NBA Betting

GreatLakesStakes.com

By Bryce Derouin

Betting on the NBA is one of the most popular forms of online sports betting in Michigan. The league has grown globally behind its star-driven talent such as LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.

How We Picked the Best NBA Sites

We understand the importance of putting your money into a safe, reliable sportsbook. That’s why only the best NBA betting sites make it onto our experts’ recommended list after a thorough review process. Here’s the criteria we used when reviewing each of the sportsbooks:

Licensing & Reputation: Each sportsbook in Michigan must operate under license from Michigan Gaming Control Board. Our team does a thorough check on each online sportsbook that launches in the state. Only those that meet this requirement are considered for our recommended list.

Variety of Options: The best NBA online sportsbooks give their customers a wide range of NBA betting lines. Whether that is offering the best props, same-game parlays or plenty of futures, we research each book to ensure they give their customers the best chance to maximize profits.

Ease of Registration: Every NBA bettor wants a seamless introduction when it comes to a betting site. That’s why our team signs up for each of the online sportsbooks listed here. We even use our own Social Security numbers to ensure the ID verification process goes smoothly.

Banking Options: Our team tests the sportsbook’s payment systems to ensure speed and accuracy. We’ll let you know if there are any fees you should be aware of, too. And the last thing anyone wants is an issue with their winnings. That’s why we test each sportsbook’s withdrawal procedure and see if reversals and manual flushing are permitted.

Software & Security: Whether you choose to play on your mobile device or on a laptop or PC, we check to make sure the sportsbook is user-friendly for its customers.

Customer Service: Just like any other business, customer service is vital to the user experience. Whether it’s through email, phone or live chat, you deserve a sportsbook that’s open and willing to assist any of your needs. We test each sportsbook’s support staff to see how far they are willing to go to assist their customers.

Bonuses and Boosts: Boosted odds promotions are a regular occurrence with online sportsbooks, especially with NBA betting odds. We track the bonuses and promotions at each of the NBA betting sites to make sure you’re getting the best bonuses made available to you.

Is NBA Betting Legal in Michigan?

Yes, online sports betting became legal in December 2019 when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of Michigan online gambling bills. Michigan became the 20th state to legalize sports betting and became the first state with commercial and Native American casinos in addition to online sports and casino gaming.

Michigan debuted in-person sports betting at Detroit’s three commercial casinos March 11 before the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of sports and a shutdown of MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino and MotorCity Casino.

But since the casinos reopened in early August, sports betting handle and revenue has increased month over month. In October, the Detroit casinos posted their highest handle with more than $46.1 million wagered on sports. During the same month, the casinos reported a revenue of $7.6 million.

Benefits to Betting on the NBA

The wagering options made available to bettors are one of the best aspects of betting on the NBA. Sure, people love betting on NBA spreads, and moneyline betting is extremely popular, too. But there is so much more. Between quarter, half and full-game spreads, along with props, totals and live betting, there are plenty of angles for bettors to consider while searching for an edge.

For instance, if you think Steph Curry will have a big night for the Golden State Warriors against the Miami Heat but don’t believe the Warriors can cover a 14-point spread, you can bet on the over on the Curry point total prop and cheer for him to score every time he touches the ball.

Or if you think LeBron James will be in pass-first mode against the Detroit Pistons, take the under on his points and the over on his assist total. These kinds of player props give an unlimited range of possibilities for betting on an NBA game.

The traditional 82-game NBA season also means there is enough time for a savvy NBA bettor to study trends and utilize that information into making picks.

In addition to betting on individual games, it’s also fun to place a futures bet on your favorite team to make the NBA Finals or win the title, or your favorite player to win MVP.

Signing Up to Bet on NBA Games

The process of betting on NBA games is relatively straightforward once you find one of the NBA betting sites that interests you. Read our review, click on the link and you will be directed to the gambling site. Click on “register” to start the process. You will be asked to provide an email address, choose a password and username and go through the ID verification process to produce an account. That will include providing the last four digits of your Social Security number and proof of address.

