With a steady influx of international players and the league’s dedication to market the game globally, the National Basketball Association has seen a massive growth in popularity in the last decade. Another big reason for this explosion in growth is due to wide-sweeping sports betting legalization in the US and this is something the NBA is acutely aware of.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has brought up the idea of changing the betting laws in the United States to allow for betting on his sport and has even integrated a free picks game into the league’s flagship website. While many disagree with what role the NBA should have in sports betting, one can’t help but feel that this is a step in the right direction for those interested in online sports betting.
With many new states legalizing or on the verge of legalization, you’ll want to find the best place to make a safe and secure bet, and we’re here to help! We’ll recommend our favorites and even tell you what to look for if you want to do your own research.
Features of A Good NBA Betting Site
Not all betting sites are built the same, and this is especially true of sites that accept bets on the NBA. Let’s review some of the criteria our reviewers use when compiling site reviews.
What Types of Bets are Offered?
This is the most basic of items we look at when reviewing a sports betting site. When it comes to NBA bets, we like sites that offer far more than the basic spread and totals markets. There are many markets that reputable sportsbooks offer on each game, including odds on the performance of individual players or a combination of players in the game. We also look for sites that will allow you to parlay two markets in the same game (same-game parlay) to enhance your odds.
In-Game Betting Odds
Unlike some other sports like tennis or soccer, the pace of an NBA game is frenetic, with leads appearing and disappearing very quickly during the flow of a game. Live betting has become very popular with players who are looking for added value opportunities once a game has tipped off. All reputable sportsbooks will offer in-game betting so make sure to look for this feature when you’re shopping around.
The NBA season is 82 games long (in a normal season), and over the course of that campaign, there may be golden opportunities to place a futures bet. Futures are bets that you make well in advance of a particular outcome. In the NBA, for example, many will bet on who will win the NBA Championship and who will win individual awards such as MVP.
Bonuses and Offers
The best sites out there today offer players more than just betting – they are the ones that help players stretch their betting dollars by way of promotional offers. Sometimes, a site will offer NBA bettors a specific offer, but it doesn’t have to be that way for our reviewers to give a site top marks. For example, a site that has an excellent loyalty program may not cater specifically to NBA players but still provides a higher return on each deposit.
Basic NBA Betting Strategy
Learning the basics of the NBA is a good place to start. There are 30 teams in the league, and the regular season, which normally runs from November to April, eliminates nearly half those teams from playoff contention. From there, a playoff tournament runs over the next two months to determine a champion. Sounds easy, right? Well, now it is time to figure out where to find value in a 6-month regular season, and what basic strategies our experts follow regardless of how much money they are betting.
Bet Smart and With Limits
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people either bet too big on a game or play too many games in a week. We always recommend that you start with a bankroll that you are comfortable losing 100% of without it affecting the rest of your life – gambling is supposed to be entertaining and spending more than you can afford can have a significantly adverse effect on you and your family. Once you have your bankroll, try not to spread it around too many games at once. The very best sports bettors are lucky to win 60% of their bets, and you probably aren’t one of those players yet. Do your research, pick certain games and then leave the rest for another time. You shouldn’t suffer from FOMO if you are picking games you are more likely to win.
Study the Schedule to Find Value
The NBA season is a long one, and in there, teams have to extend themselves at times. Each team will have at least one stretch of 4 games in 5 nights, which can be exhausting. Look for the teams that are playing these games and see if there are teams they are up against that could take advantage of a tired squad. If so, you should be taking advantage as well. Also, teams tend to go on extended road trips to either coast to reduce jet lag and travel expenses. However, this can mean several days away from home, sleeping in unfamiliar beds. This can have a negative impact on a team’s performance.
As soon as the schedule comes out, you should highlight some games, then keep notes as the season progresses.
