The National Basketball Association (NBA), may not hold as much interest for Canadians from a spectator point of view, it remains a big draw for the wider betting community. Whereas other sports such as MLS, MLB and NHL host a number of Canada’s finest, NBA only gives us the Toronto Raptors to cheer on.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter because the championship is popular all over north America and there are lots of ways to get involved from a betting point of view.
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NBA Betting Tips
Those of us who like to bet do so for two reasons: Firstly, a punt in moderation can help our enhancement of the game but of course, we really want to win profits on a regular basis. We could be completely lazy and just seek out the cappers and tipsters but with a very few exceptions, their records are mixed.
Winning thanks to our own insight is the sweetest way to turn a profit but it all starts with lots of research. The two key areas to look at in this respect are form and head to head statistics. Form would date back to maybe the last six games against all opponents and this will show if a team is at the peak of their game or if they are simply underperforming.
That’s the starting point and from this stage, there are some general points that apply to most team sports. Home court advantage does often play a part and many who observe basketball from afar might find this a little strange. After all, a court is a court but it seems that a noisy, partisan crowd can help to lift a home team and see them through to the win.
It doesn’t apply to every team and some squads might deliver better results on the road but all the stats are there to help punters identify this particular trend.
Moving forward, like a lot of north American sports, the fatigue factor can play a part in NBA games. On occasions, we may see a team playing two or even three matches in the course of four days before coming up against a side who are much fresher. In this case, while it’s not a guaranteed situation, the fresher side will often come through.
More advanced strategies can be found all over the net and you are always free to test out the cappers to see how they perform over a period of time. Take all of this information on board and it may help to turn those odds in your favour.
NBA Betting Odds
Odds are at the heart of all sports: They are just ‘there’ so why do they command their own section of this review? Firstly, it’s important to understand that bookmakers can show their odds in three different ways: American, Decimal and Fractional.
Fractional odds are the more traditional but they only tend to be favoured in the UK while most European bettors like to use the decimal alternative. As for American odds, there are no prizes for guessing that these are the preferred option in the US and Canada. It therefore helps if your chosen bookmaker defaults to American odds or, at the very least, allows you to switch to this option.
The other, more obvious point about odds is that we want them to be competitive ones. It’s good to find a sportsbook that can actually take the time to meet regulations and open its doors to Canadian customers but we need value for money.
If your favourite bookmaker is listed on the main odds comparison sites then it’s really very easy to see if they are offering good value for money. Just pick out an NBA game that you’re interested in betting on and a list of prices will appear. Check the odds from your sportsbook and compare them with others on the list. Quickly repeat this three or four times and you’ll know whether you’re getting value for money or not.
If they are not on those odds comparison sites then the process is essentially the same if a little more laborious. Simply head to the basketball section of the sportsbook and check against the odds comparison portals once again. Four match results will be enough to gauge whether the value is there.
NBA Betting Lines
The term ‘line’ is used to describe any bet type quoted by your sportsbook. It can apply to any sport but we’re focusing on the NBA here so we will keep it specific to basketball. Lines are described as markets in other parts of the world but the meaning is exactly the same and they start in an obvious way.
Betting on the result in any basketball match is simple to carry out as there are only two possible outcomes. We’re just staking on a win for either side and if a game does go into overtime, the bet is carried on until we have a winner.
Betting on a straight win, also called the moneyline bet, is the place where most of us start our journey but there are lots more options when it comes to NBA. Basketball is a sport where points play a vital role and a number of additional betting lines are opened around them.
We’ve now moved into the territory of prop bets: Also known as side markets, these are betting lines on things that can occur during a game that don’t necessarily have a bearing on the final outcome. Points are a good option here because you could bet, for example, on over 160.5 points dropping in and it doesn’t matter who wins the match. As long as that points threshold is reached then you will be paid out.
Similarly, while the combined points total bet is the more popular, it’s also possible to bet on Over or Under lines for each of the two teams involved. Once again, they do not necessarily have an effect on the result of the game so we can file them as Prop Bets.
Betting lines in relation to points can also extend to a ‘Race to 15’ or a ‘Race to 20’. As those names indicate, the bet relates to the first team to reach a certain points threshold as nominated by the sportsbook.
Other lines can relate to a result at half time so, in this case, we will be staking on which team we think will be ahead at the interval. It doesn’t matter if they go on to win the game – as long as they are ahead at the break then the bet will land.
Most sportsbooks will happily get involved in these prop bets: there are others but they are far more obscure and a smaller set of bookmakers will get involved. Check your own sportsbook for further details but this is a comprehensive summary of the type of lines you will find from the main operators.
NBA Betting Sites
Now we know more about NBA betting tips and the markets we want to target, it’s time to look for a good sportsbook. Not all operators are created equal and some are better for players in Canada than others.
We’re looking for flexibility and we’ve already mentioned that we’d like to play in $CAD and be able to set to American odds if possible. Beyond that, we want the same as any bettor in any country – a good choice of markets and some competitive pricing along the way.
Here, then, are our recommendations for top NBA sportsbooks.