Best NBA Betting Sites in 2020 – Betting Guide & Tips

The NBA is the world’s premier basketball league, with a huge selection of betting markets from money lines to spread betting. Discover where best to bet on the upcoming season, along with our pick of the absolute best betting sites available and everything you need to know to get to NBA betting with confidence. 

Best NBA Betting Sites

888sport
  • Terrific amount of basketball betting markets
  • Great variety of international sports in general
  • £25 free bet refund on losing American accas

Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Deposit methods, Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply

Mr Green
  • Often underrated sportsbook
  • Great selection of outrights on the NBA this year
  • Jack of all trades site perfect for a broad audience

T&Cs apply. New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org.

Betfair
  • Bet on the NBA both via sportsbook and exchange
  • Basketball available alongside 27 other sports
  • World class reputation for odds

New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.

William Hill
  • Enjoy a large selection of coupons on spreads and total points
  • Other promotions also available for basketball fans
  • Few can boast the reputation of this industry juggernaut

New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

Paddy Power
  • NBA markets include tournament and special bets
  • Bet on the number 8 seed in the Western Conference
  • Among the most varied betting sites in the world

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.

bet365
  • Industry icon rarely puts a foot wrong
  • Lots of basketball leagues to bet on
  • Astounding number of innovative markets
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY

New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.

Coral
  • Operator with a truly international appeal
  • Has the betting markets to back that reputation up
  • Terrific in-play action on Basketball and more

18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £5 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 2 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply.

Unibet
  • Great selection of basketball markets
  • Available in over 100 countries
  • Has sports from all around the world

New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.

BetVictor
  • Easy to find and understand betting markets
  • Helped out with an excellent explanation on NBA bets
  • World class customer service

New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, not for Baccarat, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings, game weighting: Slots/Instant Win:100%; Roulette/Table Games/Video Poker:20%; Blackjack:10%. Card Payments only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply, See Below. 18+| Please Gamble Responsibly

Betfred
  • British bookmaker also crushes it on American markets
  • Basketball split into NBA and rest of the world
  • Great set of promotions and daily price boosts

New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

NBA Playoffs 2020 Betting Predictions & Tips

There has never been an NBA season quite like this. With the global COVID-19 pandemic causing sports to be postponed all around the world at the time of writing (07/2020), the return of basketball once felt as though it would never arrive. Because of this, there’s a lot of confusion about the how’s, what’s and where’s of the returning season. Apart from this, knowing where best to bet on such a popular sport can occasionally be overwhelming in terms of sheer options.

It has been four months since we last enjoyed the spectacle of the NBA on our screens. This unfortunate break has led to a lot of logistical issues, not least of which is how the tournament will actually be structured. Well, it appears we finally have the answer. There will be 22 teams competing for play-off spots across the Western and Eastern Conferences, with the seeding beginning at the end of July and concluding for the play-offs in mid-August.

This isn’t a case of starting again, though, as the previous standings still count and, as you may have guessed, eight teams have already been eliminated due to their stats and performances. Based on their chances, the NBA decided it would not be worth the risk to have them competing.

Teams are going to play eight games apiece, which will be added to the current standings, and this means that the full 82-game schedule will not be fulfilled, as expected. However, there is still some room for lower standing teams to battle their way into the play-offs.

Other than that, the season is going to go forward as expected, with the top eight teams from each conference advancing to the play-offs and the winners being decided via knockout to crown a conference, and then an overall 2020 champion.

With the logistics out the way, it’s time for us to break down the conferences.

Eastern Conference Winner Betting Odds

TeamOddsBookmaker
Milwaukee Bucks8/13GentingBet
Toronto Raptors5/1Paddy Power
Boston Celtics15/2SportingBet
Miami Heat10/1888Sport
Philadelphia 76ers11/1SportingBet
Indiana Pacers66/1SportingBet
Brooklyn Nets100/1888Sport
Orlando Magic150/1SportingBet
Washington Wizards250/1888Sport

