The Ultimate Guide to NBA Betting

Last updated: by Leon Marshal

The NBA is the most famous basketball league in the world and is watched regularly by millions throughout the globe. NBA betting is also becoming increasingly popular with the UK audience. In this ultimate guide to betting on the sport, we’ll help you find the best NBA betting sites, secure a great bonus and know which bookmakers offer value for money and much more.

The table above shows the wide-ranging topics that we will cover in this guide. We’ve checked all the legal bookmakers in the UK and have shortlisted the best of them. To enable you to compare them, we have collated all the bonus offers, worked out the payout rates and highlight any extras that add to your enjoyment while betting on NBA games.

The Best UK Legal NBA Betting Sites

As there are many online sports betting sites, customers have a wide range of choices when it comes to picking a bookmaker or sportsbook. However, the downside of having so much choice is that it can be a daunting task to find a great NBA betting site, especially if you are new to the sport or indeed online betting.

The Five Best NBA Betting Sites
Bookmaker Rating Essential Info Welcome Bonus Secure Link T&C
5.0 out of 5 Betting Types: 68 NBA Streaming: Yes Odds Levels: 97.27% £10 Full T&Cs Apply! *New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.
5.0 out of 5 Betting Types: 78 NBA Streaming: Yes Odds Levels: 97.32% £20 Full T&Cs Apply! 18+ New UK+IRE customers only. PayPal and certain deposit types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.
5.0 out of 5 Betting Types: 82 NBA Streaming: Yes Odds Levels: 97.19% £100 Full T&Cs Apply! Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
4.8 out of 5 Betting Types: 82 NBA Streaming: Yes Odds Levels: 97.41% £30 Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
4.7 out of 5 Betting Types: 68 NBA Streaming: Yes Odds Levels: 96.97 £20 Full T&Cs Apply! *18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions apply.

However, we make choosing a sportsbook a simple and straightforward process as we’ve done all the hard work for you. We have years of experience of betting and have reviewed and tested all the UK legal NBA betting sites and basketball betting sites, and we have selected the five that we feel are exceptional. In the next few sections, we will explain some of the criteria that we use to evaluate the online bookmakers.

What to Look for to Find the Best NBA Betting Sites:

  • Payout – Which bookmakers offer the best pay-out rates for NBA.
  • In-Play and Streaming – You can place bets while the game is on and watch live
  • Promotions – Finding you the best new customer deals at NBA betting sites
  • Betting Types – Exploring the different types of bets you can place on NBA

NBA Betting Odds Levels

Betting is all about trying to win money, therefore choosing a bookmaker that offers competitive odds is vital. As even small differences in odds can soon add up over time, doing research can be very beneficial to your bankroll. We are confident that the NBA betting sites that we recommend offer great value for money.

NBA Betting Sites: Odds Levels
Betting site Betway Ladbrokes bet365 888sport Coral
Min. Level 96.53% 96.02% 96.17% 95.63% 95.36%
Max Level 97.03% 97.77% 97.17% 97.23% 96.69%

To back up our claims, we tested fifteen random NBA games over a period of three weeks. We checked Betway, Ladbrokes, Bet365, 88sport and Coral to see what prices were on offer at the sportsbooks. We then entered the prices for a home win, and an away win and the draw at the end of regulation time into a vig calculator (short for vigorish) which enables us to work out the payout rate that you see above. All of the sites had payout rates of over 95%.

NBA In-Play Betting and Streaming

Technology has transformed how we bet and long gone are the days when you needed to place bets on a game before it started. Today it is possible to bet while the action is on, even up until the 4th quarter. This ability to bet in-play opens up a massive range of possibilities that you can take advantage of.

At the best NBA betting sites, not only can you place bets during the game and take advantage of odds fluctuations, you can even watch the game as you bet. Great sports betting sites, such as, allow you to stream live NBA games using your mobile phone, tablet or pc. Meaning that no matter where you are, you’ll never miss a second of the action.

Betting on NBA: the Promotions

One of the greatest things about online sports betting is being able to claim exclusive bonuses and promotions when you send up with a bookmaker. As competition is fierce, companies are wanting you as a customer and will offer incentives for you to join them. These can range from free bets, matched deposits or no-risk bets, all of which can give you more funds to stake.

888sport nba promotions
The Top Bookmaker for Promotions on NBA
  • Bet £10 Get £30
  • Odds level up to 98.07%
  • £5 Daily Free Bet
  • Huge NBA Section
Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply

The type of new customer offer you should choose depends on how you plan to bet. If you are a casual bettor, low commitment deals, such as the one available at Ladbrokes are ideal. For promotions on NBA betting, 888sport seem to be the best. You can find out much more about welcome bonuses on our dedicated page.

The Most Popular Betting Types For NBA

We’ve discussed how technology has enabled us to enjoy innovations such as in-play betting and streaming, another area in which computing has revolutionised betting is in the different things you can bet on. Far from just being able to bet on a team to win, there are dozens of different betting types you can place. In this section, we take a detailed look at some of the most popular ones that punters place when NBA betting.

NBA Team to Win Betting

One of the most straightforward bets you can place at NBA betting sites.

