Features of betting with a handicap in the NBA

Features of betting with a handicap in the NBA

Handicap in basketball and the NBA means the difference in points with which one team will win or not lose the other. In the matches between a clear favorite and an outsider, the handicap evens the chances – the same odds are given on this market.

Not everyone likes to bet on favorites wins for scanty odds 1.2 – 1.25. In this case, a negative handicap comes into play. And on the other hand, if you feel like the outsider can shoot but don’t want to risk it, you can bet on the underdog with a positive handicap. Experts from Mightytips talk about the pros and cons of betting on a head start in the NBA.

How to Bet on Handicap NBA Matches

NBA favorites – who are they?

In the strongest basketball league in the world, there has long been a tendency that the favorites break through less than 50% of the negative handicaps. Bookmakers skillfully vary their quotes and remain in a solid profit, while bettors lose money.

The reason lies in the deceptive attractiveness of the favorites, whose names have not changed much over the past couple of years. But before the start of the 2019/20 season, 5 teams at once, according to bookmakers’ estimates, had a 10 to 24.99% chance of winning the championship. We are talking about two teams from Los Angeles, the Clippers, the Lakers, as well as the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers. This is the largest number of contenders since the 2006/07 season.

With the departure of Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors’ chances have dropped significantly. The Warriors have consistently made it to the finals over the past five seasons and took the title three times, but now the situation has changed. And given Clay Thompson’s injury for the entire season, the Warriors’ chances of another title were almost nil.

But the aforementioned “Brooklyn” took off. In addition to Durant, the Nets also got Kyrie Irving. In addition, they have solid guys like Dinwiddie, Levert, Allen and Jordan in their lineup. True, the domination of Brooklyn will have to be postponed – Durant will play only in the 2020/21 season, and Irving refused to play after the restart of the season, interrupted due to the coronavirus.

Types of handicaps in the NBA

  • Classic – standard minus (for the favorite) or plus (for the underdog).
  • Handicap with overtime (OT) – the difference according to the results of not only the main, but also the extra time is taken into account. For example, you bet on a handicap with OT – 3.5. The main time of the match ended in a draw – 100: 100, and at the end of the overtime, your team won – 115: 111. Your bet is played.
  • Handicap in a quarter – the score of a separate segment of the match is taken into account. With what score the whole match will end, it no longer matters.
  • Handicap in half – the difference between points based on the results of the first and second (first half) or third and fourth (second half) quarters is taken into account.
  • Zero handicap – return in case of a draw (in regular time). Not a popular market for basketball and especially the NBA, but it has a place to be.

Selection of NBA matches for betting on handicaps

Handicap betting in the NBA differs markedly from similar markets in European championships. The first and foremost difference is the length of the quarter. In Europe, everyone plays 4 quarters of 10 minutes (40 in total), while in the NBA a match lasts 48 minutes (4 to 12). Accordingly, teams have more opportunities to break away or close the gap out of the blue.

Here are some tips to help you beat the bookie when you bet the odds in the NBA:

  1. Do not flirt with small minus handicaps (up to 5-6 points) in the confrontations of equal opponents. The exception is that you put a handicap of -0.5 or -1.5 instead of a clear win, or you found a value bet.
  2. A slight advantage of one of the teams a couple of minutes before the final siren (4-5 points) is very tricky. Do not forget that at the last minute, the losing team is likely to use foul tactics, while it will try to score three-pointers, and the small gap can grow sharply to 10-12 points.
  3. Kambeks are common in the NBA. The team, losing 17-20 points after the first half, is able to win back this difference in only one third quarter. Therefore, when playing live, give preference to matches in which the favorites “burn” with a solid difference, rather than fights where the underdogs have taken the lead a little. It is highly likely that the stronger team will pull together and push the opponent forward in the second half.

Best NBA teams for negative or positive handicap

All NBA teams are capable of producing unexpected results or crushing their opponents. But some bands stand out even against their background.


  1. Milwaukee Bucks. “Beetles”, led by Yannis Adetokunbo, are simply tearing apart their rivals on their own court. Moreover, not only outsiders like New York, but also the same contenders for the championship, leave the bat. For example, in the course of the season, the Bucks smashed the Clippers by 28 points, although the handicap for the match was -4.5, they left no chances for Philadelphia, defeating it by 21 points, and destroyed the solid Oklahoma by 47 points.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers… Tandem LeBron James – Anthony Davis tears up the league. The Lakers have won almost half of their matches with a difference of 10 points or more. But the bookmakers adequately assess the power of the “lake” ones, so it is very difficult to find a value for their match.
  3. Dallas Mavericks. The stability of this team, of course, would not hurt, but if Luka Doncic’s gang is carrying an opponent over the bumps, then they do it deliciously. For example, the New Orleans Pelicans were beaten by 46 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers at 42.

“A plus”

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder. The defeat by the Bucks described above is rather an exception to the rule. “Thunderous” are able to fray the nerves of any favorite. They had a stretch when Oklahoma played against Philadelphia, the Lakers (twice) and the Clippers in a week. Yes, there was only one victory over the Sixers, but in the other three games the Thunder did not lose more than 5 points.
  2. Orlando Magic. To understand what this team is like, just look at how it plays with the leaders of the championship. The Lakers and Milwaukee lost by 9 points (and the Lakes were then slammed), Denver at 4 and 9, Dallas at 1, and Philadelphia were taken out at 15. Yes, there were big flights by the same “Bucks” and “Clippers”, but often “Mages” fight opponents of any level. Fans of positive odds should pay attention to Orlando.
  3. Brooklyn Nets… In the absence of their stars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Seti works wonders and butts with any opponents. The team had a segment of 8 victories in 10 matches, and 2 defeats were with a difference of 3 and 11 points. Of course, Brooklyn did not avoid failures either, but they were mainly in matches with the teams of the second echelon (Phoenix, Indiana, Atlanta). But the Nets favorites are always ready to wag their nerves.

When placing handicap bets on NBA matches, remember that in this league, any team can beat anyone. Do not be fooled by the bookmaker’s low odds for favorites. Look for values ​​and strong middle peasants that you can bet on with a plus.

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