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How to bet on NBA games online: Complete April 2024 guide

The Philadelphia Inquirer has all the information you can ever need surrounding how to bet on NBA games online if you’re a new bettor.

Keep scrolling to learn how to bet on NBA games online this season. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto).
Keep scrolling to learn how to bet on NBA games online this season. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto).Read moreYobro10 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Philadelphia Inquirer has you covered if you’re wondering how to bet on NBA games for the 2023-2024 regular season, which is currently underway. North Carolina sports betting is now live, meaning you can bet on the NBA in the Tar Heel State.

More on how to bet on NBA games online


Key dates for 2023-24 NBA season

The NBA season’s length is tied for the second-longest in American sports. Its 82-game regular season is tied with the NHL for second-most games played, only trailing the MLB’s 162 game season.

In 2022-23, we saw a fantastic season where Joel Embiid won his first NBA MVP and the Denver Nuggets won their first NBA Finals by defeating the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed Miami Heat.

The regular season enters its final month in April with the play-in tournament and playoffs both following suit in the month.

You can see who the leaders are in the NBA Finals futures odds of which teams are expected to win the championship.

Date
April 14, 2024
Event
NBA Regular Season Concludes
Date
April 16-19, 2024
Event
NBA Play-In Tournament
Date
April 20, 2024
Event
NBA Playoffs Begin
Date
June 6, 2024
Event
NBA Finals Begin

Most common NBA bets

NBA moneyline

Whether you’re betting on the NBA or any other sport, wagering on the moneyline is the easiest form of betting you’ll come across.

In the simplest of terms, the moneyline means picking which team you think will win a specific game. The team with a positive sign next to its number denotes that they’re the the underdog. The team with a negative sign denotes that they’re the favorites.

The higher the number, be it positive or negative, the bigger an underdog or favorite that team is.

In terms of what the numbers themselves means, it’s simple once you get some practice betting on it. In this example, if you’re betting on the Celtics (-190) to win, you need to bet $190 in order to make $100 profit. If you’re betting on the 76ers (+158), you need to bet just $100 to make $158.

You’re allowed to bet as much or as little as you want. As you get experience, understanding NBA betting odds will become easier.

Team
Philadelphia 76ers
Moneyline
+158
Team
Boston Celtics
Moneyline
-190

NBA totals

An even simpler form of betting is wagering on point totals. Point totals are how many points you think the two teams playing in that game will combine to score for.

In the example below, if you think the Celtics and 76ers will combine for 215 points or less, you’ll choose the under. If you think they’ll score 217 points or more, you’ll choose the over.

If the total points show an even number and that’s the number the teams achieve, that’s called a push. When a push happens, you don’t win or lose, you get your bet refunded to your account.

Team
Philadelphia 76ers
Total Points
O 216.5
Team
Boston Celtics
Total Points
U 216.5

NBA spread

Another very common kind of bet you’ll find on the NBA is the spread. Wagering on the spread is just another way of predicting who you think is going to win the game, but adds the component of by how many points.

It’s noteworthy to remember NBA odds are usually set at -110 on both sides of a spread bet, with your sportsbook and state potentially playing a role in them differing.

If you bet on the Celtics to cover the spread in the example below, that means the Celtics would need to win the game by at least 4 points for you to be successful in your wger. However, if you bet on the 76ers (+3.5) they can win or lose the game, but they must win or lose the game by 1-3 points.

Team
Philadelphia 76ers
Spread
+3.5 (-110)
Team
Boston Celtics
Spread
-3.5 (-110)

NBA prop markets

Prop bets are another form of common NBA bets players can place. Rather than betting on moneylines, totals, or spreads, props allow betters to test their skills and knowledge by wagering on certain aspects of how NBA action will unfold for both individual players and teams.

Player props

Player props are questions you get to answer and wager money on in terms of how you think a specific player will play. You’ll often find player props to be more diverse and in-depth than just how many points a player may score.

