NBA betting 2019-20

The National Basketball Association is the no.1 basketball league in the world, and betting on the NBA is done right around the world. NBA betting is available at almost every sportsbook we have ever come across, with markets available 365 days a year. The NBA is among the biggest betting sports in the world, probably second only to the world game – football. Our top NBA betting sites for the 2019-20 season are:

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Betting on the NBA 2019-20

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the world’s best league in a sport that is second only to football in terms of betting turnover. Obviously the USA is the home of the NBA, so there is massive betting interest in it here, but there are fans of this competition right around the globe.

The NBA is exciting to watch. There’s scoring at every turn — thanks to the 24-second shot clock that was introduced in 1954. It has created global superstars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, while TV rights and sponsorship deals make it one of the most lucrative sports on the plant.

Betting on the NBA is a multibillion-dollar business, with the free scoring and blanket coverage worldwide making it attractive to gamblers everywhere. If you are new to betting on the NBA, it pays to do some home work before investing your money. Like anything, the more you know about the NBA, the more educated decision can you make when betting.


Best sites for betting on the NBA

We recommend shopping around for the best price on whichever team you wish to bet on, but at the same time you should always ensure your chosen sportsbook is secure and offers plenty of options for betting on basketball.
The basketball punters at the World Gambling List regularly use the following sportsbooks and have never had cause for concern:

Mobile NBA betting

All of the top NBA betting sites accept bets via mobile devices, with this the most popular way to bet on sports in 2020. Many online betting sites will also have apps available to download, with the two most common being Android and iOS apps.

Mobile NBA betting often includes live betting, which simply means that you are betting on the game after it has already started. While not always available on mobile devices, if you are in a country with regulated sports betting there is every chance you will be able to bet on the NBA live via your mobile.

Playoffs betting

At the end of the regular season 8 out of the 15 teams in each conference earn a spot in the NBA playoffs. The teams are seeded #1 – #8 (#1 Plays #8, #2 Plays #7, #3 Plays #6 & #4 Plays #5) and each series in the playoffs is a best-of-7 right through to the finals.

The competition is intensified during the NBA playoffs and this is definitely the most exciting time to best basketball. There are more prop bets during the NBA playoffs to wager on including series bets (Betting on a team to win their playoff series).

After the 1st three rounds of the NBA playoffs the season ends with a best-of-7 NBA final series. During the finals there are plenty of unique prop bets to wager on at bookmakers. An example is betting on the player you think will win the NBA finals MVP.

Betting on the NBA draft

During the NBA offseason the draft always has a lot of hype, especially years with top level talent. Bookmakers post odds on various NBA draft prop markets. An example would be betting on what player will be drafted 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall.

There are other prop markets as well such as how many players from a certain college basketball conference will be drafted in the 1st round or 1st/2nd rounds. There are also odds on a player’s draft position (Ex – Player X Draft Position O8.5 / U8.5).

Live betting

Betting on the NBA live has many benefits and it’s very popular due to the ebb and flow of a basketball game. It isn’t rare for two teams to build leads and give them up throughout an NBA game, which presents lots of live betting opportunities.

It’s possible to set-up big middles betting NBA live as well. Let’s say the Heat are playing the Lakers and you bet on the Lakers at +9.5 points. If the Lakers come out strong in Q1 and are up 30-16 you can set-up a big middle by betting the Heat at plus points.

Some bookmakers have live betting odds throughout the entire game while others only on commercial. With the ups and downs in basketball it’s possible to bet both teams throughout a game and ensure a profit regardless of who ends up winning.


NBA Teams & Conferences

The NBA is split into two conferences, the East and the West, with 15 teams in each. The two conferences are then split into three divisions, with this format being adopted for the 2004-05 season, when the team now known as the Charlotte Hornets were introduced as the 30th franchise in the NBA. 

