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Free NBA Picks

One of the most helpful resources for NBA betting is our expansive section of expert picks. This section will provide you with hot tips and critical insights that can help inform your picks get giving you an inside look at what the pros are thinking. You’ll find a detailed analysis of the match, including insight into previous competitions, top players, and other game impactful statistics. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns and correlations that will help you to develop and improve your strategy. Think of expert picks as having a mentor who can give you the inside scoop while helping you learn the ropes.

NBA Picks Betting Strategy

And finally, The Sports Geek provides excellent tools to help you build your NBA betting strategy. Successful NBA betting goes way beyond just picking a team to win, and you need to know all the ins and outs of how to come out on top. Our strategy resources will teach you about everything from the basics to how to maximize value. These sections are an excellent resource for both new bettors as well as experienced players looking to learn how to bet on the NBA.

Most Popular NBA Picks Bets

In the old days, sports betting simply meant picking which team you thought was going to win. Over the years, betting has made great strides and has become significantly more complex and more involved than just picking a winner. Below are a few of the bet types you’ll find when looking through your NBA betting site. You can use some or all of these types to add diversity to your strategy. May pros only use one or two, so determine which ones make the most and stick with those.

NBA Picks Spread Bets

Spread bets are one of the most common across NBA betting online. A spread bet intends to “level the playing field,” so to speak. When a bookmaker offers you a bet on who will win an NBA game, the teams are never perfectly matched. There are always going to be differences in the two teams that contribute to one team being more likely to win than the other.

To account for this, bookmakers offer what is called the “spread” or the “line” to equalize the teams. The “spread” refers to how many points a team is expected to win or lose by. If sportsbooks didn’t offer a way to balance the bets between the teams, everyone would simply bet on the favorite, and the sportsbook would go bust.

Let’s look at the example below to see precisely how the spread works.
      Celtics                    SPREAD BET                      Mavericks
+4.5                                                                            -4.5

Here, you will see that the Celtics are projected at +4.5 while the Mavericks are projected at -4.5 points. Just like looking at the odds, the favorite is reflected by the negative number. We’d read this as, “the Mavericks are expected to win by four and a half points.” This kind of betting equalizes the teams because it enables you to win the bet even if your team doesn’t win the game.

You win a spread bet by “beating the spread.” This simply means that to win, your team just needs to outperform their expectations. Going back to our example, a winning bet on the Mavericks would mean they win the game by MORE than 4.5 points. If they win by 5 points, you win. If they win by three points, you lose. Conversely, a winning bet on the Celtics would be them losing by less than 4.5 points. If the Celtics lose by five, you lose. If the Celtics lose by less than four or they win, you also win.

The bookmaker will move the line based on the balance of bets. Their goal is to have equal bets on both teams so they make money regardless of who wins. They can encourage or discourage betting by moving the line. Say they received a massive number of bets on the Mavericks. They could move the line to -5.5 points, meaning the team needs to perform even better to win. This would discourage betting on the Mavericks and would make betting on the Celtics look more attractive.

NBA Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are also quite common across a wide range of online sports betting sites with NBA odds. This more straightforward form of betting offers you a chance just to pick the winner of a given event. Just like with spread bets, you are betting on who will win. However, in contrast to spread bets, handicaps are provided differently. Spread bets simply adjust the expected outcome to win the bet, but offer the same odds for each team.

Below is an example of how a bookmaker would present the NBA odds on a moneyline bet.

This number will tell you both the payout on the bet as well as who is favored. Again, the negative number reflects the favorite to win.

     Spurs                   MONEYLINE BET                    Wariors
+130                                                                          -140

The thing to remember with moneyline bets is that your team still needs to win the bet. Unlike spread betting, if your team loses, you lose. This means that you can often win much less with a successful bet on the favorite. Let’s take a look at the result of a winning bet on each of the team in our example

First, let’s say you bet $1.00 on the Spurs, and they win this game. Offered at +130, they are expected to lose. As a result of them defying the odds and winning, you win $1.30 plus the $1.00 you bet for a total payout of $2.30. Not a bad return on $1.00!

Next, let’s say you place a $1.00 bet on the Warriors, and they win. In this case, they expect win at -140. This means you win just $.77 plus your $1.00 bet for a total payout of $1.77. As you can see, a significant difference compared to betting on the Spurs.

Of course, these payouts are different, and the odds are different because expectations of who win are drastically different. Perhaps a key player is inactive for the Spurs, or maybe the Warriors have been on a hot streak. You’ll see these types of things factored into the odds, so you should always consider these when placing your bets.

NBA Over/Under Bets

If you aren’t as interested in betting on a specific team at NBA sportsbooks online, over/under bets might be for you. Let’s take a look at our earlier example to see how an over/under bet works.

      Celtics               OVER/UNDER BET                   Mavericks
O196 (-110)                                                         U196 (-110)

Here you will see a number designated with a “o” and a “u.” This number refers to the threshold of points at which one bet wins against the other. Despite these lining up with different teams, that’s merely for organizational purposes. In our example, the 196 refers to the total points scored in the game.

When betting the over/under, you are placing a wager on the total points being over or under the offered threshold. Above, if you placed an over bet and the total points scored was 197, you win. Conversely, if you took the under and the points totaled 195, you would win. These bets can be useful if you have reason to believe a game will be particularly offensive or defensive.

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