Best NBA Betting Sites for 2018

Would you believe us if we told you there were literally hundreds of professional basketball leagues in the world? We hope that you would because it’s completely true and the list is endless. Every corner of the globe and every country with some asphalt has at least a couple professional or collegiate level basketball leagues. This means an impressive list of betting options for amateur and professional sports bettors.

Of all these different leagues, though, the National Basketball Association in North America is easily the biggest and most widely followed. Its athletes are the highest paid with the highest average annual salary per player of any sporting league in the world. It’s also the most heavily bet on by a long shot.

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While there is plenty of value and money to be made in the other smaller leagues, we want to talk with you today about betting on the NBA. As it’s the biggest, this creates a lot of advantages and things you need to be aware of before putting your hard earned money on the line. We’re going to walk you through the advantages of betting on the NBA (and how you can utilize them), what to look for when selecting a place to bet on the NBA, and some of the different types of NBA betting sites that you will encounter.

Ultimately, it’s our goal to help you find a solid, trusted home for your NBA betting needs. If you’re already betting the NBA somewhere, this guide may help you evaluate if that is the best site for you or may help you to find some additional sites to use for line shopping. Regardless, you should be fully equipped to start betting on the NBA after you get through this guide.

I’ve Got a Hot Tip! Get Me Betting NOW!

For some of you, this web page is a short pit stop on the way to cashing on a big tip. We totally get it and applaud you for at least being smart and making sure that you’re placing that bet somewhere reputable. To make things easy on those of you lucky enough to have a tip and also for those of you too impatient to get to the end of this guide, we’ve put our list of favorite and most trusted NBA betting sites at the top of the page here for you. These sites have been fully vetted by our staff and selected based on reliability, trustworthiness, ease of use, betting options, and a whole host of other things our staff deems important.

If you want to know how we selected these sites, you’ll have to read the rest of the guide as we break it down in detail :)

NBA vs. Other Basketball Leagues

As we’ve mentioned and you probably already know, the NBA is much larger than any other professional or collegiate basketball league in the world. This creates some significant differences when it comes to betting on the sport. We’ve gone ahead and outlined some of the major differences below that have an effect on sports betting.

Most of these are only an advantage or disadvantage based on how they fit your personal betting style. The best advice to utilize this information is to fully understand it and see how it fits with your personality and personal plan of attack. We will walk through all of that with each point for your convenience.

Access to Information

The key to being a successful sports bettor is having access to key information and statistics to help you make a more informed decision on your bets. The NBA being as large and high-profile as it is creates more information in some areas and less in others. For example, access to player statistics and game statistics is extremely easy to find.  Finding this information for the Croatian Basketball League as you might expect is much more challenging.

While the key stats are easier to find for the NBA than most other leagues, there are areas of information that are much more closely guarded that may or may not help you to make more informed betting decisions. For example, practices are tightly guarded, and access to players is also tightly guarded. The only information you will get on either of these will be coming from team announcements or from the news media.

For smaller leagues, though, a lot of times you have more open access to the players, practices, and other things that are more guarded with the NBA. This can create new opportunities for you to get information if you have connections in Croatia or happen to live there yourself. Instead of hearing about how a player did at practice, you might have the ability to go watch them play and evaluate them yourself.

Again, whether this is a positive or a negative is solely up to your discretion. Some bettors like the easy access to mountains of data while others might find it overwhelming. Other bettors might enjoy a more personal look at players and a team when deciding who they want to bet on while others feel they only need the statistics. The point is that you will have access to more and less information with the NBA depending on what stats and information you deem important to make your picks.

Size of the Betting Pool

The number of people and the amount of money being bet on the NBA are both much, much larger than any other basketball league in the world. The only one that might be considered close would be NCAA Collegiate basketball around March Madness. This creates some interesting dynamics when it comes to how the lines move and how they are determined for the NBA vs. other leagues.

First, most sportsbooks are going to put their best oddsmakers on the bigger sports where more money is bet. As a mistake there would be more costly to them, they’re going to dedicate more resources to making sure their lines are correct. Since the NBA is a huge betting sport, you’re going to see less “mistakes” or “bad lines” from the sportsbooks. They’re going to be much more accurate and in line with where the lines should be.

