NBA Basketball Betting
With it’s international appeal, huge stars, and the growing popularity of basketball worldwide, more and more people are betting on NBA games than ever before. This is great for live and online sportsbooks, as well as for bettors. The popularity growth means there are more betting options, and more ways to win.
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With games almost every night during the regular season, NBA basketball is very engaging, especially for professional bettors. The game is exciting, the players are exciting, and thus the betting action is exciting as well.
Best Online Sportsbooks for NBA Basketball Betting
When we rate online sportsbooks, we put three aspects at the top of our list of important features. Those three major features are safety & security, timely payouts without hassle, and betting options. If those three aspects are not top-notch, there is no reason to bet at that site. Once a sportsbook has proven to be a leader in each of those three areas, we also look at customer service, deposit options, simple site navigation, juice, phone support, and other features before we rank them.
We recommend having accounts at several online sportsbooks so bettors can compare odds and vig. For those who bet a lot, the odds and vig make a big difference over time.
Our Recommended Online Sportsbooks:
US bettors welcome. Bookmaker.com offers some of the best odds for NBA basketball games, plus a nice variety of prop and futures bets. They are possibly the most respected online sportsbook in the world, and are a great choice for professional sports bettors as well as casual punters.
Bookmaker.com accepts more large bets on a daily basis than any other online sportsbook, making it a must-have sportsbook for serious punters. While most online sportsbooks have maximum bet amounts of $5000, Bookmaker.com accepts online bets up to $5000 or phone bets up to $20,000. Higher betting limits can be requested by phone as well. The minimum bet amount is just $5.
Plenty of deposit options are available for all customers, including US residents. These include but are not limited to Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Diners Club debit/credit cards, Neteller, Moneybookers, eWalletXpress, Click2Pay, and many more. The minimum deposit amount is $25, with no maximum for bank wires or bank drafts.
US bettors welcome. Diamond Sportsbook is a partner of Bookmaker.com, providing the same financial security and strong reputation. While these sportsbooks are partners, the Diamond Sportsbook runs their own betting lines. Those who have accounts at both of these sportsbooks get the best of both worlds – same security, with more betting options. This is a no-brainer for serious sports bettors.
NBA basketball betting limits range from $5 – $3000, and up to $5000 for MLB, NFL and NHL betting. All of the most popular deposit options are available, with deposit support available 24 hours a day via phone, live chat or email.
US bettors welcome, and Canadian bettors have recently been accepted as well. The Bodog Sportsbook is a class-act in every manner. Financially they are as solid as they come. The betting lines and juice are top tier across the board for all sports. Since they were established in 1994, Bodog has become the largest gaming company on the planet, with a huge casino and juicy poker room for those that like other forms of gambling. This is another one of those ‘must have’ sportsbooks.
US customers usually have plenty of easy deposit options, but processor issues can sometimes cause a problem. If you have a problem making a deposit, Bodog has a fantastic deposit support team working 24/7 to help get deposits through.
For non-US customers, making deposits at the Bodog Sportsbook is simple, with dozens of easy deposit options. Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, Neteller, Moneybookers, Click2Pay and plenty of other online wallets are accepted.
How to Bet on NBA Basketball Games
If you’re new to basketball betting, the first step is to learn how to read betting odds. Then, you’ll need to know about the different types of bets that can be made. That’s what we’ll explain below, along with some great NBA betting tips.
How to Read NBA Betting Odds
At most online sportsbooks, betting odds can be viewed in three different ways. These are American, fractional, and decimal odds. In different parts of the world, people have gotten used to reading odds in a certain format, so online sportsbooks often use geo-targeting software to automatically display odds in the format they think you will want to see them in. If they’re displaying odds in a format you’re not familiar with, look for a button to change the format – most online sportsbooks have this option.
Since NBA basketball betting is popular worldwide, we’ll explain how to read the different types of odds.
American odds are displayed with a negative (-) or positive (+) sign, followed by a number. A negative sign means that team is the favorite. A positive sign means they are the underdog. The number that follows is based on the $100 figure, but they work differently for negative and positive lines.
On a negative line, the number represents the amount of money you would need to wager in order to win $100 in profit. A positive line represents the amount of money that would be won from a $100 wager.
Here’s an example:
Boston Celtics -160
New York Knicks +150
In this case, the Boston Celtics are the favored team. A bet of $160 is required in order to win $100, for a total return of $260 ($160 bet + $100 profit). For the Knicks however, a $100 bet would result in a $150 profit if they win, for a total return of $250 ($100 bet + $150 profit).
Fractional odds are probably the simplest betting format to understand. We all learned how to do fractions in third grade, and that’s all they are. For example, a 9/5 fractional odds bet means that for every $5 bet you will win $9 more. So, a 9/5 win would actually pay you $14 total ($5 original bet + $9 profit).
If that was 5/9 odds, you’d have to bet $9 to profit $5 more.
So, the first number in the fraction shows you how much you stand to profit off of a bet in equal size of second number in the fraction. 5/1 – Bet $1 to profit $5, for $6 return. 1/5 – Bet $5 to profit $1, for $6 return.
