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Betting for NBA

You don’t have to be an NBA expert to bet on basketball. It’s one of the easiest sports to bet on, making it one of the most popular betting options, especially for beginners.

In this guide, we’ll show you where you can bet on NBA markets. Plus, we’ll give you expert advice and tips on how to bet on NBA, what are the various types of NBA bets available to fans, and we’ll show you how best to boost your bankroll.

Where to bet on NBA

How betting on The NBA Works?

The NBA is one league that has games almost every day from October until the playoffs end typically in June. The typically method of betting on the NBA is against the spread betting, but that is not the only type of betting that is available in the NBA. Make sure you check out all of the different methods to bet on the NBA and discover the method that works best for your betting style.


A money line bet in the NBA is basically betting on the team that will win the game outright. It is important to note that with the NBA the talent difference in some games does lead to very huge lines and wagers on the moneyline. 
Example of Moneylines bet: 

Utah Jazz-550
Charlotte Hornets+500

In the example above you are going to see the Jazz are heavily favored to win outright at a -550 odds. The Hornets are the underdog at +500. In this example you would need to bet 550 bucks to win 100 on the Jazz, but only 100 to win 500 on the Hornets. Please note this type of bet is only betting on the team that will win the game outright.
In summary a money line bet in the NBA is betting on the team that will win the game.


A spread bet is the most common type of betting in the NBA and it is betting on the number of points a team will win the game by.

Example of Spreads Bet

Utah Jazz-11.5
Charlotte Hornets+11.5

In the bet above the Jazz are expected to win by 11.5 points or more, so basically 12 points. The Jazz in a spread bet would have to win by 12 points for you to get a winning bet. However, the Hornets could lose the game outright or win outright, but if the loss is by 11 points or fewer it would still be a spread bet win. 

In summary the spreads bet is betting on the number of points a team will win or lose the game by.

Over/Under Totals

With an over and under bet you are basically placing a wager on if a team will have more or less points than what is listed for a team bet. However, you also have the total for the game as well and just like the individual teams are betting if the game will go over or under that total score.

Example of Over/Under Bet

Utah Jazz125.5
Charlotte Hornets113.5
Game Total229.5

In this example you would have a team bet on if the Utah Jazz are going to get over or under 125.5 points in the game. You could place your bet on either one of those points and if the Jazz do that you would have a winning bet. The same holds true for the game total, but you would have to figure out if you think the game would go over or under the total points for both teams combined.

To summarize the total bet is covering either the over or under the number of runs an individual team is going to score in a game or how many runs in the game for the teams combined.


In a parlay bet in the NBA you are going to combine a couple of factors to get a winning bet. In the NBA, some sportsbooks allow you to include the total as well, but in this case we are just talking about the spread. If you include the total it is the same concept except you would have the over/under to consider as well.

Examples of a Parlay Bet

Jazz at HornetsJazz -11.5
Lakers at ClippeClippers -1.5

The bet above could be placed on either team in the spread. In this case, let us just pick the favorites with the Jazz winning by -11.5 and the Clippers by -1.5. Both of these teams would have to win by this point total for your parlay to be a winner. However, a single loss of the spread would lose your entire parlay. 

A parlay bet is one which you are placing on several events in a game to happen to increase your potential payout.


A futures bet is one that is placed well in advance of any major sporting event. A common futures bet in the NBA would be on which NBA team is going to win the NBA finals. Typically a futures bet would be placed before the start of a season or series.

Examples of A Future Bet

TeamsOdds To Win NBA Title
Chicago Bulls+500
Utah Jazz+1000
Charlotte Hornets+50000

The example above is for who would win the NBA title. As you can see the Charlotte Hornets are the least likely in this example, but the Bulls are the most likely. So if you were to place a 100 dollar bet at the start of the season on the Hornets and by a miracle the Hornets did win the title, you would be 50,000 dollars richer. Still, if the Hornets did not even make the playoffs your bet would not be worth the ticket you wrote the bet on.

The example is just a single type of futures bet for the NBA, but here are some other examples.


