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NBA Props Betting

Basketball prop bets are fun and exciting ways to wager on a basketball game. These are also referred to as ‘Specials’ – and are different to standard bets such as which team will win etc.

What is an NBA Prop Bet

Basically, a prop bet can be defined as the actual statistical performance of a player or a team – as opposed to the overall result of the game. The most common NBA prop bets are usually based on points, assists and rebounds. But there are numerous others available – free throws, blocks etc -and there will be numerous opportunities to bet on both NBA player props and NBA team props in every game.

What Are NBA Player Prop Bets

This is basically a bet on a single player’s performance during a game. This usually includes one (or more) of the player’s main stats such as points, assists, rebounds or blocks etc.

Generally, the majority of NBA player props are in an Over/Under or Totals type of bet – i.e. Desmond Bane to score over or under 18.5 points in a game or Dejounte Murray to make over 4.5 assists in a game. Practically all bookmakers have a number of player props bets for every game.

There will also be selected sportsbooks that offer odds on players to score a double-double or triple-double on certain games – but this isn’t as common and is usually only available for big names and big games in the NBA.

NBA Player Prop Examples & Types

Here are the main player props bets available at most online bookmakers:

  • Points
  • Three-pointers
  • Assists
  • Rebounds
  • Steals
  • Points + Assists
  • Points + Rebounds
  • Points + Rebounds + Assists

Examples

  • LeBron James Over/Under 28 Points
  • Isaiah Stewart Over/Under 3.5 Three-Pointers
  • Chris Paul Over/Under 7 Assists
  • Mikal Bridges Over/Under 13.5 Rebounds

Then, of course, you can simply bet on yes or no as to whether a player will record double-doubles or even triple-doubles

NBA Team Prop Bets

As the name suggests, this will revolve around the performance of the team – although not necessarily the overall outcome. The most common of all NBA props bets will be based on the team’s points. It could be the first team to score – it could be the first team to reach 30 points – or even an under-over line for the total of that one team.

Team props bets mean that you can focus on how one team performs rather than both of the teams, so you can focus on your favourite team – and ignore the opposition if you wish.

There are lots of NBA games played every single day, which means that finding the best spots for an NBA team prop can be tough. That’s where our experts come into it.

When To Post Your Basketball Prop Bets

You will be able to access expert basketball props every single day throughout the basketball NBA season – preseason, regular-season and postseason. There are so many matches and matchups between teams – and players head to head, that props bets can take a lot of time and effort to research in enough detail to be able to pick the best basketball prop bets today. So, you need to either make sure that you do the homework yourself – or use our expert advice to help you.

These days, NBA props bets are becoming more popular with NBA betting fans – and for a very good reason. Not only can they be highly entertaining, but they can also be a good way to earn some extra money.

Why Should You Bet NBA Props?

Prop bets are usually easier than more traditional wagers. Although there are numerous props available on any given NBA slate, there will never be more than 5 games offering a spread or over/under bet. This means that most bets at most online sportsbooks will be placed in traditional wagers. In a similar way to financial markets, the more liquid the betting market is, the more efficient it will be. An oddsmaker will spend their time focusing on spreads and totals – and will often neglect player or team props bets as they have less volume. This means that you are more likely to find better value bets in this market if you know your stuff and have done a full analysis of the team or game.

Winning Money on Props

It is easier to win money betting on NBA player props and team props if you use our experts’ advice and do your own research on statistical analyses such as points, rebounds and assists as well as the player or team’s offensive and defensive rating.

As we like to stress, the most important factor to winning in the long term is by finding the best deals, promotions and odds available. Most online sports betting sites offer promos such as risk-free bets, match deposit offers etc. but you also need to find the best NBA odds. Prop bets aren’t exactly the same in all sportsbooks. As such, finding the best line can be the difference between winning and losing. If you can get the same odds for a player scoring over 22.5 as you can for a player scoring over 23.5, why would you bet on the latter when you have a better chance of winning the former – for the same money.

Finding the best line is important – as is having accurate projections. Knowing how to spot the likelihood of an outcome and whether that is reflected in the odds will help you to get a better value bet. Here are some things worth keeping in mind:

  • Volume: Simply looking at the box score and seeing how many points the player has scored isn’t that helpful. You also need to look at shot volume and thus work out his mean shooting percentage.
  • Pace: You should also look at the pace of the previous game in comparison to the expected pace of the upcoming matchup as to whether you should bet the over or under on a prop.
  • Blowouts: These aren’t easy to predict but it’s worth trying to make an educated guess. In most blowouts, there will be a number of props that will hit ‘under’ as they probably won’t get playing time. Bear this in mind as it is important when you look at a player’s log and think that ‘ the over has hit this number for six games consecutively, so there is no way he won’t hit it in this game’. If the game has a 15 point-spread then this is the reason that the number is low.