When making your first deposit, you will typically be asked for a copy of your driver’s license or passport to verify your identity. After making an initial deposit and taking advantage of a welcome bonus offer, users can begin wagering on the NBA. Just select the NBA from the league list in the app.

NBA Bets to Make in Michigan

Before the season starts, bettors can wager on NBA futures such as NBA champion, MVP, conference winner or division races, bettors can also wager on the win totals for each team. For example, if the Detroit Pistons have a win total set at 23.5, you can take the over if you think they will surprise the league and win 24 games or more or take the under if you believe another rebuilding year is at hand.

One the season begins, all the typical NBA game bets are available, too: spreads, moneyline, totals and props.

The preseason is also a great time to get your bankroll management in order. Bankroll management is key in understanding how much you should bet for a season and helps cope with the emotional highs and lows of betting on the NBA. This is key to avoid chasing losses.

First, every NBA bettor should determine the standard unit for a wager. Units are relative to the size of your bankroll and can vary from bettor to bettor. A person with a bankroll of $100,000 will have larger unit sizes than someone with a bankroll of $1,000. There is no set rule as to what percentage size a bankroll unit should consist of, but it should be low enough to withstand any prolonged losing streak.

An example would be if your bankroll is $100, and you decided to risk 2% of it for each NBA bet. That would mean your standard unit is $2. For a $1,000 bankroll, a unit would be $20. This is one example of responsible gambling with a bankroll.

Popular NBA Events to Bet On

The prime-time games on national television tend to have the most action during the season. Those include Thursday nights on TNT and ESPN’s NBA showcases on Fridays. ABC has traditionally held marquee matchups in its Saturday night slot as well.

The postseason, and the NBA Finals in particular, is also a popular time to bet on the NBA. In addition to single-game bets, you can wager on who will win a series and in how many games. Series odds change with each game. If the Lakers fall down 2-0 in a series and you think they can come back, you’ll normally find attractive plus-odds on them to rally and take the series.

NBA Betting Strategies to Consider

Line shopping: With numerous NBA betting sites available, bettors have the ability to search for the best line across different books. For instance, say you see the Lakers are -3 over the Clippers on DraftKings and you’re intrigued. But before placing the bet, you check to see what the line is on FanDuel. That oddsmaker has the Lakers at -2.5 at the same -110 odds. That’s the value play as it turns a potential three-point Lakers win from a push to a win. The same can – and should – be done for totals, moneyline odds and props.

Look at the schedule: With a long season, it’s important to analyze the schedule to see how much rest a team has going into a matchup. Obviously, a team with more days off between games will be fresher than a team playing on the second of a back-to-back. Sportsbooks take this into account when making the line, and it’s important for bettors to keep up to date with the schedule to search for the best trends.

Wait for the lineups to come out: The last thing a bettor wants is to take the Miami Heat at -6, only for the team to announce Jimmy Butler will miss the game to rest. Suddenly, the Heat are the underdogs at +2. With designated rest days for the NBA’s top players becoming a regular thing, it’s always worth making sure a team’s best players will be playing before locking in an NBA bet.

Live betting: The NBA is one of the most volatile leagues. In a span of under 30 seconds, a six-point swing can happen. The up-tempo style lends itself to finding profitable live betting opportunities. Perhaps the Milwaukee Bucks were -400 moneyline favorites, and you didn’t want to risk that much for a low return. But a slow start from the Bucks has them down by 12 points in the second quarter.

Now the Bucks’ live moneyline odds is at +110. The Bucks at plus-odds in a game where they were overwhelming pre-game favorites is far more enticing, and with the back-and-forth nature of runs in the NBA, it wouldn't take much for a team the caliber of Milwaukee to erase that deficit. Searching for the right live betting opportunities can be a key NBA betting strategy.

