The NBA Finals 2022 are with us. The Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics have just played their first game against the Western Conference Champions, the Golden State Warriors. The last time that this happened was the 1963 – 1964 season that saw NBA legends Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain square off.
The last time the Celtics won the NBA title was in 2008 after their triumph against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors’ last claim to the title was in 2018 after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors franchise has won six NBA Championships since 1946.
Betting on NBA Games
These internationally-renowned, action-packed basketball games are a highlight for sportsbooks and bettors alike. The long season starting from late October to early July offers NBA punters ample opportunities to reap big on wagers placed. Below, we look at the most common betting types on NBA games and tips on the best betting strategies.
Strategies for Betting Profitably on NBA Games
- NBA Moneyline Bets
This is the most common and straightforward wager in NBA betting. It works simply by predicting which team will win. It doesn’t matter how many points they won by, or how closely contested the match was. Unlike points spread betting that levels the playing field by manipulating the number of points a team is favoured by, moneyline betting levels the playing field by manipulating the payouts.
The bigger the underdog team is, the more the payout if they win. The underdog team will be symbolised by a plus sign, the favourite team is indicated by a minus sign. The bigger the number, the bigger the underdog or favourite.
- NBA Spread Bets
Spread betting is popular with high scoring games such as the NBA. These high scores necessitate the sportsbooks to use a line/spread to equalise the chances of either team winning a bet. A favourite team win for the bettor happens if the team wins by more than the line/spread. The underdog bet wins if the underdog loses by less than the line/spread.
For a bettor who picks against the spread, he predicts that the underdog will out rightly win, or lose by less than the point spread. He will get the original bet back plus the winnings.
- NBA Total Bets
As one of the most popular wagers for NBA games, the sportsbooks set the predetermined combined score of each team and set the bet on over or under that figure. The odds are set the previous day before the game. On game day, these figures are usually updated to reflect changes on the team roster, sustained injuries, or such occurrences that might affect team performance. If the bettor predicts that this will be a high scoring match, am ‘over’ wager is placed. If the teams are predicted to have a low scoring game, an ‘under’ wager is placed.
- Stay updated on the Injury and Rest Player Reports
To avoid making unending loses on your wagers, constantly look through player announcements as the games draws closer to being played. Do not bet blindly as this is a sure way of placing a failing bet. When such news is made, the sportsbooks immediately adjust the lines. Location is also an important factor to consider. Home court advantage will impact a bettor’s decision even if he picks against the spread.
- Pay Attention to Scheduling
The team’s ability to win depends on the players’ condition before the game. Have the players been playing back-to-back games, or playing on the road? Have there been rest days in the schedule prior to the team playing a particular game? If a bettor realises that a team’s odds have not been updated and the team is overvalued, the bettor can actualize gains by betting against that team.
- Bet Early
Placing a wager early or as soon as soon as the market opens will give the bettor an edge. Acting before market efficiencies are corrected will ensure you get better odds than when the line closes at tip off. Acting on information closer to game time will make the odds harder to beat.
- Handicapping the Referee
Since referees significantly impact the outcome of games, it would be wise to study the data from all of the referees’ assignments. Over/under totals bets are common wagers influenced by refs. If the referee is known to call an excessive number of foul shots, this will result in a lower total-points game.
Betting on NBA games requires thorough research and staying up to date with reports and schedules of the teams. At the moment, the Warriors are believed to be the favourite team, hence odds are skewed towards a Warriors’ title. For a bettor who picks against the spread, betting on a win by the Celtics will have the highest return.