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NBA Picks Explained: How To Bet Smart

NBA Picks Explained: How To Bet Smart

Every year the NBA (National Basketball Association) captivates a vast amount of people over North America due to the spectacle that is basketball at the highest level. It’s easy to see why: points are traded at lightning speed, you can almost feel the crunching tackles and dramatic changes of direction on your screen when you watch a match, and - perfect for bettors - basketball is easy to break down into statistics.

What this means is that when you’re watching a match, you can of course enjoy it on a surface level and see who wins, but you can also learn to watch it like the experts do. Look for the interceptions, the three-pointers that are successful, those that aren’t, which team takes the lead first… there’s so much to look out for, and all can help you to make expert picks when it comes to NBA matches.

To get you started on finding the best NBA picks, we’ve put together a guide of where to find the best NBA bets, picks, and tips, so you can make money through NBA predictions.

Where can I find the best NBA picks?

When answering this question, it’s important to start at the beginning. What are you looking for, when you’re looking for the best NBA picks, you’re looking for the best value for money, and also the best odds to allow you to win when you bet on matches.

Like anything in life, you need to look carefully at who is offering the picks, and what they are offering, and you need to be able to understand them. If you decide you’re au fait with how NBA betting odds function, then you might also want to look at spread betting - if this is you, we’ve got guidance on against the spread picks later in this article.

Remember, whatever you do, shop around for the best odds. You can do that using Oddschecker, which has all the odds you could need, in easy-to-read tables for each game. It’s the essential pre-game resource.

In terms of great betting sites with fantastic odds for NBA games, here are some of our top recommendations:

What are against the spread picks?

Against the spread picks are where you pick an outcome based on a certain points margin. The reasons why you might do this are multiple: perhaps a key player on the team that is more favored to win a match-up is injured (imagine the difference between the Lakers with, or without, LeBron, and you get the idea of what difference this can make), or maybe you think that the weaker of the two teams looks like it can stage an upset in the upcoming game for one reason or another.

Whatever the case, against the spread picks ensure that even in a match-up that looks pretty predictable at first glance, there’s actually a lot of action going on, all game. This is because going against the spread means that the stronger team will start at a points disadvantage (for example, -8), and to “win” the match, it would have to win by more than that margin. Hence, if Golden State Warriors were playing the LA Clippers and the Warriors were -7 on the spread, the Clippers would be +7. The Warriors, then, would have to win by 8 points for the bet to be successful.

Why are against the spread popular in NBA betting? One reason is because, in many games, the result is, if not exactly known, expected to go one way or another. Hence, betting on a straight win for the most favored team in a heavily unbalanced match-up would result in you getting little or no payout. On the other hand, choose a good spread, and you’ve got a match on your hands - it can even enhance your enjoyment of otherwise predictable NBA games.

Is it possible to win betting on the NBA?

It is possible to win when placing NBA bets, but you need to be aware of several things when you put your money on a team or outcome.

Here are some factors to pay attention to when working out which NBA picks are likely to be winners for you:

  • Be neutral - bet like an expert, not a fan
  • Don’t be afraid to bet against the spread in mismatched games
  • Always watch the games you’ve bet on
  • Daily fantasy sports can give you another factor to think about
  • Stick to teams you know enough about to make authoritative bets

The main thing to be aware of, as in all betting, is your budget. Be sensible about how much money you put aside for sports betting. I know that all the sites present attractive offers, and if you know anything about the sports you’re betting on, you likely think you’ve got a good chance of making spot-on NBA predictions.

Think about it, though - so do 90% of all basketball bettors. That’s why it’s important to start with a small amount of money for betting, and only increase that amount when you become more sure of your predictive powers. Remember, too, that you’re not betting as a fan. Even if you’re a Cavs fan, and Cleveland are playing in a game that looks winnable, you bet based on the data and understanding you have - in other words, bet on the results that you THINK will happen, not the ones you WANT to happen.

Can I win at daily fantasy basketball?

Absolutely. Remember that fantasy sports requires even more knowledge, gained from watching and analyzing the games for yourself, and reading up on what the NBA experts think. This is because your path to success is based entirely on picking players who can make specific outcomes within the game happen, rather than just picking teams that are going to win, or win by a specific margin.

We recommend both of the market leaders in daily fantasy basketball, DraftKings and FanDuel both of which explain exactly how you can get started with your team, and how to join leagues, which could contain only a few people or thousands of people, depending on how confident you are that your fantasy team can do the business for you.

Important overall highest NBA playoff win percentages:

TeamPercentage
LA Lakers.597
Boston Celtics.568
Miami Heat.554
San Antonio Spurs.551
Cleveland Cavaliers.546
Golden State Warriors.544
Chicago Bulls.541
Philadelphia 76ers.515
Detroit Pistons.508
Oklahome City Thunder.497

Data correct and available at time of publishing 12/03/2019.

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  • How to find the best NBA picks, and how to win at NBA betting & fantasy.

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