NBA Live Betting: Odds and Strategies

NBA Live Betting: Odds and Strategies

Learn the ins and outs of NBA live betting! We cover tips and strategies and delve into how NBA odds work for live betting.

Just a few years ago it was virtually impossible to place a bet on a game while it was happening. Live betting, or the act of betting on an ongoing event was essentially a pipedream. But now, with the proliferation of online betting, you can make live bets on virtually every game in every major sport. What’s different about live betting than more traditional sports betting is that the odds change with every score change and, especially with NBA live betting, you often only have a few seconds to make a betting decision. Because of this, NBA live betting has been the domain of advanced bettors, but more and more people are getting into live betting as it has become more accessible. This guide will explain live betting and teach you some live betting strategies.

fans watching game and eating nachos
Betting on NBA games while watching them

How Do Live NBA Odds Work?

In live NBA betting, the odds for a game are constantly changing. Every basket and each momentum swing can shift the spread and the moneyline a great deal. For example, suppose the Memphis Grizzlies are -5.5 point favorites against the Sacramento Kings. If Memphis takes a twelve point lead after the first quarter then the live odds might change from Memphis -5.5 to Memphis -6.5 or -7. The moneyline odds might shift from -200 to -250.

Suppose Memphis was a -5.5 favorite and the Kings were the team to get off to a good start, leading by seven points after the first quarter. The live odds at that point would have shifted significantly and Sacramento might be a slight favorite by then and the moneyline would be adjusted accordingly in Sacramento’s favor.

You can also live bet the over/under in NBA games and that number will change constantly. If the hypothetical Memphis-Sacramento game opened with a 228.5 total and the first quarter ended with the Grizzlies leading 39-27 that might bump up the original over/under by several points. The over/under expected 228.5 points, or 57 points per quarter and the teams combined to score 66 in the first quarter, so the live line might be boosted into the 230’s.

You will also frequently only have a few seconds to make a live betting decision. If the Grizzlies go on a quick run to take an eleven point lead, that might move the line to Memphis -7, but if you wanted to bet on the Kings then, that line will likely no longer be available if they immediately answer with a three pointer.

What should you look out for when live betting on NBA games?

  • A. Pre Game Data: You should be fully prepared before a game with as much data as you can possibly accumulate. Try to spot trends that will help you make in-game bets. If you know a team is prone to starting slowly and coming back, anticipate that and be ready to place a bet with better odds when that team trails early.
  • B. Set Iron-Clad Numbers: You should make plans before a game that if, say, the favorite is trailing early by a certain number of points in the first half, you will make a bet on that team with new improved odds. Don’t be swayed by anything else in-game, if you set a number beforehand, stick to it.
  • C. Line Shopping: If you have accounts at multiple sites, you can pick and choose which lines to use for live in-game betting. This way, you are more likely to find a line that is advantageous. With love betting, that could be the difference between getting odds on a team that is a full point better than you could get if you are only using one site.
  • D. Taking Advantage of Fluky Performances: If an underdog gets hot early in a game and starts hitting threes, that might be time to place a bet on the favorite. The thinking goes that a team won’t make shots all night long and you should get a bet in on the favorite before the momentum swings back to them.
  • E. Halftime Adjustments: Halftime is a crucial time in NBA live betting because it is the only opportunity where you will have a significant amount of time to make decisions about placing bets. During a game, snap judgments often need to be made in seconds, at halftime you can reflect and make changes to your strategy.
Know the Stats to Succeed in Live Betting
Know the Stats to Succeed in Live Betting

10 Recommended NBA Live Betting Strategies

1. NBA Runs Strategy:

This live betting strategy entails a person waiting until one team goes on a run and then betting on the opposite team. If you want to bet on a game that has a +7 underdog, this might mean that you wait until the favorite takes a double digit lead which might send the line to -8 or -9. That is when you should strike and place a bet on the underdog with better odds than you had before the game started. You can set a number that you are waiting for before the game, and when that number hits, that’s when you place your bet.2. Game 3 Playoffs Strategy

