How to Bet on the NBA


The National Basketball League (NBA) was formed in 1946, it was named the NBA in 1949 and it is regarded as the best Basketball competition in the world. There are 30 teams registered under the NBA consisting of 15 teams each from two conferences, the Eastern Conference with teams from the East coast of America and the Western Conference with teams from the West coast. At the end of the season, the winners of both conferences will faceoff in a 7 game series in the final of the NBA championship playoffs.

The structure of a regular NBA season remains the same this year, every team in the league will play 82 games each, after which the eight best teams in each of the two conferences will go through to the 2018 NBA playoffs. The qualified teams will then go on to faceoff in the playoffs in this order: 1st team vs 8th team, 2nd team vs 7th team, 3rd team vs 6th team, and 4th team vs 5th team. The team that qualified with a superior record will have the advantage of playing 4 home games out of 7 games and the first team to win 4 games out of the 7 games in each of the playoff series, wins that tie.


It’s never going to be easy for the teams to maintain their top performance throughout a regular NBA season of 82 games. Bettors enjoy the games each night despite the high scoring throughout the game and the risk involved like the long road trips and playing back to back games. These factors affect the player’s body and team’s performance during the season.

However, it’s an advantage for bettors if they can correctly predict a team that is tired or key players not playing at their best. There are many things the bettors need to consider before betting on a particular game, like home-court advantage, how many points is the home team capable of scoring against certain teams, which team has the edge and by what point margin.

Instead of picking a team vs team point spread match up, most NBA bettors would opt for over or under because they can easily predict a team that have a playing style of producing points or a low scoring defensive game. Smart NBA bettors knows it’s not all about which team wins but the overall score, so they observe shooting percentages to breakdown the total points.

At the middle of the 3rd quarter score, a bettor can guess the outcome of his total bet. In the fourth quarter, the bettor can tell if his over or under bet is good enough if the teams do not have a total breakdown. Some teams can have scoring drawback in the final quarter and spoil your over bet by a few points, while in the case of an under bet that looks great until a final scoring spree prompts an overtime period and the winning bet suddenly becomes a losing bet. Such are the risks involved in betting on the NBA.


  • WIN BETTING: This involves picking a single NBA team to win a game.
  • MULTI BETTING: A multi-bet offers better value odds than picking a single winner. A multi-bet may include straight win, first basket, line, total points and many more options but it is usually difficult when you bet on more than 3-5 teams.
  • TOTAL POINTS BETTING: There are two options when betting on total points which are over and under. Betting on the over or under of the total points means the final total must reach over or under the number of points for a game depending on what you choose to bet. For example, in a case where the stake is an over and the total point is 200 points or more, both teams must have to score over 100 points in the game in order to win the bet.
  • LINE OR SPREAD BETTING: This is a number that shows which team is the favorite or the underdog before an NBA game. – sign and + sign are used to represent the line, the team with the + sign is the underdog while the – sign is used for the favorite and the higher the number, the more chance of winning.
  • FIRST BASKET: First basket in an NBA game is betting on the first scorer, the best options with high value odds for first basket markets are usually the shooting guard, point guard and the small forward.
  • PROPOSITIONS: This type of NBA betting market is mostly on individual player performances, the proposition bet type can be: number of rebounds by a player, number of points racked up by a player, assists by a player per game, which player will win the NBA MVP award, etc.
  • FUTURES BETTING: This betting market allows bettors to wager on which team wins the season’s conference titles and also which team eventually claims the NBA championship.


  1. HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE: It’s more likely for a favorite team to win an individual game but it would be safer to bet on them if they are playing on home-court or playing underdogs that don’t perform well at home.
  2. KEY PLAYERS: Always read team news to know the availability of key players before staking your bet. Some key players may miss a game or more due to suspension or injuries and their absence in the team can affect the performance of the team you selected to bet on.
  3. TEAM PLAYING SCHEDULE: Players don’t have superpowers, fatigue plays an essential role when contemplating on a team to pick. Always check the number of games both team played in the last 4 or 5 days, how often they traveled and if they won their games easily or not before betting. In this case, a rested team would be a good pick.
  4. AVOID PUBLIC BETS: Betting against public bets gives you positive value. Bettors would likely root for the favorite team to win the game which will make bookmakers adjust the odds for the favorite team in order to protect their profit. It might not be easy for underdogs to win the game but it sure attracts more money when they do.

Just like every other sports betting, a well calculated selection process when betting on the NBA can be very profitable. Don’t be in haste to pick your favorite team, remember the home-court advantage and always read team news before you stake that bet.