Legal NBA Betting

The NBA is one of the biggest and most-watched sports in the world and that extends directly to the popularity of legal NBA betting. Legal NBA betting happens across the world during the season as well as into the postseason, with fans growing in numbers every year. Bettors will even wager on the NBA well into the off-season because of some of the betting lines offered during the draft and free agency period. With 82 games played by each team during the regular season, the intrigue is alive and well and the wagering opportunities are abundant among pro basketball fans. That’s not even counting the millions of fans that are found in other countries such as Spain and China. Some of the best NBA players come from outside of the US and ironically enough so do the best sportsbooks.

While legal sports betting is widely accepted in other foreign territories, it can be difficult to figure out how to legally bet on the NBA in your home state. Sportsbooks have spread outside the confinement of Nevada and have made their way to over a third of all states. Betting on the NBA in these states is as easy as heading down to the sportsbook or logging in to a betting app. However, if you live in a state without one (or do but want better wagering options), then look no further than online international sportsbooks. We’ll break down how you’re able to use these sites without fear of the law, explain how NBA betting lines work, and explain sports betting best practices that can be applied to your NBA wagers, and take you all the way to the NBA Finals.

Online Versus Land-Based NBA Betting

Betting at land based sportsbooks has its benefits, but so do legal online sportsbooks. Land-based NBA betting can serve as a fun experience because this option is often times found in a casino setting. There are plenty of TVs to watch multiple games at once, as well as food and drink available while you watch your bets play out. However, land-based sports wagering can often time come with hidden costs such as the plane ticket or car ride it takes to get there, as well as possibly having to stay the night in the city because of the distance. If you plan to bet on a popular home team then you could possibly see weighted betting lines as well.

This is the advantage that comes with betting on the NBA online. You can do so wherever you have an internet connection and because they are based overseas you’ll be able to see the fairest betting lines for any game that’s about to tip-off. They also tend to come with promotional deals and bonuses that new users and returning members can take advantage of. They even have multiple ways to deposit into your account including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. These are just a few key differences between land-based and online NBA betting.

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Odds To Win 2021 NBA Championship

Entering the playoffs, the spread on the odds to win the 2021 NBA Championship differ mainly by seeding. With a play-in game tournament for some, the favorites are generally set but the longshot NBA teams will be moving up the chain quickly after the first games. Futures betting odds on the 2021 NBA Finals are a great way to cash in big at online sportsbooks. The current favorite for NBA Finals betting is the Brooklyn Nets while the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers come in second.

    How Legal NBA Betting Works

    While there are many options for legal sports betting on the NBA, there are a few key steps you should take before throwing your money at every game. These three checkmarks are simple ways that every responsible sports bettor takes in order to make the most out of their wagers. These will apply to any sportsbook of your choice, no matter if you’re choosing to use an online betting site or land-based sportsbook.

    Shop NBA Betting Lines First

    NBA betting lines can vary from one sportsbook to the next. One of them may have the Golden State Warriors listed at (-3) betting odds, another may have them at (-10). Even though they are the favorite to win that particular matchup in this scenario, your spread bet could be influenced heavily by the line you choose to bet on. Payouts for these bets can vary as well. One of them may have a moneyline set for Golden State at (-150) while another may have them at (-120). In this example, by simply exploring your options and shopping lines you can save 30 dollars on your NBA bet. This is why many sports bettors tend to have more than one online sportsbook account.

    NBA Playoff Trends

    The NBA playoffs are the most exciting games of the year since each team goes all out in pursuit of the NBA championship. Despite the current idea that the regular season does not matter in the playoffs, historically, the highest-seeded teams are the ones who make and win the NBA championship. The last eight NBA title winners were either the first or second seed in their respective conferences. Outside of the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2010 Boston Celtics, and now the 2020 Miami Heat no other team has made the finals that seeded lower than third in their respective conferences over the last eight years. There have been 20 times since the 1999-2000 season that a lower-seeded team has upset a number one seed and advanced to the finals. What this shows sports bettors is that the two teams facing one another will most likely be at least a top-three seed in their conference. It is also fairly common for a number one seed to lose in the playoffs, making for some interesting longshot odds as the playoffs persist.

    Betting On The NBA MVP

    Every year the conversation on what player should receive the NBA MVP award engulfs the league. NBA bettors can place bets on who they think will win the MVP award at legal sports betting sites. Sports bettors can come out winning big acting on longshot choices to win league MVP. As players like Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have won league MVP in years where prior to the season’s start, sports bettors would not have expected them to be the winners. Narratives always affect the MVP betting race and comeback stories always impress the voting pool. The frontrunner to win the 2021 NBA MVP is Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic who is averaging close to a triple double this season while keeping Denver afloat in the Western Conference.

    Betting On Other NBA Awards

    NBA bettors can also bet on award races outside of the MVP Award including the Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and the Most Improved Player awards can all be bet on at legal sports betting sites.

    Betting On the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

    The Defensive Player of the Year award is sometimes overlooked. Typically, the award is given to players in the frontcourt (small forward, power forward, and center). The last time a guard won the DPOY award was when the Seattle SuperSonics Gary Payton won it in 1995-1996. As for the current odds Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is favored at legal sports betting sites to win his third career Defensive Player of the Year award. Right behind Gobert on the odds board is Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons who has started to close the gap between him and Gobert down the stretch.

