The National Basketball League is one of the largest and most prestigious sporting leagues in North America. It runs on a yearly basis and we get to observe some of the best basketball teams compete for the glory of being the champion. It includes 30 separate teams, one from Canada and the rest from the United States. The popularity of this league is second to none and millions of viewers tune in to watch the games. In 2017, more than 20 million households stood in front of their television sets to observe the finals.

This popularity carries over to the sports betting scene where millions of punters place their wagers in the hope of making a decent amount of cash. No bookmaker can afford not to offer NBA matches and this also rings true for the online sportsbooks.

The NBA is certainly a high-profile league and it generates much interest every year. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about betting on NBA matches, including the most common bet types, different odds types, the various promotions you can accept and more.

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Common NBA Bet Types

When you open an account at any sportsbooks, you will have multiple bet types at your disposal. These come in different forms and you may not fully understand them at first. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the most common bets that you can place on an NBA game.

Spread Bets

Spread bets are a highly popular bet type and they are found at just about any sportsbook. When you wish to place a spread bet, there are multiple things which you have to consider. This is a bet where you try to guess how well your team will perform, judged by the end score. A spread bet looks like this:

  • Team A: +5½ -100
  • Team B: -5½ – 100

This is called the spread presented in American odds (more on that later). Though it may look complicated when you first read it, once you become familiar with the system you will have no trouble understanding it. Judging by the numbers, Team B is expected to finish the game with a score higher that of Team A by 5 ½ points or more. Otherwise put, Team A is expected to lose by 5 ½ points. If Team B scores 5 ½ or more points – this number could be 6, 10, 20, etc – you will win the bet. But if the same team wins the game by 5 points or less, then you will lose the bet.

On the other side of the coin, Team A is not expected to win and if you place a bet on them, all they have to do is not lose by more than 5 ½ points. This is a win-win situation for you, because regardless of whether the team loses by 1 or 5 points, you will win. By the way, you will have made the correct bet if the team wins, too.

Spread bets ask punters to predict which team will play better in terms of relative score. The actual numbers are not important, only the difference between the final score.

Moneyline Bet

A moneyline bet is much simpler and closer to traditional gambling. It is a binary bet, where punters have to predict which team will win. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to this, but the premise is generally the same. Moreover, since there is a clear favorite in most cases, sportsbooks shift the payout odds to reflect this.

A bet on the team that is more likely to a win will bring in a comparatively smaller sum, than a wager on the underdog. They do this in order to incentivise punters to place bets on the underdog team, as no one else would if the payout ratios were the same.

A moneyline bet presented in American odds looks like this:

  • Team A: +160
  • Team B: -120

Over and Under Bets

Over and under bets are also quite simple and are generally popular with the sports betting community. One bet in particular utilises players’ predictions – gamblers are asked to guess whether the teams’ combined score will exceed a given number or not. The actual winner or loser does not matter for the purposes of this bet.

Moreover, those with some in-depth knowledge might do very well for themselves by placing this type of bet. If you expect to see a match between two very aggressive teams it is advised to place a bet on over. But if the teams are known for their defensive and more passive approach, then an under bet will likely be the right one for you.

Proposition Bet

Unlike other bet types that deal with a particular outcome of a match, proposition bets involve specifics about that match. For example, you may choose to place a bet that one player will score an X-number of shots in a match or something of a similar nature. Basically, proposition bets allow you to make predictions based on your own personal wishes and they can be customizable to a certain extent.

With proposition bets, your options are only limited by what the sportsbook is willing to accept as a wager. While fun and exciting, proposition bets are highly speculative, involving a high amount of improbability, and you may be wrong more often than not. For this reason, we advise that you do not wager too much money on such bets, rather keep them as a nice side bet. As such, they can still bring in a decent chunk of money and you will still be happy with the result.

Futures Bet

Futures bets are different from other bet types in the sense that they can cover both short-term scenarios, as well as long-term ones. For example, futures bets allow you to make predictions about what will happen to a certain team over the course of a season. Moreover, they can be much more accurate than other bet types and also remain relatively low-risk.

nba outrights bet
An example of an Outrights bet

This is due to the fact that punters can draw conclusions from the performance of teams or individual players in the long term. Since this can be measured objectively to a certain extent, it gives the knowledgeable bettor an idea of what the odds of successfully predicting the outcome of a certain scenario.

