NBA: What Is It?
As mentioned above, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league that takes place annually in North America. The league is one of four professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada and is the premier basketball league for men in the world, with its players being the best-paid athletes by average annual salary.
The league’s season runs from October to April, while the playoff tournament runs through to June. The NBA league consists of 30 teams – 29 from the United States and one from Canada – that are split into two conferences, Eastern and Western, and then split into three divisions with five teams in each. All 30 teams play 82 games, 41 at home and 41 away, and these games are split into four quarters with a total run time of 48 minutes. After all 82 games have been played, the best 16 teams enter the NBA Playoffs, which determines the winner of the league. More details on the NBA Playoffs can be found below.
NBA Teams & Players
As we’ve mentioned, there are a total of 30 teams that participate in the NBA league, and they include:
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Hornets
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Denver Nuggets
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Utah Jazz
- Golden State Warriors
- LA Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Phoenix Suns
- Sacramento Kings
- Dallas Mavericks
- Houston Rockets
- Memphis Grizzlies
- New Orleans Pelicans
- San Antonio Spurs
Each of these NBA teams has up to 17 players, and some feature incredibly famous basketball players, including LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, James Harden and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, and so many others.
How Does The NBA Work?
Rules & Positions
The rules of NBA games follow those of basketball, although there can be some slight differences. Games feature a minimum of eight players and a maximum of 15 (A maximum of 12 in most ordinary basketball games), with a maximum of five players from each team on the court at any given time. Both teams play against each other to shoot basketballs through the hoop of the opposing team while defending their hoop. If one team successfully scores when they have possession, then the other team takes possession. If one team is unsuccessful in scoring when they have possession, either team can take possession of the ball.
The five players on the court each play a unique position; point guard, centre, power forward, shooting guard, and small forward, all of which have different responsibilities within the game. The positions and their responsibilities include:
- Point Guard: These players run the offence, tries to steal the ball, and is usually the team’s best dribbler and passer
- Centre: These players are usually the tallest on the team, tries to score shots, and is responsible for blocking opponents’ shots
- Power Forward: These players are similar to centre players, responsible for defending taller players and taking longer shots
- Shooting Guard: These players are usually the team’s best shooter and are responsible for making shots from long distances
- Small Forward: These players play all over the court and are able to shoot from both short and long distances
NBA Points & Fouls
Making points in NBA games is done by shooting the basketball through the opposing team’s hoop. The number of points scored will depend on where the basketball is shot from. For example, free throws award one point, shots from inside the three-point line award two points, and shots from outside the three-point line award three points.
NBA games also have fouls, which can be awarded to players during the game, and there are a limited number of fouls teams and players can be given within a game before facing severe consequences. There are six different types of fouls, and they include:
- Personal Fouls: Fouls given to players who make physical contact with opposing players, which is banned in basketball
- Flagrant Fouls: Fouls given to players who commit personal fouls that can potentially injure opponents. Obtaining these fouls can lead to fines, ejection, and more
- Loose Ball Fouls: Fouls given to players for physical contact when trying to gain possession of a “loose” basketball
- Offensive Fouls: Fouls given to a player when they commit a personal foul when their team posses the ball. These fouls are usually given for charging (Making contact with a defensive player) and illegal ball screens (When a non-ball-handling player moves and setting up a screen for their teammate)
- Technical Fouls: Fouls given to players for fighting and verbal abuse or given to coaches for disruption. A player or coach that earns two technical fouls within the same game are pulled
- Team Fouls: Each NBA team is given a total of five fouls per quarter and once they surpass this, the opposing team is given a free throw for each additional foul
There are several other penalties within basketball, including Excessive Timeouts when teams attempt to use more than six of their authorised timeouts, Delay Of Game when a player interferes or prevents play, Traveling when players shift one or both of their feet, Double Dribble when players end their tribble by catching or resting the ball in both hands and then dribbling the ball again, and there are numerous others too.
What Are The NBA Playoffs?