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks (Southeast)

Boston Celtics (Atlantic)

Brooklyn Nets (Atlantic)

Charlotte Hornets (Southeast)

Chicago Bulls (Central)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Central)

Detroit Pistons (Central)

Indiana Pacers (Central)

Miami Heat (Southeast)

Milwaukee Bucks (Central)

New York Nicks (Atlantic)

Orlando Magic (Southeast)

Philadelphia 76ers (Atlantic)

Toronto Raptors (Atlantic)

Washington Wizards (Southeast)

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks (Southwest)

Denver Nuggets (Northwest)

Golden State Warriors (Pacific)

Houston Rockets (Southwest)

Los Angeles Clippers (Pacific)

Los Angeles Lakers (Pacific)

Memphis Grizzlies (Southwest)

Minnesota Timberwolves (Northwest)

New Orleans Pelicans (Southwest)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Northwest)

Phoenix Suns (Pacific)

Portland Trail Blazers (Northwest)

Sacremento Kings (Pacific)

San Antonio Spurs (Southwest)

Utah Jazz (Northwest)


Popular NBA bet types

Betting on the NBA can be complicated if you don’t understand the bet types that you can place. This section will run you through the most popular types of bets you can place on the National Basketball Association.

Point Spread or Handicap Bets

When talking about NBA games, basketball betting sites will set a point spread or handicap to make the game as close to even as possible. Betting sites will set a handicap and punters have to determine whether or not the favourite will cover the spread. Below is an example. .

NBA Point Spread Example: Miami Heat -9.5 $1.91 vs. Los Angeles Lakers +9.5 $1.91

Point Spread Explanation: The team with the negative handicap (-) is the favourite and has to cover the spread, which in this case is -9.5 points. The Lakers at +9.5 pts will cash if the Lakers don’t lose by more than 9 points. Miami has to win by 10 or more points to cover the handicap.

Money Line or Straight Bet

The money line takes away the handicap and the punter is left with simply picking the winner of the basketball game. As long as your team wins the game (OT Included) then your bet will cash. If the other team wins the game then the bet will lose.

NBA Money Line Example: Miami Heat $1.39 vs. Los Angeles Lakers $3.20

NBA Money Line Explanation: Unless a game is deemed to be a toss-up (50/50) you won’t be able to win close to even money on favourites. A $100 bet on the Heat would only yield a profit of $38. The ML in the NBA is best to bet on when you like an underdog to win or in an even game.

Over/Under or Game Total Bets

Handicapping point spreads in the NBA is difficult because the bookies set sharp lines that are generally tough to beat. The total market also has tough lines, but it’s easier to handicap because the punter only has to decide on how many points will be scored.

NBA Game Total Example: Heat vs. Lakers – Over 188.5 Points $1.91 vs. Under 188.5 Points $1.91

In the example you can bet on whether the Heat and Lakers will score over or under 188.5 points in the game (OT Included). This market is popular in the NBA because it’s easier to handicap. Betting limits are lower on this market, but will suffice for most.

Another type of over/under wager in basketball is known as a “team total” bet. The bet is the same as the game total explained above except you’re betting on the over/under on one team only (Ex: Heat Over 99.5 Points $1.91 vs. Under 99.5 Points $1.91).

Quarter Bets

An NBA game has four 12 minute quarters and punters can wager on each individual quarter before the game starts. Bookies will post odds on the ML, O/U and handicap for each quarter. Betting on a single quarter has become popular in the NBA.

The reason this market is popular is because NBA statistics are broken down by quarter and available online. With time spent on research it’s easy to identify trends that most punters overlook (Ex – Raptors are 12-3 in the 1st quarter).

Punters can also bet on the 1st half of a basketball game rather than a single quarter. Again, you can identify trends in the 1H that the betting public doesn’t notice. For instance, the Timberwolves who were 31-51 last year were 49-32-1 ATS in the 1st half.

2nd Half Bets

Basketball punters sign-in to their wagering partner at halftime rather than take a break. Bookies release 2nd half odds during halftime (ML, O/U, Team Total & Spread) and some will release odds on 3rd quarter and 4th quarter betting markets as well.

Some punters bet the 2nd half exclusively because they can watch the 1st half and make a decision based on what they see. There are also situations where punters will be able to try and hit a big “middle” or hedge an open bet to guarantee a profit.

Parlay or Multi-Bets

A parlay has 2 or more picks and each selection on the wager has to win for the bet to cash. When you parlay point spreads or O/U selections the payout is fixed based on the number of games. The bookmaker’s edge also increases when adding games.

Money line parlays don’t have fixed odds and the payout is based on the odds of your selections. You’re allowed to parlay most bets together as long as they’re not correlated (Ex – You can’t bet on the Heat Spread & the O/U in the same game).

