Michael Tradford
Last Update:
October 15, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

NBA Betting 2021: Odds & Strategies

The NBA is one of the most popular American sports leagues, as the global appeal of basketball combined with the incredible talent level of the players often makes for television enjoyed by the entire world. In a similar vein, NBA betting is one of the most popular types of sports betting as sports bettors are able to bet on games featuring some of the best athletes on the planet. In this guide to pro basketball betting, find out how to bet on the NBA, what it takes to be a strong NBA bettor and get an idea as to what betting markets can be wagered on in the National Basketball Association.

Everything you need to know about NBA Betting
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  • Most popular basketball league in the world

  • Bets on single games or long term available

  • Bettors must understand demand on players

How does NBA betting work?

NBA betting is simple, as sports bettors can follow a very simple set of steps in order to get their NBA betting predictions placed in the National Basketball Association. The first step they should take is to login to their preferred sportsbook and to find the NBA betting section of the site. From there, sports bettors can choose what betting odds market they want to get involved with and what games they want to bet on. Once those bets have been selected, sports bettors can choose their stake amount and make their bets official.

Of course, different betting odds markets work slightly differently than others, as they each have their own nuances that sports bettors should keep in mind when they lock in their bets on the NBA. But the main idea of these bets is the same, and that is to make predictions related to the NBA. At the end of the day, no matter how different the betting odds markets being wagered on might be, the overall goal is to make correct predictions using the information at a bettor’s disposal.

What kinds of NBA bets can I make?

There are a ton of different NBA bets that can be made, with a diverse array of betting odds markets existing to appeal to a group of NBA bettors with all kinds of interests. Here is a look at the different NBA bets that players can make as they hope to turn their NBA knowledge into profits along the way.

  • Moneyline odds
  • Spread odds
  • Totals odds
  • Prop bets
  • Live bets
  • Futures odds

A moneyline bet asks a bettor to look simply at which team they think is going to win a basketball game. Instead of focusing on a complex series of information, all a bettor has to worry about in this odds market is which team is going to win. Spread bets ask a similar question, only with a handicap applied to the point total of the team that a bettor is backing in each game. Totals betting odds in the NBA asks sports bettors to make a projection as to whether the total number of points scored in a game will fall above or below a total that is set by the sportsbooks.

Prop bets in the NBA are fascinating, in that there are tons of odds to choose from between player and team props. Player props include the performance of individual players, as sports bettors can choose whether a player will finish above or below certain point totals or combined numbers of points, rebounds, assists and other statistical categories. The possibilities for player props are virtually limitless. Team props are also an option, asking sports bettors to predict things like which team will be the first to score 10 points or other interesting markets that sports bettors won’t want to miss out on.

Live betting odds in the NBA are fun as well given how fast-paced the NBA is as a whole. Live bettors can bet on many of the same odds markets that are available before the start of games, only with live NBA betting odds that are constantly being updated live depending on the way that a game is going as it is live and in progress. Teams that are leading in a game will have live odds that have shifted in their direction compared to the pre-game markets, which can open up live opportunities for value betting compared to the pre-game odds.

Finally, futures betting in the NBA can be of interest to sports bettors who don’t mind waiting to have their bets settled. Some futures bets include things like season win total bets, wagers on which teams will win conference championships or the NBA Finals, and which players will win awards like the MVP award or the defensive player of the year.

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Important NBA events

The most important events in the NBA come during the NBA Playoffs, which see the top eight teams in each conference face off with the winner of each conference going head to head in the NBA Finals. This part of the year can help define the legacies of the best players in the league and make heroes out of even the most unassuming players in the NBA. From a betting perspective, there are plenty of implications as well, as sports bettors can bet on the outcome of individual games or each series in addition to futures bets on who will win the championship.

Other than the postseason, there are other key events to bet on in the NBA as well. The NBA All-Star Game is one of the marquee events of the season every year, with players able to bet on the All-Star Game itself as well as the events of All-Star Saturday Night. Those events include the three-point shooting contest and the slam dunk competition. The NBA’s Christmas Day games are also a key point in the NBA betting calendar, as the league often creates key matchups for the best teams in the league on that important date.

Things to remember when placing NBA bets

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when betting on the NBA is a term known as load management. That phrase has become more and more common in the NBA in recent years, and basically means that teams are working harder and harder to make sure that they do not overwork their star players in the regular season to preserve their energy for the postseason. Knowing when teams are going to rest their star players is important, as sports bettors can get favorable NBA betting lines in the event that they back the opposite side before the odds are adjusted too far.

Another thing to remember about the NBA and betting on it is the fact that home court advantage means so much to the success of teams in this sport. Whereas MLB betting sees home teams often struggle to make the most of being on their own field, NBA teams have a high win percentage at home and are often able to take advantage of being on their own court. Understanding that and betting accordingly is something that can be highly beneficial to sports bettors.

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NBA betting strategies

Strategically speaking, sports bettors should be sure to analyze the schedules of each team heading into the season. This can reveal betting opportunities that more casual sports bettors might not recognize. The biggest of these chances is betting against teams that are playing on back to backs, as playing on two nights in a row and having to travel from city to city to play those games can create tired legs and the chance for the opponents of those teams to sneak in and grab wins even if the team playing on a back to back is the more talented side.

Looking at the styles that each team plays with is also important to having success when betting on the NBA. Some teams just create matchup nightmares for other teams depending on the pace of play of both teams and other factors like team wingspan. Knowing how different teams respond to different temps and different lineups can create value that the betting public often doesn’t bother to think about, and can create chances for bettors to take advantage of that value in the odds to the tune of substantial profits if they think hard enough about each game and its odds.

Find a site to bet on the NBA

Choosing a online bookmaker for NBA betting odds requires bettors to list their priorities that they want met in a betting site. While some sites may be better for some aspects of NBA wagering, others may have the upper hand in other key areas. As a result, bettors may want to compare betting sites to find the right one for their needs. Our sportsbook comparison tool can help accomplish just that, as you can see which sites can best meet your needs based on a number of factors such as odds and bonuses. Don’t waste another minute looking for the right sportsbook. Use our sportsbook comparison tool today and get your bonus while finding the right sportsbook.

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Sports: 21+
Live Betting:
Min. Odds: -190
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Min. Odds: -300
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Min. Odds: -150 to +10,000
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Live Betting:
Min. Odds: -200


Fast paced action
Betting on NBA odds is something that requires an understanding of motivation just as much as it requires an understanding of matchups and statistics. With a long and physically demanding season, teams have plenty of reason to rest players or otherwise sacrifice chances to win single games with the goal of winning a championship in mind. If bettors keep up with the happenings in the league and are able to use those rest periods to their advantage in the odds along with spotting mismatches in player personnel, there could be sizable profits to be made in wagering on the National Basketball Association.
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