It cannot be doubted that the NBA bubble has been a boon for basketball fans around the world. Seeing our favorite players back on the hardwood was definitely one of the few good things from this year. Indeed, basketball is back, and it truly is exciting to watch how the playoffs unfold, with four teams remaining in the bubble battling it out to see who can win perhaps what would be the most difficult NBA championship of all time.

But why limit the excitement to see who’s going to erupt for 50 points or to see who’s going to come up with the clutch bucket to seal the game? If you really want to feel the complete rush of being almost as invested as the players are in the game, why not bet on it? Nothing gets you biting on your nails more than putting your money behind your favorite teams and players.
If you’re new to the world of betting, don’t fret. Betting on the NBA is easy. If you’re an avid watcher of the league, you probably already have all the tools to start betting on the games, so here’s a quick guide to get you acquainted with how betting on the NBA works.

Types of Bets
There are plenty of things that you can bet on apart from who will win the game. Here are the bets that you can make on an NBA game:

Moneyline Betting
The moneyline bet is the simplest bet that you can make. You just pick who you think will win and that’s it. A moneyline is represented by a number after the team such as +200 or -150. If you see a + after the team, then that means that the team is an underdog, and you will make more money betting on them rather than betting on the team that has a – after it. For example, if the San Antonio Spurs have a line of +200, it means that if you bet $1, you will win $2, resulting in a total payout of $3. On the other hand, if the Los Angeles Lakers were at -150, you would win $.50 on a $1 bet, for a total payout of $1.50.

Spread Betting
Betting on the spread is where things get trickier. Let’s say that the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks will be playing each other, and the spread is represented as Milwaukee Bucks -10.5 and Charlotte Hornets +10.5. The 10.5 is the expected point difference between the two teams, and you can read it as “The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to win by 10.5 points.” So if you bet on the Bucks, their lead by the final score must be more than 10.5 points, and if you bet on the Hornets, you win either when they lose by less than 10.5 points or if they win the game outright.

Over/Under
When betting the over/under, you’re betting on whether or not the total of the final score will be over or under the projected threshold. If the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets were playing for example, and the over/under was at 206.5, you’d just simply pick whether you think the total of the final scores of both teams would be over or under 206.5. If the game ends with a score of 101-100, that’s a total of 201, which means that you’d get paid out if you betted on the under.

Prop Bets
Prop bets are bets that don’t necessarily concern the outcome of the game. For example, you might expect James Harden to go off in his next game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the oddsmakers predict that he’d score 27.5 points, but you think that he can go for 50. If that’s the case you can bet on the over and if he does score more than 27.5 points, you win.

NBA Futures
Betting on NBA futures is betting on events that you think will happen in the future. For example, you can make a bet that Anthony Davis will win Finals MVP. If the Lakers get to the finals and win and Davis indeed gets Finals MVP, you get paid. Simple as that. Futures bets also cover events such as who would finish with the best record in the league, who would win Rookie of the Year, and other events that would possibly take place at some point in the future.

Tips for Betting
Don’t Guess, Analyze and Evaluate
If you want to take betting seriously, you should bet based on rational thinking instead of betting based on a mere hunch. Just because you saw someone wearing a purple and yellow outfit doesn’t mean that the Lakers will win today. Actually try to see how each matchup looks and then evaluate your bets from that point.

Look at the Stats
Statistics are your best friend. They make your decisions easier and they’re proven by history. For example, some oddsmaker inexplicably has Kyrie Irving scoring 11.5 points when he’s actually averaging 23 points per game. That’s an easy bet on the over! You can also use team statistics to see their average points per game and their offensive and defensive ratings and try to relate those statistics to the over/under for their next game.

Watch Out for Storylines
There is a lot of drama throughout the course of an NBA season. Use these storylines as part of your evaluation process. A powerhouse team such as the Los Angeles Clippers might be facing a team like the Knicks who are still finding their luck in snagging the top pick in the draft and are probably tanking. This is easily an indication that they won’t be looking to win the game, so the Clippers are easy money. Another example would be if the Lakers and the Pelicans were playing, and Brandon Ingram is projected to score 20.5 points. It might seem unscientific, but wouldn’t it be likely that Ingram would be looking to decimate the team that gave up on his potential and traded him? Of course he’s taking as many shots as he can and trying to drop 60.

Place Your Bets Online
It’s much easier to bet nowadays that there are multiple bookmakers online. It’s advised that you sign up for as many as you can so that you can take advantage of the bonuses and promotions that they offer. Also, different websites sometimes have different odds, so you can pick among them and bet on the site that you think has the friendliest and safest odds for your bet.

Keep Track of Your Bankroll
Bankroll management is key. Remember, betting on the NBA is just a hobby, not a lifestyle. Make sure that you’re only betting what you can afford to lose, and that you discipline yourself by budgeting your bets consistently. Don’t try to compensate for a loss by betting twice your normal bet the next time around. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Bottom Line
The Internet has made it very easy to bet on the NBA, and the rush and glory of winning bets is something that can really make any sports fan feel good about themselves. It is however important to note that NBA betting is not for the faint of heart, and especially not for people with shallow pockets. You should always make sure that you only take a small portion of your money and invest it on betting. Losses are inevitable, so you wouldn’t want to bury yourself in debt just because you thought that the Denver Nuggets would win the NBA Finals.
Of course, there are also multiple resources online to help you up your win rate and make sure that you lose as little as possible, so some Google searches wouldn’t hurt. Nevertheless, if you want something that would spice up the way you follow the league and if you have money that you can afford to lose, betting on the NBA might be exactly what you’re looking for.