How to Bet on NBA – NBA Betting Sites and Strategies

NBA betting strategies and upcoming matchup odds. Learn how to bet on the NBA. Tutorial includes easy and exotic bets, futures odds and best betting sites. See the latest championship and conference futures odds. Smash the sportsbooks this season.


  1. Current Matchup Odds
  2. Easy Bets
  3. Exotic Bets
  4. Championship & Conference Futures
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How NBA Betting Works

Here are various ways to bet on the NBA. The first section contains common NBA bets. These are fairly easy to learn. The second section outlines exotic NBA betting. These bets are more complicated and require intermediate handicapping knowledge. They’re also harder to win in the long run.

NBA Betting - How to Bet on NBA
NBA Betting – How to Bet on NBA

Easy NBA Bets

1. NBA Spread Betting

Your bet is made on the expected score difference.

Add the spread to the underdog’s final score. The underdog wins if the sum is greater than the favorite’s final score.

Subtract the spread from the favorite’s score. The favorite wins if the difference is greater than the underdog’s final score.

The spread is the smaller of two numbers next to each team. The larger number is the total. Sportsbook odds list the juice to the right of the spread. This is the amount of money you bet to win $100. Assume -110 when no number is given. -110 is standard or full juice.

NBA Spread Example

Boston 220
Golden State 12½

  1. Bettor chooses underdog Boston Celtics. They cannot lose by more than 12.5 points. Assume -110 juice because no other value is provided.
  2. Golden State wins game 113-100.
  3. Bet wins if underdog score plus spread is greater than favorite’s score.

Result: Boston 100 + 12.5 = 112.5. 112.5 is less than 113. Golden State covers spread.
Underdog bettors lose. Favorite bettors win.

More Info

Review our spread betting video and tutorial page here. You’ll also find NBA key numbers, insights, stats and betting strategies.

2. NBA Total Betting

Sportsbook predicts a combined point total. Players bet whether final result will be over or under this number. Final point total includes overtime result.

The total is the larger of two numbers next to each team. The smaller number is the spread. Sportsbooks display the total bet’s juice to the right of the line.

One side of the bet may have different juice than the other. NBA betting odds will abbreviate over as “o” and under as “u”. The more expensive side will be provided. For example, 220 o-115 means anyone betting over 220 will lay $115 to win $100.

Assume -110 when no number is given. That means the juice for both the over and under is -110. Bettors taking either side will lay $110 to win $100.

NBA Total Example

Boston 220
Golden State 12½

  1. The total line is 220. The over and under both have -110 juice because no other value was specified.
  2. Over bettors believe the final total will be greater than 220. They lay $110 to win $100.
  3. Under bettors believe the final total will be less than 220. They also lay $110 to win $100.

Result: Final total is 226. This number is greater than 220. That means all over bettors win.

Note: A total equaling 220 means all bets push. Your wager will be refunded.

More Info

Watch our total betting video and review our over-under tutorial page here. The reference section explains how to calculate the value for the opposite side of the line when sportsbooks charge more than -110 juice.

3. NBA Moneyline Betting

Bet is made on outright winner. A positive number denotes the underdog. A negative number denotes the favorite. Two -110 numbers indicate no specific favorite.

Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.
Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100. The juice is included in each line.

Sportsbooks don’t display moneyline odds with spreads and totals. Instead, you’ll find moneylines on a different table or page. Look for “ML” or “Moneylines” on your sportsbook’s odds page.

NBA Moneyline Example

Chicago -170
Dallas +150

  1. The Chicago Bulls are the favorite. The Dallas Mavericks are the underdog.
  2. Chicago bettors lay $170 to win $100. Dallas bettors win $150 for risking $100.

Note: Tie scores aren’t possible in the NBA. If the score is tied after regulation time, teams play unlimited 5 minute periods until the tie is broken. Each team gets 2 timeouts per overtime. Player fouls carryover from regulation.

More Info

Our Moneyline Betting video explains this bet in detail. The complete moneyline tutorial also includes useful tips and strategies. The reference section contains odds conversion calculations between Moneylines, Fractional and Decimal odds plus break even percentages.

Exotic NBA Bets

1. NBA Parlay Betting

Combine 2 or more spread, money line or total selections. Parlay wins if all selections win. Parlay loses if any selection loses.

NBA Parlay Directions

  1. Select 2-15 spreads, money lines, totals or combinations of all three.
  2. Matchups from other sports like football, hockey or baseball can be included.
  3. All selections must be correct to win.
  4. Each tie reduces parlay size by 1 selection. Review your sportsbook’s parlay rules carefully.

More Info created a parlay betting infographic here. It explains how to place a parlay bet in a graphical format.

The complete parlay tutorial provides examples and recommended bets. Also, a thorough discussion about what happens when one or more parlay legs tie. Learn the difference between standard parlay odds and true odds in the reference section. Finally, see why parlays benefit the winning bettor more than separate straight bets.

2. NBA Teaser Betting

Combine multiple spread and total bets into a modified parlay. Buy points to shift lines in your favor. Winning teaser bets receive a lower payout than the same straight bets with unmodified lines. Moneylines cannot be added to a teaser bet.

NBA Teaser Directions

  1. Select 2-10 spread bets, total bets or combinations of both.
  2. Buy points to shift lines in your favor. The more points you purchase, the lower your potential payout.
  3. Favorites can now win by fewer points. Underdogs can now lose by more points.
  4. Under now more likely with higher total. Over now more likely with lower total.
  5. All selections must be correct to win.
  6. Note: Sportsbook tie bet rules vary. Each tie reduces payout by 1 selection above 2 total selections.

More Info

Learn more about teaser betting on our how-to page. Our infographic explains how to place a teaser bet in detail. You’ll also find a detailed example, tie rules and teaser odds from popular online sportsbooks.

3. NBA Prop Betting

Sportsbook offers odds on various events related to sports, entertainment or politics. Bettor decides whether an event will occur, in what quantity or both. Prop bets are considered side bets. They are not dependent on the game’s final outcome.

NBA Prop Betting Directions

  1. Visit sportsbook’s NBA odds page. Select “Props” or “Specials”.
  2. Most props are announced before championship events. Others are available throughout the season.
  3. Each prop has moneyline odds.
  4. Make selection and bet desired amount.
  5. Sports props win or lose after applicable game, season or playoff has concluded.

Note: Some props cannot be added to parlays.

More Info

Prop bets are easy to play once you understand how moneylines work. Read our expansive prop betting article here. You’ll find multiple examples and tips. Also, a brief explanation about season win totals and why they’re a combination prop and future bet.

These bets are popular with knowledgeable sports handicappers if the numbers are right.

NBA Futures Odds

2022 NBA Championship Odds

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Golden State Warriors
Boston Celtics
Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks

NBA Eastern Conference Odds