The National Basketball Association (NBA) means you can bet on hoops pretty much every day for more than half of the year.
Every one of the 30 NBA teams plays an 82-game regular season, that’s 1230 games total to bet on before we even get to the postseason. A feast of betting action.
The season tips off in October and finishes with the NBA Playoffs and then the Finals series over seven games in June, crowning the eventual world champion. Teams are split into two conferences (Eastern Conference and Western Conference) and the winner of each meet in the NBA Finals.
The race to win TV rights for the NBA shows how valuable the league is. In 2014 Turner, ESPN and ABC inked a nine-year extension with the league worth a staggering $24billion. Only the National Football League (NFL) pulls in more TV dollars per season…The extension began for the 2016-2017 season and will run through 2024-25.
The NBA is also super-popular in many countries outside the U.S. There are few places now where the league isn’t widely followed. People bet on it around the world and players like LeBron James are global megastars.
Is betting on the NBA legal?
Betting on the NBA is allowed in states where sports betting is now legal.
A number of states have already passed laws to roll out sports betting. Some have land-based sportsbooks only, while some allow online and mobile services. The rules from state to state are different.
The legal status is changing fast, and you need to check out the latest by reading our state-by-state guides.
NBA picks and parlays
If you want to bet on the NBA, plan to check out not only the betting odds, but also what the experts think before making your own picks and parlays.
Picks for single games are always available while parlays (a single bet which covers multiple games) are harder to hit on but can mean a cash bonanza if you win.
NBA betting line
The betting lines give NBA odds on all major basketball bets. Sportsbooksl release their lines ahead of games, while Vegas lines are still really important.
You should always shop around the sportsbooks to see which lines provide the best odds.
There are also odds comparison sites which allow you to compare odds from multiple sportsbooks in one place.
NBA money line
An NBA money line means you bet on just one thing – who wins the game. Sportsbooks give each team specific odds to win.
Example: The Lakers are playing the Cavaliers. Los Angeles is -130, Cleveland is +170
- You bet the Lakers and they win, you profit by $100 for every $130 you bet
- You bet the Cavs and they win, you profit by $170 for every $100 you bet
Money lines can change, they don’t always stay the same. The line can move based on the amount of money wagered or injuries to star players.
Always monitor the lines and shop around for the best value odds.
NBA point spread
The point spread in NBA is where the sportsbook favors one team by a specific margin.
Example: The Knicks are playing the Warriors. New York is +5.5, Golden State is -5.5.
- You bet the Knicks, they must lose by 5.5 points or less
- You bet the Warriors, they must win by more than 5.5 points
The odds in point spreads are normally -110. You bet a team and it covers, you make $100 profit for every $110 you bet.
In NBA stats, you will often see ATS (against the spread) mentioned. This shows how many times a team has covered the spread in the current season, or at home/on the road.
When checking out expert NBA picks, you can see how successful they are ATS over the current season or lifetime. A sure way of deciding if you should trust them!
Over/under betting on NBA is the total points scored by both teams.
Example: The Mavericks are playing the Hornets and the over/under is 187.5.
- You bet the over, you need more than 187.5 points total to be scored
- You bet the under, you need less than 187.5 points total to be scored
Sportsbooks normally offer -110 odds for over/under bets. So if your bet covers, you make $100 for every $110 you bet.
NBA prop bets
NBA prop bets (proposition bets) are special side wagers which can be related to just about anything. Examples are:
- How many points a player will score in a game
- How many assists or rebounds a player will score in a game
- The first team to reach a certain number of points in a game
There are endless NBA props – including fun player props. Shop around for the ones you like, and find the best odds.
NBA public betting
Public betting is a great way to do your homework before making your NBA bets.
- You can see the percentage of bets placed on each team
- You can see how much money has been bet on each team
The money market gives you a good hint as to what the high rollers are betting.
Futures are long-term bets. You might be betting something where the result won’t be known for 12 months.
Basketball futures include who will be the next NBA champion, the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences and the division winners. You can also bet on the league’s Rookie of the Year.
Because futures likely include a long list of potential winners, the odds can be huge. You might bet a team at +3000 to become NBA champion. This means you would win $3000 for every $100 you bet.
Does overtime count in NBA bets?
Overtime does generally count for bets which aren’t about a specific quarter. But always check the rules of your chosen sportsbook.
Best NBA betting: Which sportsbooks should I bet with?
You can bet on NBA online with all major sportsbooks.
Our online bookmaker guides and reviews help you decide who you should bet with. Use them, the power is in your hands….
Online bookmakers carry great sign-up offers for new customers – you can often get terrific bonuses for opening an account, depositing money and starting to bet.
Sportsbooks want your custom – you can capitalize on this by signing up with more than one. Take the great offers and then shop for the best odds.