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NBA Odds & Betting Lines

Betting on Basketball РIntroduction 

The NBA was started in 1946 and was initially known as the Basketball Association of America. It merged with the National Basketball League, changing its name to the NBA we know today in 1949. Since then, the NBA has grown into one of the most popular sports leagues globally, with fans worldwide and players from all over the globe. Follow our Daily NBA Picks.

Today’s NBA consists of 30 teams, broken into two conferences: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Those 30 teams play 82 games in a typical regular season, with the top 10 teams qualifying for the playoffs. Seeds one through six in each conference automatically get through to the first round of the postseason, while seeds seven through 10 have to participate in the league’s play-in tournament in each conference.

The final 16 teams, eight from each conference, play best-of-seven game series in each round of the playoffs until one team is remaining. Conference champions from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference face off in the Finals, where the winner is awarded the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are the gold standards for championship success in the NBA, winning over 15 titles apiece in their storied histories.

Individually, the gold standards for championship success in the NBA are Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. Russell has 11 championships as a player, the most of any star player in the league’s history. But Jordan won six championships without losing an NBA Finals. His titles are often considered more meaningful as they took place in a more competitive era of the sport’s history.

NBA games are broken into four 12-minute quarters, with five-minute overtime periods used to break any ties that arise. Teams often use their star players for 30 or more minutes per night, though that can vary depending on the game’s importance. But in today’s NBA, bench players are more important than ever, as the depth of each roster is better than it has ever been in the history of the league.

The NBA has undergone an evolution in the style of play teams prefer to utilize. In the past, teams centered their strategy around getting the ball to their tallest players for shots as close to the basket as possible. Today, the emphasis on each team is centered around three-point shooting, as the diminished percentage of making a three-point shot is outweighed by the increased value of the shot itself.

NBA Picks

Basketball fans can make many types of NBA picks each year. Most common among these picks are single-game wagers such as point spreads and over/under bets. Bettors can also wager on props for each game, such as bets on the number of points an individual player will amass throughout a game or which team will be the first to score a certain number of points.

Futures wagers are also integral parts of the NBA betting experience, as bettors can predict what will happen in the league well in advance. The most common types of these futures bets pertain to team success, such as which teams will win their divisions, conferences, or the NBA Finals. Bettors can even wager on how many wins a team will amass throughout a season or whether or not they will have what it takes to qualify for the playoffs in a given season.

Bettors can also wager on who will win various individual awards at the end of each NBA season. Everything from the league’s MVP award to niche awards like Coach of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, and Rookie of the Year are available to be wagered on at various sportsbooks. Bettors who have an in-depth knowledge of the league as a whole can find value in those markets and earn handsome payouts for thinking outside of the box in futures markets.

It is even possible to bet on off-season events like the NBA Draft. As the draft approaches each year, sports betting odds are posted on which players will be drafted in each position, along with props concerning which conferences and schools will have the most selected. While the NBA Draft itself isn’t as fun as watching a real live NBA game, betting on the NBA Draft certainly spices up the act of watching the league’s commissioner read out draft picks.

NBA Odds

NBA odds determine how much bettors need to wager to make the amount of profit they want to see on each bet. Understanding how to read NBA odds is the first thing that bettors need to do if they want to be successful at betting on basketball, or any other sport for that matter. The first step is to understand what the numbers mean when reading odds on NBA games.

The first thing bettors will notice is that some odds start with a plus sign and some start with a minus sign. Odds that begin with a plus sign signify the amount that a bettor would win if they bet $100 on that selection, such as +200 odds meaning that a $100 would yield $200 in profits. Odds that start with a minus sign signify the amount a bettor would need to wager to win $100, with -110 odds meaning that a $110 bet would yield $100 in profits.

For the most part, point spread and over/under bets have odds in the neighborhood of -110, with slight variations from sportsbook to sportsbook. But it is Moneyline and futures wagers where bettors will see the most significant variations in odds from one sportsbook to another. For that reason, bettors should be sure to use multiple sportsbooks and to compare prices from one site to the next constantly.

For example, one sportsbook may offer a team to win the NBA Finals at +1000, while another may offer that same team at +1100. If a bettor placed a $100 bet at each of those sportsbooks, they would receive $1,000 for a win at one site and $1,100 for a win at the other. That would mean that the site with the +1100 odds would be a much better investment, underscoring the importance of comparing betting odds across multiple bookmakers before every single bet.

NBA Betting Stats

Statistics are a massive part of betting on the NBA, as the league has done a great job of providing advanced metrics for bettors to look at. While rudimentary statistics like shooting percentages and rebounding numbers are nice to look at, the NBA offers a ton of additional information about each team. That information can determine where a team’s strengths and weaknesses are to make more informed betting decisions.