Ultimately, you can find a player prop for just about every statistical category (steals, assists, three-pointers, etc.) in every game to wager on if you enjoy this style of betting. Some player props will even be answering a simple yes or no question. Examples of player props are:

  1. Will Ja Morant score over or under 27.5 points?

  2. Will LeBron James finish the game with the most points?

  3. Who will have more assists between Chris Paul and James Harden?

Team props

Similarly to player props, team prop bets allow users to bet on certain categories or aspects of an NBA game in relation to NBA teams’ performance. This is a popular way of betting because players can be inconsistent in putting up patterns of statistics, but teams’ trends can be more consistent.

Team prop bets can be statistic based, or event based. Examples of this could include:

  1. Which team will have the most assists, the Warriors or the Suns?

  2. Will the Knicks lead the entire game?

  3. Will the Timberwolves shoot over or under 8.5 free throws?

NBA live bets

Live betting is exactly what it sounds like. Live betting allows users to place wagers on games in real time as they’re happening live. If you miss the chance to bet on a game before it starts, live bets allow you to jump into the action late.

This is an option that can be enticing for those who like to see how a game is flowing before placing money on who they think will win.

Something important to remember with live betting is that the odds are always subject to change, and change quite frequently throughout a game. So a wager for +300 could easily be +100 or +500 depending on what’s happening in the game. You’ll find spreads, moneyline markets, and point totals as common live bets.

NBA futures bets

These types of bets allows NBA bettors to place bets for props that won’t be decided for a significant amount of time. These bets will first appear on your sportsbook of choice in the offseason, and give you options to bet on include:

  1. NBA Finals winner

  2. NBA Finals exacta (winner and loser of Finals)

  3. MVP, rookie of the year, coach of the year, and other awards

  4. Best and worst regular season records

  5. Division and conference winners

  6. NBA teams’ regular season win totals

  7. Season-long leaders and individual player accomplishments

NBA parlays

A parlay may sound complex at first, but it’s fairly simple. Building a parlay is just a way of saying you’re building your own multi-level prop. Essentially, rather than betting on one thing happening, you can bet on multiple things from different games happening in one wager.

In order to win your parlay, you’ll need every leg of your parlay to happen. A leg is just another way of saying an individual prop you included in your parlay. The more legs you put in your parlay, the greater your return could be if you win.

Some online sportsbooks and games will have pre-built parlays for you to bet on. But you can also build your own parlay with as few or as many legs as you want. Although different sportsbooks have different limits on how many legs your parlay can be.

An example could be like this:

Parlay Bet
Clippers win, Cavaliers lose, and Zion Williamson scores over 25.5 points
Odds
+750

There’s another kind of parlay called a ‘same-game parlay’. This would be applicable if you wish to place multiple bets in the same game, rather than multiple games. An example could be:

Same-Game Parlay Bet
Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo all score 20+ points
Odds
+1100

How to place an NBA bet online

Placing a bet on an NBA game online is an easy process, with you just needing to follow these simple steps in order to do so:

  1. Create an account with your sportsbook of choice via the offers in this piece

  2. Create your account, and enter any promo codes required when prompted

  3. Read your welcome offer’s terms and conditions

  4. Finish setting up your new account

  5. Make your initial deposit

  6. Find the NBA market you want to bet on and the bet you want to make

  7. Add it to your bet slip

  8. Place your bet

  9. If your bet wins, your winnings will be paid out in full following the settlement of your bet

  10. If your bets pushes, your wager will be void, meaning your stake will be returned to you in full


Which states allow NBA betting?

Sports betting is legal in some capacity, whether it’s online or retail betting, across the majority of the United States. North Carolina is the next state that’ll have operational sports betting, with an early 2024 date being anticipated.

