NBA Betting Tips for Beginners
Whether you're new to sports handicapping or just new to betting on basketball, you should read through this guide. Betting on the NBA is similar to the NFL in some ways, but the two differentiate a lot when it comes down to handicapping. During the NBA season you need to be able to have time to handicap games on a daily basis, which some people just don't have. If you don't have that much time to handicap NBA games we recommend betting on a single team or division initially.
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» NBA Betting Tips for Beginners
- You should join the list of the best NBA betting sites that we provide bettors with before you start betting. All of the sites listed on our best NBA betting sites page have the best odds typically on NBA games. Most sportsbooks will have the same point spreads, but you can usually find a -.5 - -1 point difference between bookies. If you could bet on the Lakers to win at -4 or -3 at -110 you'd obviously jump on the -3, which is why you need to shop lines in the NBA.
- You should join an NBA betting site that offers nickel lines, which means point spread and over/under wagers will start out at -105. The odds will change once bettors start betting money on either side, so you want to get your bets in early when betting at a reduced juice sportsbook that offers nickel lines. Also make sure you're not betting on a non-public team at -105 because chances are the odds will move in your favour once the public starts betting.
- Avoid following the public every night when betting on the NBA. What I mean by this is you shouldn't be betting on the same few public teams night in and night out or you're going to go broke. It's a little known fact that the public loses over the long-run so avoiding big public teams is ideal. Many of the top NBA teams end the season with an awesome W/L record, but they have a horrible ATS (Against the Spread) record. The sportsbooks inflate the point spreads on public teams and therefore they don't cover at a profitable rate.
- When handicapping NBA games you need to make sure you look at the team's home stats and away stats rather than just looking at the team's overall stats. Many teams play well at home, but they're absolutely horrid on the road, so if you don't separate the two when handicapping it can cause you nightmares. Nothing is worse than watching a team easily cover at home and than going on the road the following night and getting dominated by an inferior opponent.
- Betting the point spread isn't always your best option in the NBA. Lots of NBA games have small point spreads of -3 and under. If you're going to bet on an underdog of +2 - +4 points it's sometimes better to just bet the moneyline. The moneyline will payout more if you win and in many cases the -2 - -4 point spread won't even come into play regardless of how you bet the game.
- A few things you need to follow when betting on the NBA include news, injuries and trends. You should know when a team is on a 2-week road trip across the country or when a team is without their superstar for the next 3 games. These little tidbits of information are what will determine if you're going to be a profitable bettor or a public bettor that loses his/her bankroll every time he/she bets.