Guide To Betting On NBA Games

As one of the most bet-on sports leagues in the US, the National Basketball Association is enjoying a huge surge in popularity that only promises to grow as sports wagering becomes more and more commonplace. If you’re new to the betting angle on your favorite sport, a comprehensive guide to betting on NBA games is in order, and you’ll find that right here.

The first thing to understand about basketball betting in general is that, for the dramatic majority of Americans, the only legal places to put money on the NBA are at offshore sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, and a select few other top books. However, each of these first-rate NBA betting sites offers a number of features that makes them better than any other place to wager – including the grandest, fanciest hotels in Las Vegas itself!

When using an Internet-based legal sportsbook for betting on NBA games, you’ll get preseason, regular season, and postseason action for all 30 teams in the league, every time they take the floor. Additionally, you’ll get access to a slew of bet types, from standard gambling fare like straight bets and spreads to more advanced options including props and parlays. You’ll also get bonuses just for joining your NBA sportsbook(s) of choice, so it’s easier than ever to attain high roller – or big baller! – status.

You can typically bet on any team’s NBA Finals odds year-round, as this is the most common futures wager type in the sport. However, once postseason time rolls around, the odds will tighten dramatically, so the earlier you make your picks, the bigger your payout stands to be. That said, it can still be worth your while to place some NBA Finals futures bets once the playoffs start. Just check out the current NBA Finals odds and pick a winner!

Betting On The NBA Finals

You can typically bet on any team’s NBA Finals odds year-round, as this is the most common futures wager type in the sport. However, once postseason time rolls around, the odds will tighten dramatically, so the earlier you make your picks, the bigger your payout stands to be. That said, it can still be worth your while to place some NBA Finals futures bets once the playoffs start. Just check out the current NBA Finals odds and pick a winner!

Wager Types For Betting On NBA Games

Click To Bet on the NBA FinalsBefore you place your first pro basketball bets, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with all the common wager types for betting on NBA games. The most basic bet types are the straight bet, the spread bet, and the totals bet, with player/team props and futures also getting lots of action.

The straight bet (or straight moneyline bet) is the easiest wager type to understand, as you’re simply picking which team will win outright. There is no handicapping, and the more favored a team is to emerge victorious, the less comparative winnings you’ll get. Remember, underdogs always have higher payouts with straight bets.

The NBA spread bet is just like the more familiar football spread bet, where the stronger team “gives” points to the weaker team, thereby balancing the action at your sportsbook. With spread bets, the moneyline is usually the same for both sides (most often -110), but NBA sportsbooks can change this as needed to boost wager activity.

The totals bet, also called the over/under bet, is not about which team wins or loses, but rather about how many points both teams will score between them in a given contest. Your NBA betting site will pick an O/U (over/under) number for a given contest, and you simply wager whether or not the combined total points scored will be higher than (over) or lower than (under) that total.

These are the most common wager types you’ll come across when betting on NBA games, but there are plenty more available. In the sidebar, you’ll find specific breakdowns of the above, plus explanations of NBA player props, team props, NBA futures, quarter line bets, first half lines, WNBA wagers, and more. Familiarize yourself with these, and you’ll be ready for tip-off in no time!

Is It Legal To Bet On The NBA?

While sports betting in the US is estimated to turn an outlandish handle of some $400 billion annually (making it one of the biggest private industries in the entire world), new bettors always wonder if it’s actually legal to bet on the NBA. The Allen Iverson, of course, is that yes, it is 100% legal to wager on NBA games in the United States. However, there are a few caveats to consider.

The first and most pressing issue is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Because PASPA outright bans land-based sports betting of any type in all states but Nevada, many NBA gamblers are under the impression that they have to actually go to Las Vegas to legally place their sports bets.

While this sort of monopolization and tourism support was the intent of the law, PASPA doesn’t actually make it illegal for private US residents to place bets; PASPA only makes it illegal for private or commercial entities to accept bets on US soil. The fix to this, of course, came in the form of offshore sportsbooks that operate entirely outside of US legal jurisdiction. Because these books are licensed and regulated in their own home countries, they are free to both offer and accept wagers from US residents, who are themselves free to place such bets.

Other federal legislation like the Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) have nominally tried to curb this sort of outcome, but the laws as written are insufficient to bring charges against any NBA bettor or sports betting individual. (You can read more about these anti-gambling federal laws – and why they don’t work – by clicking on the requisite links in the sidebar.)

Odds To Win The NBA Championship This Season

The regular 2015-2016 NBA season is drawing to a close this month. It has been an exciting six months, but on April 16th, the real fun starts, because that’s when the playoffs begin. Let’s do a quick recap of the season so we can get you all caught up to speed. The regular season started on October 27, 2015, with the Chicago Bulls playing on home turf against the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Bulls winning by just three points. The initial game was not a sign of things to come, as Cleveland is currently ranked number 1 in the Eastern Conference, with a win-loss record of 56-23. Chicago, by contrast, is at number 9 with an even 39-39 record. Rounding out the top five for the Eastern Conference are the Toronto Raptors, the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics, and the Miami Heat. Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, we have the Golden State Warriors at number 1 with a win-loss record of 69-9! At number 2 are the San Antonio Spurs, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Memphis Grizzlies. Take a look at the chart below to see the rest of the rankings.

