The National Basketball League, or the NBA for the sake of brevity, is the most popular basketball league in the world and as such it offers a wide range of betting chances. In order to get you up to speed about all the various betting markets available in the NBA, we think it’s a good idea to give you a brief overview of how the league is arranged and scheduled.
The NBA consists of 30 teams split equally into two Conferences- the Eastern Conference and the (you guessed it!) Western Conference. These conferences are subdivided into divisions which are based loosely on geographic distribution.
At any rate, each of the 30 teams plays a total of 82 games both in and out of division and conference. The top eight finishers in each Conference are through to the playoffs, with the 1 seed playing the 8 seed (2 vs. 7, etc.) in a best-of-seven series until one team represents each conference in the NBA Finals. Read on and we’ll explain how an NBA Betting Tip is created and what you should pay attention to.
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Topics covered in this article:
How does Bettingformat create NBA Betting Tips?
Who are the favorites in the NBA?
Betting on NBA games
AnalysisWe crunch the numbers, consider the matchups and report our findings to you.Odds ComparisonTake what you've learned from our analysis and find the best odds for you.NBA Odds Comparison
Our in-house experts here at Bettingformat closely monitor the movers and shakers making noise in the NBA. They crunch the numbers, consider the recent performances of the teams, look to previous head-to-head matchups and much more. They then distill their findings into a compact analysis. Hand-in-hand with our research, we also show the betting lines from over 70 bookmakers with the best payout-for-price ratios.
Jakob Pöltl - San Antonio Spurs. Photo: GEPA pictures/Matic Klansek
Who are the favorites in the NBA?
It’s a little trickier to nail down the favorites in NBA than it is for European soccer. With soccer, the teams with deepest pockets tend to enjoy the most success, whereas with the NBA small-market teams, such as the Milwaukee Bucks can prevail over large-market teams like the Chicago Bulls thanks to shrewd drafting from the collegiate ranks and the restrictions of the salary cap. The New York Knicks are a prime example of mismanaged funds and poor drafting, as they have been perennial cellar-dwellers for much longer than any New Yorker cares to tolerate.
The Boston Celtics under the leadership of coaching phenom Brad Stevens or the James Harden show for the Houston Rockets are teams to watch. The betting favorites are the Golden State Warriors from northern California. The Warriors have won three of the last four titles and the addition of ‘Boogie’ Cousins bodes well for their chances this season. We would never wish it on anybody, but injuries can and do occur in sports, so one twisted ankle and perhaps Golden State is right out of contention.
New York Knicks
Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
How does a team reach the NBA Finals?
As we mentioned previously, 30 teams each play 82 regular season games apiece. The teams are evently split into 2 conferences which loosely match their geographic locations of east and west. The top eight teams from each conference move on to the conference playoffs with the 1 seed playing the 8 seed (2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 5 etc.) until a conference champion has been determined. The two conference champs square off in spring in a best-of-seven series to hoist the trophy. In any given round of the playoffs, the team with the better seed is the beneficiary of home-court advantage, wherein a decisive game seven would be played at home.
What are the betting opportunities in the NBA?
We could probably write a book to fully explain all the betting opportunities in NBA games. But since we’re nice, we have complied a short list of the most popular betting variants. In our experience, we’ve seen bookmakers offering up the 38 different betting markets. Of course, you will get your run of the mill options such as bet 1 or 2, but you’ll see exotic lines too, like an over / under on the total number of points in the second quarter. In our analyses, we enjoy suggesting the best gambling variations for that game.
Tip: Because NBA games cannot end in a tie, certain bets like the Double Chance or Draw-no-Bet are mathematically impossible. That said, handicapping is a great way to tweak the odds and rake in some cool cash.
2018: Golden State Warriors
2017: Golden State Warriors
2016: Cleveland Cavaliers
2015: Golden State Warriors
2014: San Antonio Spurs
2018: James Harden (Houston Rockets)
2017: Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
2016: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
2015: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
2014: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Can I place long-term bets on the NBA?
Long-term bets in the NBA are cheerfully accepted by many bookies. We’ve seen everything from your garden variety ‘who will win the NBA Finals?’ and ‘which team will win the Eastern Conference?’ to enticing propositions like ‘will James Harden score more than 100 points in a game?’.
In general, the earlier you place your long-term bet, the better the value of your wager. For example, betting on the league’s Most Valuable Player before the season begins shows real moxie and usually fetches a nice profit. As the season progresses and clear-cut candidates distinguish themselves from the also-rans, those payouts logically decrease.
In our opinion, placing wagers on NBA games is not only fun, but can be a profitable venture as well. When viewed through the lens of long-term bets and handicapping, it’s likely that there will be a wagering opportunity that tickles your fancy. During the course of the season and certainly in the playoffs, you can expect our analyses and betting tips to steer you in the right direction. Don’t forget that we compare the current betting odds from over 70 bookmakers to show you the most attractive lines at any given time.
And, as always, GOOD LUCK!
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