Need help figuring out how to bet on the NBA? We’ve created a comprehensive NBA betting guide that breaks down everything from the types of bets you can place when betting on NBA and basketball games to the tips and strategies for long-term success.

Understanding the nuances involved in NBA betting can improve your chances of placing a lucrative bet – and ensure that you fully comprehend the risks involved in each bet you place. Discover how to bet on NBA online below, by looking into different types of NBA betting lines, markets, and strategies.

How To Place an NBA Basketball Bet

The National Football League is still the most bet-on sport in the U.S., but the National Basketball Association isn’t far behind. A recent survey found that 61% of bettors place wagers on the NFL, while 58% bet on the NBA. If you don’t know how to bet on NBA games yet, it’s time to find out.

Are you ready to try placing a bet? It’s an easy process. Follow these simple steps to get your first NBA bet locked in:

  1. Select the sportsbooks you trust to take your NBA bets: Prior to placing your first NBA bet, you’ll need to find the right sportsbook. Search for one of the best sports betting sites. Ideally, settle on a couple of online sportsbooks that offer their fair share of NBA bets. Not all sportsbooks are set up to accept, say, same-game parlays or live bets. Make it your mission to locate the ones that are going to give you the option to take the types of NBA bets you’re interested in placing and sign up for an account.
  2. Make your first deposit: Once you have signed-up with a sportsbook capable of delivering tons of basketball betting options, make your first deposit with this NBA betting site. Many NBA sportsbooks will give you a welcome bonus on your first deposit, so take full advantage of this. For instance, a site may provide a 50% match bonus on your first deposit worth up to $1,000.
  3. Find the NBA section: Since the NBA has become such a popular sport to bet on, most sportsbooks feature their NBA sections prominently. You shouldn’t have to look too hard to find it on your chosen betting site. After locating it, click on the NBA section to see all the NBA betting lines and odds available to you. Sift through them so you see where a site lists everything from their actual odds to their different prop bets.
  4. Choose the bet you want to place: As you’re poking around in the NBA section, start thinking about which NBA bets stand out most. Often, new NBA bettors choose to get their feet wet by placing moneyline or point spread bets. But you’re more than welcome to tip things off with props, a same-game parlay bet, or even a futures bet. Consider spreading around the bonus money you receive at an NBA betting site to make several different types of bets.
  5. Determine how much money to wager on an NBA bet: While explaining how to bet on NBA, we used $100 to keep things simple. However, you shouldn’t feel as though you need to place $100 wagers or even anywhere close to that. Many sports betting sites will let you bet as little as just $1, and if you’re going to try your luck by putting in a parlay bet, betting $1 could do the trick.
  6. Explore other basketball betting markets: While the NBA is the biggest basketball league in the world, there’s plenty of other action all around. Do not hesitate to use your expertise and place bets in other basketball tournaments – you may end up finding better value and higher odds.

How To Bet On NBA Games Online

During the 2023-24 NBA regular season, NBA teams averaged 115.3 points per 100 possessions. This is the highest points-per-100-possessions average in NBA history, and it helps show why now is such a great time to begin betting on NBA games online.Having access to in-depth basketball & NBA-related statistics can make it absolutely easier for you to make value bets

Whether you want to stick to making moneyline bets or dabble in prop bets, betting on actions like rebounds, points, assists, steals, or blocks, the NBA and its fast-paced play provide countless sports betting opportunities.

Just be sure you have established an NBA betting strategy from the start to take full advantage of your online betting options.

The following sections will walk you through all you need to know when it comes to learning how to bet on a basketball game online.

Types of NBA Basketball Bets: NBA Betting Options

The beauty of betting on basketball and NBA is that you won’t ever run out of ways to do it. Some basketball bettors enjoy betting on NBA game spreads, while others prefer betting that involves the over/under. People have also come to love placing NBA prop bets, and if you have the patience, you can even learn how to bet on the NBA championship outcome by taking part in futures betting. Before you give basketball betting online a try, read up on the various types of NBA betting markets you will find at all leading basketball sportsbooks.


Moneyline bets are easily the simplest types of NBA bets – it is also found across other most major sports. To place NBA moneyline wagers, all you need to do is choose the winning team without worrying about how many points they win by.

