A beginner’s guide to betting on basketball

Basketball can be a highly lucrative sport to bet on as long as you approach it prepared. This beginner’s guide will discuss the best NBA betting options and strategies. 

To get started, you must sign up with a legitimate sportsbook in your state. This should take a few minutes as mobile technologies have come very far. All you practically need is a secure internet connection. 

Do stick to reputable, well-established, and licensed providers when choosing a sportsbook. Don’t fall for unrealistic bonuses and promotions. Should they pique your interest, make sure you read the fine print. 

Maximize Your Chances 

As a beginner, you’ll need all the help you can get. Take advantage of the occasional (and realistic) promotions offered by leading providers like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. One great option at the moment is the BetMGM bonus code, which can help beginners get off on the right foot. 

Types of Bets

LeBron James. Source: NBA
Lebron James. Credit: nba.com

Among the possible bets on NBA games are moneyline, under and over, point spread, juice, and prop bets. 

The most popular option by far to bet on is the point spread. The favorite has a negative spread by their name, and the underdog has a positive one. The former has to win by more than the value of the spread for you to win money. The latter has to win or lose by less than that value to produce a winning wager.

Prop Bets 

These are best for punters with some prior knowledge of basketball. They can bet on the final score of the star player, the team to score a certain number of points first, and more. There are many possibilities. 


Stephen Curry. Credit: bleacherreport.com

As a rule, the earlier in advance of an event, you place a wager, the more you stand to gain if your prediction proves accurate. For example, if you bet on the winning team a few weeks vs. a few months before the match, you’d win more money in the second case. 

Totals Bets

These bets are where you try to predict the number of points to be scored in a game by evaluating two teams’ capabilities. There are also over/under bets, where you try to guess whether the final score will be higher or lower than the benchmark. 

Whichever type of bet you choose, give the star players on the teams some thought. Have any of them gone through trauma or another unpleasant event? This could have an impact on their performance and even on the end result of the game. 

Go Against the Grain

Betting against the crowd is a clever approach to basketball betting. Follow the latest news and updates to improve your chances of winning. 

The Best Odds and Matchups 

Compare sportsbooks for the best odds and study matchups. Before you make a spread or a prop bet, check the NBA’s matchup page for head-to-head comparisons.

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