For this bet to see a return, all you need to predict is who will win the match.

As there can only be three outcomes; a win for the home team, a win for the away team or the draw.

It’s worth noting that at bookmakers if a game is tied and overtime is played, and the team you backed wins, your bet would’ t see a return as the bet only applies to standard game time.

If you want to avoid this situation, you can include the draw in your bet; (1x or x2 betting), the odds are lower as a result, but it gives a degree of forgiveness.

Under/Over NBA Betting

The under over NBA betting market As basketball games can often be high scoring affairs, a popular market for NBA betting is the under/over market.

A win for this bet means you have correctly predicted whether the combined score in a game will be under or over a specific total set by the bookmaker.

For example, the sports betting site sets a points total of 232.5.

A recent match-up between Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls finished 115-108, in that game an under bet would win (123 is under 232.5), and an over bet would lose.

NBA Handicap Betting

In the history of the NBA, some teams have enjoyed dominance over other clubs for long periods. The Milwaukee Bucks, for example, won eighteen games in a row between 11th November – 15th December 2009.

So, as you can imagine, a team on a winning streak isn’t offered at favourable odds at the bookmakers.

Therefore, handicap betting is a great solution when NBA online betting, as one team is given a headstart, this is reflected in the odds.

NBA Prop Betting

Nba prop betting A proposition bet can be best described as a side bet as the outcome of these bets are not determined by the outcome of any particular game, but rather throughout a season.

Many bets concentrate on the players, such as betting on most points scored, most assists etc.

Other NBA prop bets focus on the team, such as most wins in a season and who will score most points.

NBA Playoffs Betting

American football has the Super Bowl, baseball has the World Series and of course, the NBA has the playoffs.

At the end of the regular season, the top eight teams in each conference (East and West) qualify for the playoffs.

A best-of-7 knockout format a team must win in the First-round, Conference semifinals, Conference finals before competing in the NBA finals.

Predicting who will win the finals is one of the most popular NBA bets placed as it’s available all year long at most bookmakers.

The NBA: A Quick Overview

Formed in 1946, The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a basketball league in North America that currently comprises of thirty teams. Originally called the Basketball Association of America (BAA), in 1949, teams from a rival league, the American Basketball League merged with the BAA to create the NBA. A more recent threat came in the form of the American Basketball Association. It ran from 1967 before merging with the NBA in 1976.

The national basketball association logo NBA Name: National Basketball Association
Headquarters: New York
Founded: 1946
Teams: 30
Teams at Playoffs: 16
Season Start Month: October
Season End Month: June

While the NBA has had to fight off challengers for its status as Americas premier basketball league, the mergers with the former rivals brought enhancements that shaped the game we love. ABA was seen as a more exciting league according to many fans, their pioneering introduction of the three-point line and the three-point field goal. We can also thank other organisations for the 30-second shot clock (NBA’s was 24 seconds), the colourful basketballs (NBA’s were dull orange) and the infamous slam-dunk challenge (ABA started this in 1976).

Top Teams in the NBA

Despite being the youngest of America’s top sporting leagues, the NBA has an interesting history with plenty of stand-out teams since its inception in 1946. The first team to dominate the championship were the Boston Celtics. Featuring legendary players such as Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966. This run of NBA wins is still the record held today.

The Most Successful Teams of the NBA
Team Championships City Founded Stadium
Boston Celtics 17 Boston 1946 TD Garden
Los Angeles Lakers 16 Los Angeles 1947 Staples Centre
Golden State Warriors 6 San Francisco 1946 Chase Centre
Chicago Bulls 6 Chicago 1966 United Center
San Antonio Spurs 5 San Antonio 1967 AT&T Center

If you were betting on the NBA at the beginning of the millennium, the Los Angeles Lakers were the team to back. After successful spells in the 1950s (1950, 1952, 1953, 1954) and the 1980s (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) the Lakers won five championships in ten years (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010). However, for many, the best team ever was the Chicago Bulls team of the late 1980s. Featuring Michael Jordan, the Bulls were 6x NBA champions (1991–1993, 1996–1998).

Legends of the NBA

You can often tell the age of a person by asking them who is their favourite NBA player of all-time. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be a name mentioned by anyone who followed sports in the 1960s, the Milwaukee Bucks (1969-1975) and Los Angeles Lakers (1975-1989) player was an NBA champion six times and was NBA’s MVP on six occasions. Kids from the eighties (and watchers of Netflix’s The Last Dance) will tell you how amazing Michael Jordan was whereas the younger audience will swear by Tim Duncan.

The Top Players in NBA History
Player Seasons Championships MVP Titles Points
Tim Duncan 1997–2016 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2003) 26,496
Shaquille O’Neal 1992-2011 4× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2006) NBA Most Valuable Player (2000) 28,596
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1969-1989 6× NBA champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) 6× NBA Most Valuable Player (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980) 38,387
LeBron James 2003- 3× NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016) 4× NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) 19,745
Michael Jordan 1984-2003 6× NBA champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998) 5× NBA Most Valuable Player (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998) 32,292

The age-old question of who is the best player of all time is certainly not one we are going to attempt to answer, never argue about politics, religion and who greatest NBA player of all time is probably a good stance to take. However, few could argue that the five players we have listed in the table above haven’t made an enormous contribution to the sport over the last 60 years.