    Betting On the NBA Sixth Man of The Year Award

    The NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award commends the most impactful player coming off the bench for a team. Legal betting sites list Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson as the heavy favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award with his teammate Joe Ingles miles behind him on the odds board.

    Betting On The NBA’s Most Improved Player

    The NBA’s most improved player highlights the regular season growth of one of the up-and-coming NBA players. New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle is the front runner to win the 2021 NBA Most Improved Player award as he is averaging a career-best 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.1 assists this season. After Randle on the odds board is Detroit Pistons small forward Jerami Grant who is also having a breakout season.

    Betting On the NBA Rookie of the Year Award

    The race for the NBA Rookie of the Year down the stretch of the season as Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards have taken the league by storm. Despite being injured midway through the season LaMelo Ball remains the betting favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award as he is averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in 41 games. Edwards was once favored to win the Rookie of the Year honor, but the looming return of Ball has made his odds longer. Thus far Edwards is averaging 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 62 games. Both Edwards and Ball are deserving of the Rookie of the Year Award and who gets the award will likely be the topic of debate for the remainder of the regular season.

    Making Deposits At Online Sportsbooks

    When making your deposits at online sportsbooks you’ll want to decide how soon you need that deposit to be added to your account along with how much you plan to send. Methods such as bank wire transfers allow you to send thousands of dollars into your account, however, it may take several days for you to be able to use those funds. If you need to send funds faster then your best bet will be to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Those transactions will usually take less than 24 hours to process. Online sportsbooks should have a cashier section on their site to list out all your different deposit options as well as have customer support to help you through the process.

    Claiming NBA Betting Bonuses

    As many online sportsbooks offer bonuses for both returning and first-time bettors, it is good to note how to use sportsbook bonuses when betting on the NBA. The process is simple, sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, MyBookie, and SportsBetting offer bonus codes that sports bettors will enter upon depositing into their accounts. These bonuses will give a certain percent match on the initial deposit. These can be valued at up to $1,000 for legal sports bettors to use to wager on their favorite NBA teams. Bonuses are the best way to increase your betting wallets simply by signing up. Most sportsbooks have rollover requirements for bonuses. It is important to check these so you are aware of how many wagers are required before you can collect your winnings.

    NBA Betting Wager Types


    This is the simplest form of sports betting. You are simply selecting who you believe will win the game, no matter what the final score is. The favorite to win the game is marked with a minus sign and the underdog is given a plus sign. The numbers indicate the payout based on a hundred-dollar ratio. For example, you may see something like this:

    Boston Celtics (-130) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (+150)

    In a game like this, you would have to bet 130 dollars just to win 100 dollars if you pick Boston to win the game. However, if you put your money on the Lakers to win the game, then you only have to bet 100 dollars to win 150 dollars. It’s worth noting that betting on the NBA doesn’t have to be this expensive, most sportsbooks will accept a bet for as little as 5 dollars.


    A totals bet is also known as an over/under bet. This is because in this bet the winner of the game doesn’t matter. What does matter is whether or not the final score combined between both teams goes over or under the amount set by the bookie. If you think the game is going to a high scoring affair then bet the over. If you think it will be more of a slugfest then bet the under.


    Betting on the spread is similar to a moneyline bet, only this time you’re more concerned with the final score of the game. For example:

    Houston Rockets (-7.5) v.s. Miami Heat (+7.5)

    If you bet on the Rockets to win the game they will have to beat the Heat by 8 points or more for your bet to pay out. If the Heat win the game or lose the game by no more than 8 points then a bet on them would pay out.

    Player prop/Team prop

    A player prop bet also isn’t necessarily concerned with the outcome of a game, rather an individual player’s performance. If you think a center is going to get a certain amount of blocks during the game then you can bet on it. If you think a point guard will reach a certain amount of points then you can place a wager on that as well. A team prop bet practically follows the same principle except you are betting on the team’s performance. They could end up losing the game, but if they achieved a certain stat then your bet can still pay out.

    Other Ways To Bet On NBA Games

    There are other ways to bet on NBA games and one of the most popular includes futures bets. These are based on possible outcomes that can happen well before the season even starts. This could include possibly betting on the Golden State Warriors to win the Western Conference, betting on the 76ers to win their division, betting on the Lakers to make the playoffs and more. The odds listed for futures bets change throughout the course of the season and will often provide the best payouts at the beginning of the season.

    Bovada NBA Betting

    Live Betting

    Live betting on NBA games is the most fast-paced form of sports betting there is. That’s because while all the other wagering types we discussed are locked in at opening tip-off, live bets are placed as the game is playing out in real-time. If you think a certain player is going to miss an upcoming free throw then you can bet on it. If you believe an upcoming inbound play is going to result in a turnover then you can bet on that too. These odds change frequently so you have to be quick in order to make the most out of every NBA game. Read more about live in game betting here.

    Mobile NBA Betting

    Mobile sports betting on the NBA is without a doubt the most convenient way to bet on basketball. That is because all you need is a smartphone or tablet and all of the latest odds and wagering types will be available at your fingertips. Online offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting provide mobile-friendly versions of their sites so getting ahold of NBA betting lines is a fast and easy process. They even offer live betting through your mobile device so the next time you’re sitting at an arena you can pull out your phone and start cashing in on the game.