If you’re new to the NBA betting scene, you’re probably after some pointers to set you in the direction. We’ve got all the need-to-know information to help you get started, from what to look out for when picking a winner to the best mobile NBA betting sites. Whether you fancy yourself as an old school moneyline bettor or like the thought of backing the point spread, our beginner’s guide is sure to give you an assist that’s right on the money.
NBA Betting Basics
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the world’s premier basketball competition and serves up exciting betting opportunities all year round. Before we get stuck into things like NBA futures betting, bookie bonuses, and how to bet on your mobile, let’s take a minute to cover how the NBA works.
The NBA features 30 teams split into two conferences — Eastern and Western — with 15 teams in each. Each conference divides its 15 teams into three NBA divisions of five teams. All NBA teams play a regular season that usually runs from October to April. Each team plays 82 games in the regular season, with at least one NBA game on most days, and as many as 15 tipping off on the same day, which is music to the ears of frequent NBA bettors.
The action pauses in February for the All-Stars Game, but soon moves on to the NBA Playoffs, which is when the fun really starts. The top eight teams from each conference battle it out in the three-round NBA Playoffs to determine the conference champions. The Eastern and Western winners then face off in the NBA Finals to decide who will win the NBA Championship and lift the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
The season’s showpiece event is followed by the season’s MVP announcement, the NBA Draft, and the Summer League, which ensures NBA betting options continue at pace and that the next NBA season turns up in a flash.
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|Division||2022 Champions||Division||2022 Champions|
|Atlantic||Boston Celtics||Northwest||Utah Jazz|
|Central||Milwaukee Bucks||Pacific||Phoenix Suns|
|Southeast||Miami Heat||Southwest||Memphis Grizzlies|
NBA Betting Options
Just like with rugby and football betting, if your NBA knowledge isn’t up to scratch you’re probably going to struggle when it comes to picking a winner. While the Golden State Warriors have dominated in recent years, the quality throughout the league means an upset is never off the cards. Of course, you could always get lucky and win on a hunch, but the smart NBA bets are placed by the punter who’s done their research.
Taking a statistical approach is definitely your best chance of placing a well informed wager at NBA betting sites. You can use NBA betting odds and league standings as your starting point, but checking out recent form, home advantage, injuries and head-to-head record should give you a nudge in the right direction. Statistics like points per game and point differential can also be a big help and give you a better understanding of a team’s chances.
NBA betting tips can also be helpful, but the best thing you can do is build up your own knowledge by following the sport closely and watching games. The more you know, the better your chances of landing a winning bet on NBA games!
NBA Betting Markets
You’ll be glad to know that our recommended best betting sites offer comprehensive coverage of a wide range of markets. Here’s a look at just a few of the exciting NBA bets you can place at online bookmakers.
Accumulators are bets that wrap up two or more wagers in the same bet. Here in the UK, punters usually refer to them as accas, though US bookmakers like DraftKings call them parlays. Either way, they offer the chance to maximise the profit from smaller stakes. That’s because the betting odds of your various selections are multiplied to determine your payout, but therein lies the catch: for your acca to win, all selections must win. If one lets you down, the entire acca is a bust.
But there is some good news. Many NBA betting sites will offer acca insurance, returning a proportion of your stake as a free bet if one of your picks doesn’t go your way. Other acca promos may include profit boosts for winning NBA accas with, say, four folds or more. Or, offers that give you a free bet on NCAA college basketball when you place an acca on the NBA. One of the coolest things about NBA accas is that you can mix things up and include a range of different bet types in your wager. Let’s look at an example of a four-fold basketball acca:
- LA Clippers to beat Phoenix Suns @ 6.5 (Moneyline)
- Memphis Grizzlies to score under 114 points against Dallas Mavericks @ 3.0
- Boston Celtics to be the 2023 NBA Championship winner @ 7.0
Here, we’ve combined three different bet types in one acca. The betting odds amount to 136.5, which means a £10 stake would return £1,365 if all three selections pan out as predicted. Throw in an acca profit boost and things will look even tastier still.
Outright betting, sometimes known as future betting, is a wager on the outcome of an entire league or tournament.
NBA Champion – This is a bet on which team you think will be crowned the NBA league champion.
Conference winner – Here you’re backing the winner of the Eastern or Western conference. This isn’t the team to finish first in the conference, but instead the team to represent their conference in the NBA finals.
Division winner – Both NBA conferences are split into three divisions, and you can take a punt on which team will top the table come the end of the season.
MVP – Fancy LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Steph Curry to dominate the league? If so, you may want to bet on them being given the The Most Valuable Player award.
Rookie of the year – Each season sees a new crop of talented rookies join the league. With transcendent talents such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young battling it out for the award this season, you could find some good value in a shrewd rookie of the year bet.
Match betting is where you bet on a particular NBA game, and there’s plenty of interesting markets to choose from at the best NBA betting sites.
Moneyline – This is the classic NBA bet- all you need to do is predict the outcome of the match.
