How to Bet the NBA

It is time to look at how to bet the NBA. One of the great things about betting different sports is that they are all different when it comes to handicapping. Something that gives you an edge in NFL betting doesn’t necessarily do the same when betting the NBA.

Betting on any sport can be overwhelming at first, but with a few tips and a solid strategy anyone can reap the benefits of their hard work. Here are a few tips for how to bet the NBA.


Track the Injury Report

This season especially, bettors should check the NBA injury report. It comes out three times each day with the latest release at 5:30 p.m. ET. Not only will you find the status of injured players, but you will also find out which players may have to sit out due to COVID-19 related issues.

The other thing bettors will find on an injury report is whether or not a player may be held out as part of a load management schedule. With a number of back-to-back games this season, you will see players sitting out one of the two games.

Philadelphia, for example, typically holds Joel Embiid out of one of two games when the Sixers play back-to-back. It’s good to know this so you don’t end up wagering on a team that will have a star sitting out.

Look at the Schedule

Speaking of back-to-back games, it helps to take a look at the overall schedule when handicapping a game. It can go a long way when looking at how to bet the NBA. Teams playing the second game of a back-to-back cover at right around the 50 percent mark.

While that’s not much of an advantage, there are situations where you can find value. One is when a team plays at Denver in the second game of a back-to-back. Those teams cover just 44 percent of the time, which is likely due to having to play at elevation in Denver.

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How to Bet the NBA – Check Market Data

Watching how the market reacts can help bettors find betting value. The betting market often moves based on money coming into it. NBA betting is very popular and the money coming in is not always from sharp bettors.

The betting public loves teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and tends to bet on them especially in a situation where they should win easily. Take this example:

Lakers -6

Timberwolves +6

The Lakers are favored over Minnesota. The betting public, which loves the Lakers, goes crazy betting on them. The line moves to:

Lakers -9

Timberwolves +9

The betting public still loves the Lakers though and the money keeps coming in on them. In cases like this where a line shifts two or more points and the underdog is still the unpopular bet (in terms of percent of money wagered), fading the public has proven to be a winner over 58 percent of the time.

Line Shopping When Betting the NBA

The easiest NBA betting strategy that will pay off in the long run is simply line shopping. Why take the favorite at -4.5 when you can get them at -4? The same holds true for totals. 

In the long run, a half-point here and a half-point there can be the difference between just breaking even or having a successful and prosperous NBA betting season.