How to Bet on NBA Basketball

Betting on NBA Basketball, and basketball as a whole – despite often looking complicated – is not too dissimilar from betting on most other UK sports. Read on for our best NBA betting tips...

How to Bet on NBA

Betting on NBA Basketball, and basketball as a whole – despite often looking complicated – is not too dissimilar from betting on most other UK sports. Betting odds also work in the same way as they do for a sport such as football.

Despite not having the same popularity in the UK as American Football, there’s reason to believe that the NBA could be set for an explosion in popularity, similar to the one the NFL has enjoyed in recent years.

A regular season game has taken place in London multiple times in the last decade, and thanks to BT Sport and Sky Sports’ coverage for the last half decade, the NBA is more visible than ever in the UK.

Popular basketball bets

Handicap betting

NBA spread betting is very similar to the handicap betting system frequently used in betting on football. In standard NBA betting, the heavy favourite is assigned odds that may not provide great value for a bettor. By the same token, the underdog might be given good odds, but might not be a smart bet.

The points spread offers an opportunity for the bettor to back one of the teams in a match they wouldn’t normally go near. In the case of the favourite, the odds improve as they’re given a handicap, and for the underdogs the odds worsen because they’re effectively given a head start.

For example, the Los Angeles Clippers are playing the Sacramento Kings and are heavy favourites. The

Let’s say in our example that the bettor backs the Kings +9.5 and the Clippers win by 10 points, this bet would be settled as a loser.

Totals – Over/Unders

How to bet on NBA Total Match Points?

The NBA Total Match Points is a very straightforward market to place bets on. The bettor will wager on whether the match will have more or less points than the total provided by the bookmaker.

For example, if the Dallas Mavericks are playing the Miami Heat, the Total Match Points line is at 225.5. In this example, the bettor elects to place £10 on the under at odds of 6/5. The game ends 109-112, meaning the bettor has won £22 (£12 profit plus the original £10 stake).

The bettor is also able to bet on the home team’s total points as well as the away team’s, this DOES include overtime.

How to bet on NBA win totals?

The NBA win totals market is offered before the start of the season. Based on a range of factors, each NBA team is given a number by the bookmaker, that number is how many of the 82 regular season games that team will win.

Let’s take the Golden State Warriors as an example. Prior to the season beginning, their over/under for regular season wins is 49.5. By the end of the season, the Warriors have won 51 games. Any bettors who took the over would win their bet, and anyone who took the under would lose theirs.

The over/under markets for the NBA are very simple to understand and extend to things such as total points in a match, total home/away points, and more player-specific markets such as X player to make over/under 2.5 three pointers or Y player to tally over/under 11.5 rebounds.


What is the moneyline in NBA betting?

The moneyline is, simply put, the market for which team will win an NBA game, including overtime if played. For example, the Denver Nuggets (2/1) are playing the Houston Rockets (4/9) and the bettor chooses to put £10 on the Nuggets.

The Nuggets win the game 111-104, so the bettor receives £30 back (£10 x 2 plus the original £10 stake).

There is also the option to bet on the result at the end of normal time, which includes a price for a draw. In this case the prices on the individual teams would be slightly bigger, but if the match is tied at the end of normal time you would lose your money on either team as overtime does not count. However, you would win if you bet on the draw, which is normally priced between 14/1 and 16/1.


The NBA continues to grow in popularity in the UK

General basketball betting

In-Play betting on the NBA

Because of the number of variables and potential incidents during an NBA game, the In-Play markets offered are extensive. They can range from the total number of points in a game, to individual points/rebounds/assists markets in the form of over/under betting. These markets are often used by bettors who actually watch the games and get a feel for things like a shift of momentum or a potential match-up between players that can be taken advantage of.

Player specific markets

Because of the smaller number of players in an NBA team, markets are available on individual performances. This means a bettor is able to place money on whether a player will score X points, get Y rebounds or notch Z assists.

For example, let’s say a bettor places £50 on Joel Embiid to score 25 points or more at odds of 15/8. If Embiid scores 27 points, the bet is settled as a winner.

Other FAQs

Does overtime count in NBA betting?

Overtime does count in NBA betting with Marathonbet in the majority of markets that aren’t dependent on official time. For example, the Total Assists market would apply to assists that are tallied including overtime.

How to bet on the NBA playoffs?

The NBA playoffs take place after the 82 regular season games have been completed by each team. The playoffs are made up of the 16 best teams, eight from the Western Conference and eight from the Eastern Conference. The number one seed in the East plays the number eight, number two plays number seven, number three plays number six and four plays five in series’ that are best of seven. This format is mirrored in the Western Conference until each Conference has a representative to play in the NBA Finals.

There are a variety of markets offered on the playoffs. Bettors are able to place money on what the score will be in a series, which team will win each series and who will be the top points scorer in a series, to name a few.

How to bet on the NBA MVP?

The NBA MVP award is handed out after the playoffs have finished to the player who is deemed to have been the Most Valuable to his team. Voters use a variety of criteria to determine who they believe is most deserving of the award. Frequently the award is given to players on teams who have finished with very good regular season records. It’s also important to mention that the award only applies to regular season performances.

The best time to bet on the MVP market is often before the season has started. There are no performances that the odds could be swayed by, and it’s the most even the playing field will be during the year. It also allows shrewd bettors to take advantage of players they believe to have been underrated and, by the same token, overpriced.

What is an NBA parlay?

A parlay is the equivalent of an accumulator in football. This is a combination of multiple NBA teams in one bet. Whilst the risks are obviously increased by having multiple teams to rely on, the rewards are also increased as a result, meaning the potential returns for picking the right teams is considerable.

See more Betting Guides here.



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