How To Bet NBA: Complete Guide to NBA Betting

• Basketball
• Sports Betting

NBA Betting Guide – How to Bet on the NBA

Here are so many reasons why NBA betting goes through such a huge rise in popularity and why every passing day millions of people look for more and better ways on how to bet on NBA games.

The main one is that the National Basketball Association is one of the most popular sporting leagues in the United States and worldwide, and it continues to grow all the time. The NBA has worked hard to partner with sports betting companies throughout the world to make basketball betting easier for fans wanting to make a bet.

In this expert guide on NBA betting we will explain how you can bet on NBA games in a sensible and effective manner. We’ll also discuss how NBA online betting works and how you can make the most of the many betting opportunities that are available.


NBA Betting in the Regular Season

The NBA regular season comprises 82 games and runs from the end of October to the middle of April. When you know how to bet on the NBA, you'll be able to bet on all of them. There is usually at least one NBA game scheduled per night, except during the All-Star Break. 

Home teams seem to have a home-court advantage when it comes to regular-season games, but that doesn’t always hold true. NBA teams have recently started using 'load management' as a way to rest some of their star players. That can affect regular-season games in various ways. 

'Tanking' is another thing to look out for during the NBA regular season. Some teams can actually gain more by losing regular-season games, and you really don't want to bet on those. 

NBA Betting in the All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game takes place in February and is the climax of a whole weekend full of events.

There is a skills competition, a three-point showdown, and a dunk contest held on Saturday night. All of those events will give you a variety of rather novel betting opportunities.

The actual All-Star game itself offers betting opportunities that are similar to regular-season games. However, you can also place a future bet on who will be the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game.

It’s just one weekend, but the NBA All-Star weekend provides as much basketball betting action as anyone is ever likely to need. 

NBA Betting in the Playoffs

When you know how to bet on the NBA in general, you'll also be ready for the NBA Playoffs. Each game of the NBA Playoffs works in the same way as a regular-season game.

The NBA Playoffs feature the top eight teams from each conference. Those teams then battle it out for a chance to reach the NBA Finals.

You can bet on each game, just as you would in the regular season. You can also predict the winner of each series, or bet on how many games each series will run to. 

Making a future bet on the eventual NBA Champion is another popular bet. This can be made before or during the NBA Playoffs. 

NBA Betting in the Finals

There are many different ways to explain how to bet on the NBA Finals. Essentially, however, it works in much the same way as it does for the playoffs. 

The champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences meet up in a best-of-seven series to determine the NBA champion. Betting on each game of the NBA Finals is extremely popular. And so is picking the champion in the correct amount of games. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: Spreads

NBA Spread Betting

Knowing how to bet the NBA spreads is essential for anyone who wants to succeed in NBA betting. That's because NBA spread betting markets are everywhere, and they are equally suitable for both beginners and seasoned pros. 

Philadelphia 76ers-1.5
Atlanta Hawks +1.5
NBA Spread Betting Example

In this game, the Philadelphia 76ers are listed as the favorites, while the Atlanta Hawks are the underdogs. We know this because the 76ers figure is preceded by a (-) sign, whilst the Hawks figure is preceded by a (+) sign.

If you bet on the 76ers and they win the game by at least two points, your bet will win. However, if you bet on the Hawks, it will win if they don't lose by more than two points.

Sportsbooks will usually offer the same odds (-110) for these NBA spread bets. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: Over/Under

NBA Over/Under

An NBA Over/Under bet is sometimes referred to as a 'total' bet. With this type of bet, you are focusing on the total number of points scored in an NBA game. 

The winner or loser of the matchup does not matter as long as you pick the correct Over or Under outcome. Here is an example:

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks

Over224.5 Points-109
Under224.5 Points-111
NBA Over/Under Example

Here you need to decide if the total number of points scored will be over or under 224.5. If you bet Over then there needs to be 225 or more points scored for your bet to win. If you bet Under then there needs to be 224 or fewer points scored for your bet to win.

It’s important to note that most sportsbooks will offer the same odds for each side of this bet.

How to Bet on NBA Games: Moneyline

If you’ve ever heard people say, 'What’s the NBA betting line for today?' then they are talking about NBA moneylines. This market is not as popular as the spread or totals markets, but it is easier to understand. 

All that is required for a moneyline bet is for you to predict the winner of a certain game. The sportsbooks will adjust the lines and odds for each team according to their own view of the game.

Atlanta Hawks +104
Philadelphia 76ers-122
NBA Moneyline Example

The 76ers are the favorite in this matchup. For that reason, the payout won’t be as great if they win the game. Atlanta is the underdog. This will give you a much bigger return if they can pull off the upset. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: Futures

An NBA Futures bet is not made on any specific game. Instead, you bet on the outcome of a much broader event. The most common NBA Futures bet is on which team will win the NBA Championship. 

Sportsbooks will set odds for each team, and the odds will continue to be adjusted as the season plays out. There are also futures bets available on player awards, and the same concept applies. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: In-Play

Live betting, or in-play betting, allows you to place bets whilst the game is being played. It is something that has become extremely popular in the United States, especially with the growth of mobile betting. Live betting makes the action even more exciting because you are betting in real-time as you watch. 

