Find out How to bet on the NBA in this guide to betting on basketball online.

    How to bet on the NBA

    Basketball is one of the biggest sports in the United States and is popular across the world. The sport’s prize jewel is the National Basketball Association, otherwise known as the NBA. 

    With the NBA continuing to grow in popularity worldwide, it is only natural that gambling interest in the sport continues to grow and online sportsbooks continue to create new and exciting markets for the  NBA as well as basketball as a whole. 

    The NBA has an incredibly packed schedule, and as such there are plenty of exciting opportunities to make some serious money from betting on this sport. 

    For those not from the United States and/or not acquainted with the sport, getting to grips with the NBA, especially its league structure, can be incredibly tricky. That’s why we here at have put together a guide which has all you need to know about betting on the NBA.

    NBA Schedule

    The NBA has one of the most hectic schedules of any sporting competition in the world and for newcomers, it can take some getting used to. 

    There are 30 teams split across two conferences, each split into three divisions each. 

    The season typically runs from October through to April, with the playoffs normally running from the end of April to the start of June. The play-offs are the most anticipated games in the entire sport and sportsbooks will often have a wide range of markets available during this time period. 

    There is also a female division running alongside the NBA called the WNBA, which runs two months shorter than the male version, with the regular season taking place from May through to September. 

    The rise of all of these leagues and the sheer number of games taking place in each division means that there is pretty much no time during the calendar year where you can't bet on basketball.

    Types of NBA bets

    The NBA is one of the most popular sporting divisions in the world these days and online betting sites are constantly looking for new and exciting ways for you to bet on the sport. The following are the most common types of bet placed on the NBA: 

    Results betting: The simplest type of bet in any sport is the results bet. In this type of bet, you simply bet on what you believe the full-time result of the game will be. There are three options available here- the home team, the away team, or a draw. 

    Points totals: Another type of market that is incredibly popular in team sports is the points or goals total market. 

    In this market, you will bet on how many points will be scored in a game. These are often presented as either over/under markets or in margins. So you could often see it presented as over/under 190 points, or 190-220 points, for example. 

    NBA Winner outrights: One of the most popular types of bets placed on the NBA is on who is going to be crowned the winner of the entire league. 

    There is normally a clear favourite for this kind of bet, so don’t expect to find massive value on betting in this market. 

    MVP: The most valuable player or the MVP award is effectively a player of the match award for the entire season. 

    The award is handed out by a voting board at the end of every season. Like the outright NBA winner market though, the outcome of this is often fairly predictable and therefore, you would likely have to place a high bet to see any sort of serious returns.

    Handicap Betting: A handicap bet is incredibly common across all types of sports betting and it effectively imagines a hypothetical scenario where one of the two teams, usually the team who is the favourite, starts the game on fewer points than their opponent. 

    For example, in a handicap match, Team A may start the game with -8 points, meaning that they would have to outscore the opposing team by at least 9 points to win the match. 

    This can be an effective way of evening the odds in a game where one team is a runaway favourite and wouldn’t be worth betting in a singles bet.

    Where to Bet on the NBA

    The NBA’s continuing growth away from the USA means that almost all of the major  betting site offer lots of NBA betting markets. 

    If you are unsure as to which sportsbooks you should be using, check out our betting site reviews and view the recommended sportsbooks operating in your country as listed on this page.

    Like any sport, basketball can be extremely unpredictable and as such, there is no secret winning formula when it comes to having a bet on it. 

    One thing the NBA does offer that a lot of sports don’t, however, is a massive calendar of fixtures. Given that every team plays a mouth-watering total of 82 games during an NBA season, there is literally hours and hours of footage for analysts to go back over to help them decide who is worth betting on and who isn’t.

    The same principles that one would apply to betting on any other team sport are also important though, such as paying attention to a team’s form, the league table and previous records. 

    It is also important to keep up to date with the latest injuries and suspensions. The last thing you want to is to place a bet on a team only to find out their star player is out for the week.