Everything You Need To Know About Betting On The NBA

If you’ve ever wanted to try some NBA betting but were unsure about how to make your NBA predictions, then you’re in luck. This is because our guide to NBA betting will show you all you need to know about wagering on this classic US sport with plenty of confidence.

Most of us will be familiar with the sport of basketball and will know that the NBA contains some of the best-paid sports stars in the world. But compared to popular betting sports like football and horse racing, many people will have yet to enjoy making a bet on basketball. Our guide to wagering on the NBA will outline the main features of this exhilarating sport so that you know the competition format and can thus plan your NBA predictions accordingly.

We will outline the main kinds of basketball bets that you’ll come across, and we will also take a look at some of the bookmakers who have managed to glean an excellent reputation for providing a top-class NBA betting service. If you’re confused about some of the more unusual basketball terms, we’ll also provide a quick guide to some specialist NBA jargon, as well as providing a handful of simple NBA betting tips to get you started.

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While basketball is a hugely popular global sport that has found success everywhere from Spain’s Liga ACB to Australia’s National Basketball League, it’s clear that if you want to wager on the best basketball players, you’ll need to bet on the NBA. The National Basketball Association was founded in 1946, and it is seen as being the world’s top basketball league.

The NBA features thirty different basketball teams from North America, who compete throughout a rigorous season that runs from October to April. Each team must play 82 games in the regular season, and they must be amongst the top eight teams in their conference if they wish to progress through to the playoff rounds. There are Eastern and Western Conferences that are divided into separate divisions to determine how many games each team will play against each other. The Eastern Conference has the Atlantic, Central and Southeast divisions, while the Western Conference has the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest divisions.

The playoffs start in late April and follow a knockout tournament format where each team battles to reach the NBA Finals. If a team manages to win the majority of the seven matches in their NBA Finals clash, they will be awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and become the NBA champions.

Historically, the Boston Celtics have won the most League Championships with 17 NBA Finals victories, but recently we have seen the likes of Golden State Warriors performing incredibly well with three League Championship victories in the past four years. In the past, certain teams like Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls have managed to dominate the game, but have somewhat fallen from grace in recent years. This, combined with the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers defied even the best NBA predictions to win the League Championship for the first time in 2016, makes it clear clear anything is possible in this epic sporting contest.

At the moment, you can see incredible NBA stars like Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant delivering a masterclass in basketball skill. And it’s players like these who continue to keep NBA viewing figures at two million viewers per game in the USA, and many more the world over. So can Golden State Warriors maintain their impressive recent form for the upcoming season? And what do you need to know to bet on this potential outcome, and beyond? Be sure to keep an eye on Betting.org so that you can find the best NBA betting tips for what promises to be yet another fascinating basketball season.

Different Types Of NBA Bets

If you want to place a bet on the NBA, then you are going to need to know which kinds of basketball odds most bookmakers deliver. While many casual sports fans will probably just lay down a bet on the match winner, it’s clear that there’s plenty more interesting basketball betting options out there. By picking and choosing from a wide range of different basketball odds, you will be able to add plenty of intrigue to any NBA match; if you want to give it a try, here’s a few bet types you might want to consider.

Match Result Bets

These are probably the most popular kind of NBA bets. For any NBA clash you should expect all decent bookies to provide competitive odds on a home win or an away win. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about betting on a draw in an NBA match as there will be an overtime period added to the match if the two sides have the same points tally at the end of regular play. So whether you want to wager on a highly ranked team like the Toronto Raptors or an underdog like Atlanta Hawks, be sure to find the best odds to ensure you are achieving good value for your choice.

Outright NBA Bets

Even when the next NBA season has yet to begin, you can still take many outright basketball bets on a number of markets. Many fans bet on the outright Championship winner for the upcoming season, but you should also be able to wager on the winner of each conference and each division also. Be sure to take a look at how certain bookies also allow you to make outright bets on particular players, so that you can bet on the Regular Season Most Valuable Player and the Rookie of the Year. While you won’t get to discover the results of your outright bets for many months, it’s a great way to add some spice to the NBA season.