Parlay Bet

A parlay is a customizable wager and it can include just anything you can think of. A parlay bet consists of a multitude of conditions that can be stand-alone bets in their own right. For example, you wish to place a moneyline bet on match 1, a spread bet on match 2 and an over bet on match 3. Instead of placing three separate bets, the sportsbook gives you the opportunity to make one big wager. Of course, this changes things.

For instance, for a parlay bet to be winning one, you have to predict every event correctly and if even one of them does not turn out how you expected, you will lose the parlay. On the flip side, the high degree of risk also has a direct effect on the payout ratios. A parlay bet has the potential to bring in quite a decent sum and if you predict all conditions of your parlay correctly, it will reward you with a higher payout than if you had placed multiple independent bets. Naturally, you will have to weight the advantages and disadvantages against each other and reach your own conclusions whether this bet is for you or not.

Odd Types

decimal odds iconDecimal Odds
fractional odds icon Fractional Odds
american odds icon American Odds
percentage icon Calculations

Of course, understanding what the odds say is just as important as the bets that you wish to place. After all, you need to know what your chances of winning the bet are and what it will pay you if you guess correctly. There are multiple ways that sportsbooks present the odds and you may find yourself more comfortable with some more than others.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are one of the most popular types of odds, especially in European and a few other first world countries. A bet presented in decimal odds will be written down like this:

  • Team A: 3.00
  • Team B: 7.00

By looking at these numbers, we can tell that Team A is favored to win since a bet on it will provide us with a smaller payout. What these numbers indicate is the amount won per unit of currency wagered. For example, if you bet $10 on Team B and they win, you will walk away with $70. Similarly, the same bet on Team A would leave you with $30 if that team wins. You have to consider that this odds type shows your net balance, rather than simply profit as other types do.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are a different type of odds normally favored in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They are written with a slash or a hyphen and look like this:

  • Team A: 3-1
  • Team A: 3/1

This is read as ‘three to one’ and it refers to the profit that you will make from placing a bet. More specifically, when you place a $10 bet on Team A and they win, you will receive $10×3 = $30 in profit, in addition to your original stake, meaning that your net bankroll will go up to $40. This odds type is quite easy to understand, making them the preferred style for many punters all over the globe.

American Odds

American odds are different from the other types since they do not involve any form of multiplication. Instead, they show you how much you can win by betting $100 or how much you have to bet to win $100. For example:

  • Team A: +150
  • Team B: -120

The team with the minus is the considered the more likely to win and the number shows how much cash you have to wager to win $100. Team A, one the other hand, features the plus symbol and the number after that shows how much you stand to win by wagering $100. Much like fractional odds, the numbers featured in American odds only show the amount that you will receive as profit. So if you bet $100 on Team A and they win, you will receive $150 as profit and the original $100 for a net total of $250.

Bonuses and Promotions for NBA Bets

bonus iconDeposit Bonus
e-wallet icon Free Bets
bank icon Bet Refunds
jackpot icon Jackpots

Bonuses and promotions are an integral part of any modern online sportsbook. They serve as incentives for punters to register at a particular gambling website and they provide some sort of value for their business.

Promotional offers come in many different forms but most are totally worthwhile. Below, we will outline some of the most common promotions that you can benefit from when placing bets on NBA games.

Deposit Bonuses

Deposit bonuses are available at basically every sportsbook on the Internet. Gambling websites give you the opportunity to claim these from time to time and they usually are worth a certain percentage of the sum you deposited to your balance.

Bonus money is different from real money, in the sense that you have to fulfil a turnover requirement before you are allowed to withdraw it. A turnover requirement dictates how much in wagers you have to place before the bonus comes eligible to cash in. Usually, it will be an x-number of times the value of the bonus and it can only be completed on bets that feature predetermined odds.

Free Bets

Free bets are a simple concept to grasp. Every now and then, the sportsbook may give you the opportunity to place a bet on your favorite NBA team at no cost to you. If you lose the bet, it will have cost you nothing. But if you were correct in your prediction, the winnings will be credited to your account in bonus funds.

