NBA Betting in Canada
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a popular league across the whole of North America and while the competition is dominated by teams from the USA, it’s a big draw for Canadian followers and for the local betting community too.
Canada has its own representatives in the shape of the Toronto Raptors but whoever is playing, any NBA game leads to a busy time for the sportsbook. Many of these operators are available for bettors from Canada and it’s a sport where there are lots of betting opportunities so let’s get straight on and see what is available.
NBA Betting Lines
What is a Betting Line?
A betting line is the more common term for a point spread. We’ve listed the two phrases as separate items here because you will see both phrases used although they essentially mean the same thing. A betting line is effectively a handicap which is usually placed by a sportsbook on the stronger of the two teams on show.
In NBA betting, this means that the stronger side would have to overcome a theoretical points disadvantage to win the game and give the backer a profit. The line can also be applied to the weaker side for those brave enough to back them and in the following section, we provide a typical example as to how this all works.
Point Spread Bets
In some parts of the world, a point spread bet is referred to as a handicap. In regards to betting on baseball, this means that when you place a bet, you are giving one of the teams, usually the stronger of the two, a head start in terms of points.
For example, a sportsbook may take an NBA game and list team A at -4.5 and team B at +4.5. In this case, if you place a Point Spread Bet on team A, they must win by at least 5 points for the bet to be paid out.
A money line bet is, quite simply, a bet on which of the two teams will win the match. Stake on the side who you think will take the game and if they are the winners, you take a profit.
It’s the most simple concept in betting and the main point to check is in regards to rules on tied games. With most sportsbooks, this will be considered as a ‘push’ and your stake will be returned, regardless of what happens in overtime.
Point Total Bets
This is one of the most simple basketball bets because, as the name suggests, you are simply speculating on the number of points scored in a game. The average total for an NBA match is between 180 to 200 points so these margins will have the lowest odds.
As a slight variation on the overall total, some sportsbooks will allow players to bet on total points for each side and there may also be options for points within each quarter.
The definition of a proposition bet refers to any stake that doesn’t have a direct influence on the result of the match. When used in relation to an NBA game, this could involve a bet on which team will score first or whether a specific player will make four three-pointers of more during a match.
Obviously, if a player does land a number of high scoring baskets then his team may have a better chance of winning but it doesn’t guarantee the final outcome and that’s why this is classed as a proposition bet. Other options are available but these are the most common.
Futures betting is referred to as ‘outright betting’ in other parts of the world and relates to winners of championships and conferences. Therefore, in NBA terms, a futures bet can be placed on the overall winner of the championship and / or for the winning team in each of the individual conferences at the end of the regular season.
Futures bets can relate to individuals too where there are markets available for season-long awards such as MVP.
NBA Betting Tips
Look at Home and Road Performances
When comparing home results to those achieved on the road, some NBA teams have very mixed performances and this is one of the first things to look for when it comes to basketball tips. It’s an interesting anomaly, even for some of the biggest teams in each conference but in a country the size of the United States, a lot of flying can be involved and that can take its toll on individual players.
This type of record is easy to identify with home and away stats clearly shown on any league table so, when looking to back a team in the moneyline markets, home and away records are the first things to check.
Choose Undervalued Teams
For professional gamblers, the concept of picking value is the key to making a living from gambling but it’s a practise that can be used by both the pros and also by novice punters.
Value is found when the odds on an event are longer than the probability of the outcome taking place. For basketball, this could mean that the stats suggest a team has a 50% chance of winning but their odds are equivalent to a 70% chance.
Some in-depth study is needed in order to work those stats and find the value but it does exist in NBA and identifying it can be the key to unlocking a long term profit.
Money Management Systems
A money management system can also be called a bankroll and it refers to the funds that a player has available both at the start of their betting experience and as they move forward. This is an important part of any set of betting tips as it involves implementing limits on stakes and not going over those limits.
Any effective money management system requires setting budgets in terms of how much you want to play with. Work out your total bankroll, write down those staking limits and avoid chasing losses as they will cause the system to collapse and become worthless.
The Home Court Advantage
In many sports, there is an advantage to a side when they play at home. There are familiar surfaces and a hostile home crowd who get on the away team’s back and statistically, sides tend to win more games at home than they do on their travels.
In NBA, it’s been shown that that home court advantage is minimal but it is still a factor. The home team wakes rested and ready to go while the away team’s preparation can be affected by lengthy travel. Stats will easily show you the teams with better home court advantage and this should always be a factor in your betting strategy.
On the subject of stats, there are many sites to turn to for research when looking for winning bets. Perhaps the best of these is the official NBA website where pages and pages of reference guides can be found relating to defense, shooting, hustle stats and many more.
This type of research can be as basic or as detailed as the punter wants it to be but in terms of making winning bets, it’s important to look at those statistics. Nothing will guarantee winners moving forward but those previous trends and indicators are likely pointers towards future profits.
NBA Betting Sites in Canada
When Canadians look for a sportsbook, it’s logical to consider one that is based in their own country. Any operator looking to set up here has to adhere to rigorous regulations in order to obtain a license from the government and Sports Interaction can therefore be used with trust and safety across Canada.
Players have the benefit of staking in CAD too but it’s not just about convenience. The NBA markets are extensive with great prices on Moneyline, proposition, point spread and all basketball bets and it all combines to make Sports Interaction one of the first places to register with.
We move down to the US to find Bodog but this is another bookie looking to offer a great service to all punters in North America. They were set up as long ago as 1994 and that’s given the brand plenty of time to become a trusted operator.
It’s natural, therefore, that they should be strong on all US leagues such as MLB, NFL and, of course, NBA. Prices come out in good time and Bodog are always competitive no matter what market you prefer. New players can also land a welcome bonus up to $200 which significantly adds to the day-to-day value that can be found here.
Sbobet don’t publish a welcome bonus for Canadian players but we think their value lies in a longer term outlook. The best approach here is to look beyond a fast and flashy offer and to settle instead for the competitive odds that can be found on a daily basis.
This sportsbook is also known for its wide set of markets and for a focus on all North American sports. They’ve been online since 2004 so that’s a relatively long time in the digital age. Effective customer service backs up that trust so we would recommend looking beyond the absence of that welcome deal and settling in for a positive long term experience.
Bet365 have this reputation as the place to play for those that enjoy live betting and that’s certainly fair. They were the pioneers of this style of betting and they are highly recommended for in-play on the NBA with great prices in a choice of live markets.
Don’t overlook their pre-match markets however, as bet365 have those same big prices for result and other bets and, as a company that has worked hard to move into restrictive territories all over the world, they provide a good all-round experience for Canadian players with flexible funding and effective customer service just two of the additional benefits.
This is another bookmaker with a long history in the digital age as Pinnacle first came online back in 1998. They are open to players from Canada who will find the usual good mix of NBA markets tied to competitive odds for moneyline and all the other popular bets.
Again, it’s more about those odds than the bonuses here and customers find that with Pinnacle, the best value can be found in the points spread which is frequently some way ahead of the rest of the market. This is, therefore, another destination for the serious NBA bettor who is in it for the long term.
This is one of the newest sportsbooks open to Canadian players but despite their relatively short history, Royal Panda are coming through with some of the best prices around on a range of sports. Included in that range is NBA and basketball in general and players will frequently find that this operator is out on their own with the longest odds on a particular event.
Coverage is good although punters may find that there isn’t the biggest range of prop bets here but for those who just want consistently good prices on the most common NBA betting markets, Royal Panda is a great place to be.