Betting on basketball is massively popular in the United States and around the world. The National Basketball Association (NBA) alone provides hundreds of betting opportunities each and every season, making it a perfect focal point for both new and beginning bettors. Of course, in order to take advantage of those opportunities, you first need to know where to bet on NBA games.
In this article, we will address the ‘where to bet’ question head-on. We’ll discuss six key areas that you should look at carefully before choosing to join one of the many online sportsbooks that are operating in the United States. Then you’ll learn how to open an account with your chosen sportsbook so that you can start betting on NBA games with complete confidence.
The quick answer to where to bet on NBA games is with a reputable sportsbook. There are many online sportsbooks operating in the United States. However, it would be a mistake to think that they are all exactly the same. Every sportsbook has its own style, layout and sense of 'personality'. More importantly, sportsbooks also vary in the range of markets, the type of bets and the bonuses and promotions that they offer.
Given this diversity, it is a good idea to explore all available online sportsbooks so that you select one that suits your own betting preferences. We would suggest that you focus your attention on six key areas, as follows:
Bonuses and Promotions
Each of these areas is important, so we will now take a look at each one in turn.
Where to Bet on NBA Legally
While there are multiple online sportsbooks operating in the United States, betting with an online sportsbook isn't legal in all states. Even in those states where it is legal, not every online sportsbook is likely to be operating. The first thing you need to do, therefore, is check the situation in your own state.
If online sports betting is legal in your state but there is just one sportsbook operating there, your choice has been made for you. However, if there are two or more sportsbooks operating, you will need to choose between the ones that are available by taking the other five key areas into consideration.
Range of Betting Markets
The next area you need to look at when assessing a sportsbook is the range of betting markets on offer. Different sportsbooks have different markets and bet types available. This means you need to satisfy yourself that you'll have all the NBA betting opportunities that you will need. There are five main bet types that most NBA bettors consider essential that we will now discuss in turn Make sure that any sportsbook you consider joining offers all of them:
A moneyline market only requires you to predict which team will win a particular NBA game. If your chosen team wins, your bet will win. How much you win will depend on the odds offered. Here's an example:
NBA Moneyline Example
Odds displayed with a minus sign show how much you need to stake, in dollars, to make a profit of $100. Here, you would need to bet $300 on the Bucks to make a $100 profit.
Odds displayed with a plus sign show how much profit you will make, in dollars, when you bet $100. Here. you would make a profit of $250 if you had a winning bet of $100 on the Hawks.
The spread market requires you to predict which team will win, and by how much. You don't need to be specific here. Simply decide whether or not you agree with the margin established by the sportsbook. A theoretical handicap will be imposed on the favorite, while a theoretical advantage will be given to the underdog. You therefore need to decide which team will win despite the handicap or with the aid of the advantage. Consider the following:
NBA Spread Example
Bet on the Bucks and they will need to win the game by 8 points or more for your bet to win. However, bet on the Hawks and they will need to win or lose by no more than 7 points for your bet to win.
The totals betting market is one that doesn't require you to predict which team will win the game in question. Instead, your job here is to say whether the total number of points scored in the game (by both teams combined) will be under or over a total stated by the sportsbook. For this reason, the totals market is also known as the over/under market. Here's an example:
NBA Totals Example
Note the letter preceding the odds in the example above. The letter u stands for under and the letter o stands for over. This isn't important here, because the odds are the same in each case. But in other markets the odds could differ, depending on your choice.
In this example, a bet on under would win if the total number of points scored in the game is 226 or less. A bet on over would win the total is 227 or more.
Futures markets are simply those that allow you to bet on outcomes that are weeks or months away from being determined. For example, you could place a futures bet at the beginning of the season on which team will win its conference. Or on which team will win the NBA Finals.
Because these bets are about events in the future, they are more difficult to win with than those involving a single game in the next day or two. The good news is that the odds available for future bets are more generous to reflect that increased difficulty. If you want to make a bet that could give you some interest all season long, a future bet could serve you well.
Prop betting markets concern outcomes that are unrelated to the result of the game itself. In other words, you can win a prop bet even if the outcome doesn't go as you predicted. Or even if you have no idea who will win. Just a few examples of NBA prop bets include:
Which team will score first?
Will a certain player score under or over a stated number of points?
How many assists will a certain player make?
These aren't easy bets to win with, but as with futures, the odds will reflect that fact. Most NBA bettors use minimal stakes for these bets and use them only to supplement more serious activity in the moneyline, spread, and totals markets.
Where to Bet on NBA: Bonuses and Promotions
A third key area of consideration when deciding where to bet on NBA games is the bonuses and promotions that are offered by the sportsbooks in your state. Like betting markets, these will vary from place to place, but all online sportsbooks should offer you a welcome bonus of some description.
It could be a couple of free bets when you sign up for an account or an initial risk-free bet worth several hundred dollars so that you have a 'no lose' experience to start with. Whatever the case, note the bonuses and promotions and see which sportsbook offers the best deal in your particular state.
Assuming that you will want to bet on NBA games regularly, it also makes sense to look at the functionality of any sportsbooks you consider joining. The better a sportsbook is presented and the easier it is for you to navigate around it and place bets, the better.
Those of you who want to place bets on a mobile device should also see how each sportsbook performs in that respect. Some sportsbooks have dedicated mobile apps, while others will require you to log in and place bets via a regular web browser application. Check to see if the sportsbook functions adequately on the devices you intend to use most often.