NBA Interesting Facts and Figures

After looking at some of the best players and teams that have graced NBA, we will now drop the pace a bit! We will share some of the interesting stats and figures we have discovered over the years. These tidbits of information are unlikely to help you win at NBA betting sites but should provide intriguing nonetheless.

Money, Money, Money

nba logo with dollar bills It’s no surprise that the top stars earn a lot of money in the NBA. The ten highest earners were paid a combined total of $386m in 2020/21 alone.

Top earner is Stephen Curry; the Golden State Warriors’ player is on $43,006,362 per year.

Alongside Stephen Curry, there four other NBA stars that earn more than $40,000.

John Wall (Washington Wizards) and James Harden (Houston Rockets ) both receive $41,254,920 per year and Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets) both earn $41,358,814. Despite all the money in the game, a surprisingly high number of players struggle financially as 60% of NBA players become broke after five years of retirement.

Christmas NBA Games

nba action christmas games The popularity of the sport, especially Stateside, can at least in part be attributed to a masterstroke by the NBA in scheduling games for Christmas Day. A tradition since 1947, the National Basketball Association Christmas games are the only major sport to play on Christmas Day, guaranteeing large TV audiences.

Whoever had the novel idea to stage NBA games at Christmas hopefully earned themselves a decent pay rise as it was a decision that brought millions of fans to the sport. As the NHL is prevented from running games at Christmas due to player contract stipulations and NFL only play fixtures when the holidays coincide with a weekend, the NBA enjoys almost exclusive coverage.

Unlucky in Life

Unlucky basketball players Age isn’t such a barrier in table tennis, unlike the vast majority of sports and you can see proof of this at the World Veterans Table Tennis Championships. There are no qualifying rounds, and the tournament is open to anyone over the age of 40 in the year of the event to take part. Age categories are divided into decades (players in their 40’s, players in their 50’s, players in their 60’s etc.) and there is even a competition for those aged 85 and over.

Maravich’s tragic story is far from the only bad luck instance in the NBA. At 22 years of age, Derrick Rose was named MVP, the youngest ever player to gain the award after averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists, and four rebounds per game in the 2010-2011 season. The next season, however, would be a nightmare for Rose. A sprained toe caused one game to be missed, and then four more missed games followed just five days later. Then lower back pain cased a five-game absence which was soon followed with a 12-game break due to a groin injury. He missed 26 games that season. Six years later he became a free agent.

Little & Large

Small and tall basketballers When you picture a basketball player, you’ll inevitably be imagining a tall player, likely to be over 7 feet tall. However, not all basketball players fit that mould, especially Muggsy Bogues who stood only 5′ 3″.

The tallest player ever to play in the NBA was Manute Bol who was 7′ 7″ and excelled in shot-blocking and converting rebounds. The shortest was Muggsyu Bogues, who was an astonishing 2′ and four inches shorter than Manute. Despite his small stature, Bogues was valuable to his team due to the number of steals he made. What is fascinating is that both players played in the same team, in the 1987-1988 season for the Washington Bullets.

NBA Online Betting Conclusions

There are plenty of NBA bookmakers in the UK, and placing bets is simple and straightforward. American sports betting and NBA betting, in particular, is becoming more and more popular with the British public. In-play betting is excellent and adds to the excitement, and you can also stream games to your mobile devices at selected bookmakers which is a plus.

Betway nba betting top site Our top pick for NBA Betting VISIT SITE!

If you are new to NBA betting, all of our recommended NBA betting sites offer a wide range of data which helps when doing your research before betting. We found that bookmakers offered a good range of games featured, and there was a broad range of betting types that could be placed. We also found that there is a wide range of welcome bonuses available which you can take advantage of if you open a new account with the bookmaker.

Frequently Asked Questions About NBA Betting

We have now come to the end of our NBA betting guide, and in this last section, we will cover the most common questions we are often asked about betting on NBA games, NBA playoffs betting and other NBA betting topics. To help you get to the answers quickly, we have added links to the answers, so if you want more information, click away!

Can I Settle My NBA Bet Early?

You sure can, in-play betting is an example of how bookmakers have embraced modern technology. You can now decide to take the money and run if you are in a winning position but are worried things may soon change. Alternatively, sometimes it is better to take a small loss in order to bet another day. The choice is yours! For more information on live betting, you can read more here.

Is NBA Betting Legal in the UK?

Absolutely, long gone are the days of the unscrupulous backstreet bookie! All of our recommended NBA betting sites that we feature on this page are fully licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Being regulated means, the bookmaker has to ensure they offer the highest standards in both security and safety. For added peace of mind, all the bookmakers offer a wide variety of payment methods which can help ensure your funds are always safe.

Do NBA Bookmakers Have Special Promotions?

The UK sports betting market is very competitive, and as a result, bookmakers offer some very enticing promotions for you to try their service. These new customer deals range from free bets to deposit matching and are a great way to boost the amount of money you have available to bet with. To find out more about these special offers, check out our dedicated section.