Handicaps – A handicap bet is a bet on a team to win and maintain a points disadvantage or overcome a disadvantage. For example, a team with -4 handicap will need to win by 5 points. Handicap bets are also known as point spread betting.
Over/under – Here you’re wagering on the total points scored in a match to be over or under a certain number.
Player props – A proposition bet is a bet on an event which doesn’t directly affect the result of a game. For example, you can bet on points scored or number of assists achieved by a particular player.
Live NBA Betting – Basketball is the definition of an end-to-end sport, which can make in-play live NBA betting online truly thrilling. It can also provide great value, but keep in mind that live NBA odds can change in an instant.
As well as wagering on markets based on the entire duration of a game, you can bet on just a quarter or half of a match, such as 1st quarter total points or 1st half result. If you want to make things interesting, you can even combine bets on each quarter into an accumulator to boost the size of the potential payout.
There’s a huge range of proposition bets available at the best basketball betting sites. These include points scored, rebounds scored, assists, steals and so on. Proposition bets are placed on far more specific events so be wary that the odds for any of these markets are likely to be long.
NBA Betting Bonuses
Sports betting welcome bonuses are a great way to get started at a new basketball betting site and enjoy a free bet on NBA games.
There are plenty of promos for returning customers too. Let’s take a look at some of the different bonuses on offer.
Free bet offers are a common way for bookies to both welcome new customers and reward existing members. To claim a free bet sign up bonus, you’ll usually need to make your first deposit and place a qualifying bet at the stated minimum odds. For regulars, basketball betting sites often have a bet club where you can earn a free bet each week by wagering a certain minimum amount.
Newbies can often enjoy a punt on their favourite NBA team using a matched deposit bonus. These welcome offers match your first real money deposit with bonus funds, which you can then use on markets involving the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, or any other team you fancy. An example offer is ‘100% up to £50’. In this case, depositing £50 would get you another £50 in bet credits to play with.
A risk-free bet is another bookie favourite. Such an offer might come in handy when backing a team to win — say, if you bet on the New Orleans Pelicans beating the Boston Celtics. Or perhaps you’ll place a prop bet on how many points or rebounds Jayson Tatum will land. Either way, if you lose, the risk-free bet bonus means you’ll get your stake back as a free bet so you can try again. A max bet limit will apply.
How We Review NBA Betting Sites
When we review NBA betting sites, we do so with sports bettors in mind. We understand what punters want from online basketball betting, and pull out all the stops to find the best bookies in the UK. Here are a few of the areas where sites need to shine in order for them to get a thumbs up in our betting site reviews.
Licence and Safety
When considering new basketball betting sites, we always check that the operator has a current licence from the UK Gambling Commission. This will tell us that the operator adheres to strict rules and regulations regarding fairness and customer safety. If a betting site or app doesn’t have a current licence, we don’t feature it on our site. If you want to double check a site’s licence status yourself, simply head to the UKGC website and do a search on the bookie’s name.
Choice of Betting Markets
From regular season matchups to the NBA Finals, the sporting calendar is packed with basketball betting options. Most bookies cover the headline events like the NBA All-Stars Weekend, but the oddsmakers at top bookies dig deep into each event and offer NBA betting markets with some real depth. For example, you’re likely to see some highly specific prop bets on various players. You may also be able to bet on the NBA Draft, putting money on who’ll be picked in the first round, whether a team will draft an international player, and so on.
Many punters prefer to bet on their mobile devices. Top bookies know this and go all out to provide a mobile betting experience that’s second-to-none. Some bookies simply offer a mobile-optimised version of their desktop site, which you can access through your browser. While these mobile betting sites work well, bookies that also provide native mobile betting apps for Android and iOS earn extra kudos in our basketball betting site reviews. Apps bring greater convenience and speedier functionality, along with push notifications for NBA betting bonuses.
We know that bettors want to see a variety of payment options on NBA betting sites. Our reviewers check that sites offer exactly that. We like to see debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers in their list of accepted payment methods, though many top UK bookmakers go the extra mile by tacking on additional options like Paysafecard and a Pay by Phone service like Payforit. For sites to rank among our best bets for punters, they should also offer instant, fee-free deposits for most payment methods.
Customer support can make or break a betting site. That’s why leading bookies make it a top priority to offer great customer service. Many provide 24/7 live chat with quick response times and telephone and email support too. Sure, even the best support team can’t tell you whether the Raptors will beat the Rockets when they face off next, but we expect customers to be helped promptly with FAQs about promo codes and things like that.
Bet on NBA Using Your Mobile
Do you want to bet on NBA games on the train to work, or maybe during your lunch break? Wherever you fancy trying your luck, mobile NBA betting sites have got you covered. All the best bookies have mobile-friendly sites that you can access through a mobile web browser, so you can sign up, deposit and place your NBA bets at any time. You’ll have access to the same range of betting markets, bonuses and banking options as the desktop site. This means that whether you’re looking to bet on live NBA games, or bet at bookies that accept PayPal, there’s a whole host of options to choose from.