Now, this does not mean that they still won’t make some mistakes or put out lines that are bad. You’re just more likely to see bad lines put out on the smaller basketball leagues as typically the sportsbook has way less to lose there from a bad line.

This is also going to affect the way that the lines move based on additional bettors. The size of the NBA betting pool is much larger than any of the other basketball leagues. The effect this is going to have on NBA betting is that the lines are going to move slower than they might with some of the smaller leagues. As you may already know, the sportsbooks are not big fans of gambling. They would prefer to have the same amount of money bet on each side of an event and take a small percentage off the top. This way, no matter who wins the game, they make money.

The way the sportsbook does this is by moving the betting odds to entice or dissuade you from betting on a particular side.

For example:
If Team A is playing against Team B and both teams are dead even, the odds should be the same for both teams. But, let’s say that the public really thinks Team A is going to win and tons of money comes pouring in on Team A. If the sportsbook did nothing, they would lose a ton of money if Team A won or make a ton of money if Team B won. They don’t like this.

So, what they would do would be to change the odds so that a bet on Team A pays less and a bet on Team B pays more. They would keep moving the line until it enticed more people to start betting on Team B and less on Team A. This dance continues up until game time so that they can have the same amount of money bet on each side of the contest. They take their small percentage or house fee off the top, and they are happy.

The larger the betting pool and the more money that is being bet, the smaller the effect that one bet is going to have on the line. For example, if there is $1 million bet on each side of a game and someone makes a bet for $1,000, the line is probably not going to move at all. That is 0.1% of the total money bet.

Let’s imagine that we’re looking at a smaller league where only $5,000 has been bet on the game, and someone comes in and makes a bet for $1,000. That bet is 20% of the total money bet and is going to cause the line to make a big change to entice betting on the other side of that bet.

The point here is that with the larger league (the NBA), it’s going to take much more money and many more bets on one particular side of the game to move the line. This means that line movements will probably be smaller and happen slower than with the smaller leagues.

Again, this is totally up to you if this is a positive or a negative. Some people like the slower moving lines and like to focus more on picking a winner and finding value bets. Other people like to watch moving lines and look for value opportunities to pounce on. Either way can be profitable and is solely up to how you like to bet.

What’s Important in an NBA Betting Site

Picking out anything in life is impossible if you don’t know what you want or what you’re looking for. This sentiment rings true for picking out an NBA betting site. If you’re brand new to sports betting or brand new to sports betting online, you aren’t going to know what makes a site great and what makes is mediocre or terrible. If you’re a seasoned online bettor who hasn’t ventured off of your home site in a while, you may be unaware what is out there.

To help all of you through this process, we’re going to walk you through what we feel are the most important aspects of an NBA betting site. These are the same criteria that we use when we’re selecting our sites to recommend and the sites that we use ourselves.

Trust and Integrity

Out of everything on this list, there is nothing more important that you need to consider. You should never put a dime onto any site until you 1000% trust that your money is safe. Sadly, in industries where a lot of money moves around, there are always some bad apples. This doesn’t always mean that the site is trying to steal your money, but they may be engaging in bad business practices, have predatory language in their terms and conditions, or be slow to pay out winnings. All of these things you definitely want to avoid at all costs.

The best way to avoid sites like this is to do adequate homework. You need to make sure that you know all you can about a site and who is behind the pretty homepage. The fact that you’re taking the time to read through this guide means that you are already starting the process off on the right foot. It’s important to point out that we would NEVER recommend a site that we haven’t fully vetted for industry reputation and trustworthiness.

Betting Options

This factor may or may not be important to you depending on how much NBA betting you are doing. If you are a casual bettor that likes to throw a few bucks on a game here or there, you aren’t going to need to be too concerned with the betting options. As long as they offer the bets on the games you’re interested in, you’re set.

On the other side of things, if you’re a more serious bettor or have tips and information that might not just be about who will win the game, you’re going to want some more options. Let’s say you have a feeling that a certain player is going to have an incredible game, but you think the team is still going to lose the game. A lot of sites offer options of bets that allow you to utilize these predictions.

If you’re only looking for basic who will win bets, this won’t matter to you. But for those of you that want the flexibility to profit on all of your predictions, you’re going to want to look for sites that offer lots of different prop bets on the games.

