Guide to NBA Betting Online

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned sports bettor, NBA betting has something for you. With a packed schedule, tons of bets, and nail-biting action, betting real money on the NBA can be both exciting and profitable.

We’re going to get you primed to start betting on NBA games by teaching you the basics of how to bet of the NBA online and provide you with access to invaluable NBA betting resources. By the end, you’ll be all set to place your first NBA bets and well on your way to winning real money.

Best NBA Betting Sites

NBAAfter many long hours of combing through a wide range of online sportsbooks with NBA odds, our team of experts at The Sports Geek presents a definitive list of the top NBA betting sites. We used a long list of stringent criteria to evaluate the merits of each online NBA sportsbooks, and have narrowed our list down to these few. Each of these sites will provide you the best combination of secure betting, exceptional odds, and an enjoyable online NBA betting experience.

It’s worth mentioning that none of these online NBA betting sites pay us for placement on our list. Each of our selections is independently chosen. We want to remain objective so that we can provide you the best possible information without any outside influence. In this article, you’ll also find a small selection of the criteria that went into making our selections. We encourage you to use these as a reference when analyzing NBA sportsbooks online that might be on your radar.

Resources for NBA Betting

Free NBA Picks

One of the most helpful resources for NBA betting is our expansive section of expert picks. This section will provide you with hot tips and critical insights that can help inform your picks get giving you an inside look at what the pros are thinking. You’ll find a detailed analysis of the match, including insight into previous competitions, top players, and other game impactful statistics. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns and correlations that will help you to develop and improve your strategy. Think of expert picks as having a mentor who can give you the inside scoop while helping you learn the ropes.

NBA Computer Picks

In addition to providing expert picks, The Sports Geek also allows access to advanced picks made using artificial intelligence. These AI computer picks take hundreds of different factors and statistics into account to predict the most probable outcome for a given match. The best thing about these systems is that they improve over time. The computer learns from its incorrect picks and refines its model for better accuracy in the future. If you are looking for a quick, highly-informed pick, this is the section for you.

NBA Betting News

You’ll quickly learn that keeping up with current events in the NBA is a crucial part of successful NBA betting online. Knowing what’s happening in the league will help you understand where to lean in and where to pull back. Also, keeping an eye on league news will help you identify betting opportunities well in advance, which gives you more time to make better picks. We maintain a very close eye on all breaking NBA news and report it to you as soon as possible. Our extensive range of coverage can keep in informed on everything from upcoming rivalries to league controversies.

NBA Basketball Betting Blog

Along with staying on top of the news, we also tackle tons of other topics in our basketball betting blog. Here, you’ll find all kinds of additional informative content beyond just current events. You could easily spend hours digging through are all the valuable nuggets we accumulated over nearly two years. Our blog will address everything from comparing betting strategies to analyzing division matchups.

NBA Betting Strategy

And finally, The Sports Geek provides excellent tools to help you build your NBA betting strategy. Successful NBA betting goes way beyond just picking a team to win, and you need to know all the ins and outs of how to come out on top. Our strategy resources will teach you about everything from the basics to how to maximize value. These sections are an excellent resource for both new bettors as well as experienced players looking to learn how to bet on the NBA.

Aspects of Good NBA Betting Sites

NBA Betting Bonuses

When you first register for your new online NBA sportsbooks, you are likely to qualify for a new player signup bonus of some kind. These are bonuses given exclusively to new players as an incentive to pick one site over another. Generally, these come in the form of a deposit match when you first fund your new account. Say your website is offering a 50% match on the first $500 deposited. This means that if you start with more than $500, you’ll get an additional $250 added to your bankroll. Be sure to take full advantage of these as they can have a massive impact on how much you can bet.


Promotions are similar to signup bonuses, but they are less exclusive and happen regularly. Lots of online NBA betting sites will run promos to give players incentives to bet bigger for bet more often.

These perks can include things like cashback on losses when betting on a specific match or maybe odds boosts if you take particular bets.

Always be sure to look at which promos are available when placing your bets. Often promos can overlap with bets you are already going to take, but you need to be opted in to get the bonus.

NBA Betting Odds

As with any sports betting website, it is crucial to bet on an NBA betting website that offers the best odds. NBA betting odds are how a sportsbook communicates the payout that corresponds with a given bet. We’ll take more about NBA odds later on, but for now, the main thing you need to know is that you want to play on the site with the best odds so you can maximize your return when you win a bet. Since each bookmaker makes their odds, you’ll find a wide range of odds around the internet for any given event. We’ve helped narrow that search down by focusing on sites offering some of the best NBA odds anywhere on the web.

Crypto Banking Methods

Basketball BitcoinIn recent years, cryptocurrency has grown into a legitimate form of legal tender. With the massive spike in Bitcoin a few years back, popularity skyrocketed, and now, there are millions of people exchanging thousands of different digital coins everyday. Since digital currencies are easier to transfer, incur fewer fees, and offer much more anonymity than standard payment methods, they found a natural home in the world of real money online gambling. Some NBA betting sites will even provide crypto players exclusive bonuses for using cryptocurrencies as their primary banking method.


