In the NBA the best team usually wins. In fact, last year the best team in the regular season, the San Antonio Spurs, won 75.6% of their games (and went on to win the NBA Championship), while the worst team in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks, only won 18.3% of the time. The fact that the best teams in the league are that much stronger than the worst teams makes NBA betting very interesting and unique. This page outlines a few important tips to consider when betting on NBA basketball games. In addition to these NBA specific betting tips, you should check out our general sports betting tips article to find more tips that relate to all sports.
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Be Aware of Injuries
Because high quality players in the NBA are so important to their teams, injuries to these top players can have huge consequences. In order to correctly evaluate betting options you have to know who’s playing and who isn’t. Knowing how deep teams are is important here – if, for instance, the Cavaliers are missing Mike Miller for a few games, it may not affect them too much, but if Lebron James or Kyrie Irving is out with an injury this can severely affect their chances of winning a game. Injuries can have a huge effect on the outcome of a game, and knowledge of injuries is essential to good betting.
Check out the ESPN injury report before betting every night to keep up to date.
If you plan to bet on the moneyline in the NBA, bet on close games. Generally, betting on very good teams or very poor teams will hurt you, as though very good teams will usually win, they usually get terrible odds, and vice versa. It simply isn’t worth it to bet on a San Antonio Spurs vs Minnesota Timberwolves game – you stand to gain very little for betting on an Spurs win, and successfully betting on a Minnesota win will take both cojones and a lot of luck. Instead, bet on games that stand to be close based on good information. For instance, if two teams with similar records are playing each other, investigate why one team might win on a given night and bet accordingly. This is where money can be made.
A good example would be a game between the Raptors and Nets. Both are \good teams and the odds shouldn’t favour one team too much over the other. Yet, if you know that DeMar DeRozan tends to play well against Brooklyn, then a bet on the Raps could be lucrative.
Here, in close matchups, generally it is best to bet on the underdog. If a game figures to be close, yet one team is a +4 or +5, you know that a bet on that team should be relatively safe, for even if they lose on a last second shot you’ll still make money. If you think a game will be tight, and that it will come down to the last few minutes, betting on the underdog allows you a good chance of winning your bet.
Avoid betting on heavy favourites – any team can fail to cover a spread of 10 points or more rather easily. If the Cavaliers are playing the Celtics and the spread is 11 points, the Cavs can easily cruise to a 9 point win while riding their bench, making it difficult to count on a team beating a big spread. The reverse is also true – the Celtics will almost certainly lose this game, but if Cleveland goes to their bench, the Celtics can keep the game reasonably tight and probably cover a large spread, though they never have a reasonable chance of winning the game.
Of course, these general tips will only get you so far. Always compare odds between sports betting websites and look for good value, and always research individual match-ups between teams and players to find the advantage that could decide a game one way or the other and help you win money. Good luck!