Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
13 minute read

NBA Betting Guide

Bet on NBA games

Betting on NBA games is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy everything the regular season, the NBA Playoffs, and the Finals have to offer.

With more wagering options and markets available for bettors, online NBA betting is becoming more and more popular.

In this NBA betting guide, we’ll break down the best tips for how and where to bet on NBA games plus an overview of popular bets and lines.

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Intro To Online NBA Betting

In the past few years, NBA online betting websites, either offshore or domestic, helped to increase the game’s popularity, especially internationally.

Betting options and markets for NBA bettors have grown tremendously with online wagering, and the league is now one of the hottest bets around.

Betting on NBA games online can be really fun and also profitable, as long as you have some basic knowledge of the sport and online betting and know where to place your wagers safely.

Where Can I Bet On NBA Games?

So where to safely bet on basketball games?

Choosing the best site where you can bet on NBA games is vital for potential betting profits, and to make sure that you receive your winnings during the season.

Look at our list of recommended sites and why they are the best sportsbooks where you can bet on NBA basketball:

Rank NBA Betting Site Deposit Bonus Highlights Get Started
1 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $2,500 Highlights
  • Lots of bonuses
  • Offers VIP program
  • Reliable software
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  • VIP Program
  • Low Rollover
  • Lots Of Futures
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3 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $1,250 Highlights
  • Competitive odds
  • Solid banking options
  • Crypto-friendly
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Bet On The NBA With A Credit Card Deposit At BetNow

Bet on basketball games with a credit card

BetNow is one of the few NBA betting sites for U.S. bettors with FREE credit card deposits.

Bovada, SportsBetting and BetOnline charge 5.9% or more for these transactions.

BetNow processes all Visa and MasterCard transactions free of charge and offers a 100% Up To $1,000 bonus for new bettors.

Call the number on the back of your card and let them know you’re “looking to make an international purchase.”

This will eliminate problems when depositing.

How To Bet On NBA Basketball Online

How to bet on NBA games

Betting on NBA games is easy and you can do it with a few simple steps.

Remember that choosing the right NBA sportsbook is essential to increase your betting profits, and to make sure that you receive your earnings during the season.

If you are new to online betting, follow this quick step by step and you’ll be betting on your favorite NBA games in no time.

  1. Pick a Good Online Sportsbook

    Best NBA Betting Sites

    First, you need to find a reputable sports betting site.

    There is an endless number of options when it comes to sportsbooks to choose from.

    However, be careful where you deposit and place bets.

    Some sites are scams that you should avoid completely.

    At Safest Betting Sites, we have many reviews of trusted NBA betting sites.

    We bet at these sites ourselves!

  2. Maximize Signup Bonuses

    NBA Bonuses

    You’ll get bonuses on the amount of money you deposit. Use your NBA bets to earn the bonus payout.

    Often there is a specific requirement to place a set amount of bets to take a full advantage of these signup bonuses.

    Read all about the best bonuses at our NBA betting bonuses and promotions page.

  3. Make A Deposit

    Make a deposit

    Once you have your NBA sports betting site picked, you need to deposit your betting money.

    Online sportsbooks offer you different deposit methods.

    Use credit cards, debit cards, PayPal or make a deposit with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.

    We recommend crypto deposits because they have zero fees in most sportsbooks.

  4. Go NBA Line Shopping

    NBA line shopping odds

    Take some time to shop at other online sportsbooks.

    If you really like a line at a sportsbook, verify if you can find a better one at another site.

    Or if you have a team that you really like in a matchup, but the line is not great at one site, you can shop for a more valued line at another online sportsbook.

  5. Place Your NBA Bet

    Place your NBA bet

    If you have read our guide to NBA betting strategies, you are ready for the last step.

    You have your line and now you are ready to place your bet.

    It’s recommended to confirm your bet slip. Double check your bet.

    After that, confirm and it is a done deal.

    Now you can sit back, relax and cheer for your team.

NBA Betting Markets

NBA betting sites have probably the largest expansion since online betting markets hit the mainstream scene.

The nature of the sport and the popularity of the game has helped with increasing betting choices.

Those who bet on football won’t find too big of a difference when it comes to betting markets.

NBA wagering markets use point spread wagering for betting sides, like football, and not moneyline markets; where it is the standard form of betting for baseball and hockey.

NBA Point Spreads

nba point spreads

When you bet on NBA, the vast majority of wagers are via point spread betting.

Each side has a point spread with -110 as the base attached odds.

Here’s an example:

  • Miami Heat +3.5 (-110) at San Antonio Spurs -3.5 (-110)

The visiting Heat are 3.5 point underdogs to the host Spurs.

For the Heat to cover and bring bettors home a profit, they need to win the game or lose by three points or fewer.

The Spurs must win the game outright and by more than four points.

NBA gambling sites follow the same rules, where pushes are in play.

With our example above, a push isn’t possible, but if the spread were -3 or any number without a half-point, it would be in play.

If the games end in a push, bets from both sides are returned.