How to Read NBA Odds and Betting Lines

Spread Odds

The number next to a team designates the spread. For example, if the Atlanta Hawks are -5 and the Memphis Grizzlies are +5, the Hawks are five-point favorites and must win by more than five for a bet on them to win. Likewise, any loss by the Grizzlies of four points or less would be a winning bet. A five-point margin of victory results in a push.

Moneyline Odds

Next to the spread line are the moneyline odds. Moneyline betting is simply picking a winner straight up. We’ll keep the Hawks and Grizzlies example for this one, too. Since the Hawks are favored, their moneyline odds are -180, while the Grizzlies are +165. In this situation, a bettor would have to wager $180 on the Hawks to win $100. Whereas a $100 bet on the Grizzlies would net $165. If the moneyline odds are negative, that indicated the amount you must wager to win $100. If it is a positive number, it represents the payout for a $100 bet.

All prop bets are shown with moneyline odds.

Totals Odds

The last line in a traditional NBA betting line is the total points scored between the two teams, also known as the over/under. This total typically ranges in the 200s. For this Grizzlies and Hawks matchup, you see the total is set at 219.5. An over wager means the bettor believes more than 219 points will be scored, and if the teams score any value greater than 220, the bet is a winner. If someone thinks the teams will score 219 points or less, the bettor will wager on the under. Typical odds for totals betting are about -110.

Why Trust GreatLakesStakes for NBA Betting

Our experienced team of reviewers at GreatLakesStakes.com has extensive experience in researching and evaluating sportsbooks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable betting experience for NBA bettors. NBA betting is just a click away. Read our reviews and then choose one of the top sportsbooks in Michigan to begin playing today!

NBA Betting FAQ

Yes, sportsbooks in Michigan are currently accepting wagers on the NBA for people 21 and older. Tribal casinos set their own age limits, allowing some players as young as 18 or 19 to place bets.

Similar to other major sports leagues in the United States, the NBA has embraced sports wagering in recent years. The taboo around sports betting has dissipated as it has become more mainstream. In July 2018, the NBA became the first major U.S. sports league to partner with a sportsbook operator. The league entered into a deal with MGM Resorts, making MGM an official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA. The NBA would go on and reach agreements with other partners such as Fox Bet, FanDuel, William Hill, theScore, PointsBet and International Game Technology. Individual teams reached sports betting deals as well.

Yes, it is safe to bet on the NBA when using a regulated and licensed sportsbook in the state. Legal sportsbooks in Michigan can only be launched by approved operators with established reputations for providing users a safe and secure betting experience.

Among the most important NBA stats to consider when betting is assist-to-turnover ratio, pace factor and true shooting percentage. Assist-to-turnover ratio measures how effective teams are at distributing the ball. Teams that are efficient in this category tend to be at the top of the standings due to their ability to maximize possessions. For over/under bettors, pace factor is a metric that should be considered. Instead of considering just two-point field goals, true shooting percentage factors in free throw percentage and 3-point field goal percentage. By considering the various shots a team takes throughout a game, true shooting percentage does a better job of evaluating how effective individual players and teams are on the offensive end.

Users have numerous deposit options available to them. Some include credit or debit card, online banking, PayPal, VIP preferred e-check, Play+ prepaid card and wire transfer.

Bettors can find the best NBA odds by line shopping across the various sportsbooks available in Michigan at GreatLakesStakes.com.

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to ensure a certain player will be available, it’s best to wait until the lineups and inactive lists are made available before the game. If a bettor hopes for a more favorable line on a team or total, they can wait for a live betting opportunity where the odds may shift in their favor. And for any futures bet, the best value usually comes before the season.

Yes, all sports gambling winnings are subject to federal and Michigan tax. The state tax on gambling winnings is 4.25%.

Contributors

Bryce Derouin

Reviewer since August 2020

With a decade in the media and gambling space in Michigan, I aim to bring you the latest news and developments in Michigan online casino and sports betting.

Interests: Online casinos, Online sports betting, Online poker, Gambling news