Western Conference Winner Betting Odds

TeamOddsBookmaker
LA Lakers8/5Paddy Power
LA Clippers9/5SportingBet
Houston Rockets7/1888Sport
Denver Nuggets14/1888Sport
Utah Jazz16/1888Sport
Dallas Mavericks22/1888Sport
Oklahoma City Thunder50/1SportingBet
New Orleans Pelicans100/1Bet365
Portland Trail Blazers80/1SportingBet

NBA Championship Winner Betting Odds

TeamOddsBookmaker
Los Angeles Lakers13/5Betfair
Milwaukee Bucks27/10SportingBet
Los Angeles Clippers10/3Bet365
Houston Rockets16/1888Sport
Toronto Raptors17/110Bet
Boston Celtics20/1888Sport
Philadelphia 76ers25/1Betfair
Denver Nuggets30/1888Sport
Miami Heat30/1888Sport
Dallas Mavericks50/1888Sport

Western Conference NBA Betting Predictions & Tips

The drama in the Western Conference all comes down the that number eight slot. The top seven teams – led by bookies’ favourites the Los Angeles Lakers – all seem to be pretty much locked in based on their stats at this stage. All eyes and NBA betting tips are focused on the Memphis Grizzlies and whether they can hold onto that coveted spot. Still, even they remain in a pretty good position, and it would require some seriously poor form to see them fall apart at this stage.

There may be some movement towards that top eight, as not everyone is convinced by the Lakers’ ability to stay motivated throughout and have cast the likes of the Denver Nuggets as possible top place replacements. While the top seven seems solid, there’s plenty of room for movement within it, especially considering the injury woes of the LA Clippers and with several of these teams operating at such a similar level.

In terms of our NBA betting tips for who goes, though, the two teams most capable of unseating the Grizzlies in our eyes are the Portland Trailblazers, thanks to the brilliant combo of Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum, as well as the Pelicans thanks to a mixture of talent and an easier schedule. The latter point for us just about makes the Pelicans our pick to steal that 8th spot, while we think everyone else currently in the top eight makes it to the play-offs.

Eastern Conference NBA Betting Predictions & Tips

The Milwaukee Bucks are absolutely dominating the Eastern Conference, leaving their closest competitors – the Boston Celtics and returning champions Toronto Raptors – trailing behind. Important to note here is that while the Western Conference has 13 teams going to Orlando, the Eastern Conference only has nine, meaning the only question for the play-offs is who will be left behind.

The Wizards are currently in the number nine position and, quite honestly, we do not see them usurping Orlando Magic or the Brooklyn Nets to make it through. With that in mind, we are going to have to say that we see the play-offs going ahead as expected, with no changes being made to the play-off candidates as a result of this short continuation of the regular season.

NBA Betting: Top 4 Picks for the Final & Our Pick to Win

Here we are going to pick two teams from each conference we view as most likely to make it to the finals, alongside a pick for an overall winner. We thought it best to break it down this way for now, as we think there’s just too many possibilities to go straight down to two possible candidates. With all that said, let's begin in the West:

Los Angeles Clippers

Their fans will tell you until they are blue in the face that there is no better team in the west than the LA Clippers. However, that is going to be tested and tested soon as they face the LA Lakers in their return. And, considering that their rivals are looking rather comfortable in their number one position, they have a lot to live up to.

Of course, the Clippers have already pencilled in their place in the play-offs, but from a psychological point of view, that remains a hugely vital return match. This is especially the case since many people will also view the Lakers as their biggest competition to reach the finals. But let’s not pretend this is a two-team show, with the likes of the Nuggets in particular presenting a serious threat to any team in the Western Conference.

Los Angeles Lakers

However, while the Clippers remain in our top four choices, they do not have the best NBA championship odds, and we are afraid that the reason why is obvious – that is, the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. It is, however, not plain sailing, as we do not yet know if star player Dwight Howard will opt out of participation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; this also goes for Howard and Avery Bradley. There’s an awful lot of variables that could cost the Lakers the title this year, and not just from their city rivals.

Once again, we had to make the hard decision to go down to two teams in the Western Conference – but always remember that threats still exist everywhere in the NBA. Still, the Lakers in top form are near unstoppable, and even firing a little under their best, they are still up there with the best teams in the world. For that reason, they are our pick to not only make it to the finals, but to win the whole thing.

We'll now move onto our picks for potential Eastern Conference finalists.

