How to Bet on Basketball: Basketball Betting Advice

A view of the NBA logo on the sleeve of Dwight Powell #7 of the Dallas Mavericks. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

If you love watching hoops played at an elite level but are new to betting on it, then you have come to the right place. There are a few tricks of the trade to keep in mind and below we will share some of the more important strategies with you. Let’s go and check the NBA odds!


The NBA is trying to reduce back-to-back games because it causes teams to often sit out their star player(s) or severely reduce the minutes logged in the contest. Make sure you scan the injury reports because those players will show up on that list even if their “injury” might be fatigue.

Approximately 13.5 games on the average team schedule are the second leg of back-to-backs which is roughly 17 percent of a team’s schedule. When you find a team under these conditions, you should reflexively determine if their opponent is worthy of a wager.

As you can imagine, the grind of the NBA season is long and it doesn’t get any worse than having to play two games at different arenas on consecutive nights. Often those teams will be weary in their second game and not put forth their full effort. This will be reflected in the line that the oddsmakers are dealing so make sure that this is not an auto-fade of the team in question but rather a matchup that requires further scrutiny.

With the OddsTrader app, you can get an updated list of the latest scores for every team so you can make sure to know when there is a back-to-back game.

Money Management

Throughout the NBA season, you will find multiple games on any given night. You need to be judicious as to how many bets you make and for how much. Understand that more is definitely not better when it comes to betting basketball.

The vigorish (the commission you must pay on each bet) will eat you alive if you are betting several games on a nightly basis because, assuming the unit size is the same on each bet, you will always lose more on each bet than you win due to the vig.

Therefore, you need to determine how much you are willing to lose in a season. Naturally, the goal is to make money, not lose it, however, always expect the best but plan for the worst in sports betting. The amount you settle on will be a dollar amount reserved exclusively for betting NBA basketball from October until the NBA Finals in June.

If you do lose the entire amount at some point during the season, you have to be able to sleep at night. This can’t be the rent money or anything that will paralyze you financially. Remember to bet with your head and not over it.

The size of your bankroll will determine the size of your bet. The general rule of thumb is each bet should be one-percent of your bankroll. Therefore, if you set aside $1000 for the entire NBA season then each wager you make will be $10, which doesn’t seem like much but it will keep you in action throughout the season unless things go very, very poorly.

Why take the Jazz -9.5 when you can get a half-point for free at another shop. Different spreads like this are available

Choose the Best Book

If you are new to sports betting then you might have the mistaken belief that all sportsbooks are created equally. Ask anyone who has ever tried to get a payout from their book but couldn’t. Yes, it happens because there are nefarious sportsbooks out there that make depositing seamless but getting paid impossible.

Fortunately, there are independent sites that assign a letter grade, from A+ to F, to the online sportsbooks and all it takes is a little due diligence to find out which ones are the best. At OddsTrader, you will be able to see all of the U.S. licensed sportsbooks at a glance. These books are all regulated and you will never have a problem getting paid at any of them.

But that doesn’t mean you should just choose one arbitrarily. Explore them all and find out which one feels best. But if you truly want to get a bettor’s edge then open accounts at more than one because the NBA lines can differ from book to book. Why bet the Knicks at +4 when you could get them at +4.5 or +5 at another established sportsbook?

Ultimately, you choose which books to do business with so make sure you do your research, scan the injury reports, and above all, get the best line at a reputable sportsbook!

At OddsTrader we break down the best sportsbooks for your personal needs, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned bettor! is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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