How to Bet on the NBA Online

Canada is a hockey country, but basketball is our fastest-growing sport. In fact, 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.

Top private sports betting apps like DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars are loaded and ready to give Canadians a myriad of new online NBA betting options. Canadians will flock to NBA betting odds as they’re simple to understand and perfect for anyone new to sports betting. Needless to say, Raptors odds will also be a premium odds board daily during the season.

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

How to bet the NBA online in Canada

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

1. Sign up for an account

You can sign up for an account with a sportsbook app through its website or on the app itself. Just fill out the registration form with the required personal information, including fields 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. Make a deposit

You will be able deposit betting money into your mobile account using a number of available deposit methods, including:

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

3. Place bets

Placing bets is all about filling out a bet slip. Browse the NBA betting markets and click on any bet you like. A bet slip will be instantly created where you can fill in the amount you wish to wager and place the bet.

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 the potential payouts for each bet, and place each bet on the slip by clicking the ‘Place Bet‘ tab at the bottom.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting NBA

PointsBet Sportsbook: Up to 1,000 NBA markets per game

As one of the NBA’s official authorized sports betting operators, PointsBet is among the top sportsbook destinations for NBA betting. In fact, PointsBet claims to offer among the most markets on NBA games in the world, up to 1,000 per game.

As a part of its agreement with the NBA, PointsBet has also integrated its Win Probability Metric across various NBA platforms, including the website. The Win Probability Metric Powered by PointsBet has real-time insight and projected game outcomes using the same analytics and stats employed in setting NBA lines at PointsBet. PointsBet also features official NBA betting data as a part of the deal.

PointsBet considers itself a cutting-edge bookmaker with quick and user-friendly apps for iOS and Android devices. It also takes pride in providing great content and experiences for sports bettors. This includes PointsBet’s unique PointsBetting system where bets win more or lose more depending on score differential.

At its US-based online sportsbooks PointsBet runs some unique promos, like Good Karma Payouts and Early Payouts. These promos have paid out on some losing bets where bad beats or significant injustices have affected the outcome and others even before the action is settled.

For example in 2019, PointsBet issued Early Payouts on all bets on the Golden State Warriors to win the 2019 NBA Finals more than a week ahead of the start of the series. The Toronto Raptors ended up beating the Warriors in the NBA Finals. On opening night of the next NBA season, PointsBet issued a Good Karma Payout to anyone that bet on the New Orleans Pelicans +6.5 against the Raptors. New Orleans led in the final minute of a game but ended up losing by eight in overtime. Plus, when it was revealed Klay Thompson would miss a second season year in a row a season later, PointsBet offered refunds on all Warriors NBA Title and Western Conference futures.

PointsBet also guarantees it will honor a minimum bet-to-win amount of $10,000 for all customers betting on NBA playoff games, a sign that serious NBA bettors are welcome and sharps will not be banned or have bets limited to small amounts only.

PointsBet will be among the first sportsbook to launch in any province, likely starting with Ontario sports betting.

NBA point spreads, moneylines & over/unders

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 favorites 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 favorite. 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.

NBA props & futures betting

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

Prop bets 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.

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 the NBA Playoffs & NBA 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 will be available on conference and NBA Finals winners, and traditional single-game betting will be available for every game throughout the NBA Playoffs.

For 2021, the NBA introduced a Play-In Tournament for the No. 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 will remain 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 ramp up the NBA betting magnitude by offering live betting. That means betting on NBA games after tipoff 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 and half by half. Plus, additional NBA in-game prop markets are 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.

Betting 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 Center)
  • 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 sportsbook apps should include:

  • Bet on individual Raptors players with NBA MVP odds, 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 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 by six-team playoffs and 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 Aug. 8, 2021.

Canada’s men’s basketball will be looking to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by winning the 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

Those who are NBA betting beginners 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 favourite teams or your favourites 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 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 NBA betting sites 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, it will vet and license sportsbooks and offer you somewhere to turn if you have an issue. Offshore online sportsbooks don’t and never will, which means you’re taking a bit of a risk with your money.

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. online 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 tipoff.

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.

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, 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.
  • Complete game and second-half bets include overtime if it occurs, but fourth quarter bets do not.

NBA betting partnerships in Canada

Legal privately run online and mobile sportsbooks are getting ready to go live in Ontario, but none are live just yet. As a result, 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 multiyear 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 currently available only in New Jersey.

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 April 27, 1994, but the Grizz 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 ever.
  • 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.

Single-game NBA betting vs. parlay betting

Single-game NBA betting coming to Canada is a game changer. Previously, legal NBA betting in Canada was limited to parlay betting with provincial lotteries. That meant you had to combine at least two bets on a ticket, making every bet that much 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 paid were never close to the true odds of stringing together multiple NBA winners.

Single-game betting brings fair odds on every NBA game to the market, including traditional spreads, moneylines 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 can still 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 fairer to you.

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