Coming off the annual NBA All-Star break there is roughly two months of games left in the regular season. The real action gets underway in mid-April with the start of an extended two-month postseason that culminates with the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
This all adds up to quite a bit of basketball yet to be played. The top online sportsbooks know exactly how to capitalize on an opportunity. They will be ramping-up their NBA betting boards with a wide variety of ways to get in on all the action.
Many bettors see this season as a one-team race in the Eastern Conference led by the dominating Milwaukee Bucks. Coming off this past weekend’s break, they are 46-8 with a 6.5-game lead in the conference standings. The Toronto Raptors are in second place at 40-15 followed by Boston Celtics at 38-16. Miami (35-19) and Philadelphia (34-21) round out the Top 5.
When it comes to the online books’ futures odds to win the East, the Bucks are listed as -125 odds-on favorites. Boston and Philadelphia are next on the list at +500 followed by Miami (+700) and Toronto (+800).
The Western Conference is led by both teams from Los Angeles. The Lakers have the edge as +165 favorites closely followed by the Clippers at +200 odds. The Lakers also have the edge in the current conference standings at 41-12. They are four games ahead of the Denver Nuggets (38-17) with the Clippers five games off the pace at 37-18.
The Utah Jazz are in the mix at 36-18 with the Houston Rockets (34-20) rounding out that Top 5 list. The Rockets have the third-best odds to win the West at +800. Utah and Denver are listed at +900 odds.
Along with the basic spread, total line and moneyline for every NBA game as a whole, online books also offer betting lines in increments of a quarter and half. As the regular season continues to wind down, this opens up some tremendous opportunities to break down the games into smaller betting increments. This, in turn, adds some better predictability to the outcome.
One of the best ways to bet the games this time of year is through live in-game odds. This lets you cash-in on the action after the game has gotten underway. Live in-game betting is geared towards nationally broadcast games with the odds constantly changing during regular commercial breaks. This lets you bet on the natural ebbs and flows that every NBA game contains.
Rest is a key aspect of play down the stretch so teams will take every chance possible to get their best players a little extra time on the bench in games that might get out of hand. That 20-point lead could quickly disappear to set the stage for a backdoor cover by the underdog.
Game and player props are another fun way to bet on any NBA game. Online books that focus heavily on added props will normally post those type of betting odds several hours before tipoff. Sometimes, this is where the best betting value can be found.
Popular game props include the race to 20 points, highest scoring quarter and actual winning margin. Most player props are tied to points, rebounds and assists. This is where a online book can really expand its betting options for the games.