One of the most important aspects of a good NBA betting website is its security. You must bet on a site that uses state-of-the-art technology to keep all your data secure. We chose sites that have a long history of putting player safety first. These sites use advanced encryptions and cutting-edge software to protect against any form of intrusion. You can be sure that if you bet on any of these sites, you’ll have the safest and most secure online betting experience possible.

NBA Betting Platforms

We also looked for NBA betting sites that provide a wide range of platforms on which to bet. In this day and age, players expect to be able to gamble when and where they want. Each of the sites on our list provides options to bet using a PC, tablet, or even on their mobile phone. This kind of versatility puts the player in control and ensures you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise, even if you can’t get to a computer.

User Interface

NBA Betting SiteIn addition to expecting the ability to bet across various platforms, players also expect to have a seamless experience wherever they play. All the sites that we selected have made significant investments in the player experience by designing websites that are clean, straightforward, and beautiful. Betting on any of these NBA betting sites will be both easy and enjoyable.

Customer Service

Finally, high-quality customer service is a must to be able to qualify for our list of the best NBA sportsbooks online. The sites on our list each offer 24/7 support along with a variety of contact options, including phone, chat, or email. They each have tons of satisfied customers and a long history of putting the player first. Should you have an issue when playing on these basketball betting sites, you can be sure they will stand behind you. You can expect a quick resolution to any problems that may pop up.

Understanding NBA Odds and Lines

NBA Betting OddsThe first step to betting on the NBA is understanding odds and lines. While these are simple concepts, they can look intimidating at first. These compact, information-dense tables tell you everything you need to know about a bet before placing a wager. We’ll show you how to read them, and you’ll be able to see them in action with examples later on in the article.

First, let’s look at odds. Like we mentioned earlier, odds reflect the payout that corresponds with a given bet. You will most often see these represented as a positive or negative number. If the number is negative, that team is the favorite. If the number is positive, that team is expected to lose. The actual number value tells you the payout you would get for winning in relation to a dollar bet.

For Example
If a bet is paying +200, this means you would win $2 on a $1 bet, for a total payout of $3. If a separate bet is paying -200, you will win $.50 on a $1.00 bet, resulting in a total payout of $1.50. As you would expect, the more a team is favored to win by, the less you win betting on them. Conversely, the more a team is expected to lose, the more you win by betting on them.

Second, the “spread” (or the “line”) represents the number of points a team is expected to win or lose by. We’ll talk about betting the spread next. But for now, you just need to know that it is represented by a positive and negative number assigned to each team, usually in increments of half a point. If a team is showing -4.5, they are expected to win by 4.5 points, and if a team is showing +4.5, they are expected to lose by 4.5 points.

Most Popular NBA Bets

In the old days, sports betting simply meant picking which team you thought was going to win. Over the years, betting has made great strides and has become significantly more complex and more involved than just picking a winner. Below are a few of the bet types you’ll find when looking through your NBA betting site. You can use some or all of these types to add diversity to your strategy. May pros only use one or two, so determine which ones make the most and stick with those.

NBA Spread Bets

Spread bets are one of the most common across NBA betting online. A spread bet intends to “level the playing field,” so to speak. When a bookmaker offers you a bet on who will win an NBA game, the teams are never perfectly matched. There are always going to be differences in the two teams that contribute to one team being more likely to win than the other.

To account for this, bookmakers offer what is called the “spread” or the “line” to equalize the teams. The “spread” refers to how many points a team is expected to win or lose by. If sportsbooks didn’t offer a way to balance the bets between the teams, everyone would simply bet on the favorite, and the sportsbook would go bust. Let’s look at the example below to see precisely how the spread works.

Team 1
Spread Bet
Team 2

Here, you will see that the Celtics are projected at +4.5 while the Mavericks are projected at -4.5 points. Just like looking at the odds, the favorite is reflected by the negative number. We’d read this as, “the Mavericks are expected to win by four and a half points.” This kind of betting equalizes the teams because it enables you to win the bet even if your team doesn’t win the game. One thing to note is that the half points are simply used to prevent ties, so it can largely be ignored.

You win a spread bet by “beating the spread.” This simply means that to win, your team just needs to outperform their expectations. Going back to our example, a winning bet on the Mavericks would mean they win the game by MORE than 4.5 points. If they win by 5 points, you win. If they win by three points, you lose. Conversely, a winning bet on the Celtics would be them losing by less than 4.5 points. If the Celtics lose by five, you lose. If the Celtics lose by less than four or they win, you also win.

One thing to remember is that the line in NBA spread betting is not fixed. The bookmaker will move the line based on the balance of bets. Their goal is to have equal bets on both teams so they make money regardless of who wins. They can encourage or discourage betting by moving the line. Say they received a massive number of bets on the Mavericks. They could move the line to -5.5 points, meaning the team needs to perform even better to win. This would discourage betting on the Mavericks and would make betting on the Celtics look more attractive.

