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.

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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)
  • ESPN.com (chocked full of basketball stats)
  • NBA.com (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)

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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 gg.co.uk and cheltenhamfestival.net 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.