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NBA Betting Strategy

NBA Basketballs on the Court

NBA Betting Strategies

There’s no question that the NBA is basketball at the highest level, which often means that you can be up comfortably early in a third quarter and wind up defeated by a bad beat in the closing minutes.

The New York Knicks led the Brooklyn Nets by 21 points in the second half of their final meeting of the 2021-22 season and ended up losing by 12 as five-point home underdogs. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving won in their first outing playing as teammates at Madison Square Garden against a team each of them spurned and then openly discussed the Knicks fans that booed them post-game.

Narratives play a large role in the NBA. Sometimes it’s worth backing them. Other times, it makes sense to fade them or ignore them altogether. Durant and Irving both stated for weeks that it didn’t matter who they faced in the play-in tournament as the 2021-22 preseason title favorites looked to salvage a season sidetracked by chaos, yet neither sat in the entire second half as Brooklyn made its comeback at the Garden. Winning was obviously important to the Nets, but they still managed to fall behind by 21 points to open the third quarter. New York has guys being paid millions to play basketball too.

Betting the NBA is always about expectations and reactions to overreactions. We’re out of the bubble and back to an 82-game schedule. Arenas are full again. Injury reports are updated every hour on the league website, and you can easily access a series history between teams involved in every game with the click of a button. Edges are out there to be deciphered.

Personally, I like to start with my predicted score of every game before I make my own spread and then take a look at the numbers oddsmakers have set. That strategy helps serve as a starting point for seeking out discrepancies.

You can analyze projected team totals and compare them to recent numbers. You can bet on teams to start fast based on recent trends, either expecting them to continue a run of quick starts or to bounce back from an awful performance.

Because there are only 12 active players on a roster every given night, it’s possible to project how a team might attack a game based on who’s set to be absent. The NBA designates ‘probable,’ ‘questionable,’ ‘doubtful,’ and ‘out’ as tags to let its fan base know who will be available for every game. It’s handy to have a working knowledge of rosters and trust your judgment as to how games might unfold. Sometimes teams have an edge with their second units that will ultimately change the flow of a game, and the growing popularity of in-game betting makes it possible to get a better number than the final point spread available prior to tip-off.

Line shopping plays a large role in NBA betting since bettors often move the line with their action. While it carries a risk to get in early ahead of definitive personnel decisions, there are advantages to be had if you suspect a player will be rested or sidelined ahead of that news becoming official.

It’s also a valuable resource to know how many points a player not being in the lineup affects the spread and judge whether the market is overreacting to a star player sitting out. Teams are well known to let their guard down when a team’s best player isn’t in the mix, and they don’t cover the new number. Since these are pros, players tend to step up and excel due to getting increased touches and growing more engaged on the defensive side of the ball.

Betting NBA sides is equal parts getting the best number and coming out on the right side down the stretch. The “make or miss league” cliché rings true often. Betting NBA totals is all about anticipating pace and projecting how close a game will ultimately be. Although there are teams that play faster than others, their identities are well-known. Shooting percentages, fouls per game, and scoring offense and defensive metrics are out there to help you decide whether you want to wager on a game going over or under a closing total.