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The National Basketball Association or the NBA is a men’s professional basketball league in the United States. The league was formed in the United States in 1949 through a merger of rival leagues National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America. The league is made up of 30 franchised teams, 29 of which are from the United States and 1 is from Canada. The NBA is considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world and is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the national governing body for basketball in the United States, and is also of USA Basketball (USAB).
In the year 1950, there was a total of 11 franchises in the NBA, and by the year 1954, a further eight franchises were added to the eleven to make a total of 18 franchises. The league grew to 22 franchises after four teams were added to the league from the rival American Basketball Association (ABA). The inclusion of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2005 meant that the league grew further to 30 franchises as it is up to now.
Besides the additions of franchises to the league, the NBA also went through various transformations to be the great association it is today. The early 1980s were very challenging for the NBA as the association lost a lot of money because it was poorly run but David Stern who was the NBA commissioner from 1984 transformed it into an international entertainment company through various marketing strategies and very lucrative broadcast rights. A lot of things have changed in the NBA but what has not changed is the fact that the NBA remains one of the most popular leagues in the United States together with the NFL.
The NBA has seen such amazing teams over the course of its entire history and generally the NBA has always been a league that was dominated by a particular team at a particular time or era. The Minneapolis Lakers were the real deal in the initial stages of the NBA winning several NBA championships. Boston Celtics were a real force to be reckoned with in the 1960s winning a total of 11 championships in 13 seasons, a team has to be exceptional to achieve such a great feat. The Lakers and Celtics bossed the league in the 80s getting a combined 8 championships in 10 seasons.
Structure of the NBA Regular Season
As earlier stated that the NBA is made up of 30 teams, all the 30 teams are divided into two conferences which are the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference. Both the conferences are further divided into three divisions each to make a total of six divisions. The three divisions from the Western Conference are the Pacific, Northwest, and the Southwest divisions whilst the three divisions from the Eastern Conference are the Atlantic, Central, and Southeast divisions.
What happens in a regular season is that each team in a particular division will play all the other 4 teams from the same division because a division is made up of 5 teams. After that, each side is then matched against six other teams from different divisions within the same conference for a total of 24 matches as the team will play against each side a total of four times. A team then finally faces the remaining teams in the conference three times each, making the overall number of games within a conference 52 for each side.
A regular season ends with each team facing all teams from the other conference for two times in a round robin format. The NBA is quite remarkable for the number of games each team has to play in a regular season because each team plays a total of 82 games. Very few sports can have a team complete such a huge number of fixtures and this may be the reason why NBA stars are very fit because they are always hitting the gym trying to stay in good shape.
The teams which finish in the top eight in each conference will then compete in the playoffs among themselves, that is, teams from Western Conference will compete among themselves whilst teams from the Eastern conference also participate among themselves. Each playoff match-up is decided by seven games, with the first team to win four games proceeding to the next stage while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. The winners of each conference playoff are crowned the conference champions. The two conference champions then play against each other in the NBA finals. Please note that the NBA playoffs begins in April as the regular season is concluded.
The NBA Finals is the culmination of an NBA season where the champion from the Western conference will play the champion from the Eastern conference to determine the NBA league champion for a particular year and these finals are held annually. The games are in the format of best-of-seven and are played for about three weeks and the winner of the finals will be awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The NBA has been won by a total of 19 franchises ever since its inception and the Boston Celtics are NBAs most successful team in terms of titles with a total of 17 titles.
When does the NBA season run
NBA’s regular season is 8 months long starting in October and ending in April in the following year. The period from April right up to June is used to play the NBA playoffs between teams from the same association. The month of June is also the period when the NBA Finals will be played.
Best 5 NBA teams from last season
The last National Basketball Association NBA final was held in 2019 with the finalists being the Eastern Conference champions Toronto Raptors and the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. Toronto Raptors were the eventual winners of the final but both finalists all had a stellar season. Other top performing teams from the 2019 season were Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the biggest in terms of market share and the most popular basketball competition on the globe. All of the top stars in the world ply their trade in the NBA. Just as the NBA attracts the world’s top basketball players, it too does attract the highest number of basketball fans and of course sports punters. This guide is particularly concerned with the latter that is, sports punters or more specifically basketball punters.
Punters looking forward to place bets on NBA games ought to know that they are spoiled for choice when it comes to betting markets. However, the availability of dozens of NBA betting markets does not mean punters must choose any at will. Punters need to consider a number of things before choosing a betting market and considerations include market odds.
Choosing a betting market might turn out to be an overwhelming and daunting task as there are just too many markets to check out and research on. However, you need not worry about spending much of your time researching on the best betting markets to settle for when it comes to NBA as we have done this job for you. All that’s left for you is to go through our comprehensive guide of the top 10 betting markets for NBA and choose those that excite you.