As mentioned, the NBA Playoffs are a series of games that take place after the 82 NBA league games and determine which team wins the league. A total of 16 teams compete in the NBA Playoffs, eight of the best teams from the Eastern and Western conferences ranked in order by win-loss records.
However, the NBA made changes to its Playoff format for the 2020/21 season. From now on, the Playoff tournament features a total of eight teams; four teams ranked seventh to 10th from each conference. Teams within the same conference will play against each other in elimination games until one team remains for each conference. The two remaining teams will then battle it out for the NBA title in what’s known as the NBA Finals, which are held in June. The winning team wins the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, the players and coach all receive a championship ring, and the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is given to the best performing player.
NBA Betting In UK
NBA Betting Explained
Although the NBA is primarily a US-based sports league, NBA betting in the UK is possible as many people across the United Kingdom enjoy betting on the big-name competition. Thankfully, betting on the NBA from the UK is possible and accepted at most major betting websites. Before we go through what the best websites for NBA betting in the UK are, it’s a good idea to go through how betting on the NBA works and explain some of the common bets you can place.
Like with all other sports, to bet on the NBA, you’ll need to find an online sportsbook that accepts bets on the league. You’ll then need to register with it and verify your account by providing the website’s customer support team with the following documents:
- Identity: Passport or driver’s license
- Address: Bank statement or utility bill
Once your account has been verified, you’ll have to make a deposit, and only after this has all been done will you be able to place bets on the NBA.
The Different Bets
What’s also important to note is that there are several different types of bets available for you to place on the NBA. The bets available for you to place will depend on the betting website you’re registered with, but they can generally include:
- Point Spread: Betting on which team you believe will outperform the sportsbook’s point spread system
- Moneyline: Betting on which team you believe will win a match or event
- Totals: Betting on what you believe will be the total number of points scored in a game
- Over/Under: Betting on whether the total points made in the game is over or under the sportsbook’s prediction
- Propositions: Unique bets that wager on specific occurrences happening within a game, such as blocks, fouls, and more
- Parlay: Placing two or more different bets on the same game, and all bets must hit to win
Some betting sites will offer other bets for NBA games, but the wagers we’ve mentioned above are the most common that you’ll find. For anyone new to NBA betting, it may be a good idea for you to stick to simple bets, like Totals, Moneylines, and Over/Unders. Only when you’re familiar with the sport and how betting works would we suggest you try the other bets.
Many websites like Unibet also allow live-play betting or in-play betting, where you can live-stream a game or event on the sportsbook’s website and place bets as it’s playing. Many people enjoy live-play betting because it allows them to watch the game and place their bets depending on what occurs. However, the odds are subject to change as the game plays out, which means it can be a little risky live-play betting.
NBA Betting Odds & Lines
Generally speaking, NBA betting odds in the United Kingdom will be displayed in their ordinary form as either fractions or decimals. These odds can help you determine the probability of your bet occurring as well as working out how much you might win for placing that bet. For example, a wager with NBA betting odds of 6/2 means for every £2 you wager, you earn £6. When it comes to placing a wager with decimal NBA betting odds, your winnings are worked out by dividing the odds by your stake and deducting the total from your stake.
However, it’s also important to note that NBA games, as well as numerous American sports, use a point spread system, which is the margin of victory for a game used to even out the odds between teams. Known as NBA betting lines, sportsbooks will favour a certain team or player for a game and mark them down in points based on the gap in ability between the competitors. For example, favoured teams will be displayed with a minus sign, while the undergo team will be displayed with a positive sign.
This point spread system or NBA betting lines are used by gamers when placing point spread bets. For example, if team one was favoured with a point spread of -5.4, they will need to win a game by six points or more for wagers to win. Meanwhile, if the second team has a point spread of +5.4, they will need to lose by up to five points or win the game for wagers to win. In short, when placing a point spread bet, you’re wagering that the favoured team beats the point spread and that the underdog covers the spread. NBA betting lines and the point spread system can be complicated at first glance, but you’ll quickly get used to it!
