NBA moneyline explained
Who do you think will win? If you want a simple way to bet on basketball, bet the moneyline.
The NBA (National Basketball Association) is the most exciting basketball league in the world, bar none. The long season provides many opportunities to build your bankroll, with 82 regular season games per team and multiple games happening nightly. Don’t be phased by the overwhelming amount of choice, we’re here to help coach you on what you need to know.
Last updated: Jun 8, 2:41 AM UTC
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The NBA Finals are the annual championship in which the Eastern and Western Conference Champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion.
In 2020 the NBA Finals were watched by an average of 7.5 million viewers in the US. In Nevada alone it is estimated that bettors staked almost $10 million dollars per game throughout the playoffs.
Odds are first available in the offseason on which of the 30 teams will win the NBA Championship on all of the best NBA betting sites. The numbers are adjusted as the regular season begins and based on the opinion and betting interest each team garners from the betting public.
The NBA is divided into two conferences - Eastern and Western. When NBA betting on a conference winner, you are selecting who you think will end the season victorious and represent their Conference in the NBA Finals.
There are six Divisions in the NBA: Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Northwest, Pacific and Southwest with five teams in each division. The value on placing a wager on a divisional winner depends on the division itself and how competitive it is. Some have very tight races, which makes placing a wager on the NBA winner a closely contested one, but there are also teams that look like runaways from the off, with the odds reflecting that.
The regular season MVP is a bet you can make before the season starts (this is usually when sportsbooks offer the highest odds on all candidates) but betting remains open throughout most of the regular season. The market is always adjusting, based on that player’s performances.
When it comes to Finals MVP, once the matchup is announced, and throughout the games in the Finals, you are able to place a wager on who will take home that trophy.
NBA future bets are available to bet before the season begins, and many are still open throughout the season. While some of these are self-explanatory like scoring leader, assist leader, block leader, steals leader and rebound leader, others are available like sixth man, rookie of the year, coach of the year and defensive MVP. Make sure to find the best NBA betting sites that offer all of these before the season starts.
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Last updated: Jun 8, 2:28 AM UTC
A moneyline wager in basketball betting is a bet on which team you think is going to win the game. There’s no set number of points a team has to win by, or total points you need to predict, you simply choose who will win the game outright.
An over/under bet , also known as a total bet, allows bettors to choose whether the number of cumulative points scored by both teams will go over or under the listed amount. Overtime is included in basketball betting online.
A spread bet is a wager on how a matchup will play out with point handicaps given to each team by a sportsbook. Basketball point spread betting is recognizable by the use of (-) or (+) symbols, with the negative sign indicating the favorite, and positive sign signifying the underdog. You are betting on a team to win by more than the set spread, or the underdog to come within that allotted spread total or win the game outright.
A parlay wager is a single wager but which includes multiple selections. Each selection, or leg, must be successful in order to win the wager. The odds of each selection are multiplied to offer bigger odds, but it’s a lot more difficult to hit. You can even combine a variety of different picks from different markets, including moneyline, spreads, totals and even props.
NBA prop bets, or NBA proposition bets, are wagers on the statistical performance of players and teams. For NBA player prop bets, these are based on a player's statistical performance during a game. You can bet on particular categories individually or a combination of points, rebounds, and assists.
NBA team prop bets revolve around a team's performance, but not necessarily the outcome of the game itself. A common NBA team prop bet is a race to score 15 points first, or betting on a team's final total points scored.
An NBA teaser bet is a combination wager of at least two different selections. The idea is to adjust the bets with the advantage of points or totals in exchange for a lower payout. In order to win an NBA teaser bet, all your selections in the bets must be correct.
The more points you move, or ‘tease’, shifts the line or spread in your favor, the more of a premium (or slightly less payout) will be available on your bet. NBA pleaser bets do the opposite, pushing the spread towards the sportbook.
NBA future bets are wagers on events that have yet to occur. Betting on futures allows basketball fans to wager on NBA teams or NCAAB teams to win their respective divisions, conferences or who will win the championship outright. In NBA basketball betting, there are also futures available in the proposition market such as betting on a player to win NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man, Most Improved, or even Coach of the Year.
Who do you think will win? If you want a simple way to bet on basketball, bet the moneyline.