There are lots of other variables that will go into researching and betting on NBA players’ props, but these are the easiest way of taking advantage of value bets.

Where To Bet on NBA Player Props

You can start placing bets on NBA props tonight – or tomorrow… or whenever you like at one of our top recommended sportsbooks that are not only legal and legit, but they also offer excellent deposit bonuses, risk-free bets and generous odds.

Betting on Basketball Prop Bets

These bets are pretty hard to define because they can basically be bets on anything – and the best way to understand what they are is simply by seeing examples. Basketball has two types of prop bets – these are the skilled and unskilled bets. However, they will certainly not be categorised in such a way on the online sportsbook. This is simply a way to refer to them as a punter or industry expert. They each come with their own strategies.

Skilled Bets

As the name suggests, skilled bets are prop bets that require you to use knowledge, strategies and research to win. These need knowledge of the game and players to be able to win. These bets can be volatile but accessing winning basketball betting strategies are key to winning more NBA props bets.

Here are some examples of what a skilled prop bet might look like:

  • Will LeBron James score over 28.5 points in this game?
  • Will Chris Paul get more than two blocks in this game?
  • Will the Western Conference Final go to seven games?

Clearly, you are betting on events that don’t directly affect the overall result of the game. You are simply wagering on how an individual player might perform in the game – or how well a team might perform in the league season. These can look difficult at first, but you can use knowledge, research and skill to make an educated guess.

So, if you look at LeBron James to score more than 28.5 points – you can either bet on ‘yes he will’ or ‘no he won’t’. Both sides of the bet are likely outcomes. However, if LeBron usually averages 30 points, but you think the opposition’s defense will shut him down, then you might consider betting on him scoring under 28 points in that match. If your knowledge is correct then you will win your wager.

This type of bet allows you to make your wager on a prediction or hunch that doesn’t deal with the outcome of the game – James might score less than 28 points – but his team might still win.

Unskilled Prop Bets

These are the fun bets that are simply luck – and are straight, out and out gambling. You might have a hunch one way or another, but this will mainly be all guess work. Here are examples of unskilled prop bets.

  • Will there be more than six dunks in the game?
  • Which team will score first?
  • Who player will win rookie of the year?

Obviously, it’s practically impossible to predict these. Some, such as Rookie of the Year can be a mix of skilled and unskilled – but as it’s a very subjective outcome, this is usually still a fun wager.

The most important thing to remember is that prop bets should only be used for fun and shouldn’t be used as part of a money winning strategy. They can be great fun but you can’t beat them in the long run. If you use them carefully – and for exactly what they were created for, they are brilliant. But, remember, don’t ever try to be a professional unskilled prop bets bettor to make money!

In regards to exactly how they work, they are exactly as easy as we have said. They aren’t complicated and they can’t be made complicated. You are simply presented with the prop and you choose which side of the prop you want to come down on:

E.g.

How many points will LeBron James score?

  • Over 28.5: -150
  • Under 28.5: +120

So, if you believe he will score more than 28.5 points then you bet over and if you think he will score less than 28.5 then you will place your bet on 28.5. You might question why the bookmaker has set the line at 28.5 and not a whole number, but this is done to prevent a non-result. A player can’t score half points, so you will either win or lose the bet and won’t have to worry about the player scoring that exact number of points.

How Prop Bets are Paid Out

These are paid out in exactly the same way as any other NBA bet. You will either be given your odds in the money line format (most common in the US), in the fractional format (common in UK bookmakers) or decimal format (most common in European sportsbooks). So, let’s look at our earlier example to see how easy this is to understand.

How many points will LeBron James score?

  • Over 28.5: -150
  • Under 28.5: +120

Let’s imagine that we bet $100 on under 28.5 because we think that the defense will stop him and we were correct – he scores 26. We will be paid out at odds of +120 – which means we will get a $120 profit from our correct pick.

You could see these exact same odds written in either fractional format or decimal format depending on where your bookmaker is based. Here is how they will look – so that if you do encounter this you will feel more comfortable. Remember, whatever way they are written, they will pay out exactly the same. It’s the same thing but written a different way. It’s like saying ‘it’s cold outside’ or saying ‘ it’s freezing out’ – it’s the same thing but worded differently!

