2021 NBA Betting Guide VA

Sports betting is now legal in the state of Virginia, and plenty of NBA wagers are going to be placed as one of the most popular options for sports bettors across the United States. In this post, we will explain how to bet on the NBA with the terms all bettors need to know and provide tips on some of the best strategies to earning a long-term profit when wagering on the sport. It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan in Virginia, and sports betting should provide plenty of entertainment for residents or people visiting the state.

How does betting on basketball games work?

Betting on sports in Virginia has its particular set of rules and regulations. Once sports betting officially goes live, the ability to place wagers on NBA games and events in person, online, and through apps should soon arrive. Bettors do not have to reside inside the state to place a wager, but they must be physically located in the state of Virginia.

NBA betting should be available once Virginia sports betting officially goes live. Though there are no NBA teams playing in the state, professional basketball should see plenty of wagers coming from Virginia given the date it is expected to launch. Sports bettors will be able to place bets on the typical betting types available for many sports. One of the newer innovations to sports betting that is growing rapidly is the addition of live betting, also referred to as in-game betting, where users can place action on a game while it is taking place.

How to bet on NBA games online in Virginia

If you’re interested in taking advantage of sports betting legalization in the state of Virginia and are ready to start betting on some NBA action, here are some of the things you should know and steps to take to get your legal sports betting career underway with the most information possible.

  • Is online betting legal in Virginia? Yes. Betting on sports became legal in Virginia in April 2020 when the state legislature passed a sports betting bill. Sports betting is widely expected to go live early in 2021 and eventually there will be physical locations inside the state as well as online options.
  • How to sign up: identify which sportsbook is right for you by doing your due diligence among the competitors vying for your business. Some will offer appealing bonuses to entice you to join them in the hopes of you becoming a lifelong customer. Bettors will eventually have the ability to choose between placing wagers at a physical location or online through a website or mobile app. Signing up to a legal sportsbook in Virginia differs from offshore betting, which is likely illegal and carries much more risk than the regulated sports betting market.
  • How to deposit online: once you have found your trusted legal sportsbook, you will have plenty of options to deposit money to your account. Some of the options include using a bank account, debit/credit card, PayPal account, and others. Check your sportsbook of choice for the variety of options they offer.

Best NBA betting apps VA

It is not yet known yet which betting apps will be available to Virginia sports bettors. It’s possible some of the biggest names in the legal sports betting industry will be a part of this, including DraftKings and FanDuel, which made their names as places to go for daily fantasy but are now leaders among US sports bettors.

Many online sportsbooks will offer apps where users can place wagers on their phones. This is a key option for legalized states to offer as so much of daily life is consumed by mobile devices. Sports betting apps make it easier to place wagers such as live/in-game betting.

Live betting on NBA games

We mentioned it briefly in an earlier section, but live/in-game betting is growing in popularity. These types of wagers allow users to place a bet while a game is going on. Experienced bettors try to develop a strategy in in-game betting and can identify particular trends to make for a better chance at earning a profit. The NBA is a fun sport to live bet because of the large momentum swings that are typically seen during games.

In live betting, NBA gamblers can place a wager on three major categories of betting while the game is happening, including the moneyline, point spread, and point total, with the numbers fluctuating throughout. The lines and odds move at a rapid pace by the second, so it can be a thrilling experience for bettors trying to get their preferred wager in at the perfect time to generate the best value possible.

One area bettors may focus on is the talent of NBA head coaches in making halftime adjustments. If you are watching your favorite team and recognize how good or bad they are coming out of halftime, it might make sense to make a wager for or against your team at the end of the first half after you’ve done your research.

Live betting on the NBA is legal to do in Virginia, and these types of wagers can only be placed online or through sportsbooks apps and are not available to in-person bettors at a physical location.

Most popular NBA betting options

The three main categories for bettors include moneyline, points spread, and point total. However, there are more betting options than ever as sportsbooks continue to find the best ways to satisfy the growing customer base.


Moneyline bets are the simplest way to make a bet. Moneyline bets are simply predicting which team will win the game, no matter by how many points or how many points were scored.

For example, the Los Angeles Lakers were slight favorites to beat the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals. Here’s what the moneyline would look like:

  • Los Angeles Lakers    (-200)
  • Miami Heat                   (+165)

If you chose the Lakers, which ended up winning the game, you had a winning bet. Since we know not all teams are equal going into a game, there will be less of a payout if you predict a massive favorite to win the game than it would be if you correctly bet on a team that wasn’t expected to win.

Point spread

Betting on the point spread is a very popular way of betting and is likely the most talked about, now that sports betting continues to enter the mainstream of sports media. Oddsmakers essentially give the lesser team a head start to even the playing field.

Let’s go to Game Four of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. Golden State was expected to win this game by 5.5 points. Here’s what the point spread wager would look like:

  • Toronto Raptors                +5.5 (-110)
  • Golden State Warriors       -5.5 (-110)

If you bet Toronto in this situation as the underdog, you bet this game correctly because Toronto did not lose by more than 5.5 points. The payouts are usually about equal for both sides because oddsmakers will try to set a line that will bet about 50% of the action on each side of the point spread wager.

Point totals (over/under)

When betting on the point total or over/under, sports bettors do not worry about who wins or how many points they win by. All that matters is the number of total points scored between the two teams. Styles of play often factor in when deciding where to go with a bet on the point total.

