NBA betting
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Sure, you could drop a few bucks on the final score when the game ends. Or, you could use those basketball betting winnings to bet on an underdog to win.

In an effort to help those who bet on sports or make sports betting but might have doubts about their ability to make sound online betting, these tips and tricks will help you improve your handicapping game and make more informed wagers.

Basketball betting: only bet on NBA games

If you bet on the Warriors and win, you know what we mean. That’s a great game, but it’s not really gambling. However, you could only bet on the final scores, the game’s first score, and any scores after a quarter or any team’s player score.

That’s what the best bettors do, says Brian M. Kiselica, a Las Vegas-based sports betting expert who serves as an adjunct professor at UNLV. “The smartest people in Vegas basketball betting, the one thing they do is just bet on teams.”

While it’s risky, basketball betting on the second quarter as a pick, a game’s second, third and fourth quarter scores, and each player’s score is solid plays. Even a single team’s player score bet has been a popular one in Las Vegas for some time, and it’s a strong play in some leagues. Take the Dallas Mavericks as an example:

A $5 ticket on Harrison Barnes’s score at the end of the third quarter (35 points) pays $100 because it was above the “over,” but it’s a strong play because the Mavericks lost by only four points in that game.

Setting and avoiding lines

There’s no easy way to learn what the lines of all the NBA games are.

Even if you know the favorite is favored by 10, say, there’s no guarantee you can find that number on the board. At most sportsbooks, the tickets can be moved after you’ve made your wager.

To avoid this problem, you have to find out the basketball betting odds, which is simply how the bookmaker calculates the odds of the game. Bettors at this point of the season are generally using 30-to-1 as their opening line, and the majority of the games will be around that price. That means that betting odds will be close to one or two points different if you bet on the opening game of the season. In other words, even if the favorites won by a small margin, the number will be closer to 30 or 40 than it is to one or two.

The team’s winning margin generally matches the winning margin on the game’s second quarter in an NBA game. Bettors will set the point spread in that game’s second quarter and move on to the next game. That’s why handicappers are saying to wait a few hours before the first quarter of NBA basketball betting.

“I don’t think anyone knows what a good value is at halftime,” says Kiselica.

So, let’s say you bet on the Warriors in that first quarter, as they were the favorite. But then, bettors bet on the Celtics in the second quarter, the Rockets in the third quarter and the Lakers in the fourth quarter. Even if you thought the Lakers’ first-quarter game was the best basketball betting option, the spread has moved from a value of -1.5 points in favor of the Warriors to a value of -1.5 in favor of the Celtics. Even a $100 bet in favor of the Lakers (30.5-point favorite over a 30-point favorite) would now only pay you $85.

If you had bet on the Celtics and the Lakers, odds-wise, you’re still ahead; they were -1.5 and -1.5, respectively, at the start of the game.

The important thing is that you check what the spreads are at different points in the first quarter and be able to compare that with what your point spread is in the second quarter.

A full guide to NBA basketball betting

Teaser prices are a popular method of placing an early bet. Bettors choose the winner, which is often the favorite, but then say whether they think it will win by more than four points or less than four points. For example, if the choice is favored by 10 and your bettor says it will win by four, you’ll be given a $100 wager. Another team will start the game with the -4.5 point spread, and that team can win by four points or win by more than that.

For better or worse, teaser prices fluctuate all the time. One day a bettor will get the favorite to win by four, while another day, it will win by five.

For more real money bets, bettors should consider the “primes,” or the spreads of 4, 3, 2, 1 and even 0 points. You can wager on the favorites to win by 2 and 4 points, but the money line may not be offered, meaning there’s a considerable risk involved in those online betting.

Another live betting to be on the lookout for

Forbes also spoke with four sportsbook managers whom each specializes in a different category. Here are some general guidelines:

Be familiar with the online betting on the board and check the props available, which have varying betting odds depending on the basketball event you are betting on.

When playing the NBA, always bet on the spreads, not the point spreads.

Never bet on an underdog

To play the basketball point spread, you need to bet on the underdog team. However, the odds are not set in that direction. For example, if the New York Knicks are favored to win, odds-wise, you’re already giving the Boston Celtics more value than the Yankees, but you can bet on them to win by less than a run.

It may not make sense to play an underdog in a game that the favorite is favored. However, at the start of a match, it can pay off because you may be able to buy enough exposure for a basketball team like the Chicago Bulls. They are heavy favorites to win the World Series and will be heavily bet on in every city.