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NBA Betting Guide


Let’s walk through how to become a winning NBA sports bettor. Much like dinner with the in-laws, betting successfully on the NBA requires a well-constructed strategy. Bet Basics is here to help with three steps to get you started.


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Focus on Payouts, not Outcomes


One of the most important things to remember when developing your approach is to balance the goals of selecting the outcomes that you believe are most likely to occur while optimizing your bets based on the payouts that are offered. Even experienced bettors have trouble passing up opportunities where they feel overconfident about the outcome regardless of the payout. The best bets aren’t easy.


If you think betting on the 2021-2022 Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers is going to be a fresh idea, you may want to consider alerting the media that the sky is blue. According to BetMGM, the Nets’ and Lakers’ respective odds of winning the 2022 NBA Finals are +240 and +400. This means that for every dollar wagered you would win $3.40 if the Nets won and $5.00 for the Lakers. The Milwaukee Bucks, last year’s actual champion, are given odds of +900 for 2022. If they won in 2022, every dollar bet on them would earn $10.00, twice as much as compared to the Lakers and nearly three times as much as the Nets.


This is a great example of how drastically payouts can differ on quite similar bets. You can begin to piece together your strategy by thinking through which of these three bets you find most appealing.


Hedging or Stacking your Bets


It’s crucial to consider how each of your bets are interdependent. If you are placing two NBA bets on a given day, why not make that volume work for you? There are two ways to achieve this. The first way is hedging, which de-risks your initial bet or bets, and is an attempt to position your strategy in such a way that you end up winning over a wider variety of outcomes. It is widely accepted that the only way to hedge a sports bet is to directly wager against your initial bet after it is in the money, but this is incorrect. There are several ways in which different types of bets can interact.


Let’s say the Nets are playing the Lakers and you think the Nets are too heavily favored, so you would like to bet on the Lakers to win and take advantage of their payout as an underdog. That’s a great strategy! If the Nets prevail, you think James Harden might have a shot at a triple-double (a bet that would pay very well if correct) in what should be a high-scoring game. You can bet the same amount on both outcomes, even though they are most likely in opposition, and end with a profit if either one is correct. That’s not to mention that it’s possible that both bets could win if the Lakers win and Harden still pulls off the triple-double.


On the flip-side, you can stack your bets. This increases your overall risk but raises the likelihood of a bigger payout and is absolutely a viable long-term strategy. Consider if instead of betting on Harden to record a triple-double, you put the same wager on LeBron James. Now, you are completely dependent on LeBron carrying the Lakers to a win. In this case, however, each bet makes the other more likely to occur, which works in your favor. Hedging and stacking are fantastic ways to continue developing your NBA betting approach.


NBA-Specific Strategy


The NBA is one of the lowest variance sports on a player-statistic basis. LeBron still outproduces most players even on off-days. A bad day at the plate for Mike Trout is an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Understanding this is key to placing bets on players such as over/under wagers on player point totals. If LeBron has been consistently scoring 30 points per game over his past ten contests, and the over/under is set at 25, you can target that bet with some extra confidence. A player with an over/under set at 10 points that has been benched recently is an easy bet to avoid, even if the payout is extremely high. This can be contrasted to a sport like baseball or hockey, where it is not uncommon for a star to be significantly outperformed by a bench player in a single game.


By optimizing your bets based on payouts, implementing hedging and stacking strategies, and tailoring your approach to the NBA, you can become an outstanding NBA sports bettor. With Bet Basics, your journey toward conquering your NBA betting goals is just getting started. Head to our NBA lobby to find live odds, exclusive bonuses and all the stats you'll need to make informed decisions. Good luck!


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