Milwaukee Bucks

It really could not be anyone else for this part of our NBA betting predictions. The Milwaukee Bucks have overwhelmed the Eastern Conference so completely that they have actually played the fewest clutch minutes ever, as their dominance has simply left no time for it. This has led to some people wondering if their lack of experience when it comes to crunch time scenarios could hurt them in the seemingly likely event that they make it to the finals.

We all know that one of the LA teams seems likely (although once again, not certain) to meet them there, and neither the Clippers nor the Lakers are going to go down without a fight. This means that they may have the edge when it comes to a closely contested scenario. With that said, we think that there is a very, very good chance the Bucks make it to the finals.

Boston Celtics

We’re not going to beat around the bush here: the Boston Celtics are probably the biggest underdogs of all of our picks. Not only have the Milwaukee Bucks just left the Eastern Conference in their dust so far, but the Celtics can’t at this point even boast a silver medal in the rankings.

However, we think they have enough potential – especially in defence, where they have been consistent all season – to be a problem for pretty much anybody. We can’t consider them our favourites to win, but with their versatility and determination, they certainly should not be counted out either.

This is a season like no other and let’s be real – at the best of times, the NBA is full of surprises. However, we hope that our humble predictions have given you a little bit of insight after a months-long absence. In fact, it’s due to the NBA having so many twists and turns that makes it so interesting to bet on, and now we’ve introduced you to the season, we’re looking forward to introducing you to the best ways to bet on it.

NBA Play-Offs Key Dates

These are obviously uncertain times, and everything and anything has the potential to change. However, at the time of writing, all of these dates are correct according to the official NBA website:

  • July 7th – 9th – Teams go to Orlando
  • July 30th – Regular season resumes
  • August 15th – 16th – Play-In Games (if they are needed)
  • August 31st – The Conference Semi-Finals
  • September 15th – The Conference Finals
  • September 30th– The NBA Final 2020
  • October 13th – Latest possible date for the Finals 2020

NBA Play-Off Contenders

We have broken down the Western and Eastern standings so you can see exactly which teams will be playing when the season resumes. The teams are listed based on their standings, and we have also put their record next to them so you can see the kind of challenge it is to make it to the top eight. These listings can also help you make smart NBA betting predictions from a statistical point of view, with regards to movement in the standings.

 Western Conference
1LA Lakers (49-14)
2LA Clippers (44-20)
3Denver Nuggets (43-22)
4Utah Jazz (41-23)
5Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24)
6Houston Rockets (40-24)
7Dallas Mavericks (40-27)
8Memphis Grizzlies (32-33)
9Portland Trail Blazers (29-37)
10New Orleans Pelicans (28-36)
11Sacramento Kings (28-36)
12San Antonio Spurs (27-36)
13Phoenix Suns (26-39)
 Eastern Conference
1Milwaukee Bucks (53-12)
2Toronto Raptors (46-18)
3Boston Celtics (43-21)
4Miami Heat (41-24)
5Indiana Pacers (39-26)
6Philadelphia 76ers (39-26)
7Brooklyn Nets (30-34)
8Orlando Magic (30-35)
9Washington Wizards (24-40)

 

What Makes a Good NBA Betting Site?

Popular NBA league betting markets on 888sport with odds displayed

Considering that basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, it should come as little to no surprise that there is a frequently overwhelming amount of choice out there for fans of the NBA. Realistically, the vast majority of your mainstream sportsbook sites are going to include it in some form or another.

However, we don’t want you to simply settle for any old site just because they have the sport you’re looking to bet on. In fact, the NBA betting markets are common enough for you to not have to settle for anything other than the best NBA betting site for you. With that in mind, here’s top five tips to finding the ultimate NBA betting site without having to make any compromises.

1) The Amount of NBA Betting Site Markets Available

While most of your top sportsbook sites will have the NBA available to bet on in some form or another, that does not mean they are all made equal. Some will have a much vaster selection, allowing you to mix and match different types of NBA betting strategies to craft the smartest bets possible. It also means a wider variety of games are likely to be covered, although the NBA is so popular that quite often all the games are covered.

