How to Bet on the NBA Online in Canada

nba basketball betting

Canada is a hockey country, but basketball is the fastest-growing sport. Building off the success of the Toronto Raptors and a surge of Canadians playing in the NBA, it’s fair to say Canada is a basketball country now, too.

With legal, single-game betting on its way (to Ontario first and the rest of the country soon after), Canada will be a big basketball betting country, guaranteed.

As soon as they can, top sports betting apps like the DraftKings Sportsbook app and FanDuel Sportsbook app will enter the Canadian market and offer Canadians a myriad of online NBA betting options. In turn, Canadians should flock to those markets, as NBA betting is simple to understand and perfect for anyone new to sports betting.

Get ahead of the trend with our complete guide to betting on the NBA online in Canada below.

Single-game NBA betting vs. Parlay betting

Single-game NBA betting coming to Canada is a game-changer.

FanDuel appCanada already has legal NBA betting in some provinces, but it’s been limited to parlay betting only. That means you have to combine at least two bets on a ticket. That makes every bet harder to win.

Having to always pick multiple winners turns your NBA bets into more of a lottery ticket than a true sports bet. And the odds these sanctioned parlays pay aren’t anything close to the true odds of picking multiple NBA winners.

Sports betting apps like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook will offer fair odds on every NBA game including traditional spreads, moneyline, and totals (over/under). You can also expect a ton of single-game team and player prop bets, from how many points a player will score to which team will win the second half and NBA futures bets that last the course of the season.

You’ll still be able to bet parlays; you’ll just be able to bet them at odds closer to the true odds of picking multiple NBA winners.

The bottom line is that legal single-game betting means more (and better) NBA betting options at prices that are fair to you.

How to bet the NBA online in Canada

NBA betting is easy with legal online sportsbooks and betting apps. It’s a simple three-step process that starts with signing up for an account and making a deposit. Then, you place bets by filling out bet slips.

1. Sign up for a new account

You can sign up for an account with a sportsbook app through the sportsbook website or on the app itself. Just fill out the registration form with the required personal information, including things like your name, email address, and phone number. You may also be asked to enter a promo or bonus code.

You can find that on PlayCanada and entering the right one will ensure you get the best bonus available.

2. Claim bonus/make a deposit

You will be able to deposit money to bet with into your account using any one of several available deposit methods on the sportsbook app, including:

  • Interac
  • InstaDebit
  • PaySafeCard
  • Visa/MasterCard
  • EntroPay
  • eChecks

3. Make NBA bets

Placing bets is as easy as filling out a bet slip and clicking a button. To find the NBA bets you want to bet on, browse through the NBA tab to see all the odds and lines available. Then just click on any bet you like.

A bet slip will be instantly created on the right-hand side of your screen where you can fill in the amount you wish to bet. You’ll see the odds and your expected pay out listed right there as well.

When you wan to confirm and place the bet, just click the button below that says “Place Bet” or “Confirm.”

You can also add other bets to the same bet slip, and turn those bets into a parlay. Just fill in the amount you want to bet on each, review how the potential payouts change with each added bet, and confirm each bet on the slip by clicking the ‘Place Bet’ tab at the bottom.

NBA basic betting types

NBA basketball shot

Basic NBA game lines include moneylines, point spreads, and totals:

  • Moneyline: Bet on the team you think will win the game. Posted odds are negative for favourites and positive for underdogs. Negative odds tell you how much you have to bet to win $100. Positive odds tell you how much you stand to win for every $100 bet.
  • Point spread: Bet on the team you think will win the game with a line set by oddsmakers factored into the final score. Add the points to the underdog or subtract them from the favourite. Book the bet at currently posted moneyline odds.
  • Totals: Bet on whether the two teams in a game will combine to score more or fewer points than a line set by oddsmakers. Book the bet at currently posted moneyline odds.

Props & futures betting

NBA props and futures allow you to go a little deeper than basic game lines.

Props involve betting on games within a game and mostly surround player and team statistics. This might include an over/under on a specific player’s single-game scoring total or a team’s turnover total, for example.

