NBA Betting

All you need to know about NBA Betting

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NBA Picks and Predictions

When betting on NBA it’s a good idea to listen to the experts. Our NBA expert picks are presented to you by virtuosos whose NBA expert picks and NBA predictions are based on multiple betting strategies. They hold years of experience from NBA betting and DFS play and have learned the tips and tricks needed to outperform a sportsbook and become long-term winners.

They know almost everything about the teams but they cannot always be right. Sometimes experts are on losing streaks but when that happens you need to keep a cool head and stick to your game plan. Sports betting is a game of chance and there are always risks involved so make sure you collect as much information as possible before gambling.


Best Sportsbooks for NBA


What is an NBA expert pick?

An expert pick is a game prediction from an NBA expert with years of experience from online sports betting and DFS play. They use multiple strategies and information resources to predict the outcome of a game.

What's Kobe Bryants middle name?

Kobe Bryant’s middle name is “Bean”.

Who is the shortest player to ever play in the NBA?

The shortest player to ever play in the NBA, Muggsy Bogues, stood at 5’3”. Amazingly, he was the 12th overall pick of the Washington Bullets in 1987.

Who is the tallest player to ever play in the NBA?

The tallest player to ever play in the NBA, Manute Bol, stood at 7’7”. He played on the same Bullets team as Muggsy Bogues during the 1987-1988 season.

Why did Washington change their name from Bullets to Wizards?

The Washington Bullets changed their name to the Wizards in 1995 because of the uncomfortable connection to the notoriously high murder rate in Washington DC during that time in the early 1990s.

Is Shaquille O'Neal an owner of Five Guys burgers?

According to Forbes, Shaquille O’Neal owns roughly 10% of all Five Guys burger restaurants.

About NBA Betting

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is currently the second most popular sport to wager on in the United States, well behind the NFL (Football), but ahead of MLB (Baseball) and NHL (Hockey). The NBA is very visible on social media, and the league has done great work in promoting itself and its stars online, which has helped with overall popularity amongst younger viewers especially. During the winter, the NBA has great national television exposure on TNT and the ESPN networks, regularly showing marquee games between the best teams in the league, showcasing the league’s most exciting players.

Recent developments across the sports betting landscape in the United States should further the interest in NBA wagering (whereas New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia are offering licensed and fully regulated online sportsbetting), as access to wagering is made more readily available to the common fan, with less barriers in place to wagering platforms as well as information. The NBA and certain teams have already established partnerships with sports wagering sites, with undoubtedly more to come in the near future, as their commissioner and many franchise owners have been quite forward-thinking in the sports wagering realm.

General info

How to Bet

The NBA, like the MLB, has a long and arduous schedule. Each team plays 82 regular season games, plus there is a long playoff schedule in the NBA, which makes for ample betting opportunities throughout the season. The NBA not only contains a plethora of games to bet on each week, but there are numerous types of bets offered within each game.

NBA overtime rules do not allow for ties to come into play, so every ML bet will result in a win or a loss.

The number of events to bet within an NBA season can be overwhelming, so understanding each type of bet and how wagers can correlate is a recipe to successful wagering and a profitable winter and spring. The different types of bets offered can allow the bettor to leverage projections and predictions to maximize their return.

Game Result Bets

Money Line (ML) Bets – Money line bets, while common, are not the most common wager for NBA bettors. ML is the simplest form of wagering on NBA as far as picking a distinct result of a contest. When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply picking who will win the game outright. With ML bets, it does not matter how many points one team wins by, just that they win the game. NBA overtime rules do not allow for ties to come into play, so every ML bet will result in a win or a loss.

The way in which sportsbooks show the difference in talent or projection between the two teams with money line bets is by weighing the ML with heavier odds on the favorited team. For example, a perennially excellent team such as the Warriors playing a below-average team such as the Wizards will often have substantial odds in their favor, such as the below.

Washington Wizards (+450) at Golden State Warriors (-600)

The plus sign in the odds above will always indicate the underdog team, and the amount you will win (or the equivalent) on a $100 bet. The minus sign will always indicate the favorited team, and the amount you must bet to win the equivalent of $100. The above odds can be interpreted in the following manner – if wagering $100 on the Wizards ML, you would win $450 (plus the $100 you wagered) – if wagering on the Warriors ML, you would need to bet $600 in order to win $100 (plus the money wagered). This is how the sportsbooks create balance in an unbalanced game. The ML betting odds are often affected by many factors, such as how strong a team tends to fare at home or on the road. As sportsbooks collect wagers on both sides of a game, they will adjust the money line odds for both teams to account for the money being attributed to each team within a game. Other factors that will often impact ML betting odds and details to always be aware of when wagering on NBA include injuries to key players, the length of time since each team’s most recent game, and current player/team trends. Due to the nature of the league, with a handful of powerhouse teams and many poor teams, ML odds can often be quite inflated due to the sizable difference in talent between teams.