Betting and Transaction Limits (Professional Bettors Only)

Casual bettors can skip this section unless you have aspirations of being a big professional player one day. Most sites will have betting and transaction limits that recreational bettors will never get close to. If you’re a serious bettor, though, you may want to make sure that the site you are looking at is professional friendly.

You need to have full flexibility to bet the amounts that you need to and move the money around in large and small quantities. If you can’t get the proper amount of money onto the site to bet, you’ll never be able to make a living. One thing to point out here is that the posted limits aren’t always the maximums. If you’re a big player and find a site, you love, but the limits don’t mesh well with you, contact support. We can guarantee that a lot of places will set up special limits and processes for big time players. The worst that can happen is they say no.

Website and User Interface

Out of everything on this list, this might not be the most important, but it’s going to be the one that bothers you the most if you don’t take the time to research it properly. The user interface refers to how the site you’re betting on looks and how easy it is to navigate and accomplish what it is that you’re trying to do.

This is always the toughest for new bettors to figure out because they have zero experience with online betting and they don’t know when something is difficult to use or just brand new to them. If this is the boat you fall into, we highly recommend that you use our recommendations as our team is experts in digging through user interfaces.

The worst thing you can have happen is that you end up on a site that is hard to navigate, that causes you to make mistakes, and just upsets you because it’s impossible to work with. Placing your bets and monitoring them should be easy and painless. Things should be easy to find, and you shouldn’t have to search for hours to get the information that you need. You might think that this would be easy for sites to accomplish, but unfortunately, it is not the case. We’re not sure why some sites can’t get it right, but a large chunk of the industry is way behind the learning curve with this one.

Bonus Programs

This one is last on the list as it should be the last thing you consider in terms of priority. For some reason, too many bettors will select sites based on the bonus programs and disregard everything else. Here’s a newsflash. Some of the sites with the best bonus programs are some of the least trustworthy sites that are using the bonuses to draw people in.

That being said, there are still a ton of great sites with awesome bonus programs that you should look into. Free money is free money, and you should never pass it up given the opportunity to get your hands on some. Specifically, you’re going to want to look for sites that have NBA specific promotions. Slot promotions and a lot of deposit bonuses might not work for the sportsbook so make sure you read into the terms and conditions before getting excited about a promotion.

Different “Levels” of NBA Betting Sites

You can find NBA bets at pretty much any sportsbook online, though, you’re going to get varying degrees of options. Some sites you’ll be able to tell cater to sports bettors or NBA bettors specifically, while some seem just to have the bets up because they “have to.” While all of these sites can be great, it’s going to depend on what level you want to bet on whether or not a site is a good fit for you.

NBA Finals Only

If you’re only going to be betting on the NBA Finals, you can probably place your bets with any sportsbook online. We do recommend that you do some line shopping, though, as a lot of the different sites will have different odds based on what the money has come in on for them.

Remember:
A sportsbook ONLY cares about the bets they have taken in regards to what the odds are. They couldn’t care less about what is happening at other sportsbooks. For this reason, it’s common to see different lines and odds at different sportsbooks. Thankfully, betting online allows you to shop for better lines in a matter of seconds easily. Take advantage of that.

Popular Game Bets

The majority of sites are going to offer bets on most NBA games, though, they will only offer the basic win/loss bets and maybe a few small props. These sites are going to be great for casual bettors that want to bet on more than just the Finals, but aren’t concerned with all of the small prop bets or the flexibility to bet on those.

These sites are going to be the best for most bettors with everything you might need. They will also most likely have the crazy prop bets and options available on the bigger playoff games and the NBA Finals.

All Inclusive

These sites are the Mecca of NBA betting sites. It’s common to see all of the crazy and obscure prop bets available on every single game. Typically, you will see this at a sportsbook that is dedicated to being a sportsbook. These companies have tons of oddsmakers on staff and are able to keep up with all of the different changing lines.

It’s also common for these sites to offer in-game live betting which is a whole other beast you may be interested in. These sites will work for recreational bettors but are clearly designed for professionals or aspiring professionals. Casual fans may feel a bit overwhelmed here, so we only recommend them if you’re comfortable with a lot of options.