  • Winner of NBA Title
  • The winning conference.
  • Winners of a specific division.
  • Winner of  the scoring title.
  • Who wins the rebounding title..
  • What player will become MVP
  • Team with the Most Regular Season Win

To summarize a future bet is one that is placed well in advance of the expected outcome or game date.

Prop Bets

A bet on the props is going to be based on the way a team or an individual is performing in the game for a stat, not for the overall points or spread.

Example of a prop bet.

Player NameType of Bet
Michael JordanScore over or under 30 points.

The example above is about the great Michael Jordan and would have been based in his hey day. However, the bet is being placed on if you think Michael Jordan would score over or under the 30 point mark in the game. If you guessed over and he does score over 30 points then your bet is a winner, but if he does not hit that mark then you have a losing bet.

Other Examples Of Prop Bets For NBA:

  • Number of rebounds in a game for a player.
  • Number of minutes a player will play in the game.
  • Number of team fouls in the game.
  • Number of free throws in a game for the team.
  • Overall shooting percentage for a team or player in the game.
  • What team wins the draft lottery.

To summarize is the prop bets are the type that is specific to a certain action being completed by the players or team.

Teasers & Pleasers

The teaser and pleaser bet is one that does show up from time to time in the NBA and it is a bet that will definitely help increase your potential bankroll if you hit on a pleaser or even a teaser. The teaser bet, which is typically in a parlay format, is one which you are “buying down” the point spread increasing your chances of winning. A pleaser bet is a parlay type of bet, except instead of lowering the point spread you are actually increasing it.

Example of a Teaser Bet

Jazz at HornetsJazz -11.5
Lakers at ClippersClippers -1.5

The games pictured above show the Jazz winning by 11.5 and the Clippers having to win by 1.5 points. However, if you think the Hornets defense will show up you may want to lower that spread down and you can do that by lowering the spread in your wager. The downside is it does decrease the overall payout, but increases the chances of winning. 

Example of a Pleaser Bet

Jazz at HornetsJazz -11.5
Lakers at ClippersClippers -1.5

The pleaser bet is the type that you are going to decrease the chance of getting a winner. That is because instead of keeping the line at 11.5 or 1.5 you could increase it to 17.5 and 8.5 points. Which means you are going to have confidence that the teams are going to win by that spread. Doing a pleaser bet does increase the potential payout by quite a bit.

To summarize a pleaser bet is increasing the potential points line, but a teaser bet is decreasing the point line. 

What to consider when betting on NBA

The NBA has a lot of potential pitfalls and one of the majors ones is betting on the money line all the time. The money line spreads in the NBA can become huge and in some cases you could end up betting a grand to win a hundred. So betting on the moneyline in the NBA is not the best scenario.

A great tip is to look at the spreads. See if the spread is big at close to 10 points or more. Then check to see if you can lower the spread by a point or two and what that does to your potential winnings. If it is still in reasonable levels you could potentially increase the chances of winning the game and wager.

With the totals in the NBA you can get a general idea on how well a team will do based on how the teams have performed before. For example in the playoffs a somewhat safe wager is on the under as all the teams tend to play great defense. In the regular season you can end up with a great offense playing against a horrible defense and that could easily lead to the over hitting. 


Is betting on NBA legal?

Yes it is legal to bet on the NBA. However, some states, like New York, do limit what kind of sports betting is allowed on in-state teams or sporting events played in the state for residents. 

Is betting on the NBA profitable?

Betting on the NBA is one league that can be very profitable. The NBA has a variety of betting types that are allowed and each one tends to give you a good chance of winning and the payout can be higher based on the bet you have made.

Can NBA players bet on the NBA games?


Where can I bet on the NBA draft?

Each sportsbook is different and some do allow bets on the NBA draft while others do not allow this typeof betting.

Historical winners of NBA

2021Milwaukee Bucks
2020Los Angeles Lakers
2019Toronto Raptors
2018Golden State Warriors
2017Golden State Warriors
2016Cleveland Cavaliers
2015Golden State Warriors
2014San Antonio Spurs