Best Sportsbooks for NBA Betting

BetOnline Sportsbook

BetOnline sportsbook is one of the premier online betting sites in America, giving players from all over the country the opportunity to bet on all kinds of sports, including NBA basketball. BetOnline has every NBA betting line you could ever want, all the Vegas-style wager types you expect (and then some!), and exciting bonus features that can really build up your bankroll.

BetOnline has been in business since 1991, making them one of the very first online betting sites for US NBA fans. Today, BetOnline boasts literally millions of dedicated, returning customers from all over the country, and they’ve handled literally tens of billions of dollars in wagers (and payouts!) over the years.

Betting on NBA games is simple at BetOnline. You’ll find moneylines on the most current games, as well as futures and props for nearly every upcoming event. Wager types include everything from straight bets to specials, and you can even buy points to set your own custom spreads if you want to. BetOnline also offers the latest in live and mobile betting, two trends that are fast overtaking the online betting world.

New BetOnline members from all 50 states can take advantage of a number of promotions, as well, including a 50% Welcome Bonus worth up to $2500 – the tops in the industry! Bonuses and perks for BetOnline’s Vegas-style casino table games, live poker rooms, and international pari-mutuel racebook are also available, so even between betting on NBA games, you’ll always have something to do.

Take a Shot at BetOnline

Bovada Sportsbook

Betting on NBA games at Bovada is a breeze, thanks to their industry-leading, award-winning desktop and mobile websites. With Bovada’s easy-to-navigate interface, you can make your deposits, find your favorite odds, and place your bets in just a few minutes. As perhaps the most famous online betting shop on the Internet, Bovada commands a fan base into the tens of millions of US customers, and for good reason. In addition to having a full suite of NBA wagering action on every single game of the season, Bovada also has an iron-clad reputation. They’ve got the best customer service in the industry, and they’ve never missed a single payout!

Even better, Bovada’s always been at the cutting edge when it comes to the technologies behind their betting software. They were the first site to offer Bitcoin support, they were the first site to offer mobile betting, and they were the first site to offer live betting on all popular American and international sports.

New members who sign up at Bovada today can get a $250 Sports Welcome Bonus with the best terms in the business, and Bovada even has a full casino and racebook to enjoy between NBA games. (Note: Bovada is currently unavailable to residents of DE, MD, NV, and NJ.)

Take a Shot at Bovada

SportsBetting Sportsbook

SportsBetting might be the perfect NBA sportsbook. While it’s not got the most streamlined interface or graphical panache, SportsBetting has by far the highest betting limits and the most deposit options available at any Internet betting shop. You can choose to fund your NBA betting account via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, bank wire, money order, cashier’s check, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and more, and the site’s withdrawal methods are almost as robust. With limits as low as $25 and as high as $25,000-plus for deposits, SportsBetting caters to the entire spectrum of NBA bettors, from first-timers to old veterans and everyone in between.

When you sign up for an account at, you’ll have the option of selecting from a large menu of bonuses, as well. The most popular bonus at the site is the 75% Welcome Bonus worth up to $1000, but there are also cryptocurrency deposit bonuses, mobile free plays, live betting perks, and a series of casino, poker, and pari-mutuel racebook benefits to consider. Perhaps more than any other legal online sportsbook, SportsBetting has something for absolutely everyone, and NBA bettors from all 50 states are welcome!

Take a Shot at SportsBetting

5Dimes Sportsbook

At 5Dimes, you will find more NBA betting lines than any other sportsbook has to offer, as the site makes variety its first priority. If you’re a 5Dimes member, you can essentially pick your own lines and spreads, and the site also has all the other wager types and bonus features you’d expect from a top NBA sportsbook.

One of the biggest draws for 5Dimes, however, comes by way of their prop betting options. Most sportsbooks offer comprehensive but generally standard proposition bets, but not 5Dimes. Sure, you’ll find all those here, but 5Dimes really pulls away from the pack with its so-called “wacky” props. If you just want to wager on all the silly sideshows that NBA games offer up, 5Dimes will always have action to scratch that itch and strike that funny bone.

New 5Dimes members who join now can receive up to $520 in free plays just for signing up, and – in addition to all their poker, casino, bingo, and lottery promos – 5Dimes also offers the industry-exclusive Reduced Juice program, where your payouts are increased thanks to the site’s lower house take. If you’re betting on NBA games without giving 5Dimes a look, you’re committing a flagrant foul

Take a Shot at 5Dimes
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