It’s also important to note that the NBA betting odds available at sportsbooks will differ between websites. We suggest that you always shop around before confirming any bets to ensure that you’re placing a bet with the best odds possible and win the best possible amount.
NBA Betting UK Sites: Our Picks
As we’ve already explained, most UK betting sites actually accept NBA bets. Since there are dozens of betting websites available in the United Kingdom, it can be difficult narrowing down which you should register with for NBA betting in the UK. If you don’t feel like filtering through the dozens of websites available, you can take a look at some of our suggestions below:
BetVictor is an online sports betting website that is operated by BetVictor Limited. The sportsbook allows you to wager on various sports, including NBA games, tennis, boxing, general basketball games, horse racing, eSports, and more. If that isn’t enough, the website also offers a range of casino games, live titles, and bingo rooms for you to enjoy. Check our BetVictor review for more information.
Bet365 is a gambling website that allows you to wager on sports, including NBA games, and enjoy various casino games too. The sportsbook offers various promotions for new users, such as up to £100 in bet credits, along with boosted odds and plenty more for you to enjoy. More details about the website can be found in our Bet365 review.
SportPesa is another online sportsbook that allows you to place bets on NBA games. In addition, registered users can enjoy betting on other sports, including cricket, darts, golf, MMA, ice hockey, boxing, rugby, snooker, as well as access to a great selection of casino games too. Check out our SportPesa review for more information on the website.
Virgin Bet, an online betting website based on the Virgin brand, is another website that allows you to wager on NBA games and numerous other sports, including horse racing, tennis, American football, chess, cycling, eSports, and more. You can also enjoy a great selection of casino games and promotions, and use any of the several accepted payment methods. Take a look at our Virgin Bet review for more.
Our final suggestion for the best NBA betting UK site is William Hill, one of the biggest sports betting brands in the United Kingdom. Alongside the website’s main sports betting offering, users can also enjoy a diverse catalogue of casino games, as well as live casino titles, bingo rooms, poker games, and plenty more. The site is praised for its customer support and variety of promotions, and it accepts most major payment options. Want to know more? Our William Hill review has all the information you need.
All of the NBA betting UK websites we’ve mentioned above are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, which means they’re completely safe for you to play at. As we’ve already mentioned, it may be a good idea for you to check with several websites and register with those that provide you with the best odds, so shop around!
Finding The Best NBA Betting UK Site For You
If you’d rather find betting sites yourself, there are several factors you’ll need to analyse to find the best NBA betting site for yourself. In short, the best NBA betting site for you will be whichever website meets your requirements. It’s important that the website you want to register with allows you to bet on the various sports you’re interested in. It’s also important that the website provides you with the best possible odds and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, ensuring that it’s safe for you to play at and you’re protected while doing so.
Depending on your preference, you’ll also want to check what other content the betting site offers. Most will provide users with casino games, but others will also run live casino titles, bingo rooms, virtual sports, and possibly more. Other important factors you’ll need to take into consideration when looking for the best NBA betting site is which payment methods are accepted like PayPal, what customer support services are available, and how mobile-friendly the sportsbook is, which we’ll touch on in more detail below.
How Does Mobile Betting Work?
Mobile NBA betting works just like other mobile betting services; as a registered sportsbook user, you can place sports bets while on your phone. There are two main ways of doing this, and they include:
- In-Browser: Loading up the sportsbook website in your smartphone’s internet browser
- In-App: Downloading and installing dedicated sportsbook apps to your smartphone device
There are advantages and disadvantages to using both methods. For example, playing in-browser means you won’t have to install anything onto your device, will be constantly be required to manually load up the betting website in your internet browser and log in. When playing in-app, the app should take full advantage of your device’s features, such as face or touch ID, which means you won’t be required to manually log in every time you use the app.
Unfortunately, installing a dedicated NBA betting mobile app onto your device will take up storage space and it will most likely not feature casino games, as you’ll need to download separate gambling apps to access this content, taking up even more storage. In-browser websites, however, will provide you with access to both sports betting and all other content.
