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NBA Betting Sites

The National Basketball Association operates the most prominent and respected professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is limited to North America, but fans tune in from around the globe to watch games and place wagers on the action.

Action-packed NBA games keep fans glued to their televisions, phones, tablets, and screens for the duration of the long basketball seasons. The regular season starts in late October and runs through to April, when the playoffs begin, with the finals running in June. The many games over many months gives bettors chances to wager on games throughout the majority of each year.

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Historical Perspective

Originally, the league was called the Basketball Association of America when it was founded in June 1946 in New York. It quickly became popular and merged with the National Basketball League to become the National Basketball Association in 1949, and it has remained the NBA ever since.

The new league boasted of 17 teams across America, but it was an all-white system until a Japanese-American man joined in the 1947-1948 season and an African-American man then joined in 1950. The game, its rules, and policies matured through the years, eventually becoming an extremely diverse league with players trying out for teams from around the world.

Today, there are 30 teams in the NBA, all of which are based in the United States with the exception of the Toronto team of Canada.

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Boston Celtics
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Houston Rockets
  • Indiana Pacers
  • LA Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards

Betting Basics

There are many ways to bet on NBA games, with some of them being the dominant ones among bettors of all skill levels.


Considering the high scores that often end NBA games, most betting sites set a line – or a spread – for the score wagers. A simple spread would show Team A at -2 -110 and Team B at +2 110, which makes Team A the favorite to win.


This is a more straightforward bet on the winner of a matchup based on the direct moneyline odds. If Team A is at +600 and Team B shows -850, this means Team B is the clear favorite. By betting on the underdog team – Team A – a win would garner a sizeable profit, $600 on an original $100 bet.

Totals or Over/Under:

A total wager is a betting over or under on the line set by bookmakers or betting sites. For example, if a game between two high-scoring teams has a line set at 197.5 with Team A at over -105 and Team B under -115, bettors can take the over or under. If the total score of the game was 194 in the end, the under wins.

Quarter or Half Lines:

Since basketball games are long and typically high-scoring events, most betting sites offer quarter and half bets. A quarter line is a bet on which team will cover the spread at the end of the first quarter, and the same happens for the half. Halftime lines, on the other hand, are for serious bettors only and only available during the halftime break of the game as a new spread is set.

Parlay or Teaser:

These bets combine moneyline, total bets, and spreads and offer the opportunity to win more money, though teasers allow bettors to add points to cushion the line.


A futures bet is one that is typically placed before the season begins. Many bettors wager on their favorite team, an underdog team, or even the MVP of the season. These bets take a long time to pay, but they can pay well if the odds were not favoring that team or player.

Beyond Basics

There are many ways to use strategy to improve the odds of betting on NBA games.

One is the high totals system, which consists of finding games with the over/under of 220 points or more and betting the over. It is a simple strategy, but many people attest to its accuracy.

The Martingale system is one that is often used when playing table games like roulette, but some use it on NBA games on betting sites. The process consists of doubling a bet every time it loses until it wins, thereby covering all losses and eking out a profit in the end.

Another system used by some experienced bettors is commonly used. Bettors simply search for home teams favored by at least 10 points. If any of those teams won its last game by more than 15 points, bet on the other team. There are statistics to back up this theory that a home team coming off of a big win will not beat the spread in the next game.

Strategy Considerations

There are no perfect strategies for NBA betting, though some of the betting theories do work occasionally. The best bet, however, is to understand the teams, study the statistics and analyst predictions, and use the knowledge to place as educated a bet as possible.

One good tip to keep in mind is that the home court advantage for a team is not a myth, as the momentum of the crowd and comfort of the home court do make a difference to many teams. Another good practice is to track the lines after odds are revealed. Public responses to odds can help a bettor make that final decision.

Finally, bettors can get excited at the start of an NBA season and lose sight of the fact that there are more than 80 games to follow. As with betting or gambling of any kind, it’s smart to keep more than 90% of the bankroll in reserve at any given time and bet with caution throughout the season. Anything can happen over the course of a long season.