NBA Betting Tips

college basketball betting

Some quality NBA betting tips can go a long way in helping you become a better basketball handicapper. We’ll go over my personal tips that I use day in and day out when researching NBA games. I’ve learned many of them from my interviews with professional handicappers over the years.

Now of course these aren’t the end all be all to becoming a winning bettor at basketball. This is a simple list that should serve as a starting point, or if you’ve been betting for a while, then hopefully there’s a few new ones you pick up.

Either way, these are some NBA betting tips that you should file in your basketball betting notebook and look at on a daily basis to give you some guidance. Betting on the NBA is all about discipline.

It will test your patience, I can guarantee that. This is why it’s so vital to have some core NBA betting tips you can look to that will keep you on track as well as give you a starting point to your everyday handicapping.

Don’t let anyone tell you that betting on the NBA is easy. The season is a grind and you’ll have winning and losing streaks…it’s how you persevere through those losing streaks that separates the winners from the losers.

As I’ve said before, these NBA betting tips certainly aren’t the end all be all. There’s definitely others out there and over time you’ll continue to add more and more to your basketball betting notebook so you can always look back and learn.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the NBA betting tips I use everyday and why I feel they’re so important if you want to be a winning bettor.

Don’t Be Afraid To Bet Props

Prop bets you ask? Absolutely. Tremendous +EV can be found in prop bets…even more so than betting on the side or the total (by the way, this goes for all sports…in other words, I love prop bets in all sports because great value can be found).

Oddsmakers and sportsbooks spend the majority of their time setting the line for a game, a little less time setting the total, and even less setting props. With so many online sportsbooks competing for your business, you can find plenty that offer prop bets on just about all NBA games.

Most of them are pretty clueless too. A lot of the sportsbooks just copy them from another book. It’s not exactly the smartest thing to do, but competition is forcing their hand to offer prop bets because other books do…giving a great advantage to the smart handicapper.

Ever wonder why limits on props are so much lower than sides or totals? Well, it’s because the sharp handicapper can find many more +EV situations in prop wagers.

Most online sportsbooks reduce their limits to between $250-$1000 on prop bets. For me personally, that’s more than enough for my limits and I’d assume it is for 99% of handicappers out there. However, if you wager more than that, you can always place the same bet with various books as long as there is still value to be found.

This is certainly one of those NBA betting tips you don’t hear about much and that’s exactly how the sportsbooks like it. However, books can get a little irritated if your only betting props, so it’s always a good idea to bet some sides and totals to make sure you keep on their good side.

One of the best books ever written on prop bets is Sharp Sports Betting. It’s written by Stanford Wong and is an absolute must for any serious handicapper. He gives some fantastic NBA betting tips on props.

Even better though, he’s created an incredible spreadsheet where all you have to do is plug in the numbers to determine value with certain types of props. It can be found at Sharp Sports Betting under the links heading on the left hand side. The book will go into much more detail on how to use the different spreadsheets.

I can’t emphasize enough what a great addition prop bets can be to your NBA betting arsenal (or sports betting arsenal for that matter). It may take a little more time to research, but I guarantee you it’s more than worth the effort.

Look At The Moneyline For Small Underdogs

This certainly isn’t one of those ground breaking NBA betting tips, but it’s a really good strategy when betting football or basketball. If the payout is in line with your calculations of the team winning (or there is value), then by all means don’t be afraid to bet the moneyline on small underdogs (or even bigger ones).

Not only will you get positive odds, but your break even point should be reduced to below the 50% range…meaning you won’t even have to win 50% of your bets on moneyline underdogs to turn a profit.

However, there’s a reason they’re an underdog. It’s not exactly like taking candy from a baby, but like I said, great value can be found in betting the underdog straight up…so don’t be afraid.

My general rule of thumb is to give an underdog of +3 or less a close look to see if there is value in betting the moneyline. Now this isn’t a “set in stone rule” because I’ve certainly bet bigger underdogs, but it gives a good starting point.

Look At Long Road Trips

You always want to pay attention to those teams that have been on long road trips because they can play a major factor. Especially important to look for is when a “bad team” is getting points at home from a team that’s been on the road for the last few nights.

Again though, this certainly isn’t ground breaking information because the oddsmakers will take this into consideration when setting the line. However, +EV situations can be found by betting “bad teams” that are getting points and even more so when they’re at home playing a team that may be tired from being on the road.

This is one of those NBA betting tips that can go both ways though. Don’t fall for a line that looks to good to be true because it usually is…meaning don’t just randomly bet on an away favorite against a bad team because there’s probably more to it (that favorite may have been out of town for a few days so they may be a little fatigued).

It’s important to look at road trips since they can play a significant factor in the pointspread. Just take a little extra time before blindly betting into a bad number because you forgot to look at where the teams previous games have been played.

Trends Only Mean So Much

The past is not a prediction of the future. I repeat, the past is not a prediction of the future. If you read any of my other “trend” articles then you know I don’t put a whole lot of faith into them.

Trends don’t mean much simply because you can always find many that will support your bet and you can always find plenty that go against your bet. Trends are for “touts”. Touts love pulling out obscure trends that are basically worthless.

Most trends have nothing to do with predicting the outcome of a future event. Feel free to look at them if you must but definitely don’t base you’re reasoning for betting on a team because that’s where the trends are pointing (because I guarantee you I can find at least 5 other trends that will point the other direction).

Know the Injury Report

Another one of those NBA betting tips that people just ignore. I mean come on, how hard is it to check injury reports, yet so many people just ignore them. An injury, especially to a key player, can make a huge difference in the line.

You may find a line that looks great and bet it, only to find out later it looked great because one of their best players isn’t playing. Just stay on top of the injury reports because not knowing who is injured is an absolutely avoidable mistake.

Don’t Bet Just Because It’s A Big Game Or Is On TV

Trust me, just because a game is on television doesn’t mean you have to place a bet on it. This is one of those NBA betting tips that most people would like to know when they first start betting…we all love the action in the beginning.

Games that are nationally televised typically will have very sharp lines because the sportsbooks know they’ll get much more action from the public on them.

If anything at all, it’s best to fade the public on nationally televised games…this usually means betting against the favorite or the “so called” better team. I would much rather bet on a “bad team” that’s on TV because I can guarantee you the sportsbooks are shading the lines to get as many public bettors on the favorite as they can.

This usually means shading the line a point to two points in favor of the sportsbook…in other words, if a team should only be favored by 6, the sportsbook may shade the line to 7 or 8 because they know they can still draw plenty of money from the public.

Trust me, sportsbook managers take opinions on games and that’s why I highly suggest you be on the same side as the book…most of the time. If you’re able to get an extra 1-2 points on a dog that’s on TV, then that is tremendous value you must take advantage of.

Again though, don’t just bet on the game because it’s one TV. But for those games that are, give the underdog a very close look because there may be some value to be had.

Pay Attention To Overnight Lines

Pretty much every sportsbook now days has overnight betting lines on the NBA. You can find +EV situations if you do your homework.

This is even more true if you have your own power rankings or follow someone like Basketball Geek. If the numbers you have don’t match up with the overnight lines then this is something you’ll want to look into because you may have found some value.

I promise you that this is one of those NBA betting tips every professional handicappers utilizes. Injuries can play a very big factor and if you’ve done you’re homework, then you may feel there’s opportunity in the overnight line. If there’s value, then get your wager in before the line adjusts in the morning.


As I said before, these are only a few NBA betting tips. Heck everybody has there own, but I promise you that every professional handicapper out there uses these or at least some form of them.

These are a great starting point that you will no doubt add to over time.

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