In-play has quickly evolved into one of the most popular sections of any given sports betting website. Basketball, in particular, has proven to be especially suited for this type of wagering due to how fast-paced, yet lengthy, games tend to be.

This does not mean that live betting is exactly easy. On the contrary, experience is of importance here. First, there is an ample variety of betting types that are available for in-play lovers. Moneyline bets, spreads, totals, and props are all part of an ongoing game’s catalog.

Furthermore, the odds tend to change rapidly. Odds movement is typical for sports bets, but few events can match the speed of NBA live games. This is why being able to make quick decisions is a necessary skill for any punter looking to try in-play. Overall, all of this means that in-play is not the best of options for new punters, at least early on.

NBA Live Betting Types

One of in-play’s best traits is that you are not limited to a small number of wager variations. Instead, you will have access to pretty much all types of bets you would be able to make prior to the game commencing.

It is important to clarify that wagering live will not be the same as wagering off-game. In fact, the experience is quite different. The most significant distinction is how pressed for time punters are when making their decisions. In ordinary betting, there is a reasonable amount of time to mull over one’s choices, shop around other bookies in case someone is offering better odds, and, all in all, do extensive research on the specific NBA bet a punter is planning to pick.

You will not have the luxury to do the same while the game is underway, especially as the odds can and will change in a matter of seconds. Basketball is far from a leisurely game, which makes NBA in-play wagering quite hectic and thrilling.

Do note that despite all of this, you can prepare beforehand by thoroughly researching the game, the teams, the condition of the players themselves, their schedules, and so on. Being familiar with the markets you could run into is vital as well, and we will look through the various bet options in question below.

Live Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are some of the most straightforward options you can pick, which makes them perfect for in-play. When you wager on the moneyline, you are simply betting on which one of the teams is going to win. If the bet excludes overtime, wagering on a draw being the final result will also be an option.

Keep in mind that the relationship between the underdog and the favorite is crucial when placing moneyline bets. The favorite is the team that is considered the more likely to win. Things are the exact opposite when it comes to the odds of the underdogs. Their lower chances of winning make bets riskier, but to compensate and encourage wagers on both sides, sportsbooks offer great odds for these teams.

Being able to decide between the two options quickly is crucial for successful live bets. If you wait too long, the wager you were planning on picking might suddenly lose a good chunk of its value in response to what happened in the game.

Live Spread Betting

There is no wager more popular in NBA basketball than betting on the spread. Spread betting also relies on the dynamic of the favorite and underdog, but here, this is not evident in the odds. Instead, it is the spread that shows us which team is the expected victor, and which one is unlikely to defeat their opponents.

For things to become clearer, we will focus on the point spread of a game between the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets:

Washington Wizards+6 1.91 (including overtime)
Denver Nuggets-6 1.91 (including overtime)

As you can see, the odds here are the same, while the number 6 is the point spread in question. The plus next to the 6 of the Wizard shows that they are the underdog and are given leeway by the sportsbook. The only thing that is important here is for the team to cover the spread and thus lose by no more than 6 points. So long as that happens, your bet will be successful.

On the other end, we have the Denver Nuggets with a minus right before their 6. This indicates that they are the favorite. If you wager on them, and they win by 6 points or more, then you will be a winner as well. If they fail to cover the spread, however, your bet will result in a loss regardless of them technically beating the other team.

Live Totals and Prop Bets

Totals are also known as over/under bets, and they are not difficult to figure out. To put it simply, when you place a total bet, you are wagering on whether the final score at the end of a match will be over a given number of points or if it will be lower. To demonstrate, here is an over/under wager between the previous two teams:

Washington Wizards vs Denver Nuggets
Over228.5 (odds:1.91)
Under228.5 (odds: 1.91)

Although this is arguably the most favored type of totals in live NBA basketball, player totals are also well-liked by punters. Basketball’s popularity is largely owed to its players, after all, so it is natural that wagering on individual stars’ performances is a favorite for many bettors. Player totals include wagering on player assists, points scored, passes and fouls. These bets are also considered props and are the most common type of proposition wagers you will come across while betting on live games. In addition, quarter and halftime totals are also well-liked among putners.