Let’s go to the 2018 NBA Finals for Game One between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Oddsmakers placed the point total at 214 points. Here’s what the over/under would look like:

  • Over      214 (-110)
  • Under    214 (-110)

This game ended up going into overtime, which is fortunate for those who bet the over and disappointing for those who went with the under. The final score was 124-114, so the total landed with 238 points. Like the point spread, point totals will likely see a similar payout whether you bet the over or the under as oddsmakers attempt to get even action on both sides.


Parlay betting includes grouping a number of bets together and it’s an all-or-nothing style of wagering. Bettors may place a wager on two or more games to form a parlay bet, and if all the outcomes occur, that was a winning bet. However, if just one of these wagers comes up short, the entire get is a loss.

Let’s say you’re deciding to place a three-team parlay bet on the point spreads of NBA games. This is what it might look like:

  • Magic          +7.5
  • Bucks          -2.5
  • Clippers     +11.5

If all these outcomes come true, that is a winning bet. The reason parlays are appealing is because if they all hit, the payouts are quite high. The idea is you risk a little to potentially gain a lot. The more outcomes involved in a parlay, the more of a payout there would be. Parlay bets can be made with point spread, moneyline, and point total bets, as well as a combination.


Rather than betting on a singular game, futures bets involve making a wager on an event or outcome that could be months away from being decided.

A popular futures bet for the NBA would be betting on who will win the next NBA Finals. Here is what that might look like for the top-five contenders:

  • Los Angeles Lakers        +300
  • Los Angeles Clippers     +550
  • Milwaukee Bucks            +550
  • Brooklyn Nets                  +600
  • Boston Celtics                +1300

We only listed the top five, but the further you go down the list, the higher the payout will be as oddsmakers do not expect teams at the bottom to have much of a chance to win the next NBA title.


Prop betting refers to wagers that may not have a direct impact in the outcome of the game. Prop bets can be luck-based for bettors to entertain themselves, while others are skill-based that require some research.

Let’s say there was a prop bet available for how many points LeBron James is expected to score in a game, and oddsmakers set the number at 21.5 points:

  • Over        21.5 (-110)
  • Under      21.5 (-110)

If you think James will have a big game, you would take the over 21.5 points in this prop.

Understanding NBA betting lines

Familiarizing yourself with how the NBA lines work is crucial before you get to your first pro basketball wager. Also, it is important to figure out how you can get the best number to increase your chances of winning the wager. Sports bettors may open up accounts at different sportsbooks. Not all sportsbooks offer the same numbers, so if you see one site offers a better number in your favor than the others, choose that one.

NBA odds may fluctuate in the moments leading into a game for a variety of reasons like injuries or a lot of money going on one side, making the oddsmakers change the number to even out the action.

NBA betting strategies

  • Bet on teams you know. If you are a fan of a particular NBA team and know a lot about it, it would make sense to put some action on them.
  • Keep track of your bets. It is important to look back at what is working and what hasn’t in your betting experience.
  • Use analytics/stats. It’s up to you to decide which statistics are the most important to base your wagers on. Developing a strategy based on analytics is key for long-term success.
  • Start with the basics. It’s best to start with betting on something simple like point spreads, moneylines, and point totals.
  • What to look at: motivation and fatigue are crucial, especially in the regular season. Keeping up on the news with injuries or roster changes is important to research.

Basketball betting mistakes to avoid

  • Chasing your bets: chasing bets refers to losing a bet and immediately placing another one. It’s dangerous because that’s how a lot of money can be lost.
  • Betting too much/betting every game: betting on every game is an unrealistic way to earn a profit long-term. Additionally, bet as much as you would be comfortable losing.
  • Betting while drunk/impaired: especially when it involves money, it’s important to have a clear mind before making a decision.

NBA futures and prop betting

  • NBA win total: bettors can bet many wins a team will have in the regular season.
  • NBA Finals: betting who will be the next champion is a popular wager among futures bettors.
  • NBA Draft: betting options may include who will be the No. 1 overall pick and how many players will be drafted from college basketball conferences.
  • NBA MVP: futures bets may include individual accomplishments, such as which player will win NBA MVP honors.
  • Division winners: just like betting on the NBA Finals, there may be odds for who wins each division.

Is NBA betting legal in Virginia?

Yes. Laws will vary by state as more and more continue to legalize or get closer to legalizing sports betting across the United States. While it is legal to bet on the NBA in Virginia, sports betting is expected to be live in early 2021.

Proven NBA betting systems

Advanced sports bettors identify their own systems in hopes of being profitable long-term. Here are a few examples of different betting systems in the NBA:

  • The high total system: taking the over in non-conference games with the over/under set at 220 points or more.
  • The blowout system: when a team wins by 15 points or more and are favored by double digits at home in their next game, take the opponent.
  • The bounce back system: take the home team coming off a bad offensive performance in their previous game.
  • The three in four system: take the over when two teams are playing their third game in four nights.

NBA Betting FAQ

If the team listed as the favorite at -6.5, they need to win by at least that number for a winning bet. Otherwise, the underdog covers the spread.

The over/under combines the amount of points scored between the two teams.

If the over/under ends up exactly where the oddsmakers predicted, bettors get their money back.

Yes. This is great news for over bettors and bad for unders.

Oddsmakers use research to set the lines at a point they expect the game to end at.