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Betting the NBA

Despite the fact that football still reigns supreme as the most bet on sport in the US, the NBA is making every effort to close the gap. Seeming to heed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s call to bring sports betting “out of the underground and into the sunlight,” the NBA is currently experiencing a boom in both wagers and popularity. As such, those who are looking to get in on the action of NBA betting need to learn the ropes of wagering on the league before making NBA picks for tonight or searching for free NBA picks to bet on. Luckily, Sidelines has you covered with everything you need to know in order to bet smart on the NBA and not just depend on NBA expert picks or NBA predictions tonight.

Get more than just free NBA picks for tonight

While it is difficult to ascertain the real amount wagered on the NBA each season (due to offshore betting and other unregulated operations), experts agree that on the low end, it is in the high hundreds of millions of dollars, while many believe it is actually in the billions. This is a serious chunk of cash and presents some lucrative opportunities for savvy sports fans to make some extra cash all while having some good, clean fun. Given the possible winnings at stake, many prospective bettors are understandably looking for a competitive advantage in NBA betting. While most utilize NBA expert picks or pundits’ NBA predictions today, many are turning to numbers. Given that we live in the age of big data, it should come as a surprise to no one that both bookies and bettors are increasingly utilizing analytics and statistics. Whereas once, one’s gut feeling was enough, fans now actively seek out easy-to-understand free NBA picks that are backed by numbers. This has created a veritable cottage industry of tech-based sports firms offering free NBA picks and NBA predictions today in order to help bettors beat the bookie. Accordingly, Sidelines is here to offer a variety of data-driven tools to bettors interested in not just free NBA picks, but all sports.

How do NBA betting odds work?

What may seem like a simple enough question is actually quite loaded as there are multiple ways to bet on the NBA. While the odds can be expressed in the same format across all bets, it won’t help a first time bettor looking for free NBA picks if he/she doesn’t understand bet types and/or how to read odds. So, before making NBA picks for tonight, let’s take a look at odds first. In the US, NBA betting odds are expressed in what is known as “moneyline odds,” otherwise known as “American odds.” These are the numbers one sees on bets and they can be either positive or negative. All you need to know is that a positive number signifies how much you can win by betting $100, while a negative number signifies how much you need to bet in order to win $100. For example, let’s say the Detroit Pistons are playing the Chicago Bulls. The Pistons have odds of +120, while the Bulls have odds of -110. If you bet $100 on the underdog Pistons, you can win $120. By the same logic, if you bet on the favorite Bulls, you’ll need to wager $110 in order to win $100. Knowing what you know now, you’re ready to start making NBA expert picks.

Bet types covered by NBA expert picks

NBA expert picks cover nearly every bet that can be made on the NBA. Popular betting options such as spread betting, totals (over/under), and moneyline bets are extremely common in the NBA. More often than not, people looking for free NBA picks, NBA expert picks, or NBA predictions today are typically looking for picks related to these bet types. In addition to the common NBA betting choices, there are some more novel ways to get in the game. For those in need of a refresher:

  • What are NBA proposition bets?
    Also known as “Prop bets,” NBA props are wagers made on the occurrence of an event during a game that does not affect the final outcome of the contest. Props tend to be of the yes/no variety and can be made on both a team and individual player, thus making them exciting NBA picks for tonight. Examples include which team wins the tipoff, which team scores first, and which team reaches 20 points first. Examples of player props include whether LeBron James will score more than 35 points in a game or if Luka Doncic will grab more than 10 rebounds. Due to their uniqueness, prop bets are popular options for NBA predictions tonight and many free NBA picks deal with props.
  • What are NBA futures bets?
    Simply put, NBA futures are wagers made on future events such as the winner of the NBA Finals or the Eastern/Western Conference championship. Like prop bets, futures can also apply to both teams and individual players. When looking for free NBA picks on futures, it is important to keep in mind the speculative nature of futures bets and that many developments throughout the course of a season can affect the odds of a particular bet. Given the fact that futures are obviously not a short term bet, those looking for NBA picks for tonight or NBA predictions today should probably seek out other betting options.
  • What are NBA parlay bets?
    NBA parlays are bets that combine two or more individual wagers into a single bet. They can include any combination of bet types and cover more than one game. However, in order to win a parlay, all wagers within the parlay must be correct. Due to the complexity involved in parlays, it is not very common to find free NBA picks related to these types of wagers. Similarly, tips on NBA predictions today are usually focusing independently on bet types, not combinations. Meaning, if you’re looking for NBA expert picks, don’t expect to see much in the way of parlays.
  • What is NBA live betting?
    Also known as in-game betting, this form of betting is one of the fastest growing options in the NBA betting landscape. These are wagers made on a game that is already in progress and can be moneylines, spreads, totals, or even props. So, if you’re looking for free NBA picks for tonight, in-game betting is an exciting option that adds a new dimension to your betting experience.
  • What is NBA quarters betting?
    Quarters betting entails betting on the total or spread per quarter. As opposed to other sports which are split into halves, the NBA’s quarter system allows bettors the opportunity to identify spots where odds are in their favor by keeping track of a team’s tempo and personnel changes due to injury or fouls. As quarters betting is a type of wager that is less amateur-friendly, free NBA picks and NBA expert picks for these bets are more difficult to come by. Given the dynamic nature of quarters betting, this bet type also doesn’t lend itself well to pregame NBA predictions tonight.

Is it legal to bet on the NBA?

What once would have been a resounding no for anywhere other than Nevada has now begun to change. Quickly too. At the time the US Supreme Court decided to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in May 2018, Nevada was the only state where people could legally bet on sports via sportsbooks. In May 2020, a mere two years later, some 21 states now have some form of legalized sports betting on the books, with many more states actively considering the issue. Those wishing to put down money on some free NBA picks they’ve researched simply need to be physically located in a state in which sports betting is legal. Once there, prospective bettors need to either place a bet at a brick-and-mortar location such as a casino or, if online sports betting is an option, place a bet via the web. For more information on the legality of sports betting in your home state, as well as a list of operators, be sure to check out Sidelines to be in the know.

Where can I bet on the NBA?

Given the constantly changing landscape of legal sports betting in the United States, some still may be utilizing unregulated and/or offshore sportsbooks to get in on NBA betting action. While that is each person’s prerogative, not many bettors want the specter of federal law enforcement hanging above their heads as they’re looking for free NBA picks to bet on. Anyone wishing to place a bet on the NBA in the US should only do so in states where sports betting is 100% legal and regulated. While each state has different laws in regards to where bettors can wager, it will always be either a brick-and-mortar establishment or a regulated online operator. Whereas bettors have little to no recourse in the event that an offshore bookie is closed or refuses to pay, state regulated sportsbooks are beholden to the law. Payments are made through only safe and official channels and the revenue derived from taxes helps fund state programs and aid communities. For more information on the benefits derived from state-regulated sports betting, be sure to check out your state gaming agency.

Now that you have the ins and outs of NBA betting down pat, be sure to bet smart and bet with Sidelines. Regardless of the type of bet you’re interested in making, before you make your NBA picks for tonight, do yourself a favor and shop the odds. But instead of manually going to each sportsbook yourself, let Sidelines make it easy on you and be your one-stop shop for odds comparison for all your NBA betting needs. By being connected to all legal sportsbooks, you can be sure Sidelines will guide you to the sportsbook offering the best odds on your preferred bet. All the free NBA picks in the world or data-driven NBA predictions tonight won’t help if you’re not getting the best odds for your bets. With Sidelines, you’ll be sure to get the best value on your bets in order to maximize your payouts on all your NBA picks for tonight.

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