We’re going to go into more details about the kind of markets you should look out for shortly, but all we will say for now is that this is a case where more is better. That’s because if you are not interested in an additional market, it can have no negative effect, while it can have a positive effect for others. A wider variety of choice is always welcome.

2) Review the Odds Quality

Another example of how sportsbooks having NBA options does not mean they are all made equal is the quality of NBA betting odds. Realistically, a sportsbook with a reputation for quality odds offers these across the board, but this may not always be the case, as some may prioritise certain markets over others.

To be sure of the quality of NBA championship odds, you can always check the overround. For those of you not in the know, the overround is the amount over 100% which all possible odds come to when the odds are converted into percentages. Logically, if the outcomes are, for example, that Team A could win, that Team B could win, or the game could end in a draw, then when you add all of these odds together (if all things are fairly calculated) it should come out at 100%, because one of those outcomes happening is certain and 100% reflects that.

However, it will come out to more, and that extra amount is the overround, or the bookmaker’s margin. This isn’t a secret or a scam: it’s how all good operators consistently make money in a business which is by its nature hard to predict. Betting exchanges offer an alternate business method, which is taking a percentage commission instead. Either way, it is an annoying but necessary part of how NBA betting works. With that said, it doesn’t mean you should accept any level of margin, with 110% being about the maximum that can be considered reasonable.

3) Assess the Quality of the Live Experience

With so much choice out there, you shouldn’t just be focusing on the practical points of NBA betting, but also how enjoyable this experience is. There are many different factors to this – many of which come down to the live experience. Sure, you can bet pre-game, of course; however, we tend to focus on the live experience as a litmus test here because it naturally pushes the site to its limit.

Important things to consider are how quickly the site updates so you can react as quickly as possible, as well as see how the site fares technically in general. Technical hiccups and slowdowns can cause havoc with a fast-paced strategy. There’s also how it follows the game. Now, TV deals mean that you’re not likely to find much in the way of live streaming, but plenty of sites offer compromises through details, stats and even live graphics, allowing you to follow the basics of the action.

On top of this, there’s how well it all translates to mobile – something that is becoming more and more important in the world of NBA betting on an almost daily basis.

4) Make Sure There’s Good Quality Across the Site in General

Let’s be honest with ourselves here – very few people are interested in one sport and one sport alone, and very few people are willing to sign up to a different site for everything they want to bet on. That means that whatever site you choose for NBA betting, you are probably going to want them to offer equally great options for plenty of other sports. And, for some people, additional products like casino games are also essential.

Always try to get as much as you can from an operator. Even if you were only interested in the NBA, there are still plenty of other things which are universally important no matter what markets you are after, whether it’s one or several dozen. This includes things like good customer service, quality design and generous promotions, as well as relevant banking options, reliability and more. That’s why when we recommend our favourite NBA betting sites, we also make sure they are great on a broader level too.

5) Provision of News/Blogs/Insights

This one is a little bit more optional, but we still consider it a big enough positive to mention. In fact, you may not have realised that this is something that more and more sportsbooks are offering.

If this year has taught us anything, it is that keeping up with the sporting news is vital to understanding what is going on, and that will be true long after the pandemic is over, with everything from internal difficulties to injuries impacting the game – therefore affecting what a smart prediction looks like.

You can, of course, get all the information on this elsewhere, from news sites to the NBA betting Reddit thread, but we really appreciate the number of operators who are now adding news, blogs and articles providing not only information but insights into the world of sport. It’s not as vital as some of the other points on our list, but we view it as a very enjoyable and useful addition.

Popular NBA Betting Markets

Mr Green Basketball markets with odds displayed

As we’ve mentioned, the very best NBA betting sites should have a very large amount of betting markets to choose from. Not only is this a very popular sport – which pretty much always means more betting options – it is also one with a whole lot of different variables, meaning there’s a lot of different elements worthy of NBA betting tips.

We've included a breakdown of the most popular NBA betting markets; however, do keep in mind that there is plenty more than is shown here, and some specialist markets relating to things like the NBA Draft Picks aren’t included, as they are not specifically related to in-game action. However, NBA lottery odds are something that we do take into account. So, do not assume it is not available if we don’t mention it here.