Futures involve seasonal betting. In the NBA futures market, you might bet on a team to win the NBA finals, its division, or its conference. You might also bet on seasonal win totals or a team’s chances of making the playoffs. Futures are booked at currently posted moneyline odds that are available all year long and may change alongside a team’s chances. However, you lock in the odds at the time you place a futures bet.

Betting on NBA playoffs & finals

Sportsbook apps will allow all kinds of betting on the NBA Playoffs. That means bets on series wins in the new Play-In Tournament and the entire NBA Playoffs. The more specific you are with betting on the outcome of each series, including the number of games, the better the odds will be.

Plus, futures odds will be available on Conference and NBA Finals winners and traditional single-game betting will be available for every game throughout the entirety of the NBA Playoffs.

For 2021, the NBA introduced a Play-In Tournament for the 7-10 seeds in each conference. This tournament will have the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds and No. 8 and No. 9 seeds play a one to two-game series where the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds can get in the playoffs with one win and the No. 10 and No. 9 seeds need two.

Whether that will return for 2022 and beyond is still to be determined.

Regardless, the traditional 16-team, four-round, seven-game series NBA Playoffs will stay as the baseline for the NBA Playoffs. The NBA Finals will begin in June as usual, after being pushed into July for 2021.

In-game NBA betting

Sportsbook apps really up the NBA betting level by offering live betting. That means betting on NBA games after a tip-off at odds that change with the action on the court and the score on the board.

In-game NBA betting is mostly the same betting markets you bet on before the game at ever-changing odds, but quarter-by-quarter, half-by-half, and additional NBA in-game prop markets are also available.

The odds can change fast, which makes a sportsbook app on your phone—or multiple apps—the best way to keep up and get your bets in instantly as the odds change.

NBA betting partnerships in Canada

With legal online sportsbooks not officially live in Canada yet, there are no truly Canadian sportsbooks that can call themselves NBA partners or the official sportsbook of the NBA.

However, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has partnered with the NBA on several different initiatives over the past few seasons.

Plus, Canadian sports media and gaming company theScore inked a multi-year deal to become an authorized betting operator of the NBA in 2020.

TheScore’s sports betting app, theScore Bet, now uses official NBA betting data, league trademarks, and logos as a result. The sportsbook app launched in September 2019 but is only available in New Jersey.

Bet on the Raptors

Betting on the NBA in Canada usually involves betting on the Toronto Raptors. After all, the Raptors are Canada’s only NBA team.

Toronto Raptors

  • Established: 1995
  • Home Court: Scotiabank Arena (Formerly Air Canada Centre)
  • Opened: Feb. 19, 1999
  • Address: 40 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5J 2X2, Canada
  • Capacity: 19,800
  • Division: Atlantic
  • Conference: Eastern
  • NBA Championships: 1 (2019)
  • Eastern Conference Titles: 1 (2019)
  • Division Titles: 7 (2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Head Coach: Nick Nurse
  • Current All-Stars: Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam
  • 2020-21 NBA Championship Odds: +5500
  • 2021-21 NBA Eastern Conference Championship Odds: +2000
  • 2020-21 Win Total Line: 41.5

Additional Raptors bets you can expect to find on Canadian NBA betting apps should include:

  • Bet on individual Raptors players for MVP, DPOY, MIP, ROY, etc
  • Bet on individual Raptors prop bets per game (point, rebounds, assists, blocks, etc.)
  • Raptors team win totals, offensive/defensive rankings, etc

Bet on CEBL, Olympics

Sportsbook apps may also allow betting on the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). This Canadian pro basketball league was founded in 2017 and began to play with six centrally owned teams across the country in 2019.

There are now seven CEBL teams including four in Ontario and one each from British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The teams play 26 regular-season games from May to August followed up by a six-team playoffs and the final four Championship Weekend.

Canadian sportsbook apps may also allow betting on Olympic Basketball. The 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan will include a basketball tournament featuring International teams with players from the NBA and around the globe from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Canada’s Men’s Basketball team will be looking to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by winning the Victoria, Canada FIBA qualifying tournament June 29 – July 4, 2021.

They will play in Group A of the qualifying tournament with Greece and China. Uruguay, Czech Republic, and Turkey are the other teams in the tournament.