A similar bet to the parlay is a “double result”, which is one way to bet on a correlated parlay. In the NBA punters can bet on the team they think will win the 1st half and the game (Ex – Heat HT / Heat FT) or on the team they think will win and the over/under.

Teasers & Pleasers

Teasers are bets with 2+ picks that are on the spread or game total, but points come off of the spread/total. The most common NBA teaser is 5.5 pts, but bookmakers offer 4 pt – 16 pt teasers. A traditional 3-team 5.5 pt NBA teaser pays $2.50 odds.

NBA Teaser Example: Lakers -7 (-1.5) + Raptors +4 (+9.5) + Pacers -6 (-0.5)

If the Lakers are a -7 pt favourite and you bet them on a 5.5 pt teaser the adjusted spread would become -1.5 pts only. I don’t bet on teasers in the NBA because points in basketball aren’t nearly as valuable as they are in other sports like football.

NBA Pleaser Example: Lakers -7 (-13) + Raptors +4 (-2)

Pleasers don’t get much attention, but there are times when it can be worth looking at this market. A 6pt NBA pleaser with two teams pays $7.00 odds. If you like two small underdogs to win in the NBA a pleaser can offer enticing payouts instead of the ML.

Futures Bets

NBA futures bets are wagers that can be bet on before/during the season and aren’t graded until the end of the season. You’re betting on the success/failure of a team/player during the NBA season and in most cases the payouts are reasonably high.

NBA Futures Examples:

  • What Team Will Win the NBA Championship?
  • What Team Will Win the Eastern or Western Conference?
  • What Team Will Win the Division? (Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Northwest, Pacific or Southwest)
  • How Many Regular Season Wins Will a Team Have? (Over/Under)
  • What Two Teams Will Play in the NBA Finals?
  • Who Will Win the NBA MVP Award?
  • What Player Will Average the Most Points/Rebounds/Assists During the Regular Season?
  • Over/Under on How Many Points/Rebounds/Assists a Player Will Average

Props Bets

You have most likely seen NBA prop bets at your bookmaker without even noticing. Every game bookies post odds on various markets that allow fans and casual punters to wager on a game without betting on the handicap, money line or over/under.

NBA prop bets allow punters to wager on a single player match-up in a basketball game. Are you a statistical nut? Prop bets are great for fans that understand stats and match-ups. Betting limits are often $100-$500 at most major bookies.

NBA Props Examples:

  • What Team Will Win the Opening Tip-Off?
  • What Team Will Score the 1st Basket, 5 points or 10 points?
  • Over/Under on the Number of Rebounds in a Game
  • Over/Under on How Many Points/Rebounds/Assists a Player Will Have in a Game
  • Kobe Bryant -7.5 Points vs. Jeremy Lin +7.5 Points
  • Dwight Howard -3.5 Rebounds vs. Zach Randolph +3.5 Rebounds
  • Kevin Durant Over 25.5 Points vs. Kevin Durant Under 25.5 Points

How to bet on the NBA

NBA betting is done all over the globe, but it can be confusing for those new to sports betting. This section will give you a step-by-step guide that, with a little commonsense, can be adapted to be your one-stop for all things NBA betting:

  1. Finding a sportsbook that will accept your NBA bets: We are not sure if there is an online basketball betting site that won’t have NBA betting available. It’s the no.1 league in the world and has great betting interest around it. The question you need to answer is what are the gambling laws like in your country? Is sports betting legal? Are there regulated betting sites? Our guide to the top betting sites in the world is a good starting point to finding an NBA sportsbook that will accept your bets. We always recommend betting on the NBA with legal betting sites.
  2. What will you need to sign up at an NBA betting site: As a general rule you will need to prove your identity, have an email address and provide details like name, address and phone number.
  3. Funding NBA betting sites: Payment methods are always a critical part of betting online, you need to be able to fund your account. Often working out whether an online betting site caters specifically to your currency is as simple as checking the deposit options. Globally, some of the more common sportsbook payment methods include Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Neteller.
  4. What kind of bets can I place when wagering on the NBA? On this page we have run you through all the common NBA bet types that you will find when betting on basketball online. Our NBA betting guide will teach you about these bet types, but it’s up to you to understand them.
  5. Placing your NBA bets online: Placing bets on the NBA is easy after you have an understanding. As a general rule you will make your selection and then choose the bet type and amount at the bet slip. Other basketball betting sites will simply list all of the various bets and odds available on the NBA, and when you make your selection you will then be able to choose your stake at the bet slip. You can also parlay or multi up your selections on valid bet types at the bet slip.
  6. Refine your NBA betting strategy: You should always do your homework when betting on the NBA. There is no excuse for betting on a team that has been decimated by injuries, or blowing your entire bankroll on longshots. Use web sites like the World Gambling List to hone your NBA betting craft and understand the nuances.