True shooting percentages are readily available to bettors, aiming to more properly contextualize how good teams and individuals are at shooting the ball. With those metrics, players are rewarded for their ability to hit perimeter shots, showing differences in talent that regular shooting stats cannot. These are worth looking at in conjunction with traditional shooting percentages to determine a team’s strengths.

Bettors can easily see the percentage of rebounding opportunities where teams secure an offensive or defensive rebound. Instead of looking at raw rebounds per game statistics, these metrics shed light on how proficient teams are at grabbing rebounds when there are opportunities. This helps provide greater context into how a team rebounds the ball, whereas pure rebounds per game numbers can be skewed by the pace at which teams play basketball.

The pace is another metric that bettors should look at to determine what kind of game they can expect in the NBA. Some teams get shots off early in the shot clock, while others prefer to be more methodical with their shot selection. Considerable differences in pace can turn a game into a battle to see which team can more effectively impose their will, while similar paces can influence totals one way or the other.

NBA stats are always second-guessed, as bettors cannot rely on just one or two metrics to determine where the best bets are in each game. There are likely stats to support both sides of each game on most nights during the NBA season, and it is up to bettors to decide which stats are more meaningful on a case-by-case basis.

Trends are very popular in the world of sports betting, and NBA trends are no exception to that rule, as talking heads always cite these when offering advice on who to bet on. But NBA betting trends are to be taken with a grain of salt, as there are flaws in the use of trends that could be detrimental to the overall success of basketball bettors. But to use trends effectively, bettors have to understand their purpose first and foremost.

Trends, by nature, is an account of what has happened in the past rather than a prediction of what is going to happen in the future. For example, you may hear that a team is 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 games against a specific opponent over the previous three seasons. But those past performances do not mean anything without understanding the context behind each of those games.

For example, a team may have been resting some of their starters on some of those occasions, or a team may have been on the second leg of a back-to-back for some of those games. Those factors could have caused skewed results one way or the other over that 12-game period, even if those scenarios caused an unfair reflection as to the proper talent levels of each team. Without digging into those previous games to see any skewed data points, bettors aren’t getting the complete picture from a given trend.

Bettors also need to understand that trends either provide too large or too small a sample size to be effective in most cases. Trends that date back decades involve massive amounts of roster turnover to the point of being ineffective. In contrast, trends over just a couple of years don’t contain enough games to include a valid sample size in many cases.

How to Bet Basketball

Betting on the NBA is about predicting what will happen in the next game, not making picks based entirely on what has happened in the past. To do this, bettors need to make their projections based on a combination of statistical data from each team and adjustments based on the roster situations for each team. 

Then, bettors must compare those projections to the actual betting lines from each sportsbook to determine where the most significant disparities are.

For example, let’s say that a bettor projects the total score of an NBA game at 208 points, while the bookmakers have posted a total score of 220 points. That big difference between the betting line and the bettor’s projection would indicate the value on the under from the bettor’s perspective. There will, of course, be times when the bookmaker will win and the bettor will win, but making these projections individually is key to success in sports gambling.

Bettors must also keep an eye on line movements throughout the time leading up to each game. Lines are adjusted before each game based on things like injuries and the amount of money wagered on each side of a betting market. Bettors who can understand why each line is moving in the direction it is moving can maximize their chances of beating the NBA betting markets.


NBA betting is legal in some states, as different states have different laws on sports gambling. Some states allow for online betting, land-based betting, a combination of both, or neither.

Bettors should pick multiple NBA betting sites to utilize throughout each season. Doing so will allow them to compare odds for each bet they are considering making, which can help them find better odds and be more profitable in the long run.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the best NBA betting site is. That answer can only be determined based on the individual preferences of each bettor and what they prioritize.

The key to winning NBA betting is to be completely unbiased when making NBA picks. Simply relying on your data and making bets based on that information is the best way to win in the long run.

Several sportsbooks offer a bonus to bet on the NBA for new players each season. These offers are meant to entice players to select one sportsbook over another, though bettors are welcome to take advantage of multiple betting sites.

NBA betting odds ask bettors to risk a specific amount to win $100 in situations where the odds have a minus sign. With odds including a plus sign, NBA bettors can wager $100 to win the amount listed.

Parlay betting is rarely a good idea, as sportsbooks keep a higher percentage of the money wagered on parlays than they do straight bets. Bettors need multiple outcomes to come true to win parlays, which is just less likely from a mathematical perspective. That said, hitting on a parlay is one of the most fun things a bettor can do, as it leads to a massive payday.

Teasers are also not a good bet in the NBA, as the variance in a sport with so many possessions often renders the teaser amount useless. Instead, it is better to focus on smart singular bets to maximize profitability.

There are plenty of sportsbooks that offer in-play wagering on the NBA, allowing them to bet on games in progress with odds that are updated after each possession at some sportsbooks.

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