NBA Betting Strategy

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
6 minute read
Best NBA Betting Strategies

Defining a solid NBA betting strategy is an important step when you’re looking to increase your earning potential during the season.

Many advanced statistics can help us see the numbers behind the box score, but bettors are doing themselves a severe disservice by only glancing at the box score of a contest or reading a game recap.

Here you will find out how to become a successful basketball handicapper by implementing some of the best NBA betting strategies shared by our experts.

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Getting An Edge With Early Season Wagers

Betting sites are the best resource to predict the outcome of sporting events. However, the line makers, like sharp bettors, benefit from the information when picking their best NBA betting strategy for a particular game.

At the beginning of the season, rotations aren’t set in stone, particularly on teams where a new head coach has taken over, or the rosters have changed from the previous season.

NBA free agency is one of the more active sports when it comes to trades and roster moves, so there’s usually quite a bit of turnover year-to-year.

Better Odds At The Beginning Of The Season

In the early part of the season, larger line movements will be more frequent due to odds being more inefficient to start the season compared to later in the year.

The sportsbooks might be a little in the dark when it comes to certain players’ and teams’ performances.

We’re not saying the betting sites don’t know what they are doing early in the year – that’s far from the reality.

Nevertheless, it is vital to realize their lines are not as sharp as they are later in the season when compared to the first two months.

This is something you might want to consider while testing your NBA betting strategy at the beginning of the season.

Possession-focused NBA Totals Betting Strategy

There’s a reason that NBA totals (and college basketball) betting strategies have significantly lower betting limits than sides.

It’s because the oddsmakers are considerably more vulnerable predicting totals versus handicapping sides.

One of the areas to focus on here is possessions per game. offers detailed stats on possessions per game. The number of possessions per game directly correlates to the tempo and pace that each team plays.

Teams that are defensive focused and more methodical on the defensive end will be on the lower end of possessions due to their playing style.

Those that “run-and-gun” and look to score in transition will score more points due to up-tempo basketball.

Determining how a game might play out from a tempo and scoring perspective can be easier than picking the winner on the point spread or moneyline.

Using “Runs” As Your NBA Live Betting Strategy

NBA Live Betting Strategy

NBA Live Betting is very fun and popular. In fact, no NBA betting strategy could be complete without including some in-game action.

Basketball is a game of runs. Teams will often score 10 points in a row, before going cold, then the other team may go on a 15-2 run, and so on.  You can take advantage of this if you understand the game’s nature.

A strong reason to use this “runs” strategy is if you liked a team as a pre-game wager, but thought the spread was a bit high or you missed a key number or odds move.

For example, if Golden State was -13, but you opted not to take them before the start of the game, and their opponent started off with a 10-0 run, this price might decrease to -10 or lower.

If you liked them a lot before the start of the game – a run at the beginning of the game shouldn’t bother you, especially if you get a substantial discount compared to the pre-game price.

Monitoring The Fatigue Factor To Predict A Winner

The NBA season is an 82-game grind. Even for what some think are the best athletes in the world, the wear and tear of the basketball season take a toll on every team.

Some teams react to fatigue better than others. It’s a significant factor that should be taken into account in any basketball betting strategy.

There are multiple times during the season that teams will play three games in four nights, and there are rare occasions when they play four games in five nights.

The players are making millions and should give it all they have on a given night, but we would be fools to think they are playing their best game when fatigued. Tired legs and minds equal short jumpers and careless turnovers.

It’s often the team that is the freshest that will cover the spread that evening. Letdown spots are commonplace for even the best teams after a grueling stretch of games.

Monitoring a team’s schedule, including upcoming opponents and the minutes of key players is a vital aspect of being a successful NBA bettor.

The “Third Game” NBA Playoffs Betting Strategy

NBA Betting Strategy For Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs offer a new set of challenges for basketball bettors to hurdle before a new champion is crowned.

One of the best things that could happen to you with NBA Playoffs betting is when you have a team down two games to none going into Game 3.

The third game is historically the best opportunity for a team that hasn’t won a game to land their first win.

It’s also the first game of the series at home for the team that is the lower seed. The oddsmakers have caught onto this fact, but the bettors haven’t.

We’re not implying that you must bet for every underdog in the third game,  but consider it as a possibility or a better spot than most.

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NBA Basketball Betting Systems

The team that has the upper hand in the game will certainly affect the amount of scoring or total points in an NBA game.

However, if you can determine the pace of play in a given contest, that offers you a lot more accuracy in predicting the outcome than trying to handicap sides, so this may be a good NBA betting system to use.

The focus on totals should not be limited simply to the full game’s total. Just about every betting site these days offers multiple options for totals, including team totals, quarter totals, first half-line, and halftime totals.

Understanding Betting Limits On Totals

It’s vital to realize that there is a reason basketball betting sites have lower betting limits on totals, and even lower limits on the quarter, first half, and halftime totals. It’s because they’re much more vulnerable in these markets to sharp bettors.

However, these markets do have considerably larger limits than some player props, which are usually capped at $500 or so.

Mid to larger basketball betting sites will often take several thousand on halftime lines.

Handicapping first half, quarter, and halftime odds can be difficult, but for those who put the time into learning the league, they’re among the most vulnerable odds to spot inefficiencies when it comes to NBA betting markets.

Ready To Use These NBA Betting Strategies?

Analyzing the teams in detail is the foundation of any good basketball betting strategy.

If you are going to invest some dollars in a basketball game, it would be ideal to learn about the past and the present of the teams you’re putting your money in.

Check their previous results. Are there are any injuries and penalties? Every detail matters to get a wager right.

Now that you know your options, start implementing these NBA betting strategies to maximize your profits.

Read Our Complete Guide With The Best NBA Betting Strategies

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 as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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