For NBA fans in Canada, the most memorable moment happened not too long ago. The Toronto Raptors shocked the world and defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games in the 2018-19 NBA Finals. The band broke up soon thereafter with NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard taking his talents elsewhere, but the memories of the title run will last a lifetime.
The present-day Raptors have some work to do to get back into contention, but a solid core of Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet keeps things entertaining. Interest in the club and the rest of the NBA should see a surge across Ontario before too long as legal single-game betting may be on the way to the Province.
If that comes to pass, top sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel could make their mobile apps available in Canada. While Ontarians have been able to get in the game with Pro-Line, the advent of single-game betting will be a game changer. In advance of it coming to pass, here’s what you need to know about betting on the NBA in Ontario and what to expect in the future.
NBA live odds at ON online sportsbooks
From the opening night of the regular season through to the last game of the NBA Finals, the pro hoops schedule is packed with options. Each game on the docket sees a significant amount of betting action. That means that the odds and lines will move from the initial release right up until the time you’re ready to bet.
We make it easy to stay on top of where the market stands with our customizable live odds feed which pulls together real-time data from the top sportsbooks in the industry. You can compare the latest numbers from the best shops for the biggest bet types – moneyline, point spread, and totals – with a single glance.
How to bet NBA online in Ontario
As of right now, options for betting on the NBA are limited to the Pro-Line games offered by Ontario Lottery and Gaming. There are a few variations, but all of them revolve around parlay wagering. Before too long, options will expand to include a wide range of sportsbooks, just like across the border in the US.
You can have access to a real live sportsbook from one of the industry’s top operators in a flash. Here’s what you need to do.
- You can complete the entire registration process on your computer or mobile device.
- To begin, click through on our exclusive links. You’ll gain access to the best possible sign-up offers by doing so.
- Follow the prompts and enter the requested information, such as name, address, date of birth, etc.
- Check off some boxes, verify that everything is correct, and click submit to create your account.
- If you did the above on the computer, download the mobile app for your device directly from the sportsbook website and log in.
- Take a look around to see how it all works.
- Make your first deposit or get ready to use any free bets you have.
- Browse the latest NBA lines and prepare to place your bets.
Once that’s all done, you’ll have an NBA betting site at your fingertips whenever you want it. You can browse the odds, place bets, make deposits or withdraw funds, and much more right from your computer or phone. Single-game wagering is poised to be a big hit here in Ontario, but there is one note of caution that we have to point out.
There are lots of offshore sites out there that claim to be legit and even look like they are. The reality is vastly different. There are no guarantees that your funds will be safe on these sites, and you’re taking unnecessary risks by playing there. Be sure that the places you sign up to play with are legitimate operations.
All of our recommended shops pass that test, so stick with them and you’ll be good to go. If you ever come across a site in your travels that you’re not sure about, look for contact information and home office details. When it’s a pain to find that info or if the site is located outside of legal jurisdictions, those are good signs that you should be taking your business elsewhere.
Best NBA betting apps for 2021
As the legal sports betting industry continues to expand, options abound for consumers. The competition is a good thing as it directly translates into operators giving it their all to make their platforms go-to spots for bettors. Among those who have really knocked it out of the park and emerged as market leaders are DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.
The NBA is a big attraction at all three shops, and they all deliver plenty of options for users to consider. There are competitive odds and lines for all of the games on the schedule, a wide range of props to sort through, as well as live betting once the action tips off. Top features for the three platforms include:
- DraftKings Sportsbook app: High marks across the industry for its live betting feature.
- FanDuel Sportsbook app: Same game parlays let you customize bets for the games you’re most into.
- BetMGM Sportsbook app: Deep list of props for every game on the docket that’s easy to navigate.
In terms of where you should take your business, the choice ultimately comes down to which platform works best for you and your situation. There’s a strong case to be made for each of the above, and trying all three out makes a ton of sense. For a more detailed look at what this trio of books brings to the table, check out our detailed reviews.
NBA sportsbooks vs. Pro-Line
Ontarians have had access to a form of wagering via Pro-Line games for some time now. Offered up by Ontario Lottery and Gaming, there are a few different ways to play, but all of them are based on the parlay concept. In short, you have to make two or more selections from the available choices and be right on all to have a chance to win.
Parlays are also offered by the legal sportsbooks. They can be fun options to explore for busy slates of NBA games, but the cold hard truth is this: parlay wagers are very tough to win consistently. The more choices you add to a betting slip, the more the risk increases while your chances of winning decline.
At the legal sportsbooks, there are also many more features and benefits for bettors to explore. Among the items at the forefront are:
- Competitive odds and lines for each individual bet.
- Lots of different ways to wager on the NBA.