Best NBA bets for beginners

A good NBA betting tip for beginners is that you should probably stick to the basics. That mostly means moneyline betting, where all you have to do is pick winners.

You can also take a flyer on your favorite teams or your favorites to win the NBA title this season in the NBA futures markets. These bets are easy enough to follow and pay decent odds on most teams to win it all. Particularly if you get a bet down in the offseason or early in the season.

Bored with the basics and want to make a few more advanced NBA bets? Dipping a toe into the world of NBA parlay betting is easy enough for beginners. Just pick a couple of moneyline winners on a single night’s NBA schedule to string together in a parlay.

The parlay will pay better than the bets would on their own, but you must win them all, so limiting the size of the parlay is always a good idea for beginners. These bets are harder to win, but they’re easy to place and don’t stray too far from the idea that NBA betting beginners should stick to the basics.

Why stick to legal sportsbooks for NBA betting in Canada

You may be tempted to bet on the NBA with offshore online sportsbooks that offer competitive NBA odds, but it’s not a good idea. Once a provincial government approves legal sports betting, they’ll vet and license sportsbooks and offer you somewhere to turn to if you have an issue getting paid on a bet.

Offshore online sportsbooks don’t have any obligation to do that for you and face no consequences for withholding on winning bets. That means you’re taking a bit of a risk with your money if you bet with one of them.

Sticking to legal and regulated sportsbooks means betting on competitive lines, taking advantage of great bonuses and promotions, and real consumer protections backed by provincial governments. It’s a good idea because betting on sports is enough of a gamble all by itself.

Vegas sportsbook odds vs sportsbook odds

NBA game odds open the same at sports betting apps as they do inside Las Vegas sportsbooks. However, they might not look the same by tip-off.

That’s because all sportsbooks set the lines to draw an equal amount of betting on each side so they can realize the vig and earn a small profit without sweating the outcome. Then, if more money is bet on one side, they’ll move that line to try to even it out again.

The thing is, money isn’t bet equally at all sportsbooks, so while one might move a line, it might stay the same at another.

Most important “Canadian” NBA moments of all time

Here’s a look at arguably the top five most important dates in Canadian NBA history:

  • Nov. 1, 1946: The Toronto Huskies played the New York Knickerbockers in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens in the Basketball Association of America’s first game. The Huskies were gone after that inaugural season, but the league lived on, becoming the NBA three years later.
  • Sept. 30, 1993: The Toronto Raptors were awarded an expansion franchise set to begin playing in the 1995–96 season. On Feb. 14, 1994, the NBA gave preliminary approval for a team in Vancouver as well. Full approval for the Vancouver Grizzlies came on Apr. 27, 1994, but the Grizzlies left Van City for Memphis following the 2000–01 season, making the Raps Canada’s only NBA team.
  • Feb. 11, 2000: Vince Carter wins the NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Oakland, California, in dramatic fashion. The buzz about Carter’s win puts the Raptors and Carter himself in the NBA conversation for the first time.
  • June 28, 2013, and June 27, 2014: The Cleveland Cavaliers took UNLV forward Anthony Bennett No. 1 Overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. A year later the Cavs were up first again and took Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins first overall. Both are Canadians, marking the first time two Canadian kids were taken first overall in consecutive years.
  • June 13, 2019: The Toronto Raptors win Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Golden State Warriors, capturing the franchise’s first NBA Championship.

NBA betting rules at sportsbooks

Just like there are rules that govern basketball, most mobile sports betting apps have rules that govern NBA betting. These rules are published and include various terms and conditions and basic procedures for betting and payouts.

You should read these rules before betting on the NBA with a mobile sports betting app. You can also look through some of the general NBA betting rules applied by most sports betting apps right here:

  • Statistics provided by the NBA and its official website are used to settle bets.
  • If a game is not played on its scheduled date, all bets are considered no action and returned.
  • NBA games must go at least 43 minutes or all bets are considered no action and returned.
  • Quarters and halves must be complete or all quarter or half bets are considered no action and returned.
  • Compete for the game and second-half bets include overtime if it occurs, but fourth quarter bets do not.
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