Over/Under Basketball Bets

If you want to explore the next level of NBA betting, then you could also try making over/under basketball bets. These allow you to do things like try and predict whether the overall number of points in a basketball game will be more or less than amount set by a bookmaker. In fact, some bookies also allow you to make outright over/under bets  that allow you to wager on how many wins a team like Boston Celtics or Charlotte Hornets score during the course of the regular season. As always, be sure to shop around to make sure that you are getting the best value for money for these kinds of NBA bets.

Handicap Betting

If you’re looking to put a bet on the current League Champions, Golden State Warriors, but can’t find any decent odds, then handicap betting is a great way to get improved odds on the favourite. Handicap betting means that a certain basketball team will be placed at a points disadvantage. This means that it will make it harder for you to win your NBA bet, but you can benefit from the better odds and walk away with larger potential profits. While it can take a little bit of skill to truly take advantage of handicap betting, it’s a great way to achieve better value when wagering on top teams like Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, and — of course — current champs, the Golden State Warriors.

Betting On Basketball Players

It’s not just the basketball teams in and of themselves that you can wager on, as many bookmakers also allow you to bet on the exploits of certain NBA stars. So if you fancy James Harden to continue his incredible points scoring form for Houston Rockets, or prefer Anthony Davis to become the top scorer for the New Orleans Pelicans, then you should see what kinds of odds you can get for these specialist bets. Of course, you might be able to find bookmakers who offer plenty other kinds of player bets other than just the top points scorer, so be sure to shop around to find a bookie who offers you the biggest range of betting markets for your favourite NBA player.

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Best Bookmaker For NBA Betting

While the National Basketball Association only features teams based in North America, this league has become hugely popular the world over. This means that you shouldn’t have too much of a problem in finding a bookmaker in the UK or Europe who offers you plenty of competitive odds for a wide range of basketball betting markets. We’ve found that Betway have always managed to deliver an excellent range of NBA odds 2019 that cover all of the main matches, plus their odds for outright betting for the League Championship Winner could also deliver decent potential winnings when combined with your own research into likely victors.

In addition, although William Hill may be commonly equated with traditional UK sports like horse racing, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sheer range of odds that they offer for NBA games. Whether you are betting on Anthony Davis, LeBorn James, or even Giannis Antetokounmpo to pick up the MVP award, or are wagering on teams like Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, or Atlanta Hawks not to make the playoffs, then you can be sure of getting great odds and a helpful betting service at this classic UK bookie.

Finally, it’s also worth checking around to see how different bookies offer you a specialist basketball betting service. 888sport have done an excellent job in delivering many tempting odds for the upcoming NBA season, and even lesser-known brands like 22Bet offer a huge amount of betting markets for many specialist basketball leagues beyond the NBA. So, while we’re impressed by William Hill’s offering particularly choice, there’s plenty of options out there — and, of course, be sure to check the Betting.org odds comparison tool to see who offers you the best bets for basketball at any particular point in time.

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Popular NBA Betting Terms

Like all sports, basketball has plenty of unusual terms and jargon that can be a little confusing for many newcomers to the sport. It’s always a good idea to do some research into any sport before you lay down your bets so that you know exactly what you are betting on. So if you don’t know your enforcers from your playmakers, here’s a look at some of the most common NBA jargon you may see if you choose to bet on this enthralling league.