For instance, let’s say the New York Knicks are playing against the Indiana Pacers. You can locate the moneyline odds for this game next to the teams’ names when you visit the NBA section of your favorite sportsbook.

An example of NBA betting markets on BetOnline sportsbook

In this case, imagine the Knicks are a +185 underdog on the moneyline. If you bet $100 on them to win the game outright, and they do, you’ll receive $185.

Meanwhile, imagine the Pacers are a -215 favorite on the moneyline in this example. That means you’ll need to bet $215 on them to win $100.

Moneyline betting is a good way to familiarize yourself with basketball betting. It can also be very lucrative, as certain NBA teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets actually had winning records during the 2023-24 NBA regular season when they were underdogs on the moneyline.

Point Spread

In the Knicks/Pacers example we just used, you can find more than just the moneyline odds listed next to the teams’ names when visiting an NBA sports betting site. You can also find the point spread for the matchup.

Point spread bets are probably the most popular types of NBA bets and have been for years. While they’re slightly more complicated than money line bets, it isn’t that difficult to learn how to bet on NBA point spreads.

Imagine the Knicks are getting 5.5 points from the Pacers. If you bet on the Knicks and take the points, you’ll need the Knicks to either win outright or lose by fewer than 5.5 points to win your wager.

On the other hand, imagine the Pacers are starting with a 5.5-point deficit to the Knicks. If you bet on them, you’ll need the Pacers to cover the 5.5 points they’re trailing the Knicks by, meaning they need to win the game by at least 6 points.

The benefit of taking a point spread bet versus a moneyline bet is that it’ll provide more flexibility. If you bet on a favorite like the Pacers to cover the spread, provided the odds are set at -110, you can bet $110 to win $100 rather than plopping down $215 to win $100 like you would have to on the moneyline.

If you bet on an underdog like the Knicks, you can win your wager even if New York doesn’t win the game, provided they don’t lose by more than 5 points.

Totals or Over/Under

When learning how to bet on NBA games, one thing to keep in mind is that you don’t always have to wager on one team to beat another, with or without a point spread. You can also take total or over under bets that won’t require you to root for either NBA team.

When placing bets on NBA totals or over/under, you must consider what the final score could look like. You will need to decide whether you think a game will go over or under a certain number of points. The aforementioned Knicks/Pacers game, for instance, might have its total set at 216. You can bet on the Knicks and Pacers to collectively score over or under 216 points in their matchup and only pay attention to the score throughout the game as opposed to who’s doing the scoring.

Alternatively, you can also bet on either of the teams to score over/under the given points – rather than the total points scored by them both.

With all the scoring that goes on in the NBA these days, most totals are set somewhere between 220 and 240 points.

Such totals are also set for specific quarters, where you have to bet whether the total points scored in that time period is over/under the given line.


The rise of online betting has led to an increase in the popularity of parlays. NBA parlays allows you to pack bets from multiple games together while giving you access to longer odds. It will, however, require you to win all the bets you put into a parlay wager for it to cash.

Let’s say you like the Knicks with a spread of +5.5, but you also like the Minnesota Timberwolves -2.5 in a game against the Denver Nuggets. You could put in two separate bets on the Knicks +5.5 and the Timberwolves -2.5. If you bet $110 on each, you’ll have the chance to win $100 on each if they both cover their respective spreads.

You can also put the Knicks +5.5 and the Timberwolves -2.5 into a parlay bet. If you put $100 on this parlay and the Knicks and Timberwolves both cover their spreads, you can walk away with just over $270. But you won’t win anything if one team covers and the other doesn’t.

The more teams you put into a parlay bet, the higher the parlay odds for it will climb. All selections must win for you to win the entire parlay.

This payout table provides a general idea of the odds you can get when placing parlays:

Number of Teams Included in Parlay Parlay Payout
2 13/5
3 6/1
4 10/1
5 20/1
6 40/1
7 75/1
8 150/1

Unless you are a seasoned bettor, placing nothing but parlays isn’t one of the best NBA betting strategies. But there have been many stories about NBA bettors turning as little as 25 cents into thousands of dollars by hitting multi-leg parlays.

Same-Game Parlays

On certain nights throughout the season and during the Playoffs, there might only be one NBA game to bet on. This would have made it impossible to put in parlay bets in the past. But same-game parlays, or SGPs, have changed this by offering NBA bettors a new way to place parlays.