NBA Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are also quite common across a wide range of online sports betting sites with NBA odds. This more straightforward form of betting offers you a chance just to pick the winner of a given event. Just like with spread bets, you are betting on who will win. However, in contrast to spread bets, handicaps are provided differently. Spread bets simply adjust the expected outcome to win the bet, but offer the same odds for each team. Moneyline bets are placed on who will win, but the payout varies in accordance with which team is favored.

Below is an example of how a bookmaker would present the NBA odds on a moneyline bet. You will see each team is assigned a number. This number will tell you both the payout on the bet as well as who is favored. Again, the negative number reflects the favorite to win.

Team 1
Moneyline Bet
Team 2

The thing to remember with moneyline bets is that your team still needs to win the bet. Unlike spread betting, if your team loses, you lose. Also, the payout that corresponds with your bet is scaled to the probability of the outcome. This means that you can often win much less with a successful bet on the favorite. Let’s take a look at the result of a winning bet on each of the team in our example

First, let’s say you bet $1.00 on the Spurs, and they win this game. They are offered at +130, meaning they are expected to lose. As a result of them defying the odds and winning, you win $1.30 plus the $1.00 you bet for a total payout of $2.30. Not a bad return on $1.00!

Next, let’s say you place a $1.00 bet on the Warriors, and they win. In this case, they are favored to win at -140. This means you win just $.77 plus your $1.00 bet for a total payout of $1.77. As you can see, a significant difference compared to betting on the Spurs.

Of course, these payouts are different, and the odds are different because expectations of who win are drastically different. Perhaps a key player is inactive for the Spurs, or maybe the Warriors have been on a hot streak. You’ll see these types of things factored into the odds, so you should always consider these when placing your bets.

NBA Over/Under Bets

If you aren’t as interested in betting on a specific team at NBA sportsbooks online, over/under bets might be for you. These bets aren’t placed on one particular team to win, but rather, the total number of points both teams will score. Let’s take a look at our earlier example to see how an over/under bet works.

Team 1
o196 (-110)
Over/Under Bet
Team 2
u196 (-110)

Here you will see a number designated with a “o” and a “u.” This number refers to the threshold of points at which one bet wins against the other. Despite these lining up with different teams, that’s merely for organizational purposes. In our example, the 196 refers to the total points scored in the game.

When betting the over/under, you are placing a wager on the total points being over or under the offered threshold. Above, if you placed an over bet and the total points scored was 197, you win. Conversely, if you took the under and the points totaled 195, you would win. These bets can be useful if you have reason to believe a game will be particularly offensive or defensive.

NBA Prop Bets

The last type of betting we’ll discuss today is NBA proposition betting. These are some of the most exciting bets you can place, and they can add a whole new level of fun to watching the game. Prop bets are wagers placed on particular outcomes within a game. For example, you may be able to bet on how many three-pointers a player will hit, how many blocks a team will have, or who will win the opening tipoff. Prop bets can make betting real money on the NBA significantly more involved.

A significant advantage of NBA betting online is that online sportsbooks with odds on the NBA can offer a ton of prop bets brick and mortar sportsbooks aren’t equipped to provide.

Since your typical live sportsbook has so many different sports and different bets going on at once, it can be hard to support some of the more granular prop bets that are available online. Betting on one of the NBA betting sites like the ones that we recommended above will give you access to a massive range of prop bets to make every single aspect of the game exciting.

Don’t think that all prop bets are pure luck. Not all prop bets are created equal, and which ones you choose can be very impactful.

Some prop bets are a pure guess, but others take much more skill to bet wisely. If you are just interested in having fun, go crazy. But if you are looking to make money, focus on the bets that require skill. The bets that require more skill can be much more predictable (and profitable) with the right knowledge and research.

Summary on NBA Betting

Betting on the NBA online or in-person can provide some of the most exciting and profitable betting in all of sports. With a wide range of betting styles, a ton of competitive teams, and action almost every night during the season, NBA betting should be on your radar if you are looking for a new sport to bet. Be sure to refer back to this guide as well as all the other great resources on The Sports Geek as you begin your NBA betting career. There is a ton of great content that can help you improve rapidly while avoiding some of the common pitfalls. Always bet responsibly, have fun, and good luck!

NBA Betting FAQ

Yes, betting on the NBA is legal in many states across the United States, as well as on many reputable real money NBA betting sites like the ones that made our list.

Yes, there are a wide range of online sportsbooks offering odds on NBA games. We’ve narrowed down a few of the best and provided them in the list above.

We recommend betting on the NBA using the sites listed above because they will often have better NBA odds, offer more prop bets than live sportsbooks, and are verified secure.

The best type of bets for you will depend on your skill, knowledge, and risk tolerance. If you are looking for a more straightforward bet, you may want to stick to simple moneyline or over/under bets. If you are more advanced or want more in-depth bets, spread bets, or prop bets may be for you.

As with all types of sports betting, the best strategy is to be an informed bettor and look for value. The Sports Geek can provide you with tons of information to help refine and perfect your strategy until you are crushing the books.

Yes, a bettor can place parlays across a vast number of bets just like they would in many other sports. These parlay bets can significantly increase potential payout if they hit.