The 5 Most Profitable and Least Profitable NBA Bets

Sports betting has become one of the most popular entertainment forms. Along with the games themselves, sports betting adds to the fun and excitement of game action. Online NBA wagers rank atop the most popular forms of sports betting.

Regardless of where teams stand in the NBA standings, bettors look for value in the lines sportsbooks offer. Despite what some folks may believe, some bet types are more profitable than others. The following is a look at the five most and least profitable NBA bets.

The Five Most Profitable NBA Bets

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the most profitable NBA bets are, as it depends on a variety of factors, including a bettor’s expertise, research, and knowledge of the sport. However, some NBA bets that have the potential to be more profitable than others include:

Totals (Over/Under)

Totals bets can be profitable if bettors research and find matchups where the sportsbook has set a total that they believe is too high or too low. For example, bettors may consider taking the under if two teams with strong defensive reputations are playing. In contrast, two high-scoring clubs would be a good option for an over.

Player Prop Bets

Player prop bets can be profitable if bettors can identify inefficiencies in the odds for a particular player. For example, suppose a star player is going up against a weak defender. In that case, bettors may consider wagering on them to have a big game. Some creative prop bets, such as three-pointers, total assists, or rebounds, can provide under-the-radar picks.

Betting Against the Public

This strategy involves looking for games where the public heavily bets on one team and takes the other side. This strategy can be profitable because the public tends to overreact to recent results or media hype. Betting against the public requires focusing on the underlying numbers, not the hype. Bettors that jump on a team’s bandwagon may end up disappointed.

Live Betting

Live betting involves placing bets on a game while it is in progress. It can be profitable if bettors identify trends and opportunities that the sportsbook hasn’t had a chance to react to. Some sportsbooks have begun offering live streaming to boost live betting.

In-Game Totals

In-game totals are updated throughout the game. Bettors can take advantage of fluctuations in the total based on how the game is playing out. For example, bettors may consider betting the over for the game if the first quarter is high-scoring. Ideally, spotting unexpected twists can help bettors get the jump on sportsbooks before lines are changed.

The Five Least Profitable NBA Bets

Some NBA bets are generally considered less profitable than others. These bet types include:


Parlays can be tempting because of the potential for a big payout. Still, they are generally less profitable than individual bets. That’s because the more bets added to a parlay, the less likely it is to win, even if the odds for each bet are favorable. Keep in mind that the more complex a parlay is, the higher the chances of failing.


Futures bets involve betting on an event that won’t be decided for weeks or even months. While they can be exciting, they are generally considered less profitable because they tie up funds for an extended period. Most of the time, the odds can be difficult to beat.

Point Spreads

While point spreads are one of the most popular NBA bets, they can be less profitable because the sportsbook sets the margin of victory, making it more challenging to find value. Additionally, point spreads require a more accurate prediction of the game’s outcome, which can be challenging.

Betting on Favorites

While betting on favorites may seem like a safe bet, they often come with low odds, which means bettors need to wager more to make a significant profit. If a favorite team loses, bettors can take a significant loss in a single bet.

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