How To Bet On The NBA – Beginner’s Guide To Betting On Basketball

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The National Basketball Association features an 82 game season during a normal year and 30 total teams. Betting on this sport is a grind and something that can be done successfully if you follow the correct trends. Moreover, the variety of bets that can be made during and prior to an NBA game makes the sport that much more entertaining. If you are intending to dabble in NBA betting during these playoffs or any season, be sure to follow this how-to guide. Learning how to bet on the NBA can be a profitable endeavor if done correctly. Remember to bet responsibly.

How To Bet On Regular Season Basketball

Betting on basketball during the regular season and during the playoffs are two very different things. Here we will explain the differences between the two and then later get into the bigger picture of the variety and exotic bets.

When betting on the regular season you will want to be aware of a term called load management. Load management, founded by Kawhi Leonard, is a term used in basketball when players sit out games to lower their workload. They will sit out multiple games throughout the season with the hope of keeping themself healthy throughout the season. This has become more popular in recent years but everyone their stars healthy for big games.

Another big part of the regular season basketball is the intensity of the schedule. If a team is playing back-to-back games or has been on an intensive travel schedule the line will affect that. Just because a team is more talented does not mean they will be a favorite every time out. Keeping your eye on these challenges will make you more aware of your bets. If one team is rested and another isn’t, you could get value on an underdog.

Types Of Bets To Make In The NBA

Against The Spread

Betting against the spread is exactly what you think. Oddsmakers place a line on a game and you have the opportunity to bet the spread at around even money. An example of this would be a potential NBA Finals odds matchup between the  Brooklyn Nets (-3) vs. Phoneix Suns (+3). If you bet on the Lakers +3, your bet would hit if they won the game outright or if they lost by 2 points or fewer.

NBA Totals

When placing wagers against a total it would be wise to follow who has the better offense vs. defense. Of course, oddsmakers are taking these into account. However, statistics can help you make a stronger bet when looking at NBA totals. In this case, your bet hits if the total goes over or under the number that the oddsmakers set out for. For instance, if the total is set at 216.5 and you bet over, the two combined scores must be 217 or more.

How To Bet NBA Player Props

This is where NBA betting gets really fun. You can bet on any NBA player prop that you want. this includes player points, rebounds, assists, 3 pointers made, and many more. These are some of the most fun bets to make in all of sports betting. Moreover, you can make same-game-parlays using all of the above bets and include props. If you are a believer in a given player, you can bet on their team to win, go over on points, rebounds, and assists. All of it is allowed!

Best Sportsbooks For NBA Player Props Betting

Which Sportsbooks Offer Same-Game Parlays?

Things To Check Before Placing Your NBA Bet

Recent Playing Time Trends

This is mostly for the NBA player props section. Seeing who is playing well and trending up or getting fewer minutes is important to understanding a betting line that a sportsbook is putting up. This can be done by looking up recent box scores for individual players. You can also search usage rates for players to really dive into the advanced analytics side.

Load Management/Injury Report

This drastically affects regular-season games because top-tier players being out will result in bigtime line movement. When betting on teams with star players, wait until official lineups are announced as much as possible. Especially if you are betting on the Los Angeles teams who are well known for load management. In 2021, the New York Knicks were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Knicks got to that seed by playing hard every single night throughout the abbreviated NBA season.

Recent Schedule: Back-To-Backs/Travel

Traveling is important too! A great example of this is if the team you are betting on played in New York on Tuesday and then has to travel to California for a game on Wednesday. The line that you bet on will surely show that. Having a team that is tired could result in a day off for the starters or reduced minutes. Sportsbooks are very keen on talented teams not showing up for back-to-backs on the road.

About the Author

Erich Richter

Erich is a New York-based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. His work is featured in numerous publications. Erich is a diehard Mets, Giants, and Knicks fan (it’s been tough).

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