Moneyline Bets

Newcomers may be confused by what appears to initially be a lack of any option to back a winner, but this is exactly what Moneyline bets refer to, and you should be able to find them pretty much anywhere you can find NBA bets. It doesn’t matter if your team wins by a point or 1000 points – you are simply backing a winner.

Spread Betting

This is a great type of NBA betting because it allows you to bet, in an interesting way, on teams that are not evenly matched. The point spread is the amount of points that a team must win by for the bet to pay out. If a team is less likely to win, then their points spread will have a “+” next to it. If they are more likely to win, they will have a “-“next to their points spread.

It is very similar to Asian Handicap betting; that being said, you are more likely to see it referred to as spread betting because it is an American sport, like the NFL. As an example of how it works, let’s say the spread is: Los Angeles Lakers (-3) vs Denver Nuggets (+3). This means that, if you backed the Lakers, they would have to win by more than 3 for your bet to be successful, while if you backed the Denver Nuggets, they would only need to lose by less than three.

Total Betting

This is a simple Over or Under market. One of the best things about basketball – and one of the most interesting from an NBA betting perspective – is that it is such a high scoring game, with your average team racking up over 100 points per game (it’s actually roughly around 112 points!). This makes it one of the most fascinating total markets out there, because, unlike smaller scoring games where you are essentially betting on how many significant events (like in football) are going to occur, you are instead betting on something which is a closer reading of a team’s general form throughout. For smart bettors, this is a very important market indeed.

Win Conference Betting

This is more specific to this year’s NBA tournament as opposed to the game itself, but is relevant each and every year. As we’ve discussed, both the Eastern and Western conferences have their own dynamics which make them so interesting. We actually love this part of the NBA format because it allows so many different teams to shine, like we’ve seen this season with the Milwaukee Bucks. This market allows you to bet on the winner of each conference, which is essentially a bet on one team, or both if you prefer, to make it to the finals. Speaking of which…

NBA Championship – Winner Betting Odds

All the drama and all the excitement come to this, and we can’t imagine any better way of improving one of the biggest events in the world of sports than by backing your favourites (or at least your preferred team in the final, depending on your luck and their abilities) to win it all. This couldn’t be any simpler, but that doesn’t make it any less nerve-shredding. It’s sports betting at its best.

 

NBA Betting Tips and Strategies

Finding the right NBA betting site for you, as well as the right markets, is only part of the journey of making the best basketball bets. A lot of strategy goes into understanding this game and being able to make accurate and smart predictions. The NBA may be action-packed but that doesn’t mean that the strategic side of the game is anything less than other sports, and it also means that you should take the intellectual side of coming up with a winning betting strategy as seriously and as dilligently as possible.

With that in mind, here’s five of our top tips for the best NBA betting predictions;

1) Keep on Top of the News

This advice is always one that is important to take into account, as injuries and the team’s internal dynamics have and will always have a big part to play in the end results. With that said, there’s little doubt that this season – which sees several high-profile names refuse to make the trip to Orlando – has more of an emphasis on what is happening outside of the court than pretty much any other examples in recent memory.

To make good predictions, you need to have a good idea of what kind of teams you’re likely to be looking at, both in who you are backing and in the opposition. It’s a layer that, if ignored, can spell disaster for your results.

2) Don’t Let Your Preferences Cloud Your Judgement

Basketball, as much as any other sport, has fans that are incredibly passionate. There’s a very good chance if you are reading this and you are looking to make some bets on the upcoming season that you are a pretty big fan yourself. And that likely means that you have your favourites, and possibly even some teams that you’re not a big fan of.

While passion can be good from a strategic point of view – it means you are much more likely to retain important information, for instance – it can also lead to bad decisions. Perhaps you’re more forgiving of the flaws of your favourites and rate their chances higher than might be considered reasonable. None of us are perfect and we’ve all been guilty of this from time to time. All we can say in this regard is really try and be honest with yourself and ask if you’re making the bet because it’s what you think will happen, or because it is what you want to happen.

3) But Do Use Your Knowledge to Your Advantage

All that said, if you can keep your emotions in check, your fandom can really pay dividands here. The fact is that sports betting is often about research: it’s about pouring over stats and watching games in order to become as informed as possible. Unfortunately, our time is often limited, meaning there’s only so much due dilligence we can manage.