The Importance of Bankroll Management

The speed at which events unfold during an NBA game makes wagering on such games an exciting experience, but it can be a bit dangerous for a punter’s money if they are not careful. This is why proper bankroll management is crucial for any sports bettor, no matter how new or how experienced they may be.

When it comes to live betting, it will do you good to remember that winning is far more challenging thanks to several factors. As we emphasized above, you will typically have a minuscule amount of time to choose what to bet on, and you will need to have done any background research regarding the players and teams before the tip-off. Either way, this means that your chances of winning are technically smaller than normal, and while you can win big, you can just as easily lose a lot of money in no time. This added risk needs to be taken into consideration.

Attempting to use live NBA games in order to hedge your bankroll is a slippery slope and is, in general, to be avoided. This is especially relevant if you are trying to compensate for losses you might have incurred on previous NBA events. Chasing one’s losses is the single most dangerous thing a gambler of any kind could do. Emotional betting can already lead to hasty decisions and disregard for logic, but wagering while desperate is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, it is better to know when to call it quits and set your sights on future NBA betting opportunities.

NBA Live Betting on Mobile

Sports betting on-the-go has come a long way in the past decade. Now, punters have access to their online sportsbooks no matter where they are, and it is all thanks to their smartphones. Wagering on sports is more accessible than ever, and nowhere is this more obvious than it is at the live betting sections of mobile bookies’ apps.

Live betting, especially when it concerns games like NBA basketball, lends itself well to the portability that smart devices provide. This way, bettors can avoid missing out on a match scheduled to happen when they are unable to access their personal computers. In addition, timing is especially important for in-play, which is again aided by being able to wager anywhere with an internet connection.

Along with in-play, live streaming is also widespread enough that bettors are so used to the feature it has become an expectation. Live-streaming gives a full picture of what is happening on the court, especially to those who know how to analyze the game. The fact that it can easily be accessed on mobile is something a bettor should take advantage of whenever possible.

The Importance of Being Prepared

You will seldom have time to do a background check on the teams which are competing in an already ongoing NBA game. This, however, does not mean that you should neglect to do research before the start of the event. NBA games are announced in advance, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to dig and find information, which will be useful to have when the game is in full swing.

The first thing that should be on your checklist is finding out the lineup. This means figuring out if any of the players have sustained injuries that could affect them or even prevent them from participating. If they are, in general, to enter the NBA’s health protocols, this is a hint that they might not make it to their next game. Apart from their physical condition, it is also good to pay attention to events surrounding players and how certain situations might affect them emotionally.

In addition, scheduling is also of great concern. Often, certain teams will have games that are lined up to happen with no proper breaks in between. Naturally, this can greatly affect the results of a game as exhaustion is now a factor, which is why we recommend you always keep scheduling into consideration.

Apart from everything we covered above, becoming familiar with the way the particular sportsbook you will be wagering at operates is also important. Sportsbooks handle lots of things differently, and this includes aspects such as pushes, the formats they allow you to display the odds with, and more, so make sure to read up on this beforehand.


In-play of any kind can be a challenging beast to take on, but with basketball, the difficulty spike between run-of-the-mill wagering and live betting is especially prominent. The potential winnings and high skill ceiling make it perfect for seasoned bettors who are familiar with NBA wagering and want the opportunity to win more than usual while taking advantage of the entertainment factor in-play betting provides.

Punters who are new to the sports betting scene can try it out, but only for fun. They should reserve higher stakes for when they are better familiarized with the ins and outs of NBA wagering.

As for what makes in-play so great, it is incredibly fun to observe the game and to place wagers as the events unfold. In addition, there is a notable variety to choose from since almost all NBA wager types typically found at bookies are available to in-play bettors too. If you enjoy live moneyline bets, your sportsbook is practically guaranteed to have you covered, and the same can be said about over/under bets and wagering on the spread. Last but not least, the rapid changes of the odds can allow you to achieve some very impressive wins, provided you pick your bets quickly and skillfully. 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.