What you prefer between the two methods will be down to you. Many prefer the simplicity of downloading multiple apps to enjoy their games, while others prefer the freedom that playing in-browser offers. We suggest you try both methods and find out which you prefer using, in-app, in-browser or a mixture of both.
Betting on the NBA league and games is part of basketball betting. Alongside the NBA, there are several other basketball leagues that you can bet on, including EuroLeague, the National Basketball League, the WNBA, the Liga ACB, and the NCAA College Basketball league too. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the EuroLeague Final Four, and March Madness, a series of games where NCAA college basketball teams compete against each other.
Most betting websites in the United Kingdom will allow you to wager on the basketball leagues and tournaments we mentioned above. Betting on them works similarly to how betting on NBA games, although the competitions, betting options, and odds will vary depending on the website you’re registered with.
NBA Betting Tips
Betting on the NBA can be a complicated process, and while there are no NBA betting strategies to guarantee you make a win, we can share several tips to help ensure that you have fun while placing NBA bets and stay safe while doing so.
#1: Follow The Teams
One of the most important things you can do when placing NBA bets is to discover your favourite team and follow them. Keep track of their schedule throughout the NBA, keep track of any injuries, follow fouls, and follow which players are pulled onto the court. All of this information will help you place the best bets and potentially win.
#2: Always Check Odds
Before placing bets, you should always take a look around to find which sportsbooks are currently offering the best odds. The better the odds, the better chance you have of making a win and of boosting your wins too. We’ve stressed this throughout our guide on NBA betting, and we’ve stressed it one more time here; always look around for the best odds.
#3: Don’t Bet On All Games
As we’ve explained in our NBA betting guide, the league consists of 82 matches and, regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or are familiar with NBA betting, it’s a good idea to avoid betting on all games. Instead, we suggest you only bet on games featuring your favourite team or those that financially makes sense, meaning those which almost offer you a guaranteed win.
#4: Stick To Easy Bets
If you’re new to NBA betting, we suggest you stick to the simple bets. Point spread bets, propositions, and parlays all require deep knowledge of basketball and the NBA to win, so we believe that it’ll be easier for you to stick to simple bets, like predicting the outright winner of a match or event with Moneylines, predicting the total number of points scored with Totals, and betting on your sportsbook’s predictions with Over/Unders. We suggest you stick with these bets until you’ve found a team you like or have developed more knowledge and confidence in the sport and league.
#5: Manage Your Time And Money
Finally, one of the most important things you can do while betting on the NBA is managing your time and money. Gambling is fun, but it can quickly spiral out of control. Thankfully, most UK sportsbooks offer safer gambling tools to limit your time and the money spent when betting, preventing you from overspending, losing too much, and developing any gambling-related harm. Keep NBA betting fun with these tools.
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
Where can I find the best NBA betting odds?
As we’ve already mentioned, NBA betting odds vary between websites, so to find the best NBA betting odds, you’ll need to shop around at different websites offering the same or similar bets and find which is offering the best odds. It’s a tedious process, but one worth doing.
Can I bet on the NBA in the UK?
Yep! Although the NBA is an American-based league, anyone registered to a licensed sportsbook within the United Kingdom can place bets on the tournament. Just make sure to read up on its rules – which you’ll find in this guide – before you do anything.
Are there any NBA betting promotions?
Some UK sportsbooks may offer NBA-focused promotions during the main season, but this can be rare to find. However, most betting sites can offer free bets that can be used towards NBA betting, depending on the terms and conditions. Most sportsbooks will have a promotions page where you can discover all currently available promos, just read through the T&Cs before claiming anything.
What are the best sites for NBA betting?
The best sites for NBA betting will generally depend on your preferences. Work out what interests you in gambling and find a website that offers all of that, everything you need to enjoy gambling, and a site that offers the best odds and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Our NBA betting guide has some great suggestions if you’re in need of some inspiration!
Do you have any NBA betting tips?
Yep, in our NBA betting guide, you’ll find a series of tips we compiled to ensure that you get the most entertainment out of NBA betting.