NBA Betting Spreads – Learn to Bet on NBA Spreads & Claim up to $1,000 in Bonuses

Joe Napier profile picture
Sports Editor Fact Checked by Nick Raffoul

Designed to keep games competitive when there are heavy betting favorites/ underdogs, NBA betting spreads are America’s most popular basketball game line, driving hopeful gamblers to market to wager on games they otherwise might not.

Spread betting can appear difficult to newcomers to sportsbook gambling and especially when betting on the NBA, as there are so many options available. However, once you understand a few key points that we will explain in this article, you will see it’s actually pretty straightforward.

NBA Spread Betting Explained

NBA Betting Spreads - Learn to Bet on NBA Spreads & Claim up to $1,000 in Bonuses

The point spread challenges bettors to wager on how many points team X will win or lose by. For example, if the NBA spread is Houston Rockets (+5.5) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5), the Rockets need to win the game or lose by less than 6 points for your bet to payout. If you wagered on the Lakers in the same game, L.A. would need to win by 6 clear points for your bet to payout.

In a nutshell, this is a point spread betting NBA games explained – it’s just a way of evening the playing ‘court’ slightly.

There are, however, countless variations of the spread, particularly when concerning a league like the NBA, which so readily lends itself to the fast-paced world of NBA live betting on the spread. Let’s look at how to bet on NBA spreads.

NBA Spread Betting on the Quarter

Following the same principle as spread betting on the game, here bettors are challenged to predict the point differential at the end of a specific quarter. Generally, the differential is lower than it is at the end of the game since less time has elapsed, so expect to see spreads at +3.5/-3.5, etc. Other than that, it’s the exact same concept as detailed earlier.

NBA Spread Betting on the Half

This is the same as the others (game and quarter), only this time, a bettor is wagering on the point differential at the half.

Alternate NBA Spread Betting Markets:

The premier NBA spread betting sites, such as Bovada, DraftKings, and BetUS also enable bettors to select a spread option that they feel is most likely, as opposed to just the one option gifted to them by the oddsmakers.

Some sportsbooks may offer alternate spreads before a match starts but many sites like BetUS and Bovada will only offer them once live-in-play betting begins.

NBA Betting Spread: Over-Time

Occasionally, when a game is tied, overtime is necessary to get a winner. It’s possible to spread bet solely on the point differential during overtime on most of the best NBA spread betting apps. But, it is worth mentioning that should you have wagered on a game spread, overtime is added, giving you a second chance to hit the spread.

Fanduel and MyBookie are solid examples of sportsbooks that have this option available as part of their NBA spread betting platter.

Latest NBA News

NBA Denies Knicks Protest of 105-103 Loss to Rockets on Feb 12 2024

NBA Denies Knicks’ Protest of 105-103 Loss to Rockets on Feb. 12

The NBA on Wednesday denied the game protest filed by the New York Knicks in the aftermath of their 105-103 loss at the Houston Rockets earlier this month. The Knicks decided to submit their protest with the league to dispute the Feb. 12 loss, citing the controversial last-second foul call that led to the Rockets’ victory. The NBA’s Last Two […]

Charlotte Hornets held to season-low 26 points in first half against Bucks

Hornets held to season-low 26 points in first half against Bucks

The Charlotte Hornets scored a season-low 26 points in the first half of Tuesday night’s 123-85 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, passing their previous first-half low of 29 points against the Golden State Warriors last week. Tre Mann led the Hornets with just seven points after two quarters. Charlotte trailed 58-26 at half time. […]

Kings vs Nuggets Odds, Picks, & Predictions Feb 28 2024

Kings vs. Nuggets Odds, Picks, & Predictions (Feb. 28)

Tonight, the Denver Nuggets (39-19, 25-31-2 ATS) host the Sacramento Kings (33-24, 29-28 ATS) in the 2023-24 NBA season; preview, odds, picks, predictions, and injuries for the Kings vs Nuggets matchup are here. Sportsbooks show Denver as a 7.5-point favorite at home. BetOnline odds are below. Kings vs. Nuggets Game Preview 🏀 2023-24 NBA Regular […]

Portland Trail Blazers Deandre Ayton suffers hand sprain vs Miami Heat

Trail Blazers’ Deandre Ayton suffers hand sprain vs. Heat

Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton exited the first half of Tuesday night’s 106-96 loss to the Miami Heat after spraining his right hand on a hard fall in the paint. Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said that X-rays on Ayton’s hand came back negative after he collided with Miami’s Kevin Love late in the first quarter […]