The most straightforward betting market for NBA is the moneyline bet. The beauty about this bet is that it applies to individual games hence punters don’t need to worry about knowing the structure of the NBA before they can place a bet. All that punters need to do is to research head to head information on the teams that are set to play each other and basing on the information found as well as recent form stats, pick the team that’s likely going to win. If the punter’s pick wins, then payout comes the punter’s way.
Spread betting is quite similar to moneyline betting in that the punter simply has to pick the team that’s likely going to win. However, spread betting differs in that it provides an edge sometimes referred to as a handicap to the team which is considered weaker. Sometimes, the high flying team may face the league’s worst performing team and it will be quite clear who the winner is going to be; going to moneyline route may be a waste of time as the odds will be heavily stacked in favour of the favourite hence the potential return to the punter will be next to zero. To equal the playing field though and to make potential payouts to punters more reasonable, the betting house will give a handicap to the weaker team meaning for the favourite to win, the favourite does not only have to become victorious in the match but it must do so convincingly by overcoming the handicap. To put this into perspective, if an underdog is given a spread at +15.5 points, it means the favourite must win by a margin of at least 16 points for it to pay out.
Another betting market which is now gaining traction is the totals bet. The totals bet does not deal with winners or losers. All it requires is for the punter to predict the combined total points that both teams will score. The betting house will set a line for instance 200.5. The punter therefore will have two options either to back the over and predict that the total combined points will eclipse 201 or go against the line and predict that the combined total points will be below 200 points. It’s important to note here that point distribution between the teams does not matter, for as long as the combined total points eclipse or are below a set line, the punter will win or lose depending on his bet.
NBA prop bets are popular with punters who prefer researching or following one or a few particular players or teams. Using the information they know, they can place bets on a player or team to achieve certain targets in a game. The prop bets do not have anything with the outcome of the match. The most popular prop bet is predicting if a player is going to score over or under a certain number of points, rebounds or assists. Depending on the punter’s pick that is, over or under, the punter will win payouts if the pick turns out correct. It’s important to note that prop bets can cover a single match that is predicting the points a player can get in a single match or can be season-long that is, predicting the total points that a player can get over the course of the season.
For punters who are interested in doing some research as part of their betting adventure, they may get information on how a particular team performs before and after the half time period. There are teams that are known to be slow starters such that their first half performance will be average but after the break, they get into serious business. There are however other teams that are known as fast starters meaning from the get go they will be ready for business firing on all cylinders. If punters have such information, then the best route for them is the double result bet which allows them to correctly predict the result of both halves of the game.
The Double Result may be too risky for some punters even those who think that they have done enough research to know how certain teams perform in one half of the game and in the other half of the game. As such, to reduce the risk, punters often go for the Half Time Result betting market. Here, instead of picking the result of two halves, the punter is only asked to pick the result of the first half. For as long as the punter’s prediction is correct, it does not matter whether the match ends in favour of team A, team B or as a tie, the punter will receive his payout.
There are some punters who are not just looking for the fun factor when placing their bets. To add to the fun factor, such punters also value the profitability of the bet they are placing. These punters in essence always go for betting markets that offer the highest odds and the most popular in this field are parlays. Parlays refer to two or more connected bets on a single ticket. For instance, a punter may pick a prop bet backing a certain player to score over a certain number of points and at the same time, pick the player’s team to win the game either the moneyline route or by points spread.
Teasers are more like a combination of the Parlays and Spread Betting. However, they do have their own unique element. First of all, when it comes to teasers, the punter will have to pick a team that going to win the match; however, this team will do so if it overcomes a handicap. The difference however between Spread betting and teasers is that the handicap that the winning team will have to overcome is not set by the house but by the punter himself. In addition, teasers do allow punters to combine multiple events on a single ticket much like parlays meaning punters when it comes to teasers have the room to set their own handicap and to pick several betting markets at once. This betting market does look super convenient but the thing is, it does come with lower payouts per event than usual hence it attracts less punters than spread betting or parlays.
The Futures market is for the patient punters. This betting market entails placing bets on the outcome of a season that is, the team that is going to win the NBA Finals. As the Futures market cover the whole season, it often comes with higher odds but the time factor discourages many punters from picking it. Apart from picking the team to win the NBA Finals, the Futures market also entails placing wagers on the NBA Conference winners, NBA division winners, as well as individual achievements such as NBA’s Most Valuable Player and NBA Rookie of the Year.
In recent times, a high number of punters have shown a propensity for in-play bets. In-play bets simply entail placing bets in real time. Punters who place such bets will have some knowledge of how the game is panning out and from what they would have seen, they can make predictions in how the match is going to end. In-play bets can cover anything from predicting the match result to predicting how a certain team or certain player will fare for the rest of the match.