State
Arizona
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Arkansas
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Colorado
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Connecticut
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Deleware
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Illinois
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Indiana
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Iowa
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Kansas
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Louisiana
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Maine
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Maryland
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Massachusetts
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Michigan
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Mississippi
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Montana
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Nebraska
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Pending
State
Nevada
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
New Hampshire
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
New Jersey
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
New Mexico
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
New York
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
North Carolina
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
North Dakota
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Ohio
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Oregon
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Pennsylvania
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Rhode Island
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
South Dakota
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Tennessee
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
No
State
Virginia
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Washington
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Washington D.C.
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
West Virginia
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Wisconsin
Online Betting?
No
Retail Betting?
Yes
State
Wyoming
Online Betting?
Yes
Retail Betting?
No

How to bet on NBA games FAQ

Is the NBA an easy sport to bet on?

Yes, the NBA is an easy sport to bet on, as there can be more consistent patterns and trends compared to some sports like the NFL. The NBA season lasts 82 games for each team, while the NFL’s season is just 17 games.

Consequently, there’s more of a sample size for per game statistics, which are incredibly important to look up to make the most educated decision possible.

After you place a few wagers on the moneyline, spread, and point totals, it begins to make more sense.

if you’re not comfortable betting on those things, player props, team props, and futures bets could fit your wants better. Especially while you’re starting out, betting these items can familiarize you with the odds until you grow more comfortable betting on things such as spreads or moneylines.

How do I place a bet on NBA teams?

If you see some NBA odds you like, the process to get started is quick and painless. It’s easy to register for an online sportsbook. If you’re taking advantage of a welcome offer the sportsbook is running such as a risk-free bet, be sure to read the terms and conditions in full.

After you have an account made, you’ll have to make an initial deposit predicated on each sportsbook’s mandatory minimum amount.

From there, you’re good to proceed betting on any NBA odds that you think have a chance of panning out.

Can I place a bet on the NBA playoffs?

Absolutely, you may place bets on the NBA playoffs and NBA Finals. If you think the Milwaukee Bucks are going to win the NBA Finals, you can place a wager on that before the season begins, during the season, or even in the NBA playoffs.

NBA playoff games also allow live betting to users who want to watch the game as it unfolds before deciding on a prop. Sports bettors can also bet on certain playoff props such as who they think will win the NBA Finals MVP award and more.

Is it legal to bet on the NBA?

Whether or not your state has legalized sports betting is the very first thing you should do before attempting to sign up with a sportsbook. The table above highlights which states have legalized betting on the NBA, be that in person or online.

Some states are in the process of legalizing sports betting, or are leaving the decision up to a ballot come election season. But if you live in a stats that has fully legalized sports betting, you’re good to place your first wager whenever.

Where can I bet on the NBA?

For states that have legalized sports betting, there are online sportsbooks abound for you to choose from. Any of the sportsbooks at the top of this piece could suit your needs.

Be sure to check out the welcome offers and promo codes they’re offering, as well as whether or not that sportsbook is operating in your state.

As always with signing up with any sportsbook, read the terms and conditions in full. That same rule of thumb goes for any promotion a sportsbook may be running, such as a parlay insurance promotion or a risk-free bet.


What are some tips and tricks to NBA betting?

When anyone is starting out in sports betting, it’s always wise to do as much research as possible. Even if you’re a longtime fan of the team, player, or sport you’re betting on, betting knowledge can be an entirely different thing. There’s no guarantee any wager will result in a win, whether you’re betting on the NBA or any sport.

But by doing ample research, you can feel more comfortable in your wager than if you’re not prepared. When looking at statistics, look at recent trends in addition to season-long stats.

For example, if the Chicago Bulls have scored 108 points per game on the season, but have scored just 102 points per game in their last five games, that recent trend can help you make a better informed bet if you’re looking at a totals prop.

Also make sure to keep an eye out for injuries and load management. Load management occurs when coaches decide to let their star players rest for a game to lessen the wear and tear of an 82-game season. This is a more common trend in the NBA than ever, so it’s absolutely worth keeping an eye on.

The table below suggests just a few websites that have different information or stats you may find useful when you’re placing your wagers.

Website
teamrankings.com/NBA
Content
Player and team statistics for season. Team records in spreads and totals bets.
Website
Basketball-Reference.com
Content
Player and team statistics sorted by average and totals.
Website
NBA.com
Content
Injury news. Game recaps/highlights.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.