Decimal odds reflect the total return on a $1 bet. Since they’re based on a $1 bet, they’re easy to multiply out for whatever bet size you make. For example, decimal odds look like this:
Miami Heat 1.45
This means that a bet of $1 would return a total of $1.45, for a profit of $.45. If the odds read 3.60 then a $1 bet would return a total of $3.60, for a $2.60 profit.
To calculate this out for larger bets, simply multiple the odds by the amount of your wager. For example, a $20 bet with 3.60 odds would pay out $20 x 3.6 = $72 total, for a $52 profit.
To help you understand odds calculations, lets compare the three types of odds listed above.
American Odds +200
Fractional Odds 2/1
Decimal Odds 3.00
These are all the same. Each requires a $1 bet to win $2 in profit, for a total return of $3.
If you’re new to sports betting, it will take a bit of practice to get your mind fully wrapped around odds calculations. For refresher courses, bookmark this page so you can reread this section.
NBA Straight Bets
Like NFL football betting, the most popular way to bet on basketball is with a point spread, called a straight bet. When betting with a point spread, points are added to the score of the underdog to even out the odds. This allows sportsbooks to offer -110 (occasionally -105) betting odds, regardless of the team you pick.
Los Angeles Lakers – 6.5
Phoenix Suns +6.5
In this example, the Lakers are the favorite, and bettors must give up 6.5 points to the Suns. If you choose the Lakers to win, they must win by 7 or more points to cover the spread (for you to win). If they win by 6 or less (or lose outright), then anyone who bet on the Lakers would lose.
Basketball Money Line Betting
Bettors do not have to bet with the point spread, they can also choose money line betting. This is a simple ‘pick the winner’ type of bet, regardless of the score. If you pick the correct winner, you win. If you don’t, you lose.
This sounds easy at first, especially in basketball where lopsided games are played almost every day. However, betting on the favorite is not always a great idea. When one team is heavily favored, the odds you’ll get on them will be poor. Instead of getting -110 for a straight bet using the point spread, now you might be getting -310, meaning that you’d have to wager $310 to win $100. While you’ll win more often than not by betting on favorites, it only takes one or two losses to eat up the small profits you’ve made prior to the loss.
NBA Parlay Betting
Parlay betting can sometimes be considered a sucker bet. However, they’re not a bad idea for those who like to bet on favorites. When you parlay bet 2-3 NBA teams, you can risk less and make more by improving your odds. However, any loss in a parlay is a lost bet. Here’s how an NBA basketball parlay bet works.
A parlay bet is where two or more single bets have been combined into one bet. For example, instead of making three bets on three separate games, you can put all three winners on one ticket. When you do this, you get improved odds. The catch is that all of the picks within your parlay must win. If any of the teams lose, the entire bet is lost.
Most online sportsbooks will allow you to pick up to 8 teams for one parlay, and some allow as many as 15 teams. With every team you add, your odds go up. However, with each team you add you also make it harder to win the bet. For a higher win-rate, we suggest keeping your parlays down to just 2-3 teams per ticket. if you want to bet on more teams, make single bets or multiple parlay bets. On a 6 team parlay you may be 5-0 going into the sixth game with a big win on your hands, just to have the final team lose and that big payday taken away from you.
If you do find yourself in that position, consider placing a straight bet of roughly 50% the size of your potential parlay win on the game 6 opposing team. While you will lose one bet and win the other, you will guarantee yourself a win of about 50% of the parlay total. A guaranteed win is money in the bank.
NBA Basketball Prop Bets
Most online sportsbooks offer a variety of prop bets, like top scoring player of the game. Various bets like these are fun, but they can be tough to win. For basketball prop bets, we recommend keeping them in the ‘entertainment’ category in regards to the amount of money you risk. Don’t look to make a living from basketball prop betting.
NBA Futures Bets
NBA futures bets are available at every online sportsbook. Before the season starts, you can choose who you think will win the NBA Championship, who the Rookie of the Year will be, Conference Champions, scoring leaders, and lots more.
NBA futures bets are a lot of fun, but also need to go into the entertainment category. Futures bets will lock up your money until the end of the season, and many of them are hard to win.
2010 – 2011 NBA Basketball Betting
Almost every online sportsbook is now accepting futures bets for the 2010-2011 NBA basketball season. With their trio of superstars, the Miami heat are the favorites going into the 2010-2011 season, and the Los Angeles Lakers are generally considered the second best team.
At Sportsbook.com, bettors can get +160 on the Miami Heat, or take the field (every other team) for -200. This means that a $100 bet on the Miami Heat to win would return $160 in profit, for a total return of $260. If you prefer, Sportsbook.com will give you every other team in the NBA at -200, meaning that you would earn $100 profit on a $200 bet.
On a bet like this, it’s a good idea to wait and see what happens with the top teams. Place your bet as late as you can, prior to the start of the season. If Gasol, Bryant or any of the top players on the Lakers have a season ending injury, there is more reason to take the -160 on the Heat. Keep these types of things in mind before placing a bet.