You’ve seen it a million times. One team wins the first two games of a playoff series, generally at home. Everyone starts assuming that the team down 2-0 is packing it in for the season and people are already speculating about their offseason plans. Then the team comes home for Game 3 and blows out their opponents, making it a close series again. This strategy entails not falling for a team’s failing act when they go down 2-0 and placing a bet on them for Game 3, and then betting more on them in-game if they trail early in Game 3.3. Bounce Back Strategy

The bounce back strategy is very simple. It entails betting on a team the game after they have a particularly poor shooting performance. The thinking is that there is no reason to expect to have a repeat, poor performance and that they will make adjustments to avoid a second straight let down. You can place a pre-game bet on the team coming off a poor performance but you can really take advantage in-game if they miss a few shots early and it looks like they are up to their old tricks. Just assume it’s a small sample size and place an in-game bet on them with even better odds now.4. Three Games in Four Nights Strategy

NBA teams having to play three games in four nights used to be much more common but the league now goes out of its way to avoid scheduling three games in four nights as much as they possibly can. That being said, it still happens, and betting opportunities abound when a team is tired. It’s important to note that the oddsmakers are well aware when a team is playing its third game in four nights and that it is already baked into the line. However, some experts feel that the over is a great bet in these scenarios, because teams might be too tired to play defense.5. Back to Back Strategy

This is one of the most famous strategies in NBA betting. The wisdom goes that you are supposed to bet against a team playing its second game in consecutive nights, particularly if they are on the road. The issue with this strategy is that the oddsmakers have already factored this information into the line. So, the live betting strategy version of this is to wait until the team playing the road back-to-back takes an early lead and then bet against with slightly better odds, assuming they will tire later in the game.6. Tunnel System

The tunnel system involves making two different bets on the same game with different lines. So if you see a 3.5 line on one site and a 4.5 line on a second site, you place one bet on the favorite at -3.5 and a bet on the underdog at +4.5. This way, you are guaranteed to win one of your two bets, but if the bet middles, or ends with the favorite winning by four points, you have won both ends of the bet. This is easier in game when spreads can vasy more widely, but is obviously risky since you are placing two different bets at about -110 and will lose 10% on your bet every time you don’t hit the middle number.7. Martingale Strategy

The Martingale Strategy entails constantly doubling your bets until you are a winner, Obviously, this strategy needs a large bankroll to ensure it works. For example, you place a $50 bet on the Denver Nuggets to beat the Atlanta Hawks as a -5 favorite. If they win, great. If not, your next bet would be $100. If that bet wins, you are now ahead. If it loses, you would need to place a $200 bet on the next game you choose, and so on. It is risky, but if you have the bankroll to manage it, it can work.8. D’Alembert Strategy

A more complicated version of the Martingale Strategy, the D’Alembert Strategy asks you to change your bet amount based on if you won or lost your past bet. So, you start off with, say, a $50 bet on a game. If that bet loses, you bet $100 on the next game. If that bet loses again, you would make a $150 bet on your third game, but if that bet wins, your next bet would go back down to $50. Basically, you add a betting unit after a loss, but subtract it back after a win.9. Early Season Expert Strategy

By the middle of an NBA season, we all know who the good teams are and who the bad teams are. But early in the season, the players are still figuring things out, coaches are still learning about their teams, and the oddsmakers are also sorting things out. The lines are softer than they will be later in the season, so you can take advantage if you feel like you have an edge in knowing that a certain team is better or worse than the lines would indicate. You can wait until that team is losing during a game, and get even better in-game odds when you bet on them.10. Zagging On the Totals Strategy

This strategy comes into play when teams play a particularly high scoring first quarter. While this will adjust the in-game over/under higher, you can then place a bet on the under, assuming that the teams won’t keep scoring at that rate all night long. So, if an over/under is 220 and the teams combined for 70 points in the first quarter, which bumps the total up a number of points. The thinking goes that there’s no way the teams will average anywhere close to 70 points per quarter, so that’s when you can swoop in and bet on the under.

? Time to Try Out These Strategies

We have listed a large number of NBA live betting strategies in this article. Some might work for people with large bank rolls, some only work for people who are very patient. Your job as a bettor is to analyze every strategy and pick the ones that appeal to you. Run the numbers on the strategies you prefer and see which ones will be profitable in the long term. When you are ready, look up the NBA bettings odds on the games you want to wager on, and then you are ready to place your bets!

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