The NBA is immensely popular in the United States, but it’s also got a large following in Canada, Europe and several other countries. You can bet on the NBA with every major online sportsbook and in some cases you can even bet on international basketball games. We’re going to take a look at the different types of bets you can place on the NBA, so you can focus on making money.
» Betting on the NBA
Most handicappers focus on the most common bets, but you can often find more value betting on the less common types of NBA bets. All of the types of NBA bets below are widely available in online sportsbooks and we recommend that you try betting on them all, while you learn the ropes of betting on the NBA.
» NBA Moneyline Bets
- Toronto Raptors +125 vs. Houston Rockets -115
You actually won’t find too many NBA handicappers bet on the moneyline in an NBA game because of the juice. Favourites always have a big amount of juice that you need to risk and in most cases it isn’t worth it and you’re betting off betting the point spread. If there is a close game that you want to bet on you may want to bet on the moneyline in an NBA game, but if the juice is over-200 you should be looking at betting on the point spread. In our NBA moneyline bet above we have the Raptors listed as the +125 underdog, which means you can win $125 on a $100 bet whereas if you bet on the favoured Rockets at -115 you’d need to bet $115 to win $100.
» NBA Point Spread Bet
- Toronto Raptors +4.5 vs. Houston Rockets -4.5
If you’re like most NBA handicappers most of your wagers will be on the point spread of an NBA game. The odds are usually around -110 on both teams although this will change throughout the day based on how much action each team receives in the betting markets. In an NBA point spread bet you need to bet on the favoured team to win by a certain amount of points or the underdog to not lose by a certain amount of points. The favoured team will always have a (-) in front of the point total and in our example above it’s the Rockets that need to win by -4.5 or more points while the Raptors can lose by +4.5 points and still win the point spread bet.
» NBA Over/Under Bet
- Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets – Over 188.5 / Under 188.5
An over/under bet in the NBA is the same as any other sport except the bet is a lot more popular in the NBA than in other sports because there is a lot of information handicappers can use to help them predict whether a game is going to go over or under the total posted by the bookies. In our NBA over/under wager above we need to decide whether we think the Raptors and Rockets will score a total of over 188.5 points or under 188.5 points. Typically the odds are -110 on both sides, but just like every other type of NBA bet, the odds can fluctuate based on the action on each side.
» NBA Parlays
A parlay isn’t that smart of a bet when betting on most NBA wagers because the payout odds are often lower than the true odds on the bets if you bet them separately. However, if you want to bet the moneyline and some big favourites you may find it to be more profitable to combine multiple favourites onto the same parlay bet.
» NBA Teasers / Pleasers
NBA teasers and pleasers are similar to parlays. You need to bet on 2+ point spread or over/under bets on the same pleaser or teaser. In a teaser the spread/total goes in your favour whereas on a pleaser the spread/total goes against you.
» NBA Futures
In the NBA there are lots of futures bets such as picking a team to win a division, conference or even the NBA championship. The earlier you place the bet the better odds you’ll generally receive when wagering on futures bets.
» NBA Props
Many NBA sportsbooks will have NBA props such as will Kobe score over/under 25.5 points in a given game or will Garnett get over/under 4.5 rebounds in a given game. If you follow a team or certain players, you may find betting on props to be more profitable than trying to pick winners against the spread or straight up.