  • OT — This refers to the overtime time period that must be played if both teams are equal on points at the end of regular play. As a result, you won’t see any ties or draws in an NBA game, so keep this in mind when betting.
  • Playmaker — A common term for the points guard player whose job it is to creating scoring possibilities for the team’s offence. John Wall, Chris Paul, and LeBron James have all gained great reputations for being top playmakers.
  • Second string — This refers to those members of an NBA team who don’t start the match but sit on the bench in anticipation of joining the game later on.
  • Sixth man — A member of the second string who is first off the bench to join the game. Often coming into play in the final quarter, they can dramatically alter a game’s fortunes.
  • Free agent — This any player who is currently not under a contract to any NBA team. As such, free agents are an important part of the NBA off-season.
  • Trifecta — While a trifecta is a common horse racing bet, in the NBA world it refers to three-point shot
  • Enforcer — If you see a particularly tough centre or power forward, then they will be considered to be an enforcer. Anthony Mason, Charles Oakley, and Shaquille O’Neal have all been great enforcers in the past.
  • Franchise player — The NBA is packed with stars who have been termed franchise players. These are the stars who the rest of the team is built around. Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and James Harden are all considered current NBA franchise players.
  • Kill the clock — Each NBA team is allowed 24 seconds to keep the ball before they must make a play. This aims to keep the game fast-paced, although you may see some teams attempting to ‘kill the clock’ by holding the ball before they release a shot.
  • Field goal — While American football has field goals, this term means something different in basketball as it refers to any two or three point shot that isn’t a free throw.

Top Tips For Betting On The NBA

Now that we have given you a basic grounding in the NBA tournament format and have provided you with some great basketball bookies and jargon, it’s time to take a look at some of the most user-friendly basketball betting tips. While these NBA tips might not be able to help you win every basketball bet, we think that they could help you avoid any embarrassing rookie errors.

Tip #1: Keep An Eye On Past Form

This might sound obvious, but it’s essential to look into an NBA team’s past form if you have any hope of making a good basketball bet. Be sure to take a look at their record over the last ten games for a good indication as to the team’s morale, and see how a side’s winning streak could signal that they are particularly in form. While it’s always tempting to back the strongest teams of the previous NBA season, an NBA side is only as good as their last few games so make sure that you do your homework before laying down every single basketball bet.

Tip #2: Pay Attention To Behind-The-Scenes Rumours

Like all other sports, basketball is awash with all manner of gossip and intrigue regarding these highly paid stars. So it’s worth spending some time reading up on how these players are faring so that you can make predictions on how they will perform when a big match day comes around. We recently saw news reports stating Philadelphia 76ers’ rookie Zhaire Smith suffering a foot injury that could spell trouble for their NBA aspirations, while anything from LeBron James’ Twitter war with President Trump to Kendrick Perkins spat with Steph Curry can also have a big part to play in what goes down on the basketball court.

Tip #3: Research Power Rankings In The Off-Season

While the off-season gives the NBA stars time to rest and recuperate, it’s also the time of year when many players switch teams and sides reconfigure during the training camp phase. This is also when many top basketball sites will attempt to deliver their power rankings for the upcoming season, which is a great way to get some quality facts about how things could pan out. From analysis of the off-season additions to the most promising rookies, it’s in the off-season where you can gain plenty of insight into your NBA predictions.

Tip #4: Bet On The All-Star Games

If wagering on the regular NBA season wasn’t thrilling enough, February’s annual NBA All-Star match regularly provides plenty of great betting highlights. This sees the sport’s most highly ranked stars engaging in a fantastic sporting spectacle and many bookies will put on special offers for this epic basketball clash. Be sure to keep an eye on how events like the Rising Stars Challenge and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest can really liven up this fun and much-anticipated sporting event.

Tip #5: Consider Betting On The Underdog

While betting on highly ranked teams like Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics or the current champions, Golden State Warriors, is a relatively sensible bet, it’s always worth keeping an eye on some of the outsiders. Teams like Philadelphia Sixers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Oklahoma City Thunder put in some excellent winning streaks at the end of the 2017/2018 season, so it’s always worth seeing how in-form teams like these could get you better odds. And while teams like Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls may have struggled in recent times, they are always capable of delivering a big upset, so may be worth considering when placing your NBA bets.


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