Gambling 101: NBA Betting

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How do bettors get in on the action and what are popular NBA wagering options? Today on Gambling 101 we are breaking down National Basketball Association betting.

NBA roots stretch back to the founding of the Basketball Association of America in 1946. There is never a shortage of NBA betting action as team futures and player prop options are available all year.

Similar to NFL betting odds, NBA full game point spreads range from EVEN to 17 points or more. For example, if Brooklyn is a +4 point home underdog against Orlando who is posted as a +4 point road favorite. Brooklyn backers need the Nets to win outright or lose by three points or less, to cash winning tickets. Orlando bettors cash in if the Magic win by 5 points or more.

Players wanting to avoid point spread odds can wager on NBA moneylines. Also known as straight-up odds, moneyline prices range from +100 to upwards of +/-1000 or more depending on the caliber of the teams.

If you're more of a Game Total Better- then the NBA is your sport, my friend. Posted with the largest numbers of any North American big 4 sport, NBA game total odds are usually in the 200 to 240 point range.

NBA action never slows down- Available all year, NBA playoff odds are a popular futures betting option. Prices on division and conference winners, plus the NBA Finals champion, fluctuate during the regular season and as the playoff rounds play out.

Here's a tip to remember when betting on the NBA. Since teams have five main starters, who play the most minutes, comparing “star power” is important when wagering on basketball. 

Remember not all bookmakers post identical prices so make sure to shop around for the best odds before placing your bet. For more help make sure to Bookmark Sports Illustrated's Glossary of Terms and tune in for another gambling 101 here on SI.com.

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