away court, injuries and recent performance. With the adjusted lines you can look at the current lines at the top online sportsbooks to see if you have an edge based on your lines.
2. If you don’t have a database yet you can use the internet to handicap NBA games. The 1st thing you need to handicap are the stats such as how many points each team scores, how many turnovers each team commits, how many points each team gives up on defence, offensive/defensive field goal percentages, offensive/defensive rebounds, etc.
3. After you have handicapped the stats you’ll have an idea of how the game should be played on an average night. Now you need to look at recent performances, injuries, bad press and other factors that affect an NBA game. You also need to look at the stats using a home/away split to find out if a team struggles on the road, which is common.
4. The NBA is a very streaky sport and you need to stay in the know about any recent trends. Not only do you need to look at recent trends, but you should look at how much rest a team is playing on and how much a team has travelled. When a team has travelled 3000 miles across the country after just playing a game it can be very tiring on a team.
5. Another factor you need to handicap is how much a team relies on the starting five players. Some teams rely heavily on a couple players while other teams have multiple players step up on a consistent basis. Teams playing on short rest or that have travelled a lot recently will typically not do well when the bench isn’t capable of stepping up.
6. Make sure you learn how each team play because they often play a similar style night in and night out. The Warriors have been a fast paced offence that loves to push the basketball while the Bulls are more of a half court team that likes to set-up their offence (Important when handicapping NBA totals).
By researching the information above you’ll have a good handle on how a game will be played. You should be able to set your own odds, point spread and game total at this point, which will allow you to bet the games where you feel you’ve found an edge.
Top NBA Betting Tips
Now that you’ve learned how to handicap NBA games you need to follow a few more NBA betting tips. Handicapping games is the most important factor in profiting on sports betting, but there are other factors that could make or break your bankroll. To ensure that every one of our visitors has the best chance to win money betting on the NBA we’ve provided some key tips to keep in mind.
• Just like in other sports, you need to shop for the best NBA lines. Paying -110 juice instead of -107 juice is a huge mistake that most bettors don’t worry about. Losing $.03 on every dollar you bet will make you go broke in the long-run.
• Point spread and game total lines don’t move that often after opening. If there is a big move on the line it’s because one of the teams in the game announced an injury or is sitting out a star player for rest. The odd time a bad line will move sharply after opening and typically that’s because sharps have hammered the line as soon as the line was released.
• NBA players seem to need rest more than players in most other sports in the United States. Rested NBA teams seem to come out and play hard while teams playing on little rest often struggle. I always keep track of how teams do when they are not rested and rested because it really helps.
• Watch the game! I can’t stress this enough in the NBA. If you bet on the NBA every night you need to watch a lot of NBA so that you can get the feel for how teams are playing. When you watch a lot of basketball you know how to read teams and how they’re performing a lot better than if you just watched highlights or read other cappers picks.
• Limit the number of games you bet in the NBA and only bet when you have a legitimate edge. Don’t bet on a team just because you want to watch the game and have action on the game. Simply gambling with no perceived edge is a quick way to lose your entire bankroll.
• Unless you know how to calculate your edge when placing a bet you should avoid parlays and teasers. These bets have nice payouts and look easier than they are to win. If you don’t know whether or not you have an edge you shouldn’t be placing the wager. Small parlays can be +EV at times and even certain NBA teasers can be +EV, but most are –EV.