> Sports Betting Basics > How to Bet on the NBA

How to Bet on the NBA


NBA basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and the game has spread from America to become a global phenomenon. So it’s little surprise that more people than ever are interested in learning how to bet on NBA games and are making wagers on basketball action. It’s actually very easy to bet on NBA games, with different bets available depending on your personal preferences.

There are three primary bets available when it comes to the NBA; point spread wagers, moneyline bets and overs/unders, which are more often referred to as totals. Point spread wagers are the most popular NBA bets and the point spread is basically a handicap imposed on the favored team to make each team equally attractive in the eyes of bettors. In the first example above, the Phoenix Suns are favored by 6 points over the Denver Nuggets. This means if you bet the Suns they must win by at least seven points in order for you to win your bet. If Phoenix wins by five or less, or loses the game, those who bet on the Suns would lose their bet. Those who bet on the Nuggets would win their bets if Denver wins the game or loses by five  points or less. If the Suns win by exactly six points the bet is a push and all bets are refunded.


The second bet, the moneyline wager, simply involves picking the winner of the game with no point spread involved. Since teams are seldom given an equal chance of winning a game, there is typically a favored team for moneyline bets. In the example above, the Phoenix Suns are listed as -250, which means you must risk $250 to win $100 if you bet the Suns on the moneyline. You do not have to wager $250, you could bet much less, but will have to risk $2.50 for every $1 that you want to win. The Nuggets are +210, which means that you would risk $100 to win $210, although again, you aren’t required to risk $100. You could bet $10 to win $21.


The final bet listed is the over/under or total and for the Suns vs. Nuggets game the total is 213. This bet is determined by the total number of points scored by both teams combined. If the total points are 214 or greater those who wagered on the over would win their bets. If the total points were 212  or less, those who wagered on the under would win their bets. If the total points end up exactly 213 the bet is a push and all wagers are refunded.