SGPs are similar to regular NBA parlays, but with one exception: They include bets on the outcomes of different events that will all take place during the same NBA game. For example, let’s use the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets game we just referenced while explaining how SGPs work. You could create an SGP for this matchup by putting the following bets into a single SGP bet:

  • Nikola Jokic over 29.5 points (-107)
  • Anthony Edwards over 30.5 points (-106)
  • Jamal Murray over 5.5 assists (-118)
  • Rudy Gobert over 12.5 rebounds (+102)
  • Aaron Gordon over 0.5 three-pointers (-122)
  • Jaden McDaniels over 0.5 blocks (-167)

To win this same-game parlay, you would need to win all six of these individual bets. This SGP would provide you with betting odds of +3400, so you would be in line to win $3,400 when you wager just $100.

Same-game parlays didn’t exist at most NBA sports betting sites as recently as a few years ago. But they’ve become wildly popular and can make the average NBA game exponentially more fun to watch.

Prop Bets

If you get the gist of how same-game parlays (SGPs) work, you shouldn’t have any trouble wrapping your head around how to bet on NBA props. These types of bets are the building blocks for SGP bets. Each bet we just placed into an SGP bet, such as Nikola Jokic over 29.5 points (-107), is a prop bet.

When you place a proposition bet, you’ll wager on whether or not you think a player will record a certain number of points, rebounds, assists, etc. You can also take props that are a little more outside the box than that.

For instance, here are some player prop bets that might be available before a Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets game:

  • Jamal Murray to score more points than Rudy Gobert (-626 or+320)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns to record a double-double (+284)
  • Mike Conley to score the most points overall (+6000)

You can even place “Race To” props that will call for you to wager on which team will reach a certain number of points first or margin bets that require you to choose how much you think one team will beat another team by. Much like same-game parlays, NBA player props have added a layer of excitement to betting.

Futures Bets

With proposition betting options, you don’t have to wait long to see whether they win. Futures betting won’t provide you with this kind of instant satisfaction. Instead, you’ll wager on an NBA-related event with an outcome that won’t come to light for days, weeks, or maybe even months.

Before each season, oddsmakers release the betting odds for who will win the NBA title during that particular season. Heading into the 2023-24 season, the futures bets looked something like this:

  • Boston Celtics +450
  • Denver Nuggets +450
  • Phoenix Suns +600
  • Milwaukee Bucks +600
  • Golden State Warriors +1200

Some popular futures bets include betting on NBA MVP (Most Valuable Player of the season), which team will make it to the NBA Finals, who will win the division, who will reach the NBA Playoffs, etc. If you’re fine with playing the long game, you can pick events you think will come true in the future.

In-Game or Live Betting

Until recently, NBA bettors had to stop placing wagers on games once they started. But live betting, or in-game betting, has changed that.

As soon as an NBA game tips off, most NBA betting sites will begin providing real-time odds. Although you won’t have access to as many betting lines as you did before it started, you can bet live on:

  • Which team will win a game
  • Which team will cover the spread in a game
  • Whether a game will go over or under

Live betting has altered the NBA wagering techniques of many bettors. Some abstain from putting in bets before games so they can see how teams look before getting wagers in.


Teaser bets typically get thrown into the same category as parlays, and for good reason. They both call for you to package two or more NBA bets to create a single bet. However, there is one big difference between teasers and parlays.

When you take an NBA teaser, you’ll get more points to work with when it comes to the point spreads for games. Let’s go back to the same example we used while discussing parlay bets and say that you like the idea of packaging the New York Knicks +5.5 and the Minnesota Timberwolves -2.5 to cover their point spreads.

You could leave the point spreads for these two teams alone if you want and just put in a parlay. But you could also use them to create a teaser and get between 4.5 and 6 points to play with. This means you could make the betting lines for these two teams:

  • Knicks getting either 10, 10.5, 11, or 11.5 points
  • Timberwolves getting either 2, 2.5, 3, or 3.5 points

Just be aware that teasing teams like this can impact the odds you’ll get dramatically. If you just take the Knicks +5.5 and the Timberwolves -2.5 in a regular parlay, a $100 bet will win over $270. If you take a teaser with the Knicks +10 and the Timberwolves +2, that same $100 bet will win just $90.