Obviously, if you have followed a team for many years, have already watched the games and already know the stats and the team news, then a whole lot of the legwork has been taken off you. This is especially the case as each game has two teams you have to consider, so you can quite literally half your workload. Really, it’s about finding a balance between utilising your passion for a team or teams and the knowledge that comes with that, but not allowing that passion to overwhelm you during the decision making process.

4) If You Can’t Keep Passions Down, Utilise the Total Market

If you just cannot manage to keep your betting decisions objective – perhaps you notice that whenever you really get into a game, you tend to make poor decisions – then it might be time to accept that backing a team isn’t the right way to go. You can’t be honest with yourself about your favourites' chances to win, and you can’t stomach the idea of putting money against them. It’s understandable, and a common side effect of loving the game a little too much.

However, that doesn’t mean all your hours of watching and studying has to go to waste. You can still bet on your favourites' games with the Total market. This is all about whether the overall points will go over or under a certain amount so you can remain dispassionate, objective and make better bets while enjoying the sport that you love.

5) Remember the Impact of the High Scoring Sport

Strategically, high scoring sports operate very differently from low scoring sports like football. The former is more about constant momentum than about who can break through in big moments. We would say for that reason, consistency is an important thing to consider, while in other sports, a team may be worth backing even if they can be shaky at times but manage to get the job done under pressure.

Basketball is its own beast. Consider, for instance, how in many sports, the same teams often win big tournaments year in and year out, while this year’s favourite – the Los Angeles Lakers – haven’t won the big one since 2010. That is all part of the impact of such a constant high pressure and a high scoring environment. That consistency – not just in the end result,  but throughout the game – is such an important indicator.

 

How Does the NBA Work?

A lot of the people reading this will be huge NBA fans. If that is the case, then this part of the article is not for you. Feel free to move onto our next section, where we’ll be going through a brief history of the league.

In a typical NBA season, there are 30 teams, and they are divided into both Eastern and Western Conferences containing four divisions. All the teams involved play 82 games, and the top seed for each division gets through to the play-offs. This means you have eight teams already chosen for the play-offs. The other eight are based on the four next highest records for non-division winning teams per conference.

A brief look at the NBA rules in general now. Each games is a best of seven game series, with the first team to win four games against their opponents advancing. This means that games five, six and seven only take place if they are necessary. A team must beat three teams from their conference to reach the conference finals, and then the winners of both conference finals will face each other to determine a champion.

Games take a total of 48 minutes featuring four 12-minute periods and a 15-minute time frame. However, this is only in terms of registered play; games are stopped frequently, meaning that games can often run over two hours.

Points are made by making baskets. A shot within the three point lines, including dunks, are worth two points. As its name would suggest, baskets made from outside the three points line, are worth three points. Free throws, which are unopposed shots from the free throw line and are usually awarded after a foul on the shooter, are worth one point.

 

A Brief History of the NBA

Let’s be real for a moment here – there’s books upon books worth of history of the NBA. Just a season alone has enough stories and drama to be far too long for us to truly do justice to here. So, this is intended to be only a quick look at the most important points, the blurb of a book that we imagine would be too large to carry.

In the beginning, the NBA was known as the Basketball Association of America and began life in 1946, although this only lasted for three years before they merged with the National Basketball League to become the NBA. In part, this was due to a lack of teams across their two leagues. By merging in 1949, they had 17 teams for their new league, although this didn’t last long with financial issues and the number of teams more than halving at one point. A few big names began joining in the 1960s, such as the Packers, who are now known as the Washington Wizards, and the Chicago Bulls.

From then on, the growth spurt continued with more teams joining and stars being made, particularly in the case of the Bolton Celtics who dominated the decade. By the 80s, basketball had become hugely popular and had its biggest ever star in Magic Johnson. That mantel was taken up by Michael Jordan in the 1990s, who also saw his team, the Chicago Bulls, become a dominant force in the sport.

