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With the 2020-21 NBA season tipping off on December 22, betting fans have already begun scouting the best teams and analyzing the league’s championship odds. For those of you feeling down about the end of football season, the NBA will give you all the exciting betting action you can handle, and you don’t even have to wait until Sunday! With point spreads, moneyline odds, game totals, prop bets and futures, betting on the basketball season is a great way to make some real money! 

The NBA is coming off their longest season in history, having only wrapped up the Finals on October 11, nearly a full year after the season began. With COVID-19 having such a severe impact on last year’s schedule, this season’s NBA landscape could be very challenging for odds makers; some of the league’s lesser teams have not played any basketball since March, while playoff teams like the Lakers and Heat ended their season just over 10 weeks ago. There are also countless storylines to follow this year, whether it’s Kevin Durant’s long awaited debut for Brooklyn, the ascent of MVP candidate Luka Doncic, or LeBron and AD defending their title, there’s no shortage of excitement when it comes to betting on the NBA.

Follow NBA ATS Trends

With point spreads being the most popular betting option for basketball, it’s important to be aware of how each team is fairing against the spread (ATS). The term “ATS” refers to a team’s record against the spread. This factors their win-loss record with the point spread included, as oppose to their actual record in the standings. 

Here’s an example of how ATS records work in NBA betting:

  • Brooklyn Nets (-5.5) vs. Golden State Warriors (+5.5)
  • Final Score: Brooklyn Nets 107 – Golden State Warriors 103
  • While Brooklyn won the game, the Nets took an ATS loss in this example as they failed to cover the -5.5-point spread. On the flip side, the underdog Warriors lost the game, but got the ATS win for those who took Golden State on the +5.5-point spread. 

Keep in mind that just because a team is doing well in the standings, it doesn’t guarantee success against the spread. Last year’s Rockets team was a perfect example of this, as they finished the year fourth in the Western Conference but owned one of the worst ATS records in the league. ATS trends provide the betting community with unique insight into which teams can help win you some real money, and which are more likely to ruin your wager.  

NBA Home-Court Still Matters

Similar to the NFL, home-court advantage still plays a pivotal role in the NBA. Basketball players tend to get fired up by their home crowd, as thousands of fans cheer on their every move with passionate enthusiasm. NBA games will be a bit different this season as the COVID-19 pandemic has ridden all fans from the live action, but playing at home will still provide teams with that extra boost to their odds. For starters, home teams can avoid traveling in the days and hours leading up to game time, leaving their players well-rested. On top of that, many players tend to be more comfortable and at ease when playing at home, as they are able to go through their usual routine. Keep this in mind when looking at the NBA’s betting odds over the course of the season.  

A team’s record at home can often be an indicator of their overall strength. The Clippers had the best home record in the West last year, and this was a big reason for the team posting the league’s fourth-best record in the entire league. With that being said, last season’s 76ers squad showed that exceptions are always possible; they had an incredible 31-4 record at home, yet finished in the middle of the pack when looking at the overall NBA standings. 

NBA Live Betting

One of the most popular ways to bet on any sport, live betting provides bettors with the ability to place wagers even after the game has begun. Basketball is the perfect sport for fans of live betting, with players scoring frequently amid the fast-paced action. Live betting odds will usually be updated many times throughout the game, and these odds are dictated by what is happening on the court. For example, if the Lakers were the odds-on favorite before tip-off but the Rockets take the lead in the third quarter, the live betting odds will be updated to reflect this. The Lakers may still be favored to win the game, but the task will now be more difficult; this will improve the Lakers’ live betting odds as a result.

One of the main reasons live betting is so popular in basketball is because it allows bettors to see some of the action before betting their hard-earned money. If you’re not sure how the matchup will play out, you can watch the first few minutes of the game and still get your wager in with live betting. This can be a major advantage as it allows you to get a better feel for the game and make a more educated decision when reviewing a team’s odds.  

Betting on NBA Parlays

An NBA parlay is a single NBA wager with two or more selections included. While each pick in the parlay needs to win for the bet to be successful, the payout odds are multiplied with each additional selection to offer significantly increased value. Parlay betting pairs well with NBA basketball since there are usually a number of game odds to choose from every night. With 30 NBA teams, each playing 72 games this season, there will always be plenty of great matchups available.

NBA parlay betting allows for all different types of wagers, including point spreads, moneyline odds, totals, futures, and prop bets (provided the prop bet is on a different game). With the ability to include all of these bet types into your NBA parlay, you can study the odds and put together a bet with the potential to deliver a massive payout at Bovada!