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NBA Sports Betting: Important Terms And Tips For Beginners

The NBA hasn’t always been a solo organization. Originally, there had been two different rival basketball organizations, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. The two came together in 1946 to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). The organization had somewhat been floundering until, in the 1980s, NBA commissioner David Stern helped to turn it into an entertainment company. Some insistent marketing introduced star players such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the legendary Michael Jordan to the world.

Today, NBA is one of the most popular leagues on Earth, thanks to the furious pace of games, elite level basketball and personalities such as LeBron James. The NBA odds attract constant attention from sports bettors who like to study the stats or just add some extra excitement to the games. Below is a look at sports betting, at common sports betting terminology and at some tips for anyone new to sports betting.

­­Sports Betting And Its Popularity

Sports betting is an activity that entails wagering on the outcome of sports events. Horse racing, dog racing and boxing are all sports that have been associated traditionally with betting, but punters are wagering more and more on outcomes of events in most professional sports.

Sports betting has enjoyed a real boom. The growth of technology has helped to make sports betting much more accessible than it used to be. Rather than wander into a sportsbook, punters can simply head online to an internet sports betting service provider and place their bets. Online sports betting providers also offer immense variety, which has attracted lots of people.

Then there’s the fact that sports betting has become something of a social activity. Many people place bets and then discuss them with their friends. The rise in sports betting communities has been an additional factor, fostering camaraderie between sports bettors.

Terms You Need to Know When You’re Sports Betting

Whether you’re betting online or offline, you’ll come across some terms frequently. Here are some of the terms you need to know:


This is the money you set aside for your wagering activity or place into an account for it. Your bankroll will increase if you win. If you lose, it will decrease.

Bankroll Management

Just like managing a personal bank account, you should learn to manage your bankroll. Setting limits on how much you’re willing to bet, only wagering what you can afford to lose and shopping around for the best odds value are important practices for good bankroll management.


Any wager you place at a casino, sportsbook, racebook or poker room.

Betting strategy

This is the set of plans you make to help you bet successfully. Sensible bankroll management and conducting lots of research on the games are two measures you can take as part of your betting strategy.


Short for “underdog,” underdog being the team or individual considered less likely to win.

Each Way

This is a common bet in horse racing. In an each way bet, you split your stake equally, placing it on a horse finishing either first or second.


If the horse finishes first, both bets pay, whereas if it finishes second, only one does.


Acquiring an advantage through in-depth research or having insights that aren’t widely known.


The betting odds posted by a sportsbook.

Live betting

A type of betting offered by sportsbook once an event has started. As the event plays out, spreads, moneylines and totals are adjusted.


A straightforward bet, without any spread, in which you must predict the winner.


A number posted on how many goals, points or runs the teams or individuals will score in total in a game. You bet on whether the combined total will be higher or lower than the number posted.

Point spread

Odds placed on an event designed to level the playing field.

NBA Betting Tips For Beginners

As a beginner, you might be unsure of how to approach betting on the NBA. Here are some tips:

  • Understand outside factors. If a team has a heavy schedule, this can affect their performance.
  • Learn about home vs away. Some teams play well on the road, whereas others don’t. Learn which teams have a strong home advantage.
  • Learn to bet against favorites. Betting on underdogs can pay handsomely if you know how to do it. Anything can happen in the NBA, and if you can picture a team winning, understand whether you should go with this gut feeling.
  • Understand the difference between a mismatch and a momentum swing. This is crucial in live betting. If the momentum shifts and you time your bet well, you can get much cheaper odds on a favorite.


The NBA is an exciting organization to watch, and matches offers tremendous action for sports betting. Be sure to learn the terms above and follow the beginner betting tips to increase your chances of making a successful bet.

Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
On Chain Analysis Data Engineer. Lives in sunny Perth, Australia. Investing and writing about Crypto since 2014.

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