Since the the millennium, the NBA has seen its seasons have a more see-saw like momentum, with no team being overwhelmingly dominant in the same manner as we have seen in the past. This is something that is important to note for today’s bettors. The closest we’ve seen to total domination has been from the Golden State Warriors, who, but for a twist of fate, could have seen five title wins in a row, having made it to the finals in the last five years. But, reiterating the unpredictable nature of basketball, consider that their season has now ended, as they were stopped in a disastrous 15th place.

In terms of the future, we’re hoping to see new stars and new star teams emerge, alongside a more international selection of players; a trend we’ve been seeing come to fruition over the past few decades.

Most Recent NBA Winners

Here’s a quick look at who made the last 10 finals. We’ll also be showing you who won through the (w) sign next to their name.

YearWestern Conference Finalist

Eastern Conference Finalist
2019Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors (W)
2018Golden State Warriors (W)Cleveland Cavaliers
2017Golden State Warriors (W) Cleveland Cavaliers
2016Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers (W)
2015Golden State Warriors (W) Cleveland Cavaliers
2014San Antonio Spurs (W)Miami Heat
2013San Antonio SpursMiami Heat (W)
2012Oklahamo City ThunderMiami Heat (W)
2011Dallas Mavericks (W)Miami Heat
2010Los Angeles Lakers (W)Boston Celtics

Most Successful NBA Teams

Here, we are going to look at the most successful NBA teams of all time based on championship victories. Of course, this doesn’t count for performances, nor how much the times have changed over the years, so you may have a very different idea of who you think the best NBA teams are. Nonetheless, it‘s interesting to see how the overall winning stats reflect this year‘s odds and lineups, as well as the finals from the last ten years.

There are several really interesting things to consider from this data. The first is the domination of the Celtics and the Lakers. No team has come anywhere close to their records, even with the Golden State Warriors being in the majority of the finals over the last decade. Just as important is how it has been 10 years since both of these juggernauts met in the final, although they have remained a pretty consistent threat since.

The victories also shows you how different decades have breakout stars, and it really makes you wonder if we are likely to see another example of that here; perhaps with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have only a single championship victory to their name from back in 1971.

TeamNumber of winsYears won
Boston Celtics 171957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008
Los Angeles Lakers 161949, 1950, 1952, 1952, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
Golden State Warriors 61947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018
Chicago Bulls 61991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
San Antonio Spurs 51999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014
Philadelphia 76ers 31955,1967, 1983
Detroit Pistons 31989, 1990, 2004
Miami Heat 32006, 2012, 2013
New York Knicks 21970, 1973
Houston Rockets 21994, 1995

NBA Betting FAQs

 🏀 So, what is happening with the returning season of the NBA?

22 teams are going to Orlando on June 30th: 13 from the Western Conference and nine from the Eastern Conference. There will be eight games of the normal season and whoever is in the top eight at the end of that will go to the play-offs. The season will then continue as usual.

❓ When will the NBA season end?

The latest the season can end is October 13th. That is only the case if a seventh game is needed in the finals.

✅ What is the seventh game in the NBA?

That’s right, all play-off games are contested as a best of seven, with the first team to a fourth victory gaining the victory. That means that the fifth, sixth and seventh game are often not needed.

 ❌ Why aren’t all 30 NBA teams returning?

There are time restraints due to the months taken off because of the Coronavirus pandemic. That means that the usual opportunities to make up points and potentially make the top eight are much slimmer. And because there is a health risk associated with travelling, the NBA decided it would be best to let the teams which did not have a reasonable chance of qualifying stay home.

🏆 What are the chances of the current top eight NBA teams changing?

There’s actually some room for possible replacements in both the Western and Eastern Conference. Don’t get us wrong, several places are mathematically set in stone, but there’s certainly enough wiggle room to make it worth your while from both an entertainment and an NBA betting perspective.

 

ThePuntersPage Final Say

For many people, the return of the NBA may seem surreal, obviously due to the current global situation. We won’t comment on the logistics of any of that. Frankly, we’re not qualified to do so.

We can say though that we hope to be able to enjoy some of the greatest athletes in the world ply their trade in this exhilarating sport in a safe and secure environment. And while there can be no doubt that this season will always be remembered for its circumstances, we hope it can be remembered for the greatness, bravery and extraordinary efforts of its athletes as well.