Watch out for Load Management Spots
Although the league has tried to curtail this behavior over the last few years, there are points in a schedule when a team will give its star players a rest. The San Antonio Spurs are notorious for this, and while they have stopped simply not dressing their stars for certain games, they will frequently have their players play for only a few minutes then sit them for the rest of the game. As you can imagine, this can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of a game, and therefore the outcome of your bets.
While you can’t say for sure if a team is going to sit a player (unless they announce it), you can use the schedule and the time of the season to make an educated guess on when players aren’t going to be going for the full game. This tends to be later in the season as a team has already qualified for the playoffs, but it could also happen during a long road trip, etc. Keeping an eye on these quirks will put you in a position to take advantage of a line that hasn’t been set properly.
Bet on the First-Half Line
Many gamblers swear by first half lines of games. As a game goes into the later stages, there are often many fouls made to try to stop the clock, which can lead to loads of extra points being scored, affecting spread and totals bets. While this can skew the line for an entire game, it is far less likely to happen during the first half. As these lines and totals are purer, they can often be easier to bet. You can find first half and first quarter odds at most betting sites, and once you give it a try, you may find yourself not worrying about bad beats anymore!
Try Some Prop Bets
An NBA game has a lot of moving parts, and as a result, there are tons of things to bet on before and during a game that don’t involve who will win the game! This can be anything from the number of points scored by the starting rotation, to a bet on the matchup between two players from opposing teams, to the number of 3 point field goals scored during the game. Prop bets give gamblers many reasons to get excited during a game, and this leads to more chances to win! We always recommend that you make smaller wagers on prop bets so you can have several going at one time during a betting session. These bets tend to be paid out as soon as they have a result, which means the money could end up in your account before the end of a game. This would allow you to go find another prop bet and get back into the action!
The NBA Teams
Knowing the NBA team you plan to bet on or against will definitely help you come out on top when betting. Check out breakdowns of each NBA team below:
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- LA Clippers
- LA Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philedelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards
The Best NBA Betting Sites
When we perform a full review of a betting site, we try to look at it from the perspective of every type of sports gambler. NBA gamblers are likely to be looking for something different than people who are betting on soccer, and with that in mind, we have compiled this list of Recommended NBA betting sites. These companies have all received top ratings from our team, and all have a great selection of NBA bets for you to choose from. Also, these sites provide the best customer service and payment options so you can get your money to and from the site with the least resistance. We always recommend that you shop around for lines, which is why we give you many sites to choose from on this list. We encourage you to look at each one, see if any differences matter to you personally, and then look for the best odds on the games you want to bet on!
Top 25 Players of All-Time
Below you will find our top 25 players in the NBA past and present. Listed in no particular order:
- Charles Barkley “Sir Charles”
- Julius Erving “Doctor J”
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson
- Michael Jordan “His Airness”
- Jerry West “Mr.Clutch”
- Tim Duncan “The Big Fundamental”
- Elgin Baylor “Rabbit”
- David Robinson “The Admiral”
- Shaquille O’Neal “Superman”
- Karl Malone “The Mailman”
- Kevin Durant “KD”
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “Lew”
- Kobe Bryant “The Black Mamba”
- Oscar Robertson “The Big O”
- Isiah Thomas “Mr.Wonderful”
- Lebron James “King James”
- Hakeem Olajuwon “The Dream”
- Bob Pettit “Big Blue”
- Kevin Garnett “The Big Ticket”
- Larry Bird “Kodak”
- John Havlicek “Hando”
- Scottie Pippen “Robin”
- Wilt Chamberlain “The Big Dipper”
- Kevin McHale “The Black Hole”
- Bill Russell “Secretary of Defense”
While the NBA continues to push the level of commitment to international exposure, we are bound to see more games being played overseas in the future. This will bring a whole new audience to the sport, as well as open the door to new NBA gamblers. The information we have given you on this page will put you in a much more knowledgeable position when it comes time to make NBA bets, which hopefully will lead to a much more enjoyable experience – who doesn’t love winning more often?!