If you know how NBA betting works in general then you already know the principles of live betting. The three main betting types will all be offered. However, you will have to make your decisions in a much shorter amount of time. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: Quarters

NBA quarter betting involves betting on the outcome of a particular quarter, and can be done in two ways. It can be done pre-game, or it can be done as a form of live betting. Sportsbooks will usually offer Over/Under and against the spread bets when it comes to NBA quarter betting. 

A first-quarter bet would obviously have to be made pre-game. Bets on the other quarters can be made as the game plays out. 

How to Bet on NBA Games: Player Prop Bets

Player props aren’t offered by every sportsbook, and they aren’t offered on every game. Prop betting usually focuses on an individual statistic for a particular player. The bet is usually formatted like an Over/Under bet. 

For example:

Kevin DurantOver 29.5 PointsUnder 29.5 Points
NBA Player Prop Bet Example

Here you would have to decide whether or not Durant will score at least 30 points in the game, or if he will be held to 29 points or less. 

NBA Betting: Where to Bet on NBA Games

All of the betting options that we previously mentioned will be offered at the best NBA sportsbooks. Our recommended sportsbooks are as follows: 


Fan Duel, along with DraftKings, is one the companies that emerged as a leader in Daily Fantasy Sports. However, they now offer traditional online sportsbooks in many states throughout the country. 


PointsBet is one of the newest sportsbooks to hit the market in the United States. It is also expanding at a rapid rate. This sportsbook is based in Australia, but they have had little trouble making a name in the US. They offer unique NBA online betting opportunities, such as their own Points betting innovation. 


The famous DraftKings company emerged as a leader in Daily Fantasy Sports. But they now offer traditional sportsbooks in many states throughout the country. 

Caesars Sportsbook

Ceasars is a bookmaker that is based in Las Vegas. They are also one of the top sportsbooks approved in the United States. Caesars offers plenty of betting markets for NBA games. 

NBA Betting in Vegas

If you have made it this far then you already know how to bet on NBA games in Vegas. Or at any land-based sportsbook, come to that. Betting in Vegas provides extra excitement as you can watch the action on a big screen while making your bets. 

Despite other states providing some new competition in recent months, Las Vegas is still the sports betting capital of the United States. For that reason, Las Vegas betting lines are numerous, and most Vegas sportsbooks will offer NBA betting lines in real-time. 

Look at Past Form

Take a look at how each team has fared recently to get a feel for their form or lack thereof. You also want to look for NBA betting trends, specifically looking at the recent games between the two teams.

Rivalries can have a huge impact on NBA betting. Some teams tend to play far better, or far worse, against certain opposing teams. Check here to see past form.

Check the Injury Report

One of the most important things to look at when doing your research is the injury report for each team. NBA injury reports aren’t usually as detailed as they are in the NFL, but they will still list players that will be out of the game. 

Listen to NBA Betting Podcasts

Another thing that you might want to do is subscribe or listen to NBA betting podcasts. These podcasts will feature expert NBA insiders and can give you great information to help you make your picks. 

Join Reddit NBA Betting Forums

Reddit is an online network in which people can gather in different communities or forums (known as subreddits) to discuss a particular interest or topic. There are several active Reddit NBA betting forums, as well as even more general Reddit betting forums. These can be good places to ask for NBA betting advice, keep up with NBA betting news and even find NBA betting tipsters.

Explore NBA Betting Tipsters

There are quite a few individuals who make their living as NBA betting tipsters. Some are better than others, but all will be happy to give your their NBA betting predictions for a fee. Your goal is to reach the point where you can rely on your own NBA picks, but NBA betting tipsters can be useful for beginners who don't yet have the experience to spot golden opportunities. Ask around on the Reddit NBA betting forums for opinions on who is most reliable and who to avoid. Or check out the HowToBet YouTube for podcast episodes and how-to guides!

How to Bet on NBA Games FAQ

What is the best type of NBA bet to make?
Beginners are advised to focus on the Moneyline, Spread and Total markets. Spread bets and totals are the two most popular bets to make on NBA games, but the Moneyline is the easiest to understand. Simply predict which team will win and if you're right your bet also win.
When is the best time to bet on an NBA Game?
Unless you are betting in-play, timing isn't enormously important. What matters is that you spend sufficient time researching the game, deciding how you want to bet and then shopping around for the best value.
Should you bet on the NBA Playoffs or the regular season?
The short answer here is that you should bet on whatever you want to bet on. Make sure that you understand how to bet on the NBA Playoffs before you take on that venture, but betting on the NBA regular season is a nice warmup. There are great opportunities to win money by betting on the NBA no matter which you choose.
What are the best NBA Sportsbooks?
DraftKings, PointsBet, and William Hill are the three best NBA sportsbooks that we recommend, but there are several others that could be worth considering. A great NBA sportsbook will offer plenty of betting opportunities and will offer bonus or promotion opportunities as well.
Is online or in-person NBA betting the best?
If you have the opportunity to enter a retail sportsbook, like one in Vegas, then it would be best to bet in-person. These sportsbooks provide a unique experience that every NBA bettor should take advantage of. If you live in a state where online sports betting is legal then betting from the couch is a pretty good option as well.
How do you bet on the NBA Draft?
The best NBA sportsbooks will offer some NBA Draft lines, and this works much in the same way as live betting. Sportsbooks will set lines for which players will get picked in which slots, or what teams will select certain players. You can also make a future bet as to which player will go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft.

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