NBA betting tips & strategy

NBA basketball gives sports bettors the chance of taking home consistent profits because of the ease of scoring and the generally low lines in comparison to other sports.

In fact, a large line in the NBA might be 10 points. That probably seems like a lot, but it really is only a difference of a few baskets. The average NBA basketball game has around four points scored every single minute of the game. So, this high line of 10 points is really the equivalent of one team playing average for roughly 45.5 minutes of the game and dominating the last 2.5 minutes of the game.

Compare this to other sports and you can see why the NBA has a leg up and why it’s a favourite with sports bettors around the world. Sports bettors have the opportunity to bet on sides, totals and proposition bets at just about every decent sportsbook online.

Let’s look at a couple quick tips to help you win more money betting on the NBA.

Bad Teams are bad and Good teams are good

The NBA is not a league of parity, like the NFL. Unlike the NFL, where any team can win on any given Sunday, in the NBA, good teams dominate bad teams. While the basketball is a team sport, in the NBA, one very skilled player can determine a large part of the outcome. A team with two very special players can dominate. Look at the Lakers teams of yesterday with Kobe and Shaq. You could have put pretty much three mannequins with them to complete the required 5-man team on the floor and the Lakers would have still dominated.

Implement bankroll management

We don’t hesitate putting money aside for the mortgage or the rent, but often gambling money will be spent without a second thought. Before you begin betting on the NBA, you need to take stock of how much you can afford to lose. Set yourself a limit and bet in units, don’t blow it on one bet, you think will win. Set yourself up so you are only every spending a percentage of your bankroll. Remember sometimes you will lose, sometimes you will win and you need to remember to walk away in both instances.

Bet against NBA winning or losing streaks at your peril

Don’t think that any team is due to win or due to lose. Teams often go on very long streaks both ways. Sure, it might be tempting to bet on the Atlanta Hawks, who maybe just lost 7 in a row and are receiving 12 points, against the Miami Heat, but don’t be so quick. Remember, 12 points is only 6 baskets or 4 three point hoops. The talent ability (and coaching level) between the two teams is as wide as the Grand Canyon. If you were to play Michael Jordon, do you think being spotted 12 points would give you a good shot to win?

Bet on the NBA totals markets

There’s an absolute fortune to be made playing NBA totals. Many successful sports bettors don’t even bet NBA sides. They make their money betting the totals. Almost every day of the season that has at least a handful of games, sports bettors can find a totals line that is juicy. Totals handicapping can be a little difficult, but if you can get the hang of it, you will be off to the races.

If you have played totals in any other sport, leave those thoughts at the door. Playing the totals in the NBA are much easier than say the NFL or Ice Hockey. That’s because the scoring is much easier. A team must shoot the ball and hit the rim of the basket every 24 seconds or they lose the possession. There’s no ball hogging in this sport. Every single game, you are almost guaranteed at least 120 shot attempts—and that’s if each possession goes the full 24 seconds.

Follow the NBA News

The NBA injury list and team news is available everywhere in the world, so there is no excuses when it comes to placing a bet on a team missing a player. For instance if a name like Lebron James is missing from the Lakers, they might be at juicy odds to win, but they are missing their best player and the guy that determines most of the time, whether they win or lose. Bet smart.

Check the trends for the game

Each game in the NBA will have trends. Trends such as what kind of streak they are on. How many points they are scoring. How they have been doing playing at home or away. You should check both these out before making a final decision on any NBA bet.

Know who is home/away

One of the most important aspects of Online NBA betting is knowing which team is at home, and which team is on the road. Home teams always have an advantage, not just in the NBA, but in every professional sport. Be sure to check out where the game is being played at before making a final bet.

Hopefully you are excited about betting on NBA basketball now and ready to give it a shot. Just remember to take each game as its own individual event (avoid streak betting) and learn to play those totals. You are in for a great time.