NBA Betting Money Management

NBA Betting Money Management

Learn tips and strategies to help manage your NBA betting bankroll and make the smartest and most effective NBA picks.

The NBA season usually starts in October and ends in June. Each of the 30 teams plays 82 regular season games which means that there are a whopping 1,230 games over the course of the entire NBA season. There are also 15 playoff series, not to mention a handful of play-in tournament games in recent years, which means there are over 1,300 NBA games played over an eight month span. If you are going to have a serious NBA betting strategy, you will definitely need to exhibit patience in the form of proper money management, so your bankroll can last for an entire season.

pink piggy bank on front legs sniffing money
Money management while betting on the NBA | Sidelines

How to Prioritize Your NBA Budget Limitations

Now knowing that there are well over a thousand NBA games to bet on, it is clear why you need to manage your bankroll, AKA the money you intend to bet during a season, carefully. Each person’s bankroll will of course vary wildly. Some people may want to bet a few hundred dollars during the course of a season, while others may bet many thousands of dollars. The most basic NBA betting tip is that it’s up to you to decide the proper amount, but you should always stick to your original betting plan, and don’t let early losses dictate how much you ultimately bet.

Setting up a Betting Budget

When you are preparing for an NBA season, as a bettor, the first thing you need to do is decide on a betting budget. You need to pick an amount of money that you would ultimately be comfortable losing 100% of. Of course, hopefully you won’t lose any money, but you need to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

Take note of all of your living expenses and separate your money completely, making a spreadsheet so you can track it, or setting up a separate bank account for betting entirely.

Once you have decided on how much you are willing to wager over the course of an entire season, you need to determine your personal betting unit. A betting unit is the amount of money you will typically wager on each game. For many people, their betting unit will be 1% of their total bankroll, though for others it might be as high as 2 or 3% of their bankroll.

Also, factor in that if you are dabbling in NBA futures betting, ie. betting on specific teams to potentially win the championships, or specific players to win individual awards, that money will be tied up for the entire season, whether you ultimately win or lose those bets. With that in mind, you also need to try to calculate how many bets you will ultimately make over an entire NBA season. Just betting an average of one game per night, will yield a total of about 200 bets over the course of an NBA season and for many smaller bankrolls that could stretch their betting budget.

NBA futures betting on budget management | Sidelines
NBA futures betting on budget management | Sidelines

What Type of NBA Bettor are you?

In order to determine your personal betting unit, you should determine what kind of bettor you are. A conservative bettor might use 1% of their bankroll on each bet. A second type of bettor might increase that number to 2%, while a truly aggressive bettor might wager 3% of their entire bankroll on a single bet.

Suppose, to use a round number, your bankroll is $1,000 for an entire season. That means the conservative NBA betting type will wager $10 on each of their bets. 2% would equal $20 bets, and the aggressive 3% bettor would have his betting units be $30 per bet. Of course, if someone has a $10,000 budget for the entire season, you can multiple all three of those numbers by ten.

It’s also important to note that you are never locked into these amounts. If, for example, you feel that a certain game that night is a lock in one direction, say the Milwaukee Bucks are a -7.5 favorite in Cleveland and you think there’s no chance they cover that spread, you are certainly able to bet multiple units on a single game. Units are a great metric to use but you need not treat them as the law, you can increase or decrease betting amounts, as you see fit.

How To Handle Risk Management

Even though we have made clear how important it is to work within the framework of a budget when betting on the NBA, you should also be reevaluating both your betting strategy and your budget with regularity. If you are consistently winning, that may give you the opportunity in the future to increase your betting unit. If you are consistently losing, you should take a step back and look at which types of bets you are struggling with and reevaluate your strategy.

One very important basketball betting tip is to be careful with live betting. If you are betting on the winners and losers, or spreads, of individual games, you are probably not placing more than a few bets per night. However, with the increasing popularity of live in-game betting, you can place 10 bets in a quarter, particularly with the extremely fast paced nature of the modern NBA game. You definitely need to track yourn in-game bets and determine what level of success you are having, while being wary of making too many live bets in one specific game.

The best way to handle risk management in NBA betting is to bet with your head, not with your heart. Use data to guide all of your betting decisions and leave emotion at the door. If you don’t think you are capable of making unbiased decisions when it comes to betting on or against your favorite team, simply make a rule that you will never bet on or against your own team.

There are often 240 points scored in a single, 48 minute NBA game, make sure that you are only placing your bets when you are able to use the data to your advantage.

How to Make NBA Betting Decisions?

The best type of NBA bettor is the informed NBA bettor. Before placing a single bet during a season, you should be accumulating reams of data and using those statistics to help place your bets. Which teams struggle on the road? Why dpo the betting odds seem particularly off-kilter for a specific game? Which players play better at home? Is one team more motivated in a specific game? Is there a player on the injured list who is likely to play? There are all basic questions that every bettor needs to answer.

You should also be calculating how much money you can earn with each bet. Use an odds calculator to determine the amount of money you can win or lose, particularly when making moneyline bets. Moneyline bets can yield far more money than a traditional spread bet, particularly when you are betting on underdogs, but you are also less likely to win those bets, so track your results for each type of bet separately to learn how you are succeeding with various betting methods.

Place A Bet On NBA Team

Now that you understand what a betting unit is and how to manage an NBA bankroll, you are ready to start placing bets on NBA games. Look at the NBA betting odds and find a bet that suits you, whether it’s an over/under, a spread, or a moneyline bet on an underdog. Pick a team, whether it’s your favorite team or a team you are higher on than the oddsmakers, calculate the appropriate betting amount, given your bankroll and unit size, and you are all set to place that bet.

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