- The ability to pick and choose the games you want to bet on.
Individually, those are three strong arguments for taking your business to sportsbooks. Collectively, they make it real tough to view Pro-line as the better option. However, there are also some potential downsides to playing on sportsbooks.
- Heavy action comes in on top games, so odds and lines will constantly be adjusting.
- It’s tough to beat the oddsmakers on a long-term basis.
- Building up a bankroll can be a grind as you go through hot and cold stretches.
If you’ve played the Pro-line games, then any skills you’ve built up will transition over nicely to single-game wagering. However, you should also know that there will be a learning curve whenever you take a crack at a new bet type. If you’re willing to put in the effort, the good news is that you can overcome it with a little persistence.
Basics of NBA basketball betting
OK, so you’re a huge hoops fan. That means you’ll be able to crush it with NBA betting, right? Not necessarily. While any knowledge of the game certainly helps, there are differences between being a spectator and someone who can wager on it successfully. To begin, you’ll want to have a full understanding of all of the main ways to bet. Let’s start with the basics.
When you check out the listing of upcoming NBA games at online and mobile sportsbooks, you’ll see the odds and loans for three main bet types: moneyline, point spread, and totals.
- Detroit Pistons +155 +3.5 (-110) O 211.5 (-110)
- Toronto Raptors -175 -3.5 (-110) U 211.5 (-110)
The favourite in the game will have negative numbers for the moneyline and spread, while the digits are positive for dogs. Spread and totals bets have the lines set by the book in addition to the actual odds for placing the bet.
|Bet Types||How it Works||Example|
|Moneyline||Pick the side you think will win.||Raptors win 105-100. Bettors who picked Toronto win.|
|Point Spread||Choose the favorite minus the points or take the dog plus the spread.||Raptors cover the 3.5-point spread with a 5-point victory.|
|Totals||Wager on the Over or Under of estimated total points.||The teams score 205 points. Under bettors win.|
NBA prop bets & futures
Beyond the big three NBA pregame bets, there are plenty of other wager options to consider. Two of the items at the top of the list are props and futures. The former provides additional ways to bet on the individual games, while the latter lets bettors make their predictions on how the season as a whole will play out.
Available props for upcoming games can be found by clicking through the contest listing. You’ll see a wide range of options such as various game scenarios and team performance metrics, as well as plenty of individual player markets. There are multiple choice props such as the player to score the first basket plus the side to win, as well as two-sided options such as:
- Will Pascal Siakam record a double-double – Yes/No?
- Who will have more points plus assists – Kyle Lowry or Damian Lillard?
- Total three-pointers made for Stephen Curry – Over/Under 4.5?
For props like our examples, the bet works just like a moneyline wager with odds on both sides. While all types of props have their advocates, those revolving around individual players are typically the most popular choices. If you have any fantasy sports experience, props can also be a great point of transition into sports betting.
Futures are based on season-long outcomes with odds for the top markets coming out in the offseason. The basic idea is to make the right call, but you also want to make sure you’re getting the best possible odds for your selections. That’s where line shopping comes in handy as you can check the prices at multiple books to find what you like best. Top NBA futures include:
- NBA Finals
- Conference and division winners
- Team to make or miss playoffs
- Over/Under on team regular season win totals
- Player award winners – MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc.
For each of the available choices, there will be odds attached which can and will move in response to market action. As an example, odds for a few favourites to win the NBA Eastern Conference might look like this.
- Brooklyn Nets +150
- Milwaukee Bucks +300
- Philadelphia 76ers +450
Let’s say you think the Bucks will take it down. You could place a $100 wager at odds of +300. If your call proves to be correct, you’ll see a profit of $300 heading back your way. Futures market returns can be lucrative, but it’s important to remember that wagers can’t be settled until the outcome is known, so be sure to budget accordingly.
Live betting on NBA games
When NBA games get underway, betting no longer has to end. In-game betting has been soaring in popularity in recent times, and it’s a featured offering for all of the industry’s top names. Also known as live betting, these are wagers you can place in real time in response to what’s happening on the floor. Examples include:
- Which side will hold the halftime lead – Knicks or Celtics?
- How many total points will be scored in the second quarter – Over/Under 50.5?
- Who will have more points in the second half – Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant?
There will be various prop-style offerings to consider throughout the contest, as well as updated odds and lines on the outcome of the game. Live betting can be used to hedge your initial positions as a result, or you can double-down if that makes sense. Mobile apps make for a perfect companion as you settle in to enjoy all of the NBA action.
Platforms from the top shops have dedicated areas for live betting. The odds and offerings will be continually updating, and you can jump in and strike when something appealing comes up. Live betting can really enhance the enjoyment of NBA games, but a note of caution applies: remember to always bet with your head and never over it.