NBA Moneylines

nba moneylines

NBA moneyline betting takes away the point spread element and bettors worry only about their side winning outright.

Of course, the odds for a heavy favorite can be quite steep, while hitting it big with an underdog can pay off with a larger than usual payday.

  • Miami Heat +150 at San Antonio Spurs -120

NBA moneyline betting isn’t as popular as spread wagering but offers some extra value if you’re predicting an upset.

Wagering on large favorites via moneylines isn’t usually a sound strategy, but taking underdogs can pay off in a big way.

So be sure to look for these underdogs at the NBA betting sites before you place your wagers.

NBA Totals

Totals NBA betting

NBA totals and NBA team totals are the most popular markets besides point spread betting in terms of NBA wagers.

The total is the combined amount of points scored in the game. This total takes into account regulation and overtime.

Bettors can take the ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ on the oddsmaker’s line for each game.

  • Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Over (-110) 189.5 / Under 189.5

NBA totals betting vary widely from game to game.

Games with lower projected overall totals will normally be at around 190 or below, but games projected to be heavily defensive can go as low as the mid 170’s.

Most totals will fall in the range of 185-220 points.

Games that are projected to be especially high-scoring will sometimes be around 230 points or higher.

NBA Parlays

NBA Parlays Betting

NBA Parlay rules and payouts won’t change from NFL parlays.

Parlays must be a minimum of two teams but usually can go as high a dozen.

Each leg of the parlay must win for the bets on NBA to pay, with any losses making the wager a losing one.

NBA Teasers

Teasars Betting NBA

NBA Teasers also work the same way as their NFL counterparts but have different payouts.

Basketball teasers are traditionally between 4-5 points, but can go as high bookmakers allow.

There are NBA betting sites that offer teasers up to 16 points. A -3 favorite and a +3 underdog would move to +2 and +8 when bet in a two-team, 5-point teaser.

As with parlays, each leg of the teaser must win for the bet to be a winner.

NBA Futures

NBA Futures betting

NBA futures are wagers on outcomes decided at a later date.

These can be months or weeks before the event and odds will update as the season progresses.

The most popular NBA futures are odds to win the NBA Title, and Eastern and Western Conference Championships.

NBA Prop Bets

Propositions bets

NBA propositions markets have grown heavily in the past several years.

These markets are wagers on outcomes other than the outright winner and total score of the match.

NBA bets can focus on the games of an individual player, such as Kevin Durant’s total number of points plus assists, or they can be team related.

A team’s total rebounds are an example of a team prop. Another one is total points scored for a specific team.

NBA Propositions are where bookmakers can be more creative. Some of the bets are for entertainment value, but there is also plenty of value in prop bets.

Oddsmakers seem to expand their prop markets every year, and betting on the NBA is no exception.

The league doesn’t have near the selection that NFL bettors do, but its prop markets are larger than MLB and NHL.

NBA Live Betting

NBA Live Betting

Live betting on NBA basketball is more common than NHL or MLB live betting but pales in comparison to the NFL.

Most betting websites will offer live betting nightly on the NBA, but usually only for prominent or nationally televised games.

In the US market, there is rarely more than one NBA game available for live betting per site.

Playoff games are much more likely to have live betting options as well.

The range of live betting options varies depending on the sportsbook, but many will offer updated live odds on the spread and total, along with other proposition bets.

NBA Betting Tips & Strategy

Betting on the NBA may seem like a full-time job — and it is for some. Each night is:

  • Full of injury questions
  • As we get later into the season, there’s the threat of coaches resting their players for the postseason
  • Teams looking to tank for draft picks

Learning the ins and outs of gambling on the NBA, as well as the betting sites and markets, is vital. Here are some of the best tips to help you win at your NBA bettings.


The NBA is a long season and you can get carried away.

There are lots of betting opportunities from start to finish. For this reason, we recommend you keep a solid bankroll management strategy to keep yourself on track.


There are plenty of stats to use when deciding to place a bet. 

Understanding advanced NBA statistics is crucial to bet smartly.

For example, one of the most important stats is NBA pace factor, which is valuable when wagering on pro basketball totals.


Player propositions are one of the best markets to attack when betting on the NBA.

Limits aren’t too high compared to sides and totals, but there is still a lot of ability to get money down on these bets if you use multiple sportsbooks.


It’s not that betting sides is less valuable, but totals are a bit easier to predict.

For example, it’s easier to figure out the pace of a game and the way the game might play out from a scoring perspective than picking a side to cover or win outright.


It is highly unlikely the oddsmakers are so inefficient that you have an edge on the majority of sides or totals.

Being selective is about focusing in on your most robust edges and passing on the areas where you’re not feeling as confident.


This can help you gain value, both in the proposition’s markets and against the spread, total, and moneyline markets.

Tracking injuries can be done best by following NBA injury updates accounts on Twitter and beat writers.

Social media is a great way to get information faster.


It’s important to look at how a betting market values a team, at the start of the season, after a significant trade, and so on.