First Basket

Want to place a bet on an NBA game and determine whether it’s a winner within the first 30 seconds? Then a first-basket bet might be just what you need. It’s exactly what it sounds like, as you’ll be wagering on which player involved in a game scores the first basket.

The thing NBA bettors love so much about first-basket bets is that they almost always have high odds attached. When the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets square off, the first-basket odds might look like this:

  • Nikola Jokic +400
  • Karl-Anthony Towns +550
  • Aaron Gordon +650
  • Anthony Edwards +700
  • Michael Porter Jr. +750
  • Rudy Gobert +850
  • Jaden McDaniels +900
  • Jamal Murray +900
  • Mike Conley +1000
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope +1200

There aren’t many NBA bets that will give such long odds on wagers involving star players like Jokic, Towns, Edwards, and Murray.

Basketball NBA Betting Strategies

No matter which types of NBA bets you plan to put in through your preferred basketball sportsbook, you’ll need to rely on the right betting strategies to set yourself up for success. Check out the tips below on how to bet on NBA and basketball games more effectively.

Within basketball betting, you can bet on NBA and other tournaments globally

Research the Fixture and Trends

While no one can accurately predict the outcomes of NBA games 100% of the time, understanding trends within a team or a particular player can inform your betting decisions. For example, did you know Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks were 20-5 against the spread during the 2023-24 NBA season as an away favorite? Or that Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors were just 12-22 against the spread as a home favorite? Use such trends in your favor to place informed and strategic bets.

Follow Player Injuries

The NBA requires all teams to accurately report any injuries or illnesses that might prevent players from playing in games. Teams also need to report when they plan to give players rest throughout the season. Any time a player sits out for any reason, it results in NBA line movement. Checking the NBA injury report early and often can help you avoid betting on teams playing shorthanded.

Focus on Current Form

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics were, by far, the best team in the Eastern Conference during the 2023-24 NBA season. But even they endured a couple of losing streaks this season that left some bettors reeling. While it’s important to look at the big picture when evaluating NBA teams for betting purposes, pay close attention to how they’ve been performing in their most recent games as well. Team performance is an informative attribute to analyze when betting on any sport – including basketball..

Follow Line Movement

NBA line movement tends to take place in the hours leading up to a slate of games. Monitor this movement and see what could be causing it. Everything from last-minute NBA player injuries to large bets coming in on one particular side of an NBA game can impact betting lines.

Check the Schedule

Some teams maintain good track records despite back-to-back games. Others take a heavy hit during periods of tight game schedules. Pinpointing these performance trends when looking through the NBA schedule can make a huge difference in your NBA betting outcomes.

Consider Derivatives Markets

Derivatives offer a more nuanced opportunity to bet on the outcomes of NBA games. They’re a great option for seasoned bettors who understand the intricacies of the sport and how certain activities impact odds.

Derivatives include a wide range of bets on events that happen during specific segments of an NBA game, such as:

  • The winning margin after the first quarter or half
  • Whether the team that scores first will win the game
  • Whether a given team will score during a given quarter

For example, you might like the Minnesota Timberwolves to cover a -2.5 point spread against the Denver Nuggets over the course of a game. But the Nuggets were one of the best first-quarter teams in the NBA during the 2023-24 NBA season, enjoying an average first-quarter margin of +2.8 points. Consider betting on derivative markets, like the Nuggets +0.5 first-quarter betting line, to maximize winnings.

Consider the Officials

The best NBA systems for betting take everything into account, including the officials working the games. Believe it or not, some websites keep tabs on which NBA officials correlate with the highest against-the-spread and over/under records. Turn to them to gain additional insight into how the matches might play out.

Take Advantage of Live Betting

Unsure which NBA bets to place even after doing extensive research on a game? Think about waiting until it tips off to get a feel for it before putting in live bets. In-game betting has revolutionized the way sports bettors can wager..

Just prepare to act fast! Live NBA betting odds change every few seconds in most cases.

Don’t Tease

Teaser bets can come in handy for new NBA bettors who just want to have fun while learning about the different types of NBA bets. But generally speaking, teaser bets don’t offer great odds and shouldn’t be part of your long-term NBA betting strategy.

General Tips for Basketball Betting

Are you fully committed to turning yourself into the best basketball sports bettor? We’ve got even more tips to help you make informed bets and decisions.

