How To Bet On The NBA – Beginner’s Guide

The NBA is a huge market for sports betting. With a whopping 82 games a season and 30 different teams to place bets on, there’s an incredible amount of choice. For newbies, we’ve written a quick guide to get you up to speed.

There are invaluable tips in the guide for the bettor that’s a bit wet behind the ears. As well as using this guide, be sure to check out the best NBA betting promo codes available to you so you can make your money stretch further! Without further ado, let’s get started:

How betting on the NBA actually works

You don’t need to be a betting pro to make successful bets on the NBA – but you need to know the basics. Having a firm grasp of these basics will allow you to take a glance at the statistics of a certain team and make an informed bet.

With games in the NBA, two teams face off against each other to win. The most common type of bet you’ll find is which team is going to win the game outright but there’s a heap of other bet sportsbooks offer. Don’t worry, we’ll cover them in the next section.

Obviously, you can’t know exactly how the game will play out. This means the key to being a successful NBA bettor is to pick the best odds for the bet you want.

Popular NBA Bets

There are a few major bet types you need to know. This will improve your chances of being a success as you’ll have more ammo for when you’re choosing bets. Below are some of the most popular bet types:


Moneyline bets are probably the way to go for beginners. This is simply choosing which team you think is going to win. The odds for the bet will quickly let you know who the sportsbook thinks is the favorite. An example would be Miami Heat being +100 to win. If there’s a plus number, this means that the sportsbook views them as the underdog of the game. With this fictional bet, you would win $100 for every $100 you bet.

The reverse of that would be a moneyline bet that has a minus number such as -110. This means that the team is viewed as the favorite. You would only get $100 back for every $110 you bet.

Spread Bets

Point spreads or spread bets are possibly the most popular bet type when it comes to the NBA. With this type of bet, you’re betting on the margin between the final score of the game. If there’s a minus, then that means your team has to win the game by at least that number of points. A plus number means that your team can lose, but they can’t lose by more than that amount of points.

An example of a point spread bet is the Milwaukee Bucks at -5.5. This would mean that they’re the favorites of the game and will have to win by 6 points or more. If they were -5.5, that would mean that if they lost the game by less than 6 points or won outright, then you would win the bet.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets are another incredibly popular bet type for the NBA. These are high-risk, high-reward bets which contain a series of other bets. With each bet added to the parlay, the odds increase as do your potential winnings.

Let’s say you bet on the Bulls to win and they do. You’d then let this win ride and place the money onto another bet. You might pick the 76ers to win this bet. If that bet won then you could again let the money ride into a bigger bet. If that bet lost though, you’d lose your original winnings.

Future Bets

Just like the name suggests, these are bets you place to predict what will happen further on into the season. These future bets can be placed for a day in the future, a week, a month or even for the full season if you wish!

An example may be the Golden State Warriors making the playoffs. You can also place these bets on specific players. Knowing individual player statistics can really help when choosing this kind of bet, as you’ll be predicting their performance over a period of time.

Prop Bets

Finally, we have prop bets. This is simply placing a bet on a specific event or situation that will occur during a game. You have the choice of prop bets for players or prop bets for entire teams.

A good example of this is placing a bet on whether a specific player in the game will score 25 points or more. If you have complete faith in a certain player, prop bets could be the way to go.

As you can imagine, there’s a massive amount of different bets you can place in the prop bet category.

Tips for placing NBA Bets

Now you know the bet types, here are 3 simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you place your bets on a trusted sportsbook. It’s no good winning a big bet if you can’t get a hold of your winnings!
  • Do your research. Placing bets on a whim can be fun but doesn’t improve your chances to win at all. Take your time, research statistics and make well-informed bets.
  • If you’re placing your bets at an online sportsbook, take a look around for the best bonus that’s right for you. Also, check if they live stream games, if you can cash out during play and whether they have a bet builder.

Most of all, only play with money that you would be comfortable losing and have fun!