Published on November 16th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi


Beginners guide to NBA betting

The NBA season is officially underway following the culmination of week one’s fixtures and the excitement for the year ahead can be felt by every fan. Millions of them will be adding that extra edge to their gameday by betting on fixtures across the league. The NBA Futures list the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors and LA Clippers as the joint favorites to become the 2022-23 champions.

Ever since the federal law barring sports betting was nerfed by the supreme court in 2018, nearly every state has moved to legalize some form of sports betting. This has allowed for a considerable growth in popularity for NBA betting.

However, there are probably plenty of us who would like to foray into NBA betting but have not placed a bet before. If you are a beginner, fear not, here is your guide to NBA betting.

Starting from the ground level lets take time to explain how betting odds work. All markets are priced by positive and negative numbers. Positive numbers tell you how much the bet would win when wagering $100 whilst negative numbers tell you how much you would need to wager to win $100. For example, If the Celtics played the Warriors and you backed the Bucks to win at +200, you would win $200 from a $100 bet. If the warriors were priced at -175, a $175 bet would net you $100. All winning bets placed with real money also return your stake. Now you know what the numbers mean, let’s take a look at what markets you can wager on when betting on an NBA game.


The moneyline could not be more straightforward: you are wagering on a team to win the game. This includes overtime so if the score is tied in normal time your bet goes on until there is a winner. In the case of a tie the bet is settled as a loser. Whilst it is an easy bet to make, moneyline bets often offer lower returns if you are wagering on favourites.

Point Spread

The point spread is one of the most popular markets to back when betting on ball sports. The spread is essentially a virtual points handicap handed to the moneyline favourites. For example, using our Celtics/Warriors example, let’s say the spread is +/-4.5. So The Warriors, with a -4.5 point spread, would have to win by 5 clear points or more to win against the spread. On the other side, the Celtics, with a +4.5 spread, would need to lose by no more than 4 points if you were to back them. A half-point is often used to prevent the outcome of a ‘push’, meaning the bet is tied. The reason these bets are so popular is because it is a great way of betting on favourites without giving up on your returns as you may do with the moneyline. The point spread is always set by the sportsbook you are betting with and are usually the same number no matter who you bet with, unless you choose to bet on an alternate line.

Points total

This is another straightforward bet. You are betting on the total number of points to be scored in a game. This is set by an over/under number. For example, the over/under in the Celtics/Warriors game may be 210.5. If you backed the over, you would need 211 points or more to win the bet and if you backed the under you would need 210 or less. This is a good market for beginners as you don’t need too much in-depth knowledge of either team.

Player Props

Player prop bets are one of the most exciting ways to bet on the NBA, especially when you are watching the game you wagered on. Player props are bets placed on a player to reach particular milestones. In the NBA, this could be points scored, rebounds, assists, three’s made and more. For example, you could bet on Steph Curry to make over or under 5.5 threes in a game, or Draymond Green to make over or under 8.5 boards. These bets do require a decent amount of research and you will want to keep an eye out on trends of previous meetings between both teams along with the player’s form throughout the season.


Futures are pretty much what they sound like: you are betting on the future outcomes of events in the NBA season. You could wager on which teams you think will reach the playoffs, win their conference, division and even who will become NBA champions this season. You can also back player futures like who will win the MVP at the end of the season and the Rookie Of The Year Award.

These are the most popular markets to back in NBA betting. They all add that extra element of excitement to gameday but what is most important is you find the market you feel the most comfortable betting on. This article should have given you a better understanding on how to bet on the NBA as we get started on what is sure to be another incredible season.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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