Betting on NBA playoffs & NBA finals
From 1984 through 2019, the basic structure of the NBA Playoffs remained the same: 16 teams qualified, eight each from the Eastern and Western Conference. Things were shaken up a bit for the 2019-20 campaign, and the same holds true for the format of the current season. Here’s how it will work.
- The top six teams in each conference automatically qualify.
- Teams ranked 7-10 on both sides have to navigate a play-in tournament to advance.
- Play-in rules: 7 faces 8 with winner clinching 7th seed. 8 plays 9 with the loser eliminated. Loser of the 7-8 game faces the winner of the 8-9 matchup to determine 8th seed.
- From there, it’s the traditional 16-team tournament with teams on both sides seeded 1-8.
- The playoffs run in best-of-seven format with winners advancing. For the opening round, seeded matchups are: 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5.
- The two remaining seeds in both brackets square off in the conference championships.
- Winners advance to play in the NBA Finals.
During the postseason, you’ll have all of the usual betting opportunities to explore, as well as wagers on the winners of the individual series. This is a very busy time for sportsbooks with all of the games on the docket attracting plenty of interest. Also, keep in mind that you can get your bets in on how the playoffs will shake out at any time in the futures market.
Best NBA bets for beginners
No matter how much you know about hoops, there’s a learning curve that needs to be navigated when you get started with wagering on the NBA. It can be challenging to build up some consistency, but those who put in the effort can be rewarded down the road. At the start, it’s always good to keep it simple with an eye towards learning. Here are some solid NBA betting tips to get you started.
1. Over/Under on nationally televised games
During the regular season, the most heavily-bet NBA games are those that take place on national television. For some experienced handicappers, this amounts to a red flag as they may shy away from games that bring in tons of betting action. However, you can also take the opposite tact and zero in on where the attention is going.
When the lights shine the brightest, teams and players like to put on a show. Totals is a great place to focus as a result, and you can use the public to your advantage with a contrarian approach: jump on the under when the public gets too enthusiastic, and look towards the Over when others are expecting less scoring.
2. Moneyline on reasonably-priced home favourites
Strong home teams that are rested and playing an inferior opponent can be a fantastic spot to build up consistency in the NBA. While anything can happen, the overall track record is favourable when it comes to paper mismatches. However, that comes with a really big caveat.
Moneyline favourites aren’t always worth betting on, especially when their odds rise greater than -200. When examining the slate, zero in on your top home faves and look for those which have prices under that bar. While the returns won’t be life-changing, it’s possible to build up enough consistency to grow your bank roll.
3. Scoring props for superstar players
As mentioned, player props are a great starting point for those with fantasy sports experience, but that’s not a prerequisite. Even if you know nothing about fantasy, you can still zero in on some of the top players and learn their tendencies, such as when they excel and when they might cool off.
To do so, track their season-long stat sheets and look for trends. From there, take a look at the defensive abilities of their opponents. Next, look at the scoring bench mark in the prop market and make your call on the most likely outcome. This is another area where you can rack up a good record while also getting even more familiar with the top stars.
4. Best against the spread candidates based on trends
Regardless of where you lay on the experience spectrum, point spread betting is challenging. For those new to wagering on the NBA, it can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. Oddsmakers are very good at what they do, and beating them often enough to turn a profit takes some doing.
That said, you don’t have to bet on every spread. Instead, lean on the trends and look for scenarios in which the stars seem to have aligned. As an example, track the teams with great against the spread records at home or away. When they’re meeting up with a club that has a completely opposite story, it could be a great time to pounce.
There are no guarantees with sports betting in Ontario. No matter how good of a plan you have in place, there will be times when things break in completely different fashion than you were expecting. The idea is to get to a place in which you can win more than you lose while covering the juice charged by sportsbooks. These four simple betting strategies could help you get there.
Betting on the Raptors
Rooting interests and sports go hand-in-hand. We all have favourite teams and athletes that we want to see do well, after all. However, loyalties need to be left at the door when it comes to wagering. If you always bet with your heart instead of your head, then there’s a real good chance you’ll be dealing with lots of disappointment.
The Raptors are the top local attraction, so their games will naturally attract plenty of betting action. Should you wager on them? Let’s take a closer look at how the team has fared over the three most-recently completed seasons.
|2019-20||60-23 (14-5 neutral)||23-9||23-9|
As we look back, Toronto has been a great overall bet at home and solid on the road as well. However, the current season has been a different story as the team has tailed off in comparison to prior seasons.
When considering betting on the Raptors or any other team, treat each game for what it is: an individual event that can go either way. From there, handicap and look for discernible edges. There will be times when it makes sense to bet on the Raptors, and others when you should take a pass.