You can also download mobile betting apps to your Android or iPhone for an enhanced mobile basketball betting experience. Mobile apps can make online NBA betting faster and easier, because they store data on your device rather than relying on servers which can have longer loading times. You can also enable push notifications on your NBA betting app so that you’re kept in the know on the latest bonuses.
Bet on the NBA
Now you’re all clued up, you’re probably ready to head to the bookies and bet on NBA games. Look no further than our recommended NBA betting sites for the top bonuses and best NBA odds. Compare bookies with our carefully selected list, and then sign up to start betting on the NBA today!
How to Pick Your Bets
With so many teams to choose from, picking a winning bet on basketball isn’t always easy. Checking out the betting odds and backing the favourite may seem like a good place to start, but you can never rule out an upset. For example, the Toronto Raptors were 37/2 preseason outsiders to win the 2018-19 NBA championship but overcame the odds to defeat the preseason favourite Golden State Warriors, who were priced at 8/13 to win the title.
That being said, there are a few steps you can take to give yourself a better chance of landing some returns from your basketball bets. Let’s have a look at a few of them now.
Payment Methods at NBA Betting Sites
As you know, a solid choice of payment methods is one of the features we look for in our betting site and betting app reviews. Now, let’s run through some of the most common payment methods for online NBA betting, and some of the pros and cons of each.
Whether you fancy the favourites or the underdogs, debit cards offer instant, fee-free deposits, so you can place your bet in no time at all. Another plus of using debit cards to fund your accounts at betting sites is that they’ll make you eligible for most, if not all, bonuses. However, you’ll need to be OK with entering your card details at every betting site you join. Another possible drawback is that debit card withdrawals can take several days to complete. To enjoy speedier debit card payouts, you should check out bookies with the Visa Fast Funds service.
Top basketball betting sites usually accept at least one e-wallet. PayPal is a popular choice, often accompanied by the likes of Skrill, Neteller and Payz. e-Wallets have lots going for them, not least improved security and privacy — you won’t ever have to share sensitive card or bank data when depositing or withdrawing this way. Speaking of withdrawals, e-wallets typically boast the fastest processing times, often coming in the same day. However, making initial deposits with certain e-wallets can disqualify you from welcome bonuses, so be sure to check any relevant T&Cs.
NBA betting sites often accept prepaid cards like Paysafecard for deposits. Paysafecard vouchers can be bought with cash at local stores, and come in different denominations. You simply input the 16-digit PIN to transfer the value of the vouchers to your betting account. It’s also possible to create an online account, which can make it easier to manage your funds. It also makes Paysafecard payouts technically possible, though it’s rare for even the best bookies to offer this service.
Betting sites may allow customers to deposit using a pay by phone service like Boku or Payforit. These services allow you to charge your deposits to either your PAYG balance or your monthly bill. Pay by mobile services can be a good option for customers without traditional banking facilities but do come with some drawbacks. These services place a tight £30 limit on daily transactions, may levy deposit fees, and can’t be used for cashing out.
Trustly instant bank transfers are joining debit cards in becoming widely accepted at online NBA betting sites. And there’s a few good reasons why: there’s no app to download, no account to open, and no need to reveal any financial info to the bookies when using Trustly. You just log into your online bank account securely using your regular credentials to confirm deposits. Trustly payouts are often available but rarely land as quickly as those sent to e-wallets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I place bets during the NBA All-Star Weekend?
Yes, the All-Star weekend presents a number of great betting opportunities, including the NBA Skills Challenge, Rising Stars Game, Slam Dunk Contest and of course, the NBA All-Star Game. As well as being able to bet on outright winners, some bookies allow you to bet on special markets created specifically for the event.
Are NBA betting sites safe?
Yes. All licensed bookmakers are regulated by governing bodies like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to ensure that they’re safe and secure to use. You can tell if a site is licensed by looking for a governing body logo in the website footer. We only recommend licensed sportsbooks, so you know you’re in safe hands when you bet at our recommended online NBA sites.
How do I deposit at NBA betting sites?
Most top NBA betting sites accept a number of different payment methods, so depositing is a walk in the park. All you need to do is head to the cashier page, select your banking option and enter in your chosen amount. The same goes for withdrawals, but make sure to read up on the limits and processing times at your chosen basketball betting site.
Can I place an accumulator bet on the NBA?
Yes. You can build an NBA accumulator the top betting sites, and with so many matches taking place you certainly won’t have any trouble filling up your betting slip.
Can I bet on other basketball leagues?
Yes, you can bet on a whole range of competitions at basketball betting sites. As well as the NBA, you can bet on NCAA basketball and many European leagues like the EuroLeague, Spanish Liga ACB and Italian Lega A, to name just a few.
Can I bet on other US sports?
Yes. You can take a punt on most major US sports leagues at the best online bookmakers, including NFL, NHL, MLB and MLS, as well as NCAA leagues.
Is NBA betting legal in the US?
Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, US states are free to legalise sports betting. At the moment, sports betting is only legal in a few states like New Jersey and Rhode Island.