The 2020-21 NBA Season is here, which is good news not just for fans of the sport, but also for avid sports bettors. The new NBA season will bring a multitude of opportunities to make some quick cash through basketball betting. If you’re a casual fan who’s looking to make some money by betting on the NBA, getting access to a sportsbook is fairly easy. There are multiple sportsbooks to be found on the internet, which cater to all budgets and all types of bettors.
Although sports betting can seem to be based on pure luck, there can be a way to make betting on the NBA consistently profitable. But first, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the types of bets that you can make in order to know which bets are generally safer to make and which bets to avoid if you’re serious about making money from gambling.
1. Moneyline bets
Moneyline bets are the simplest bets you can make on basketball. When you bet on the moneyline, you’re simply betting on which team you think will win without any other factors to take into account. Whether a game goes into overtime or a player gets injured, as long as your team wins, you win. The amount you win, however, is dependent on the odds laid by the moneyline. Moneyline odds for a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors would for example be represented as Los Angeles Lakers -120 and Golden State Warriors +150.
The minus sign indicates that the team is the favorite while the plus sign indicates that the team is the underdog. Naturally, betting on the underdog would make you more money since it is less likely to happen. To compute your possible winnings, the most basic way is to use a bet of $100 as an example. If you wager $100 on +150 odds, you’d get your $100 back and make a $150 profit, for a total payout of $250. On the other hand, betting on the favorite is best looked at by how much you’d need to bet in order to make $100 in case you win. In this case, you’d have to bet $120 to make a $100 profit.
2. Spread bets
As opposed to moneyline bets, spread bets usually pay close to 2-to-1, or typically 90%, regardless of which side you bet on, so betting $100 would generally net you around $90 in profit. This is because instead of just looking at who wins the game, the deciding factor is whether or not your team falls within or covers the spread. For example, the spread in a game between the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets would look like this: Houston Rockets -9.5, New York Knicks +9.5. Like the moneyline, the plus sign indicates who the underdog is and the minus sign indicates the favorite.
However, a bet on the favorite would only win if the favorite wins the game and has a lead greater than the spread, while a bet on the underdog will win if either the underdog wins the game outright or loses but the deficit is less than the spread. In this example, betting on the Houston Rockets will net you a profit if the Rockets finish the game with a lead of at least 10 points, while a bet on the New York Knicks will win if the Knicks win the game or if they lose the game with a deficit of 9 points or less.
Placing a wager on a parlay is when a bettor bets on more than one game, and all his bets, also referred to as legs, must win in order for the bet to pay off. Basically, it’s placing a single bet on multiple games for a higher payout. While parlaying can be pretty tempting because of the possible juicy profits, it’s also riskier since it requires a bettor to be correct on all his bets.
4. Point totals
Betting on point totals is wagering on whether the total of the points scored in the game would be over or under the number set by the sportsbook. For example, the point total may be set at 200.5, and the final score is 120-100, which totals 120. In this case, the over bet would win, while if the final score were 100-95, for a point total of 195, the under bet would win.
5. Proposition bets
A proposition bet is a bet on a particular outcome in the game, such as a player’s final point total or stat-line, or even who wins the jump-ball. These types of bets are generally unsound and are usually just made for the entertainment factor. While it’s not always probable to win a proposition bet, it can get pretty exciting to see whether or not your favorite player will score more than 25 points on a given game, and could make you even more invested in watching the game.
6. Future bets
A futures bet is a wager on a particular event that you think will take place in the future, such as who wins the NBA championship or who gets named the MVP. These bets likewise have odds placed on them based on how likely an event is going to happen. The less likely it is to happen, the higher the payout, and vice versa.
These bets are usually not advisable as they often take a long time to materialize and they don’t take into account the player movement and injuries that happen throughout the season, but like proposition bets, they’re a great way to get you more invested in the game. Plus, it’s highly satisfying to find out that your inner analyst was correct when your MVP pick actually wins the award.
NBA betting strategy guide
1. Manage your bankroll
You’d want to start betting on NBA games with a bankroll that you have already specifically set aside from your personal budget. This way, you won’t get too caught up in the action and you avoid going broke because of frustration and ill-advised bets. Once you have your bankroll, don’t bet all of it on just one game.
Try to spread out your bets on wagers that you think are profitable and sensible to make, and don’t ever try to bet bigger just to make back what you lost. If you find yourself losing, adjust your bankroll management accordingly, and if your bankroll unfortunately goes to zero, try to take a break first instead of digging into your pockets instantly. Remember that you should only bet money you can afford to lose.
2. Keep track of the injury report
Injuries can be the deciding factor in some matchups. If you’re deciding on which side to bet on in a particular game, look at who’s injured from either team first to help you decide. For example, it’s relatively easy to bet on an -11.5 favorite if that team has two all-stars while the other team is tanking, but tides can change quickly if it so happens that the favorite team’s stars are injured.
3. Take note of back-to-back games
The grind of the NBA season can take its toll even on the best players and best teams, and it’s possible that they falter on the second game of a back-to-back due to tired legs. While the truly great teams can win back-to-back games on a regular basis, fatigue can still be a factor in bets such as the spread and the point totals. Imagine a game where both teams have just played a game the day before and the point total is set at 230.5. It’s not likely that both teams will push the pace for a high scoring game, so betting on the under in that situation would be wise.
4. Factor in team and player statistics
Statistics – particularly averages – are important to take into account when making proposition bets or betting on point totals. Though averages don’t always translate into exact predictions, they can still be considered among other factors when trying to wager on whether or not a 24 point-per-game player would score more than 30 points in a particular game, or whether or not a low-paced team will break a 220.5 point total.