Detroit Pistons, veteran center Mike Muscala finalizing contract buyout

Pistons, veteran center Mike Muscala finalizing contract buyout

The Detroit Pistons and center Mike Muscala are finalizing a contract buyout, allowing him to be eligible for the playoffs with his next team. Muscala, 32, has interest in joining a contender, per multiple reports. Muscala joins Kyle Lowry and Delon Wright as players bought out of their contract since the NBA trade deadline. The […]

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry Held Scoreless in First Half for First Time Since 2019 NBA Playoffs

Stephen Curry Held Scoreless in First Half for First Time Since 2019 NBA Playoffs

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was held scoreless in the first half for the first time since the 2019 Western Conference semifinals, during Tuesday night’s 123-112 win over the Washington Wizards. This was his 10th game being shut out in the first half since 2010 and 16th overall of his career. It should be […]

Cleveland Cavaliers Max Strus Hits 59-Foot Buzzer-Beater in Win Over Mavericks

Cavaliers’ Max Strus Hits 59-Foot Buzzer-Beater in Win Over Mavericks

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Max Strus drained a 59-footer as time expired, his fifth made 3-pointer in the final four minutes, to give his team a crazy 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Dallas’ P.J. Washington made a go-ahead dunk with 2.9 seconds left. The Cavaliers then inbounded the ball to Evan Mobley, who passed back to […]

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (personal) out against Spurs

Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (personal) out against Spurs

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (personal) was downgraded to out for Tuesday night’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs. This will be only his second game missed this season. Through 56 games (all starts) this season, Towns is averaging 22.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 32.8 minutes per game. His defensive win shares […]

Kyrie Irving ANTA KAI 1 Signature Sneakers Release March 6

Kyrie Irving’s ANTA KAI 1 Signature Sneakers Release March 6

Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving’s new ANTA KAI 1 “Artist On Court” signature sneakers will release next week for consumers to purchase. The KAI 1 is his first signature sneaker since his split with Nike. The ANTA kicks will release Wednesday, March 6 through ANTA’s website and via an in-store event at Sneaker Politics in […]

Where to Locate NBA Betting Spread Free Predictions 

NBA Betting Spreads - Learn to Bet on NBA Spreads & Claim up to $1,000 in Bonuses

With wagering on the NBA now common practice across the country, there’s really no need to be coughing up your hard-earned dollars to get your NBA Picks from oddsmaking specialists. There is all manner of sportsbooks, sports broadcasters, fan forums, etc. on the internet from which you can get your NBA betting spread free predictions and all the analytics you can shake a stick at.

Free NBA Picks are available on ESPN, which works in tandem with William Hill’s NBA betting odds. FOXBET is another trusted provider of free picks, not to mention some of the sites listed on the page, such as BetUS, MyBookie, and Bovada, which all contain great, expert advice on NBA gambling markets from the spread to the NBA Draft.

Sportsbooks are launching an assault for your trust as they expand out into new American states and, as such, transparency and the help provided by these sportsbooks in the forms of picks, blogs, vlogs, and the like has never been higher. A few of our favorite sites to frequent for spread betting tips and useful stats are as follows:

  • DK Nation (Draftkings tips and forums, etc)
  • BetUS (Free NBA Picks)
  • MyBookie (Free NBA Picks)
  • (chocked full of basketball stats)
  • (all the stats and all the latest news coming out of the NBA)
  • IG Tipping Pages
  • NBA Twitter Picks

And we’ll have to shamelessly plug ourselves here, too:

  • Basketball Insiders (we aren’t directly affiliated with any major sportsbook in particular, so the advice we do give is generally what our team of gambling pros plans to bet on)

Explore Our Expert-Written Sports Betting Guides

A comprehensive guide to betting on the NBA at the best betting sites in the US, featuring detailed reviews of the sportsbooks, lines, and odds.
NBA Betting
Everything you need to know about betting on the world's most popular MMA organization, the UFC. Discover the best UFC sportsbooks and learn about the markets.
UFC Betting
Whether it's the run line or parlay betting on the World Series, our MLB betting guide details everything you need to know about baseball betting in the US.
MLB Betting
Skate over to the top hockey sportsbooks and claim huge bonuses when you register. Read up on puck line betting and other popular NHL betting markets.
NHL Betting
Horse Racing
Unsure how to wager a trifecta at Preakness Stakes, or a quinella at Belmont? Our detailed horse racing betting guides will reveal all.
Horse Racing Betting
A complete guide to betting on America's Game. Learn how NFL odds and markets work, read our reviews of the top NFL sportsbooks and prepare to beat the spread.
NFL Betting
From the NBA Draft to March Madness and everything in between, our NCAAB betting guide sets out the key components to betting on college basketball.
NCAAB Betting
Discover the best esports betting sites for the world's most popular games: CS:GO, FIFA, CoD, WoW, and more. Use promo codes to claim rewards when you sign up.
Esports Betting
Our team of betting experts presents a comprehensive overview of tennis betting markets, odds, key dates, and the best tennis sportsbooks in the USA.
Tennis Betting
Hoping to bet on The Masters, Ryder Cup, or US Open this year? Read our comprehensive golf betting guides first to increase your chances of success.
Golf Betting
Plenty of sportsbooks now offer politics betting markets. Learn how to profit during the elections and claim lucrative sign-up bonuses when you register.
Politics Betting
Learn how to profit from the sweet science by reading our detailed boxing betting guide. Swing the odds back in your favor with reload bonuses and free bets.
Boxing Betting
Want to know the best darts betting sites? Check our guide for the top darts sportsbooks, the most popular darts markets & best bonuses.
Darts Betting