Point Spread Bets – NBA’s most popular type of wager is the point spread wager. The point spread can be understood as how many points the favorited team would have to “give” to the underdog team for the game to be viewed as equal. Let’s look at an example from the same Wizards at Warriors game used above might to show the what the point spread might look like:

Washington Wizards +11.5 (-110) at Golden State Warriors -11.5 (-110)

With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Wizards win the game or lose by eleven or less.

The interpretation of these point spread odds are as follows – a $110 wager on the Wizards +11.5 means that you are betting that the Wizards will either win the game outright or lose by 1-11 points. The Wizards losing by twelve or more points would result in a loss. With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Wizards win the game or lose by eleven or less. If betting on the Warriors -11.5, the odds and spread tell you that you must wager $110 to win $100, and the Warriors must win the game by at least 12 points for your wager to be paid. This method of evening out each game is what makes point spread wagering so popular in the NBA, where there are often large mismatches between teams on paper. As with money line odds, spreads will vary leading up to games as sportsbooks receive bets on either side of each game.

Game Total Bets – NBA total bets follow the same procedure as total bets from other sports. The sportsbook will set a line for the total number of points expected to be scored in a game, and the bettor will wager whether the total score for both teams will be over or under that total. For example, our Wizards at Warriors game total is set at 215.5 points.

…injuries to key players have significant impact on game total lines and odds.

A bettor could either wager on the over or under for that total. Some game totals are set at whole numbers which bring pushes into play as well, an added wrinkle not seen as much in the two bet types discussed above. As bets are accepted on this bet type, the game total and odds will move concurrent with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making game total betting (like others) a very fluid market depending on when you place a wager. For example, the game total betting profile might look similar to the below for this Wizards/Warriors game, and then change based on wagers received.

Wizards at Warriors Over 215.5 (-115)

Wizards at Warriors Under 215.5 (-105)

Many factors, including each team’s historical and recent performance at home or on the road, whether or not one or both teams played on the previous night, and injuries to key players have significant impact on game total lines and odds.

Team Total Bets – NBA team total betting is a sub-section of game total betting, except the game total is broken down more granularly into the expected number of points for each team. The dynamics are the same as game total betting – bettors can wager over or under the set team total for either team involved, allowing four wagering options for each game. Below is an example of how our Wizards/Warriors game might look for team total wagering, given the other odds offered above for the other wagering types.

Wizards Team Total:  Over 103.0 -105  ;  Under 103.0 -115

Warriors Team Total: Over 114.5 -115  ;  Under 114.5 -105

Team total betting can be an excellent way to leverage Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) action and research, for example, a bettor identifying a team total that he or she believes is incorrectly valued and aggressively pursuing one side of that team total. This is an excellent way to substantiate DFS action if educated stands are made on a certain team to over or under-perform are made consistently.

Other Bets

Parlay Bets – As with other sports, NBA wagers can be parlayed. A parlay is defined as multiple bets within the same wager, where all bets have to hit in order for a successful wager to be graded. Parlay bets provide bettors with higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Warriors point spread in their game against the Wizards, plus the Raptors point spread in their game against the Bulls, both the Warriors and the Raptors must cover their respective point spreads in order to be paid out on that wager. If one of the two teams do not cover their point spread, the wager is a loss.

An important note on parlay bets in NBA (as with other sports): most sportsbooks will not allow parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s ML with their team total.

Parlaying many games on the same night of NBA games is quite popular, as bettors try to hit long odds that all legs of a parlay will hit for a massive profit.

Player Props – Rapidly growing in popularity, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers within the same NBA contest. For many players in each game, sportsbooks will over/under propositions for major statistical categories for bettors to wager on the performance within that game. For NBA, these statistical categories include points, rebounds, assists, steals, among others. There are many other options within player props that likely deserve their own article to further examine the extensive possibilities of wagering on them. A note for DFS players – player prop wagers allow an excellent way to leverage player projections and capitalize on what are sometimes soft propositions on certain players.

Game Props – Along the same lines of player props, game props are bets which are event-based within the game itself.

…widely seen more as “fun” bets to make.

Examples of some NBA game propositions include the following:

Team to Score First

Player to successfully make the first three pointer of the game

Will there be Overtime?

Game props are quite volatile and hard to predict by nature and are therefore widely seen more as “fun” bets to make. As the sports betting industry grows in the United States, game props will become more prominent as teams and arenas plan on allowing game proposition wagers within their arenas to enhance the viewer experience, especially in the NBA.

Futures Bets – Among the more popular wager types amongst casual bettors, futures bets are perhaps even more common with NBA bettors as they are with other major sports. Futures wagering involves predicting long-term results of a season, whether it be choosing the team to win the NBA Finals, or a player to win a major season-long award. The draw of futures bets are the long odds payoffs that come with predicting the correct NBA Finals winning team, or the correct player to earn the MVP award, far in advance before the results are known. Futures bets are most common before the season begins but can be made daily up through the entirely of the season – with odds changing daily based on the on-field results of the players and teams involved.

