Learn how NBA Betting works

Basketball is famous for being one of the most exciting sports in the world: intense gameplay from the beginning until the last second of the game, with spectacular shots and plays that follow one after the other without stopping.

And if we talk about NBA betting, the interest grows even more: NBA is undoubtedly the most competitive basketball league in the world, where the best basketball players on the planet perform. The NBA offers a spectacular show to the fans who visit the American stadiums every day, and to all the bettors who like to bet on the Lakers’ victory for instance.

The Americans are literally crazy about the NBA, even though this phenomenon is slowly taking hold in other countries too. It is therefore good to see in detail what NBA betting is about and how to read the NBA odds, which are among the most studied in the sports world.

NBA betting for beginners

The NBA rules are not so different from those of the European basketball championships, but:

  • The size of the courts is bigger.
  • Each game consists of 4 quarters of 12 minutes each (not 10 as in Europe).
  • There are 30 teams in the league, divided into two conferences (Eastern and Western).
  • Each team plays an impressive number of 82 games each year.

Available bets


As in the most popular sports, even in the NBA, the most classic bet is on who will win at the end of the 48-minute game. Remember that in case you bet on a draw, what matters is the score at the end of the four quarters, not the one after overtime.

Head to head (H2H)

In this case, what matters is the result at the end of the regular time, if a team has scored more points, or the result after overtime in the event of a draw.

Thus, the available bets are only on the victory or defeat of either team.

1X2 Handicap

Handicap betting is slightly more advanced than the classic 1X2, given that a negative or positive score is assigned to one of the two teams at the start of the game.

Miami Heats -7.5 vs New York Knicks

  • Handicap 1: Miami will have to win by at least 8 points
  • Handicap 2: Miami will have to win by less than 8 points, or the game will have to end in a draw or in New York Knicks’ victory.

Total Points

You will not have to guess who will win the game to bet on the total number of points scored in a game. It will only be necessary to guess which team will end the match: between 100 and 110 points, between 111 and 120, and so on …

Under and over (overtime included)

The under/over bet is perhaps simpler than the bet on total points. Even if the NBA matches often twist and turn, if you study the performance of the two teams a bit it will be easy to predict what the final result could be.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Utah Jazz OVER 203.5

If the match ends 101-103, you will win. You will lose, however, if the result is 100-103.

Winning margin

Similar to the handicap, but with more variations: if you bet on the winning margin, you will have to guess by how many points a team will win. The odds, as well as the complexity of the bet, rise dramatically.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Washington Wizards







> 30

In this case, called a 7-way winning margin, if you bet on the 11-15 margin it does not matter who wins the match. It is important that one team should win by a margin between 11 and 15 points.

Atlanta Hawks vs Orlando Magic

Hawks 1-5

Hawks 6-10

Hawks 11-15

Hawks 16-20

Hawks 21-25

Hawks> 26

Magic 1-5

Magic 6-10

Magic 11-15

Magic 16-20

Magic 21-25

Magic> 26

On the other hand, the winning margin for 12 outcomes is more complicated because, apart from guessing who will win the match, you will also have to indicate how many points will be scored.

Quarters betting

To make NBA betting more exciting, in addition to single-game bets, there are also odds related to the quarters of each game.

In fact, you can bet on which team will have scored more points at the end of the first quarter, or on which team will score more points during the second half.

Odd or even

As in football bets, even in the NBA, it is possible to bet on the odd or even number of points scored during the regular time.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder PARI

If the game ended 100 to 80, with a total of 180 points, you would win.

With a score of 99 to 114 and a total of 213 points, however, you would lose.


One of the most exciting bets in NBA betting is certainly the one concerning the winners by divisions, conferences, and the championship.

Each team belongs in fact to a conference, composed of 15 teams, which in turn are divided into 3 divisions of 5 teams each.

There are therefore bets regarding the winners of the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, as well as those of the Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, and Pacific Division. Moreover, it is possible to bet on which team will raise the trophy at the end of the championship.

MVP – Most Valuable Player

In addition to betting on teams, there are also bets on individual players: at the end of the championship the Most Valuable Player is in fact elected, that is the one who was the leading scorer and the most decisive and constant player throughout the tournament.

Rookie of the year

Every year, many young players enter the NBA after years of youth and university basketball. Among all the newcomers, the best is elected at the end of the championship and is awarded the Rookie trophy of the year.

Data to keep in mind

As in any sport, it is almost impossible to find a safe bet simply by betting on the team in better physical shape. There are various factors to consider before placing an NBA bet!


Given the frequency with which the NBA matches are played, and the enormous energy consumed because of long journeys and games without a pause, it is obvious that during the season there are various injuries in all the teams: it is advisable to consult the official team composition before NBA betting!

Moreover, the initial quintets do not always stay the same: the coaches make a lot of changes, and they may save the most important players in view of a decisive battle. It is good to always stay informed about this on the sites and forums dedicated to overseas basketball: even Twitter is an excellent source of information, as it is widely used by the Americans.

Away games

It is quite common in the NBA for a team to play 4 of the 5 weekly games away: in this case, it means that the entire team will have to travel by plane every day, which can seriously affect the physical and mental shape of the players. Before betting on a team, you need to know what the last played games were and where the next ones will be.

Be ready to start betting on some NBA games! Let NBA bets begin!


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