Keep Track of Your Betting

The best NBA online betting sites provide tools to help you keep track of every wager you place. Utilize them and go over your previous bets every so often to see what you can find out from them. You might find that certain types of NBA bets, such as parlay bets or prop bets, aren’t working out well for you. Focus on the kinds of bets that prove to be most lucrative.

Follow What the Public Are Doing

“Fading the public” is a common betting strategy that many betting sharps use. If it seems like everyone in the world is all over the Denver Nuggets +2.5 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, going against the public might be the right move to make.

Still, don’t be afraid to follow popular NBA betting trends at times, especially on events that aren’t marquee matchups. The public might know what it’s doing in these instances.

Shop Around/Use Odds Comparison Tools

Not every NBA betting site offers the same betting odds. It’s a smart idea to create accounts with multiple offshore sportsbooks, then find the platform with the best odds for each event.

For example, you might find that one online sportsbook will offer a moneyline on the New York Knicks at -120, while another offers the same moneyline at -130. For a $100 bet, choosing the former platform could leave you with an extra $7 payout on the exact same bet.

Search for the best NBA odds and pounce when you find them.

Utilize Your Knowledge

If you’re taking all this time to learn how to bet on the NBA, there’s a decent chance you consider yourself a basketball fan. Don’t be shy about bringing your fandom into your NBA betting strategy. Use everything you know about the NBA and what’s going on in it to make more accurate predictions. Combine this with looking deep into team stats, official numbers, and figures to make informed, data-driven bets.

Don’t Chase Losses

It’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing your losses when you bet. You lose five or six bets in a row and think, “I’m due for a win!” so you start placing bigger NBA bets than usual to account for your previous losses.

There is an entire science behind why people chase losses when they’re betting on the NBA and other sports. Steer clear of doing it at all costs.

Don’t Overreact – Bet with Your Head

Make sure you’re having fun when betting on NBA. If you ever sense you might be making irrational decisions while you bet on the NBA, take a step back and cool off for a few days. You can make better choices once you clear your mind.

Responsible Gambling

The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that between two and three million Americans live with extreme gambling addictions. The organization also believes millions of other Americans could be at risk of developing gambling problems soon if they aren’t careful.

Here are a few tips for responsible gambling:

  • Set limits for yourself
  • Avoid gambling with money you can’t afford to lose
  • Do not gamble under the influence of substances

Need help with a gambling problem? The NCPG’s National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) is always there to assist anyone suffering from a gambling problem. You might also want to give thought to attending a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in your area.


Betting on NBA and basketball games has become more popular than ever before, and it isn’t hard to see why. They offer sports bettors many different types of bets and make it easy to figure out how to bet on NBA games in numerous ways.

Whether you want to wager $100 on the New York Knicks to cover a +5.5 point spread against the Indiana Pacers or put up $20 on a six-leg same-game parlay featuring an assortment of Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves player props, the best NBA betting sites have you covered. All that is left is creating your own NBA betting strategy and getting to work.

NBA Betting FAQs

How Do I Bet on the NBA?

How Can I Take Advantage of NBA Line Movement?

What Are the Top Tips for NBA Betting?

What Are the Best NBA Betting Systems?

What Are NBA Game Spreads?

Can I Bet On Individual NBA Players in NBA Betting?

Can I Bet On the NBA Preseason?

Is It Legal To Bet On the NBA?

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Chirag Dubey
Sports Editor

Chirag Dubey brings to the table a combined expertise of iGaming, poker, and sports. His passion runs particularly deep with soccer and tennis, but he is open to following other games as well. Poker and sports betting are also two strengths of his, and he is now leveraging his experience into providing best value for all readers on the site. With an emphasis on quality, minute details, and user experience on Sports Casting, Chirag strives for excellence through his content.

Get to know Chirag Dubey better
Author photo
Chirag Dubey Sports Editor

Chirag Dubey brings to the table a combined expertise of iGaming, poker, and sports. His passion runs particularly deep with soccer and tennis, but he is open to following other games as well. Poker and sports betting are also two strengths of his, and he is now leveraging his experience into providing best value for all readers on the site. With an emphasis on quality, minute details, and user experience on Sports Casting, Chirag strives for excellence through his content.

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