How to bet on the NBA
The NBA is one of the most popular sports to bet on in North America, coming second to the NFL. Arguably, there are more games to bet on and a longer season, so if we were looking at volume, NBA probably would win. If you’re new to betting on the NBA, you would want to first familiarize yourself with popular betting options and betting types available before you decide to jump in and start placing wagers.
We have compiled a very simple, easy-to-understand guide that will help you understand the main NBA betting types, NBA odds, and more.
Before we jump into the betting options available, you will want to learn how NBA odds work.
The odds represent how likely it is that a team wins, or if you are betting on an occurrence, how likely it is for that to happen. We will keep it simple for your NBA odds introduction:
Let’s start with American odds as they’re commonly used in the United States, and they can quickly show you how much to bet or how much you’d win, depending on which side of the wager you are betting on. With American odds, they are displayed in larger numbers in the hundreds and have a plus or minus sign associated with them. (-150/+400) The higher the number on the positive side, the bigger the underdog, the higher the number on the negative side, the bigger the favorite.
If you’re looking at Decimal odds, an easy way to figure out your winnings would be to look at the number as a multiplier for your stake. If the decimal odds were 6.0, you would know that for each dollar you wager, you would win $5. This is a popular betting type in Europe and a very old method of looking at odds.
If you’re looking at Fractional odds, you would look at each side of the fraction similarly to decimal odds. For 5/1 odds, you would win $5 for every $1 wagered. Basically, what you wager on the right, you’d win on the left.
Now that you understand the different NBA odds formats you’ll find on the sportsbook, let’s look at the betting options you’ll need to be aware of if you want to learn how to bet on the NBA.
NBA Moneyline Betting
Betting on NBA moneyline wagers is a very simple and easy-to-understand option – it’s the best place to start for beginners as you simply need to choose which team will win the game. That’s it.
Boston Celtics -240
New York Knicks +300
What these odds show us, is that the Boston Celtics are the favored team going into this game, and where their odds are significantly higher than -110 (the baseline standard for odds) they are very likely to win this game. You would need to bet $240 to win $100 on the Knicks.
The positive number represents the underdog team, and the Knicks don’t appear to have a great chance of winning – so if you placed a $100 wager on them, and they did end up winning, you would win $300. You don’t have to bet much on big underdogs as it’s very unlikely that outcome will occur – but if you do, you’re in for some big winnings!
NBA Point Spread Betting
If you want to kick it up a notch and start betting on NBA point spreads, we have you covered (pun intended). Not all teams are equal, and there are always underdogs and favorites in NBA betting. Our oddsmakers will select a point spread amount, let’s say:
Boston Celtics -6.5
New York Knicks +6.5
In this game, the Celtics are still the favorite and are expected to win by more than 7 points. For a wager on them to cash, they will have to win the game by more than 7. The Knicks are the underdog and have a bit of an advantage here, as there are two options for a wager on the Knicks to win. They can either win the game outright or lose by less than 6 points.
Totals betting is another very simple option, and great for those who aren’t familiar with the teams playing or don’t want to pick either team. Our oddsmakers will select a total number of points that we believe will be scored during the game, and you will decide if you think the actual number of points scored by both teams will be over or under our line.
If the total is set at 200, and you pick the over, and the final score ends up being 103-96, the actual total is 199 and the under would be the correct wager and you’d lose.
It is popular to want to make some big bucks betting on the NBA futures and trying your hand at picking which team will win the championship months in advance. Many sports bettors will put some money on a few teams they believe will win the NBA Finals, and with the odds being so lucrative, you could win some huge money.
Even a highly favored team will have positive odds, which means you could place a $100 wager and end up with hundreds in winnings.
NBA Prop Betting
NBA Props are available on the BetUS Sportsbook for each game during both the regular season and post-season. You can find upwards of 100 in-game props that you can bet on during the game that range from team props to player props and even some special or unique instances that might occur in a particular game (depending on who is playing).
You can bet on the total number of points Lebron James might get if the Celtics will score more points in the first quarter or first half, or do a moneyline style wager where two players in the game will face off to determine who will score more baskets.
There are so many NBA props available you will just have to head over to the sportsbook to check out what we have available on the games tonight!