Online NBA Basketball Betting

The NBA is widely considered to be the premier basketball league in the entire world, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the most popular sports in the United States when it comes to betting online. In fact, even the Europe-facing sportsbooks offer an excellent coverage of NBA games with a massive selection of bet types, which means that NBA enthusiasts are able to compare the odds available at different sites and stick with the most advantageous and profitable wagers. However, making the right calls and becoming a successful handicapper requires the punter to understand how every bet type works.

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Ways to Bet on NBA Basketball Online

Much like in the case of every other popular sport, the number of ways to bet on NBA basketball might prove to be somewhat confusing for inexperienced fans. Thankfully, the vast majority of bets falls into one of three categories: point spread, totals and money line. Generally speaking, the point spread is the most popular wager with most sports betting sites, but finding interesting money lines and totals shouldn’t be much of a challenge even if you aren’t willing to sign up for more than one sportsbook. The biggest and most reliable sites allow you to place your bets before the match while simultaneously offering live in-play betting, which means that you’ll be able to adjust your wagers as you watch the game from the comfort of your home – or even directly from the venue.

Point Spread Betting

Point spread bets are different from straight bets in that the favorites are slightly handicapped in order to even out both betting options. Each point spread bet will provide you with information regarding the number of points given to the underdogs and the number of points taken from the favorites. The odds for point spread betting usually fall into the range of -110, which means that betting on either team will pay you $10 for every $11 you wagered if your team wins. Consider the following example:

Los Angeles Lakers -3.5 -110

Boston Celtics +3.5 -110

In this scenario, the Lakers are the favorites and as a result have to give up 3.5 points, so in order for any wagers on the Los Angeles team to win, they’d have to win the game by four points or more. The wagers placed on the Celtics on the other hand would win even if the team lost the game by as many as 3 points.

Money Line Betting

Money line bets or straight bets are even easier to understand than point spread wagers, as your job is simply to pick the team that will win. The favorite is universally indicated by a minus sign, while the underdog comes with a plus sign. Money lines often use $100 as the basis for calculating payouts, which means that you have to bet the specified amount to win $100 on a negative line or wager $100 for a chance to win a predetermined amount on a positive line. For example:

Chicago Bulls -210

Cleveland Cavaliers +190

In this case, the Bulls are the favorite, so you’d have to wager $210 for a chance to win $100 if you’d like to bet on the Chicago team. However, if you bet on the Cavaliers, you’ll have a chance to win $190 for every $100 you put at risk, which means that if you decide to bet $150, you’ll receive $285 if you get lucky and the Cleveland team comes out on top.

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under bets are also known as totals and allow you to wager on the combined score of both teams taking part in the context. Betting the Under results in a payout if the scores are lower than predicted by the sportsbook. On the other hand, betting on the Over means that you expect the total to be higher. Please note that while making the right prediction might require some skill, betting on Totals is widely considered to be essentially luck based, so most successful punters generally avoid Over/Under wagers in favor of other bet types.

Parlay Betting

Parlays are bets that give you a chance to consolidate two or more Point Spread bets, Over/Under bets or Money Line bets into a single ticket. Winning the Parlay bet requires you to cover all of your wagers, so losing in a single selection results in losing the entire wager. Fortunately, the potential reward usually justifies the additional risk – while 2 Team Parlays often come with a 13/5 payoff, the largest Parlays might result in a 700/1 payout – or even more.

Futures Betting

All the bet types listed above allow you to wager on the outcome of specific contests – but there’s nothing to stop you from betting on the long-term results of your favorite team. NBA futures give you a unique opportunity to try and predict the winner of the NBA Championship or divisional champions and are usually placed before the season even starts. As usual, betting on the underdog will get you better odds. However, seasoned punters prefer to place their wagers a few weeks into the season, as the odds on favorites typically go down after a significant amount of games is played out. This allows you to make your decisions after you get some idea how each team is going to perform without sacrificing too much in terms of potential profits.

Proposition Betting

Proposition bets, or Prop bets, are wagers that don’t fall into any broad category. While Prop bets generally come with lower odds than Money Lines or Point Spread bets, they’re a nice way of keeping things varied and entertaining – particularly when it comes to live in-play betting. Bets of this type allow you to take a shot at predicting which team or player will be the first to score or whether a player will be able to score a specific number of points throughout the entire game.