NBA bets - how to choose the best?

The NBA (National Basketball Association) is one of the most popular basketball leagues worldwide. Although the NBA is only played between teams from the USA, many basketball fans in Europe and Asia actively follow every game. Due to the popularity of the league, NBA betting is one of the most common bets among professionals and newcomers. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about NBA betting and betting.

NBA bets and wagers

NBA - Where to start?

The National Basketball Association league is quite different from most European leagues or tournaments. Even experienced basketball bettors may need to look for new information on NBA bets or take a different approach to the most popular basketball bet types.

Due to the popularity of the NBA around the world, all betting companies offer bets on this league. It is always very important to carefully select the companies where bets will be placed before placing any bets. The Poker School has ranked and listed the best betting companies both in Lithuania and around the world, so we recommend using this list:

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NBA bets can be placed throughout the season, but at the very beginning of the league, you need to pay attention to one of the most unique and important events for all the games to come - the NBA Rookie Draft.

NBA betting and rookie market

The NBA Rookie of the Year is probably one of the most important events in the league. At the rookie trade, all teams choose new, promising players. Most of these players are from US college or university basketball teams, but at the same time, the rookie trade also brings foreign players into the league.

In terms of betting, the National Basketball Association's rookie exchange is crucial for betting on the first part of the season. In this part of the season, the strength of the teams is not clear due to the new players, so it is potentially possible to find many more valuable bets. At the same time, the news from this exchange and the new team line-ups should be used with extreme caution. In the first game of the season, new players may not meet initial expectations, so there will be a lot more Variations than usual.

NBA Rookie of the Year 2019
NBA Rookie Exchange 2019

Before betting on the first part of the season, it is very important to find out all the information not only about the team's performances last season, but also about the changes after the Rookie of the Year exchange. Each new player should be evaluated very carefully, based on his performances in US college or university games (or European and Asian tournament results if the new team member is from abroad). Once this information has been gathered, all you need to do is to find the best bet types and the right odds.

NBA best bet types

In all basketball competitions, some bets are traps for players and some can be profitable. One of the most notable examples of a trap is betting on the exact amount of points. No matter how good the odds offered, no bookmaker has the accuracy and knowledge of the NBA or basketball, so in the long run, such bets will only lose money.

Many professional bookmakers use just multiple bet types. It is much easier to make profitable bets with just a few types of bets than it is without this strategy and with many different types of bets, as it will be too difficult or time-consuming to gather valuable information on absolutely every element of an NBA game.

If you limit the types of bets you can place, it will be much easier to find all the information you need, making betting much more efficient.

Types of NBA bets

  1. Money line (winnings). The simplest and probably the most commonly used bet. This bet pays out if the selected team wins the match. The downside of this type of bet is the long term practice of betting companies. Betting companies are well aware that this is a very popular bet and therefore take extra care when setting the odds.
  2. Totals. Totals bets require you to guess the combined profitability of both teams' points within a certain range. This type of bet is very popular for the simple reason that if you know the teams' line-ups, their playing styles and average profitability, it is usually quite easy to determine the expected number of points.
  3. Handicap (advantage). This type of bet usually occurs and is used when the race has a clear favourite. Usually in such cases bets on the favourite are unprofitable due to the extremely low odds. This problem can be solved by using handicap betting. The handicap specifies how much of an advantage a team must win (or lose) for a bet to be considered a winning bet.

Sometimes Quarter or Half bets are used, which allow you to choose bets by game or multiple games. It is advisable to limit the use of these types of bets to very experienced punters, as the variation on a Quarter or Half bet can be much higher than in other bets.

Of course, you should always pay attention to the odds offered when looking for good value bets. Experienced bettors usually look for odds of 1.85-1.95 for their bets. These limits allow you to make a profit quite often, albeit quite small. Many newcomers are attracted by huge odds such as 10 or 15, but bookmakers are very deliberate in their use of the latter. While it is possible to make a lot of money at once, such odds are only given for bets with very low probabilities. It is almost impossible to make money from such odds in the long term, as the bookmakers calculate the probabilities in such cases very carefully.

NBA betting tips for rookies

For new bettors, betting on both the NBA and other basketball competitions can result in a lot of losses. While betting is just a fun pastime for many, applying betting strategies and tips can help you protect your money and gamble with the same amount for much longer.

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First of all, even if you only use betting to have more fun watching your favourite team play, it is best to bet money on teams you are not a fan of. We all want our favourite team to win, but often such bets are based on emotion and have no rational justification. For newcomers, who are often a little less aware of betting, it can be harder to separate their emotions and rely on cold reason alone.

Secondly, it is always important to gather as many appropriate information. Information should be collected in two ways - independent and betting-related. In the first case, the statistics collected should reflect the overall trends of the matches and the league (or tournament) as a whole, such as profitability of the teams, number of wins and losses, players' performance and so on. In the second case, specific and very clear statistics related to the future bet must be collected. For example, when a totals bet is chosen, a number of factors related to the result must be carefully considered, such as the average profitability of the teams, the style of play, injuries to players and so on. Of course, some of the information will be shared, but it is important to evaluate the statistics gathered in both ways and then place the bet.

For newcomers, it is recommended to stick to the traditional, high-value bets (totals, winners and edge). Some bettors with more experience use other bets such as point totals, players' time on court and so on. These types of bets have much more variation and require very specific information and gambling experience.

Betting and variation

Finally, it is best for all newcomers to start all betting looking for a good way to have fun watching NBA games rather than looking for money. All betting and wagering is gambling, so it is naive to think only about making money without trying your hand at it. Betting is an area where good money management, mental preparation and knowledge of mathematics will bring the best results. Experience in betting and wagering will help you to improve in all three of these areas, so you should only start thinking about longer-term earnings in this area once you have a good understanding of betting.

Betting variation bell curve
Variation curve

In all areas where there is a high degree of variation (betting, poker and other gambling), the key is to have a sound money management strategy. In almost all areas it is recommended to separate your money into two parts. The first is for the necessities of daily life (food, bills, etc.) and the second is for gambling only. This money should never be mixed together and the money for everyday life should never be used for gambling. In most cases it is recommended to have a second source of income, at least for a short period of time. Often, even with a good knowledge of betting, sports and all other factors, it is possible to lose a lot of money on mathematical probabilities alone, so a second source of income can help when you get into the wrong end of the variation.