NBA Betting

The NBA is the biggest basketball league in the world, and so it’s no surprise that it also sees a lot of popularity when it comes to sports betting. Increased options to watch American basketball games in the UK has increased popularity, and being able to place in-play bets while watching an NBA game unfold is a huge part of the experience.

NBA betting markets cover individual games, results across the season, and player-based bets such as top points scorers, MVP, and Rookie of the Year. Whether you back your favourite team, the team most likely to win, or a team you have a hunch about, you can bet on the NBA all season here at Bet UK.

History of the NBA

The first NBA season occurred in 1946-47, with the competition known under its previous name of the BAA (Basketball Association of America). It wasn’t until the merger with the NBL (National Basketball League) in 1949 that the league became known as the NBA.

Originally featuring 11 different franchises, the total number competing changed on an almost yearly basis to the 1960s, when things became slightly more stable. That said, the competition would continue to expand every few years until as recently as 2004, when the current 30-team format was established. Most are based in either the Central or Eastern time zones, with only five in the Pacific.

NBA Teams

The 30 sides in the NBA are as follows:

  • 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
  • Los Angeles 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

NBA Betting Markets

At Bet UK, we count ourselves among the best basketball betting sites in the UK, and that’s partially down to our wide range of markets for the sport. Whether you’re looking at betting options on which team’s going to win the NBA Championship, wanting to bet on who’s going to be the Most Valuable Player, predicting the outcome of a single NBA game, or correctly calling the total number of points, we’ve got you covered.

We also offer live in-play betting, so you can place your NBA bets while the action unfolds. In-play betting provides opportunities to place bets based on how you perceive the game’s events, as well as providing opportunities for better odds.

Outright NBA Betting

Also known as NBA futures betting, outrights involve predicting long-term outcomes in advance. The best NBA odds for outright betting will usually be found before the regular season begins, as there is no form or data to go on when making predictions.

Outright NBA bets include predicting the winner of the Championship, who will be the best individual performers across the year, and which teams will achieve success in their respective Divisions and Conferences. You can also bet on similar outcomes for the WNBA, the pinnacle of the women’s game.

Outright NBA Betting: Championship Winner

One of the most common NBA futures markets surrounds the overall winner of the NBA Championship. One of the most intriguing things about the competition is its unpredictability, with teams equally capable of creating a dynasty as they are to fall from grace entirely.

For example, the Golden State Warriors have contested six of the most recent eight NBA Finals (winning four), while teams such as the Toronto Raptors, LA Lakers, and Milwaukee Bucks have appeared only once in that time, albeit each winning the title on those occasions. The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns were less fortunate during their solo appearances.

After a small blip, the Golden State Warriors returned to form in 2022, winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time since 2018. The odds on them to do so again are still fairly impressive.

Previous NBA winners:

YEAR TEAM
2022 Golden State Warriors
2021 Milwaukee Bucks
2020 LA Lakers
2019 Toronto Raptors
2018 Golden State Warriors

Outright NBA Betting: Team Bets

In addition to betting on the NBA Finals outright winner, there are other team NBA bets available as part of outright sportsbook markets. These include betting on the winners of Divisions or Conferences, as well as predicting how a team will perform overall, such as whether they’ll make the playoffs or not.

The NBA is split into six different Divisions, and two separate Conferences. The Eastern Conference contains the Atlantic, Central, and Southeast Divisions. Meanwhile, the Western Conference contains the Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest Divisions.

Outright NBA Betting: Player Bets

Similarly to team bets, you can also make predictions on how individual basketball players will perform. While you can bet on who will be the top scorer in individual matches via prop bets, outright player betting markets in the NBA look at the bigger picture.

The MVP award is given to the most impactful player over an entire season. Recent recipients include Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, although the most decorated player ever in this category is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for his displays at both the Lakers and the Bucks in the 1970s. While heavyweights such as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James struggle for fitness, it might be worthwhile looking at betting odds slightly further afield.

NBA Match Betting

Betting on NBA matches ahead of game day requires a knowledge of a few different markets, and aligning that knowledge with your predictions for outcomes during the contest. Betting on which team will win, how much they’ll win by, the total number of points in a game, and who will be the star players are all available options to you.

NBA Match Betting: Line Bets

Line bets, also known as the moneyline, are simply a prediction on which team will win. In NBA betting, you don’t have to worry about a draw, as overtime periods are used to determine a winner for each game. Generally, home teams will be given a slight advantage in the NBA odds, which can make predicting an away win slightly more valuable in some cases. Either way, understanding and paying attention to changes in betting lines can lead to placing a more informed NBA bet.

NBA Match Betting: Spread Bets

Spread bets are based on handicaps, where the favourite will have a points deficit to overcome, and an underdog will have a points surplus to help them towards getting a win. The purpose of these is to make a matchup more even. The points spread is calculated based on form, with teams more closely matched on paper given a smaller points spread, and those further apart given higher figures.

NBA Match Betting: Points Bets

Points bets cover the total number of points scored by either the home team, the away team, or both combined. Total points bets are a popular market because they don’t require you to predict the outcome, and can still lead to winning wagers even if the favourite loses to the underdog, for example.

NBA Match Betting: Prop Bets

Proposition bets, often shortened to prop bets, cover the statistical performances of players and teams. Generally, they involve elements such as points, rebounds and assists. For example, you may bet on Nikola Jokic to score over 22.5 points in an NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz. If he scores 23 or more, you win the wager. 22 or less and you lose.

Team proposition bets offer you the chance to focus on the behaviour of just one side rather than both. For example, the first to 20 points market sees you bet on which team will win the race to hit the target total. In-play markets allow you to place similar bets along the way.

NBA Betting FAQ

When Are the NBA Playoffs?

The NBA playoffs begins after the regular season ends. For the 2022/23 season, the playoffs are scheduled for April to June.

How Many Games in an NBA Season?

Each team plays 82 NBA games across a season, 41 at home, and 41 away. These consist of games against opposition from same Divisions and Conferences, as well as teams from other groups.

What Does NBA Stand For?

NBA stands for the National Basketball Association, the premium basketball league in the United States of America.

What Does +7 Spread Mean in NBA Betting?

A +7 spread refers to the underdog being given an additional 7 points to their total score at the end of the contest. A -7 spread means the favourite is being deducted 7 points, and has to win by 8 or more.

When Does the NBA Season Start?

NBA action gets underway in October, with the regular season lasting until April. This is followed by the Eastern and Western Conferences Playoffs, before each Conference winner meets in the NBA Finals in June.