Think you know how many points a team will win by? Find out how to bet the spread with our guide.
Find out why betting over/unders, AKA totals betting, is an important skill for any online bettor.
Get bigger odds and bigger returns - learn how to make the most of parlays.
Live betting on the NBA allows you to place a wager during a match even though the game has already started. Sportsbooks are constantly adjusting their odds depending on how the game is playing out. Live betting, or in-game betting, is a popular way to bet the NBA because it allows you to see how momentum is swinging in a game before locking in a wager.
Here’s an example: the pregame betting line is set at Boston Celtics -3.5 over the Dallas Mavericks. At halftime, the Celtics are leading the game by 10 points. Look for the in-game spread to have adjusted to how the game is playing out. At this point it is probably closer to -6.5. This is a good time to back the Mavericks to keep it close. Alternatively, if it looks like a blowout is about to ensue in the second half, we could take the larger spread knowing how both teams are playing.
Even the best gamblers struggle to beat NBA closing lines. When it comes to NBA betting, the closing line is the last odds provided by a sportsbook before an event takes place. It is widely understood that by the time a LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors game is about to begin, all relevant information has been factored into the odds and that the closing line for that game is far more accurate than the opening line was.
If NBA online betting is something you want to do, then make it a priority to be checking odds early on game day or maybe even the night before. Waiting until the last moments before LeBron James tips off against Steph Curry means that you will be dealing with the sharpest and most accurate odds on that game.
Unders and underdogs:
One of the toughest things for anyone who enjoys NBA betting is to put money down on a team who you don’t think will win the game. However, when it comes to NBA online betting, we have to remember that underdogs come through as often as the favorites, once you factor in spreads.
Last year, there was a point in the season when the New York Knicks were a .500 team, but were covering the spread 61% of the time. The Knicks were losing the same amount of games as they were winning, but from a betting the spread standpoint, they were one of the best teams in the league. There is a difference between teams who win and teams who cover.
The same applies for betting on unders. It is widely known that the general public would much prefer to watch a game that is high scoring and are therefore more likely to bet the over on that game. Great NBA online bettors know that betting underdogs and unders will payout as often as favorites and overs will.
Be an expert:
Being an expert when it comes to NBA betting means limiting the number of teams and games you bet on. There are 30 NBA teams and very few of us are experts on every team and every division. Don’t be afraid to lock in on just a few teams or on a particular division.
If you are a fan of the Boston Celtics, then maybe focus the majority of your betting time on other teams in the Eastern Conference, like the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets or Miami Heat. Becoming an expert on a couple of teams or one division can give you an edge over those who are wagering on every team in the league.
There are lots of options when looking for NBA betting sites, but when it comes to finding the best NBA betting sites that meet all your needs, you have to shop around. Most of the sharp bettors will have multiple accounts at different sites. This isn’t because of the amount of money they bet, it’s because a skilled gambler knows to look at NBA odds from multiple NBA betting sites and then pick the best lines and spreads that interest you the most.
You might like the Philadelphia 76ers to beat the Atlanta Hawks. If you shop around with different online sportsbooks, you will find there are probably three or four different spreads or moneylines for that one particular game – now as an educated gambler who has shopped around, you can pick the odds that work best for you.
Most online NBA betting sites will offer you a first deposit bonus up to a certain amount. In this case, it will match 100% of your first deposit up to $100. To withdraw each bonus and any winnings associated with it, you often need to wager an amount equal to ten times the applicable bonus granted. It’s worth always reading the fine print.
This can be applicable to specific markets or proposition wagers. Certain odds get boosted to help yield better value. A sportsbook may be offering two favorites ‘boosted’ in the Hawks -4.5 & Pacers -3 both to cover. The boosted parlay for these two selections could be changed from +260 to +295 by the sportsbook, thus increasing the potential payout for bettors. The games boosted are often wagers and games popular within NBA public betting.
Place a pregame bet on the moneyline market for any NBA team and if the team you back to win goes up by 20 or more points at any stage during the game, this bet will be paid out in full regardless of whether the opposition comes back to win the game.
A simple offer. New users will receive two free bets, worth $10 each, with no deposit required, when signing up for a new sportsbook. This is a popular offer in various US states.
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