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.
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Top 10 NBA Betting Sites
#08 William Hill
NBA Season 2021 Odds
2021 Championship Winner Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||7/2|
|Los Angeles Clippers||5/1|
|Golden State Warriors||15/2|
2021 Western Conference Winner Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||7/4|
|Los Angeles Clippers||5/2|
|Golden State Warriors||7/2|
|Portland Trail Blazers||25/1|
|New Orleans Pelicans||33/1|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||50/1|
|San Antonio Spurs||75/1|
2021 Eastern Conference Winner Odds
|New York Knicks||150/1|
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What Makes a Good NBA Betting Site?
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
|Year||Western Conference Finalist ||Eastern Conference Finalist|
|2020||Los Angeles Lakers (W)||Miami Heat|
|2019||Golden State Warriors||Toronto Raptors (W)|
|2018||Golden State Warriors (W)||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2017||Golden State Warriors (W)||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2016||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers (W)|
|2015||Golden State Warriors (W)||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2014||San Antonio Spurs (W)||Miami Heat|
|2013||San Antonio Spurs||Miami Heat (W)|
|2012||Oklahamo City Thunder||Miami Heat (W)|
|2011||Dallas Mavericks (W)||Miami Heat|
|2010||Los 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.
|Team||Number of wins||Years won|
|Boston Celtics||17||1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008|
|Los Angeles Lakers||16||1949, 1950, 1952, 1952, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020|
|Golden State Warriors||6||1947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018|
|Chicago Bulls||6||1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998|
|San Antonio Spurs||5||1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014|
|Philadelphia 76ers||3||1955,1967, 1983|
|Detroit Pistons||3||1989, 1990, 2004|
|Miami Heat||3||2006, 2012, 2013|
|New York Knicks||2||1970, 1973|
|Houston Rockets||2||1994, 1995|
Upcoming Sporting Events
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.