James totals score:

Moneyline odds:

  • Over 28.5: -150
  • Under 28.5 +120

James total score:

Decimal odds:

  • Over 28.5: 1.67
  • Under 28.5: 2.2

James total score

Fractional odds:

  • Over 28.5: 2/3 
  • Under 28.5: 6/5

Benefits of Basketball Prop Bets

Before the advent of props bets, the only option available for punters was betting on the result or outcome of the game. Even if you thought you could predict something that might happen during the game that wouldn’t affect the outcome, there was no way you could bet on it. So, if you honestly thought that Lebron James wasn’t going to have a good game – then sure, you could bet against his team – but if one of the other players had a great game then you would still lose your bet – even though your actual game prediction was correct

The invention of props bets now means that you can accurately pinpoint your prediction and take advantage of little elements of the game, including players or situations that you have noticed or might predict about the game. 

Props: Money-Making Potential

As we discussed earlier in the article, prop bets can give fans a whole new host of possibilities that you can take advantage of to enhance your money-making potential. They let punters vary exactly what they bet on, and approach situations in a variety of ways – and have more chance to take advantage of any errors you feel have been made by line makers or oddsmakers. This, in turn, leads to more money-making opportunities. However, this only refers to skill-based prop bets – and not unskilled prop bets. If you simply keep betting guesses – like how many times a player will trip up in the first half – or if something untoward will happen in the halftime show then it’s unlikely you will make much of a profit in the long run.

Betting for Entertainment Value

The biggest appeal of prop bets is that they are sun – which is impossible to deny. This isn’t just in reference to the unskilled bets – but also skilled prop bets. The game might be a blowout yet you can still cheer on your chosen player to make a three-pointer – and still get the chance to win your props bet. You could still cheer on a player to make another dunk to win your bet. If you only bet on the final score of the fame then there will no doubt be plenty of times that you find your bet is done early on in the game. However, prop bets can keep the fun going right until the end – and pay up some decent money as well.

Props Bets: Tips and Strategy Advice

If you’re looking at unskilled fun props, then there is not much strategy advice to be had – apart from gambling responsibly and having fun. Never try to stress yourself out by trying to mathematically calculate how many times a certain player will trip up in a game… although if you can figure that out – good for you!

In terms of skilled prop bets, there are a number of things you can do to gain the advantage. Here are a couple of tips that might help you move in the right direction. Because every prop bet is different, it’s difficult to give you specific tips on all different bet types, but we can help you to look at the way in which you approach prop bets. This means that you can easier work towards making a more educated guess or prediction with a better chance of winning.

Bet on Who or What You Know

No matter what sport you bet on, this is the best advice out there. Only bet on teams, sports or players that you know. This is true of prop bets. Never try and predict an outcome of something you aren’t really familiar with. Prop bets require you to be knowledgeable about specifics. For example, if you look at the LeBron James example we used earlier, you need to know about more than just the team he plays for. You will also need to know a lot about him as a player – and also about the defensive players on the opposition. This will obviously require more knowledge and research. In return, it opens up even more opportunities for you. The more data that is available, the more chance that there is that line makers, oddsmakers… and the public… will make errors. If you are able to seek out those errors then you get more opportunities to capitalize. However, this can only be done if you ensure that you are knowledgeable enough on who and what you are putting your bets on.

Make Sure You Use the Correct Data

There is a lot more data and statistical analysis required when it comes to betting on individual players. As such, you really need to make sure that you access the correct data that is important for the actual wager that you are looking to make. So, if you want to bet on how many three-pointers a player will make, their average point score per game is irrelevant. What’s more, it is relevant to look at the other team’s defensive stats. However, there are other, more accurate stats to look at other than regular defense stats – such as statistics specifically based against three-point shots.

The most important thing is to get as much specific and exact research as possible. The more you can focus on specific and relevant information, the better your prediction will be.

Check that Your Bets Work Together

A common error made by sports bettors that are making a number of different bets is not making sure that they fit together properly. This means that you won’t be limiting the amount of money you can win by placing wagers on bets that contradict each other. Here’s an example:

Imagine that you bet on LeBron James to score under 28.5 points – and that he will be shut down by the opposition. If you also bet that James’ team will win the game, then effectively they will be working against each other… because if the team’s leading scorer is being just down by the opposition defense, then it’s difficult to justify betting on that team winning the game. It would, in this case, make more sense that you bet on the team losing the game – or not even bet on the winner of the game at all if you think that.

Obviously this is just one example, but it should help you to understand how contradictory bets work. Another example might be placing a bet that two players on the same team will both score over the line that has been set for them. This would mean players stealing possessions from each other throughout the game – which will mean that winning both bets will be difficult and unlikely. You need to make sure that every bet you make works together so that you can get the highest possible winning potential. The best way is simply by seeing how a bet impacts any other bet before you place it. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see if you are making conflicting wagers.

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