Where to Bet on NBA: Banking Options
You will most likely need to make at least one deposit into your sportsbook account in order to make a bet. For that reason, the next thing you should explore are the available banking options. No method is really any better than another, but if you have a personal preference, now is the time to see if the sportsbooks you are assessing offer it. Also look at whether your chosen method can be used to make withdrawals, as there's no point in betting if you don't expect to make a profit now and then.
The final key area that you should consider is customer support. Most online sportsbooks are easy to use, but if you ever get into any difficulty you will want a way to get reliable help as quickly as possible. A customer support team that is available around the clock is ideal. So is the ability to chat with support assistance via Live Chat or phone. Check to see what customer support is available at any online sportsbook that you are thinking about using and ensure that you are happy with the provision.
How to Open a Sportsbook Account
When you have examined all of the available sportsbooks in your state by considering each of the key areas just outlined, you will be able to choose one that you are happy with. The question of where to bet on NBA games will therefore have been answered, so you simply need to sign up.
The good news is that opening a sportsbook account is a very simple process that will just take you a few minutes. Here's our step-by-step guide to signing up.
First head to the relevant page of the website by clicking the REGISTER or JOIN button or link provided by the sportsbook. Some sites will make this even easier for you by showing you the sign-up form when you make your first visit.
Enter the required information. This will include your name, address, and email address. You may also be asked for the last few digits of your social security number to prove that you are who you say you are. If any bonus promo code is requested then be sure to enter it if you want to take advantage of the associated offer.
Submit the information and follow any verification link that is sent to your email address. Now is also a good time to make a note of your sportsbook password so that you don't forget it.
When you have completed these steps, your account will be up and running and you will be all set to make a deposit.
How to Make a Deposit
All sportsbooks are as keen for you to bet with them as you are to start betting. For this reason, they make it as easy as possible for you to deposit funds and get going. The process is very intuitive with all of the sportsbooks we recommend, but here's a step-by-step guide that should be applicable anywhere.
Head to the banking section of the sportsbook. There will either be a direct link to that area on the main page or you will be able to reach it by first visiting your account page.
Select the method that you want to use to make your first deposit and enter the required details. Your payment information usually only needs to be entered the first time you make a deposit, as it will be kept securely on file for future deposits.
Enter the sum of money that you want to deposit. You may also be asked if you have a bonus or promo code that you want to use. If you do then you should enter it when the opportunity is given.
Submit the deposit request and wait for the system to respond. In most cases, your deposit will be processed immediately and your funds will be available in your account so that you can start betting straight away.
How to Make a Withdrawal
Making a withdrawal from an online sportsbook is just as easy as making a deposit. In this case, the procedure will be something like this:
1 - Navigate to the banking section of the sportsbook you use. As stated before, you might be able to visit that area via a link on the main page, or you might have to access it by first going to your account area.
2 - Click the WITHDRAW button or similar, and enter the amount of money that you want to take out of your account. The method used will normally be the same as the one you use to make deposits. If that isn't possible for some reason, you will be asked to choose an alternative method of withdrawal.
3 - Submit the withdrawal request. That request will then be processed. Note that because additional checks are required before your withdrawal can be approved and dealt with, you may have to wait a day or two for your funds to reach you. Different withdrawal methods have different time estimates, and those will usually be given by the sportsbook in the banking of FAQ areas.
Joining Multiple Sportsbooks
Those of you who are fortunate enough to have several online sportsbooks operating in your state can also consider joining more than one of them. There are a couple of advantages to joining multiple sportsbooks. One is that doing this would enable you to take advantage of the bonuses or promotions available at each sportsbook you join. Another is that being a member of multiple sportsbooks will allow you to shop around for the best odds about any particular game or outcome.
If you join multiple sportsbooks then there are various ways of using them most effectively. Here are a few ideas to consider as a starting point:
You could use risk-free bets with two sportsbooks to bet on both outcomes of a particular NBA game. One of the bets would win. The other would lose but would be refunded as free bets for other events.
Before placing any bet, check the odds available at all of the sportsbooks you use. This will allow you to bet with the one that would give you the bigger payout if your bet succeeds.
Always compare the spread and totals markets at all of your sportsbooks before formulating your bet. You may find different spreads or totals as well as different odds, allowing you to choose the best. More rarely, you may spot an opportunity that allows you to bet both sides of a spread or totals market with different sportsbooks and guarantee yourself a slim profit no matter what happens.
Where to Bet on NBA - FAQ
Where to bet on NBA games legally?
You can bet on NBA games with any online sportsbook that is licensed and regulated to operate in the state you want to bet in.
Where to bet on NBA Playoffs?
Betting on NBA playoffs can be done at most sportsbooks that offer NBA games. Of course, sportsbooks with a focus on the United States may have more markets than those based in Europe.
Where to bet on NBA Finals?
Any sportsbook that allows you to place bets on NBA games will also allow you to bet on the NBA Finals.
How does NBA betting work?
Betting on the NBA is a simple matter of making a prediction, finding a market that allows you to bet on that outcome taking place, and specifying how much you want to bet. With that done, simply submit the bet and if your prediction is correct it will win.
What sportsbook is best for NBA betting?
There is no one sportsbook that is best for NBA betting. We advise looking at the six key areas outlined in the article above. However, if you want to get straight down to business, you wouldn’t go wrong with FanDuel, BetMGM, or DraftKings.