With the growth of sports betting across the US, multiple sports markets are available at online sportsbooks for users to wager on their favorite events. From the NFL to Golf majors, the options are endless. One of the most popular sports to bet on in the United States is basketball. Bettors can wager on an NBA game in a number of ways.
Whether you want to place a straight bet on the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the San Antonio Spurs, or place a futures bet on the eventual national champions, NBA bettors have numerous possibilities.
The sheer number of NBA games played in a single season makes the NBA an excellent league for sports bettors. While it isn’t as popular as other sports like European soccer, there are still millions of dollars wagered on the NBA each season.
As with most betting styles, betting on the NBA is by no means an easy way to make money. But you can give yourself a better shot of winning by developing an understanding of the game and how to bet on it. Knowing the ins and outs of NBA betting is an absolute must before you place your first bet.
This guide is a helpful tool to understand how to make your NBA predictions and NBA betting picks.
Quick Guide on How to Bet on the NBA
During the regular NBA season, each team plays 82 games, 41 at home and 41 away. Each team plays every other team in the league at least one time at home and one time on the road, to try to level the playing field as much as possible. That makes for a total of 1,230 NBA games during the regular season. That makes for a lot of betting opportunities.
Speaking of betting opportunities, the most popular way to bet on an NBA game is to bet on the point spread, also known as the betting line or handicap. The NBA point spread is an estimated final margin for an upcoming game, created by a bookmaker. Bookmakers use a spread to make the chances of either team winning a wager more equal. Because so many points are scored in an NBA game, it is not uncommon to see a point spread of 15 or more points.
Other types of wagers available for NBA games include:
- Quarter or first half lines
- Halftime lines
Of course, to place a legitimate bet on the NBA, you first have to find the right sportsbook. All regulated sportsbooks will offer bonuses and promotions to entice new customers and keep them engaged. Some of these promotions could include free NBA picks or free NBA betting tips. If you are particularly interested in NBA basketball betting, and if you are reading this we assume you are, keep you eye out for the best promos.
Things to Consider Before Making an NBA Bet
There several things you should consider before wagering real money on the NBA. Once you have found the right online sportsbook, take note of what bonuses you can potentially take advantage of. Some online sportsbooks will offer a welcome bonus or a bonus for new players when they make their first deposit. Some may also have ongoing promotions which include free NBA predictions. You can read more about some great offers.
Also the betting odds may vary from site to site. For example, you may find the odds on a Dallas Mavericks or Cleveland Cavaliers game are more favorable on one sportsbook than another. Do some shopping and look out for the best odds before placing your bets.
But once you’ve considered the various aspects of sports betting, there are certain factors to consider when betting on a specific team.
When looking at a team’s schedule, there is a lot more to consider than just home versus away. While there may be such thing as home-court advantage, whether a team is at home versus away doesn’t matter much when it comes to the point spread. Typically, you can count on the oddsmaker taking into account when a team is playing at home and factor that into the point spread. Essentially, you shouldn’t worry too much about whether a team is playing at home or away, whether you are a Boston Celtics fan or a Brooklyn Nets supporter.
That being said, there are other aspects of a team’s schedule that are worthy of being considered. With 82 games for each team in the regular season, there is little room for rest days. But they do happen and they’re worth paying attention to. A team that is coming off a rest day is more likely to perform better than a team playing several days in a row.
It’s also worth noting whether a team has played several road games in a row, which requires travel, or whether they’ve been playing and practicing comfortably at home.
Another factor to take into consideration before placing a bet is player injuries. Oddsmakers pay close attention to injuries when setting the spread. A single injury, especially when it’s a big-name athlete who has a big impact on a team’s performance, can completely change the way a game plays out. For example, when LeBron James suffered a groin injury, bookmakers had to factor his absence into their spread for the next Los Angeles Lakers game. James is a player that has a major impact on his team’s performance, which means the spread likely changed once he was put on the injured list.
The bookmaker will pay close attention to whether a player will play and set the spread based on that. Most often, the bookmaker will pay attention to whether that player participated in the shootaround the morning of the game. That’s something you can pay attention to as well. Take note of which players will or will not play in a game, then factor that into how you will place your bets.
The final factor you should consider before betting on the NBA is the team’s record and game history. You can expect both teams to play especially well in a rivalry game, just as you can expect a team to play well when they are seeking redemption after a loss.
You should also consider how teams have performed, historically, versus specific opponents or at particular arenas. Some teams may have a stroke of bad luck worth noting, while others may seem to play some of their best basketball at a specific arena.
It is essential to consider the record of a team when predicting how they will do in the future. Their past will give you a good idea of how they will perform, but know that it is still no guarantee.