In-Game/Live Betting – Arguably the future of sports wagering. As more and more States pass sports gambling legislation, sports franchises will be increasingly incentivized to include some sort of in-game or live betting option for game attendees. Ted Leonsis, owner of the Wizards and the Capitals, has already expressed his interest in having consoles at seats where fans can live bet the action unfolding in front of them. In-Game or Live wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. Bettors can wager on what the next basket will be – two-pointer or three-pointer, or who will score the next basket.

Live betting is widely considered as the most fun way to bet on sports. 

There are endless opportunities to live wagering. This will undoubtedly enhance the in-stadium experience for individuals who attend games, as well as anyone with access to a sportsbook app or website during live game action. Live wagering also includes dynamic live odds which bettors can make bets during game action on many of the standard betting types above, including ML, point spread, and Game Totals. This way, viewers can see the action unfolding in front of them and bet “live” with the game as they watch the game play out. Look for this type of betting to make a huge popularity jump in the very near future, both at sportsbooks and in stadiums and arenas.

NBA Betting Strategies

The ability to follow game trends, player news, injury reports, team scheduling (back-to-backs), and other factors is essential to sustained wagering success across all betting types in NBA.

Team totals and player prop wagers are perhaps the best way to leverage sports wagering with DFS play. Most NBA DFS players are in search of teams which will outperform their baseline expectation for a given game and will stack that team’s athletes (and in NBA, often the opposing team as well) in hopes of a game exceeding expectations and the player hitting a large score by exploiting increased correlation factors created by “stacking” a game. By augmenting your DFS team stacks with Team Total and Player Prop bets, you can capitalize on correct predictions about team production on a daily basis. A meaningful factor of being successful is capitalizing to the fullest extent when projections/predictions are accurate.

Fun Facts

  • Current NBA player Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the youngest of 18 children.
  • Michael Jordan famously said that the best part of playing on the US Olympic team was learning all of the weaknesses of his teammates, so he could exploit them when they returned to the NBA.
  • Shaquille O’Neal made one three-pointer in his career. His career mark stood at 1-for-22.
  • David Stern fined Michael Jordan $5,000 per game for wearing his patented Air Jordan sneakers. Nike paid the fine on Jordan’s behalf.

More on Basketball

How to Find NBA Odds at Betting Sites

Most betting sites will contain a “Basketball” section prominently within their Sports offering. Within Basketball you can select “NBA”, and from there can choose any of the wagering options listed above. Many sites will have Player Props, Game Props, Futures Bets, and Live/In-Game Betting in a separate area of their site, within the Sports section.

Most Popular NBA Events

There are two major NBA wagering events each season where casual fans and bettors join the regular crowd on the action.

NBA Draft (June)

The NBA draft falls behind only the NFL draft in overall popularity amongst sports fans. The unique quality of the NBA Draft is that it is proceeded by the Draft Lottery, where the worst fourteen teams all have different odds to jump into the top four picks in the draft. These are very exciting times for teams in desperate need of talent – as in the NBA, one player can transform an entire franchise. The NBA Draft gives teams franchises chance to improve their teams instantly, as many players drafted early are prepared to make significant impacts early on in their careers. As for the wagering aspect of the NBA Draft, the main focus is on when each player is projected to be drafted. Sifting through reports from beat writers and NBA speculators is a way to try to gain an edge on at what point in the Draft teams are considering taking each Draft prospect. These wagers make the NBA Draft night very enjoyable and full of anticipation.

NBA Playoffs

Resulting in the NBA Finals. The NBA Playoffs are a long journey, as they include 16 of the 30 teams in the league. Eight team from each conference make the NBA Playoffs, and the two-plus month journey to a championship begins. The NBA Playoffs, through the NBA Finals, provide high-level games to wager on almost each and every night from April through June.

NBA History

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the highest level of basketball in the world. The NBA was founded in 1920 and is by far the most popular of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA teams are the heart and soul of their respective cities and see the largest fan following of any other American sport. The current model of NBA contains 32 teams, who each play 16 regular season games followed by the playoffs, ultimately resulting in the Super Bowl, where a champion is crowned. The NBA has the highest per-game attendance of any professional sports league in the United States. When originally founded, the NBA contained ten teams – only two of those still remain to this day, the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears (both have relocated and have been re-named). Other basketball leagues are vying to piggyback on the success of the NBA, and time shall tell if they will gain popularity and become viable wagering options in the future.

Legends in NBA

The greatest players in the history of the sport can be found memorialized in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The most iconic players in NBA history include names such as Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O-‘Neal and Bill Russell.

There are many future Hall of Fame-worthy players currently residing in the NBA – they belong in two categories, the first comprised of the experienced and accomplished grizzled veterans of the sport. The second category containing the young group of exciting players with unbelievable potential.

The Old Guard Category: LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Vince Carter.

The Young Studs Category: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns.

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