NBA Spread Betting Strategy 

NBA Betting Spreads - Learn to Bet on NBA Spreads & Claim up to $1,000 in Bonuses

1. NBA Betting Strategy Spread vs Moneyline

Betting on the spread is a beginner’s strategy all of its own. Wagering on the winner/loser via the moneyline is all well and good. But what you’ll tend to find is unfavorable odds for the favorite, which causes many of us to back the underdog. The spread is designed to keep things interesting. You’ll likely find better odds on, say, the Milwaukee Bucks to win with a spread of 7.5 (-100) than you do just on an outright Bucks win on the moneyline (-250, for example).

2. Betting Against the Mid-Late Season Stuffing

When the season really hots up and the cream separates itself from the chaff, oddsmakers start to lose their minds a little. Big far-reaching NBA betting spreads start to appear on basketball betting apps: LeBron and the Lakers to stuff Houston with a spread of -18.5 (and the like).

The simple fact is, these types of maulings aren’t seen all that regularly in the game of basketball and it’s usually better to bet against the spread in these situations.

3. Ride the Wave of Momentum

Momentum is a real thing in sport and not just basketball either. That team on a five-game winning streak is likely to continue the hot form. Keep an eye on teams that are consistently winning and losing and back them to the hills. There was a study performed some eight years ago that showed the probability of the team continuing its streak was something like 65%.

Most of the best NBA spread betting sites and apps will also show you how many times a team has covered its spread – the same rules apply: If a team is covering its spread 60-70+% of the time, jump on board and ride the wave. FanDuel is a great example of a sportsbook that actually displays how teams are fairing against the spread and a good choice for anyone wishing to perfect the strategy

4. The Martingale NBA Spread Betting System

This is a risky system to employ on NBA spreads but there are pro bettors out there who swear by it. The Martingale system is a simple NBA betting strategy that involves doubling down on your bet each time you lose. In order for it to be effective, you will need a large bankroll and the bravery of a lion – things can get out of and very quickly: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 – the numbers go up quickly.

This is not a system for everyone. But, if you’re willing to do your research and you truly believe you know the game of basketball inside out, it is possible to have success when implementing the Martingale System when NBA spread betting.

5. Bet against a 3 in 4 Team

Another simple strategy for point spread NBA betting is to wager against a team winning three out of four games in quick succession. The idea is straightforward: a team that has played three games back to back to back is likely to be tired, and defense tends to suffer before offense in such cases, as players save their best efforts for the flashy offense. By this logic, it’s wise to bet against a team covering the NBA spread when such a situation arises.

6. NBA Spread Betting Against the Public

This is one of the most popular methods for winning big when placing NBA bets at online sportsbooks (and also when day trading where it’s known as ‘taking the contrarian position’). Simply check out what the general public is doing and try NBA betting against the spread; ie. do the exact opposite of what everybody else is doing. The idea is that there’s a reason why sportsbooks are in business, and it’s not because they want us to win…


NBA Team Standings & Stats

NBA Betting Spread FAQs

What is a spread in NBA betting?

Explain what spread, moneyline, and total points mean in NBA betting:

What is a spread on betting NBA?

What does +7 mean in point spread?

Joe began writing for Basketball Insiders at the start of 2023. A keen sports fanatic ever since his first days playing football in junior school, he has developed a flair for writing over the coming years, and graduated with a BA in English Literature. His professional background in the gambling and sports industries now extends to five years, mostly covering horse racing and US sports. He has previously written for sites such as and on the horse racing side, having grown passionate about the sport by visiting his local tracks on a regular basis. As well as this, he has the honor of being published in the Royal Ascot magazine in 2019.