As such, you will have to meet a turnover requirement before you can with them. Free bets are an excellent way for you to generate some extra cash as you can place them at no risk to your bankroll.

Bet Refunds

Bet refunds are quite common in the realm of online sports betting. This promotion type gives punter the opportunity to recoup the losses from an unsuccessful bet, allowing them to put it to further use.

If available, a refund will be given in the form of bonus money and this means that you will have to fulfil the turnover requirement to cash it in. This is quite similar to free bets in the sense that you will be able to place more bets as you will not immediately lose money. Bet refunds are commonly given out on NBA matches, meaning that this is the ideal promotion for fans of the league.

Banking Options in NBA Betting

bank transfer icon Bank Transfer
credit card icon Credit Cards
cryptocurrency icon Cryptocurrency
prepaid card icon Prepaid Cards

When you wish to place a bet at an online bookmaker, you will first have to top up your balance. Since you will be unable to deposit using physical cash, you will have to resort to an online payment solution.

Luckily, gambling websites like to be as inclusive as possible and thus, support a large number of the top services in the industry. Below, you will be able to read what online payment services you can use to deposit to your balance and maybe, later cash in your winnings.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a no-brainer in the world of the Internet. They are doubtlessly the most popular payment method online and are accepted practically everywhere. They easy to use and convenient, giving you the option to immediately deposit to your favorite sportsbook.

With credit cards, you can always rely on instant deposits and relatively timely withdrawals. Most sportsbooks support Visa and MasterCard, but there also those who include Diners Club and Discover. However, out of those brands, you will likely be able to withdraw only to a Visa card, so be careful.


Electronic wallets are one of the signature payment services in online gambling. They are quite popular with the general user base for a number of different reasons. For one, they are widely supported and you will be hard-pressed to find a sportsbook that does not accept payment via at least two different eWallets.

Additionally, they provide punters with a good degree of anonymity, allowing them to maintain the secrecy of their personal and banking data. Finally, the transaction speeds of any eWallet outrank those of most other services. Deposits will clear instantly, while withdrawals will be processed in a few hours after the gambling website’s staff approves the payment. Among the list of popular eWallets, we find Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz, PayPal and others.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards are the excellent payment method for many punters who like to keep their anonymity and do not wish to commit to any particular transaction service. With a prepaid card, you will be able to deposit to your balance in less than a minute.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to cash in your winnings via the same service and will have to rely on a different one, for example, a bank transfer. The most popular prepaid card service in the online gambling industry is Paysafecard and you can acquire one at thousands of retail locations around the globe.


Cryptocurrencies are quickly rising to prominence in the online gambling industry, but nowhere more so than in the realm of online sports betting. Cryptocurrencies have only recently become accepted as a valid method of payment and the number of websites that support them is not large.

However, every day more and more online sportsbooks are warming up the idea and some have even started offering promotions to those who utilize cryptocurrencies. Among the most widely supported kinds, we find Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin.


When looking for a good bookmaker website there are many factors that you have to consider. First and foremost, you need to be able to trust the website with your personal and banking information, and that it will pay when you win. Always look for reputable sportsbooks and read user reviews. A good way to separate the legitimate websites from the fakes is to look for a license. All honest and fair gambling websites come with some form of certification issued by a government body that regulates it. Additionally, you can also consider factors such as promotions, customer support, game variety and others.

This is a subjective issue to the particular sportsbook you have chosen. However, there are some services which cannot be used to cash in regardless of the website. MasterCard is notorious for refusing to process payments from certain gambling websites to their users. Others services such as Paysafecard are unable to process transactions to users since they were not designed with this function in mind. Cryptocurrencies are still in an early phase of integration and not all sportsbooks have accommodated for them in the proper way. Some may refuse payment, though there are those who are more than happy to process your transaction in the cryptocurrency of your choosing. It all depends on the individual sportsbooks.

Generally, you will have to submit some form of identification to the gambling website that you frequent. This is not done to inconvenience you but to prevent certain illegal activities from happening online. It is mandated by regulations and sportsbooks and other gambling websites have to comply to remain on the right side of the law. is a media website dedicated to sports news and reviews of the most popular sports betting sites. Here you will find comprehensive guides on where to bet on football, tennis, NBA, NFL and information about the most popular betting deposit methods.