Now that betting on professional sports is legal in a growing number of states, more and more sports fans are choosing it as an option to inject an extra element of fun and excitement. Having a small wager on a big game can help to make you feel more invested in it, and for many, it will make wins taste even sweeter.
If you’re new to wagering on NBA games, then don’t worry: here’s everything you need to know about how to place a bet on the NBA.
NBA Betting Legal?
In the past the only place where you could legally bet on professional sports in the United States was Nevada. In recent years, an additional 17 states have legalized sports betting. Currently, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington DC, and West Virginia all offer some form of legalized sports gambling.
If you are a resident of any of these states, or even just visiting, you can use either a physical land-based, retail sportsbook, or in many states, an online betting website to place your bets, turning your fantasy team dreams into a reality. 100% legally.
If you reside in a state that doesn’t offer legal sports betting, you’re not quite out of luck. A number of offshore companies offer sports betting via the internet. Many of these sportsbooks have been in business for over 20 years, and have strong reputations, though the legality of their operations remains in debate.
Common Ways to Bet on NBA Games
There are several different types of wagers that you can place on NBA games. The most common of these are outlined below:
Point Spread Bets on the NBA: The most popular option in basketball betting is spread betting. A point spread is determined by the bookmakers at the time that you place your bet. The favorite gives points and is represented with a negative number. An example would be Los Angeles Lakers -5, meaning minus 5 points. An underdog is represented with a positive integer. An example would be New York Knicks +5, meaning plus 5 points. You adjust the final score by these numbers to settle who wins and who loses.
Moneyline Bets on the NBA: This is the most simple type of bet that you can place on the NBA. You simply pick which team you think will be the winner, and you’re paid out based on the odds set by the bookmakers.
Money line odds are represented in hundreds. A minus number indicates the favorite, and a positive number the underdog. To wager on a -400 favorite, the bettor will need to lay $400 for every $100 he hopes to win in return. Conversely, betting on a +400 underdog would yield $400 for every $100 bet.
Points Totals Bets: Also known as the over/under, points-totals bets allow bettors to choose whether the total number of points scored by both teams added together will be over or under the bookmaker’s predicted total. An example of an NBA total might be 225.5, meaning bettors can wager whether the combined score ends with over 222.5 points or under 225.5 points. NBA totals usually but do not always end with half points. This is largely done to avoid ties.
Parlay Bets: A parlay bet is a type of NBA basketball wager that combines multiple individual bets into a single wager. Parlay bets combine at least two wagers into one bet but often combine three or more. The payout odds increase as more bets are added. You can combine point spread betting with totals and money line wagers to increase returns.
Live Betting: Live betting or in-game wagering is one of the newest innovations in the NBA sports betting arena, meaning that you no longer have to place a bet on a game before it happens. Instead, you can place your bets as the game is happening, adding extra excitement to the game live.