This can even be true after a big win or a devastating loss.

Sometimes the market doesn’t catch up to how a team is playing differently.


The media is not the best source for betting sports intel.

They’re rarely consider betting odds when making predictions.

The best way to bet is by understanding how the market works.

Read our NBA betting guide to learn how to make your own picks!

Betting trends, simply, don’t have a lot of value.

Just because a team has gone 8-1 against the last nine underdogs they have faced at home – it doesn’t mean they’re worth a bet tonight.

Each game is an independent event. Past trends simply don’t matter unless they’re pointing out a pattern where the betting market is undervaluing a specific team or something historical in the market.

Best News & Articles About NBA Betting Strategy

Keeping up with the latest news will offer players more betting opportunities and a deeper understanding of the league.

These are the main principles of every successful NBA betting strategy designed to maximize profits.

Here are some interesting articles you would want to check out!

NBA Playoffs Bracket 2024

History of the NBA Season

NBA basketball history

Founded shortly after World War II in 1946, the NBA was initially known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA).

In 1949, the BAA agreed to absorb the NBL, and the newly created National Basketball Association (NBA) was born.

The league began with just eight franchises but expanded to eleven franchises in 1950.

Many of these teams are still in the league today, including the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Fast-forward to 2014, and the NBA has 30 teams and an 82-game season. Each team plays 41 home games and 41 away games.

Teams are divided into two conferences, the Western and Eastern Conference.

While teams play most of their games against their conference and divisions, each team will play every other team in the league at least twice per season.

The NBA and the NHL are the only sports in which each team plays every other team.

NBA Finals Betting Odds History

After the 82-game regular season, the playoffs begin. Eight teams from each conference make the playoffs and seeded #1 through #8.

The regular season record determines the seeding. For instance, the #8 seed will face the #1, #7 versus the #2 and so on.

The team with the higher seed will have home-court advantage. In the NBA Finals, the team with the better record in the regular season will have home-court advantage.

Each series is a best-of-seven game series. The team that wins four games advances to the next round and the loser is eliminated.

The winner of the Western and Eastern Conference Finals face off in the NBA Championship Finals.

History of NBA Betting

1898-1904First Pro League

The first professional league was formed in 1898. It was called the National Basketball League. It only had six teams, all on the east coast. Unfortunately, the league folded in 1904.


FIBA was instrumental in getting basketball into the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The United States won the gold medal that year.

1967ABA Competition

The American Basketball Association (ABA) formed to compete with the NBA. The ABA rules were a bit different than the NBA’s, and they had plenty of promotions and the three-point shot.

1992Olympic Dream Team

The 1992 United State men’s Olympic basketball team, known as the “Dream Team,” won the gold medal. The team’s stars included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and many other NBA greats.

2014Adam Silver Proponent for Sports Betting

NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, writes an op-ed in the New York times that calls for legalized sports betting on pro games. He became the first head of major professional sport to call for legalized sports betting.

1891Basketball is Invented

The invention of basketball is partly due to the brutal game of football. It was invented in the 1890s by a Canadian physical education instructor, James Naismith. The game garnered an immediate following but didn’t explode quite as quickly as baseball.

1932Basketball Popularity Boom

Basketball began growing around the world, and after leagues had begun to take hold in French and Italy, the International Basketball Federation was formed in 1932. FIBA, as it is commonly known, is still in existence today.

1946NBA is Created

The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was founded in New York City on June 6th. They merged with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) and adopted the name, National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949.

1976Top Teams Merge with NBA

The ABA ultimately was folded into the NBA in the summer of 1976. The league’s top franchise, the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs were moved over to the NBA.

2007Referee Caught Betting on Games

Former NBA referee, Tom Donaghy, pleads guilty to federal charges relating to betting on NBA games as a referee. He is sentenced to 15 months in prison.


Basketball Betting Now

The NBA’s popularity has exploded in recent years. Not only are ratings close to all-time highs in the U.S., but international audiences have also grown exponentially in the past few decades. NBA betting markets continue to grow each year and the league’s positive stance on sports betting can only be a good thing.

NBA Betting FAQ

Is it legal to bet on NBA games?

Betting on the NBA online is perfectly legal under federal law. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in May 2018, several states have legalized sports betting in addition to Nevada.
Of course, bettors also have the option of betting at offshore betting sites both in states where there are regulated sportsbooks and those where they are not available.

Where can I bet on NBA games?

There are plenty of options to bet on the NBA, either on online betting sites, local bookies or in Vegas.
We recommend checking out our top-rated NBA sportsbooks rather than going with unknown betting sites in other to avoid possible scams.

How can I bet money on NBA games?

Betting on the NBA is easier than you may think. All you need to do is sign up at a sportsbook, deposit money and place a bet.
We have plenty of highly-rated sportsbook options you can use. You can read our in-depth reviews or just use the sportsbooks we have mentioned on this page.

Don’t Miss Our NBA Finals Betting Guide

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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