NBA Betting Guide 2019-20

How to bet on the NBA in New Jersey

When it comes to betting on basketball, New Jersey is an embarrassment of riches.

As of the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, bettors in the Garden State now have a choice between 17 online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps and 10 retail sportsbook locations.

The 2019-20 NBA regular season tipped off on Oct. 22 with the battle of Los Angeles between Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) and LeBron James (Lakers) at the Staples Center.

Much closer to home in New Jersey, local teams started play on Oct. 23 with three games:

  • The Knicks in San Antonio versus the Spurs.
  • The Nets in Brooklyn hosting Minnesota.
  • The 76ers at home in Philadelphia versus the Celtics.

Regardless of what those early season games do for each team’s NBA finals odds, NJ sportsbooks are ready for an abundant year of basketball betting.

Here’s your guide to basketball betting in the Garden State. We examine pregame lines & odds, live betting, and NBA futures plus offer up some expert NBA betting tips.

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Bet on NBA in New Jersey

In terms of where to bet, all New Jersey sportsbooks are accepting NBA bets for the 2019-20 season.

The one caveat is at Golden Nugget, which is owned by Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets. You can’t bet on the Rockets there.

But other than that quirk at the Nugget (and BetAmerica – the app that operates under Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s license), New Jersey bettors can bet on everything else in the NBA. You can place bets on individual teams and players, bet before the start of any game or while it’s in progress with live betting (also known as in-play betting).

You can also tie the results of multiple events — e.g., the Knicks covering +9 points, Sixers winning the moneyline and the Nets covering -3 points — into a single bet or parlay.

The number and type of events allowed in a parlay will vary from book to book, so it pays to shop around to get the best odds.

Is online NBA betting legal in New Jersey?

Yes (except for those Houston Rockets-related bets at Golden Nugget AC and BetAmerica). You can bet on the NBA through either an NJ online sportsbook (accessed via your computer or phone) or a downloaded betting app.

Whichever device you use, the sportsbook’s geolocation software must verify that you are physically located in the state of New Jersey. You don’t have to be a resident of New Jersey, however.

The 17 sportsbooks in New Jersey have apps for both Apple (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices available for download.

Best NBA betting apps in NJ

As we begin the NBA season, there are 17 legal sportsbooks in New Jersey where you can bet on the NBA:

For those trying out basketball betting as their initial foray into New Jersey sports betting, learn more about the sports betting apps available in New Jersey here.

For those already profoundly interested (or invested) in NJ sports betting, you likely already have a go-to sportsbook. It’s an excellent time to check out how other apps price and promote their basketball lines and odds.

How do I sign up for an online sportsbook?

Signing up for an online account in New Jersey is straightforward. Typically, you will need to provide a minimal amount of individual information, which includes:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Home address
  • Contact phone and email address
  • Unique username and password

Once the sportsbook verifies this information, you can then choose the best option to add funds to your account. Again, the methods will vary depending on the sportsbook, but popular deposit options include:

  • ACH (e-check)
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Online bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • PayNearMe

NBA futures betting 2019-20

Before the regular season even gets underway, basketball bettors in New Jersey can put bets down on their favorite teams or players via the futures market.

A basketball futures bet is typically all season-long and will usually not settle until the end of the regular season or after the playoffs have concluded.

Futures bets for NBA teams include:

  • Season Win Total: Over/under a specific number of wins.
  • Winners: Division, conference or championship.
  • To Make the Playoffs: A simple “Yes” or “No” with associated odds

In terms of shopping around, take a quick peek at the pricing ranges between books for the winner of the NBA’s Atlantic Division, home to the Nets, Knicks, and 76ers:

DraftKings

  • Philadelphia 76ers -155
  • Boston Celtics +450
  • Brooklyn Nets +500
  • Toronto Raptos +500
  • NY Knicks +25000

PointsBet

  • 76ers -162
  • Celtics +450
  • Nets +500
  • Raptors +525
  • Knicks +15000

NBA finals lines 2019-20

Betting on the winner of the NBA Finals in any season is one of the most popular bets at most sportsbooks.

As any NBA fan knows, the Toronto Raptors pulled off their first NBA Finals appearance and first NBA championship all in one go last year. However, the landscape has decidedly changed for this year.

Not only have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Anthony Davis relocated to Los Angeles, but the Rockets have also reassembled their Big Two by acquiring Russell Westbrook.

While the Lakers and Clippers are the betting favorites prior to the season starting, there are a lot of teams offering strong odds for an NBA Finals bet or two. Here are some futures bets around potential finalists:

Draftkings odds
Pointsbet odds

NBA player futures

When it comes to individual player future props, fans of the Sixers, Nets and even the Knicks have players who figure prominently in several of these prop futures categories as highlighted below:

  • The Rookie of the Year featuring the Knicks’ RJ Barrett.

The Most Valuable Player, featuring the Sixers’ Joel Embiid and Nets’ Kyrie Irving.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +300
  • Stephen Curry +500
  • James Harden +600
  • LeBron James +700
  • Anthony Davis +1000
  • Kawhi Leonard +1000
  • Joel Embiid +1200
  • Paul George +1400
  • Nikola Jokic +1600
  • Russell Westbrook +1600
  • Damian Lillard +2500
  • Kyrie Irving +3300

Defensive Player of the Year, including Embiid.

  • Rudy Gobert +160
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +420
  • Paul George +550
  • Anthony Davis +950
  • Joel Embiid +950
  • Draymond Green +2000
  • Kawhi Leonard +2000

There are also dozens of future bets on players for individual leaders in scoring, rebounds, assists, blocks and 3-point field goal percentage.

Here, for example, are assists, points, and rebounds over/under prices at one online sportsbook for Sixers’ Ben Simmons.

Bet on NBA Christmas Day matchups

In addition to the season-long team and player future wager offerings, several books have already posted “look-ahead” point spread and moneylines for the five games scheduled on Christmas Day.

Odds on Christmas Day lineup

One game is an excellent matchup with the Bucks visiting the Sixers in Philadelphia:

  • Boston at Toronto
  • Milwaukee at 76ers
  • Houston at Golden State
  • LA Clippers at LA Lakers
  • New Orleans at Denver

It’s important to note that the number of future wagers and the pricing for each will vary from book to book. Furthermore, it’s a great idea to shop around for the best prices and types of futures.

Also, as the futures market is variable and fluid, the odds will be adjusted. Just because a futures prop is available today doesn’t mean it will still be available the next day.

Most popular NBA teams to bet on in New Jersey

While no NBA team currently plays their home games in New Jersey, we are fortunate to have two teams to the north and one team to the south. Let’s take a snapshot at the Knicks, Nets, and Sixers as they head toward the start of the NBA season.

NY Knicks

The Knicks continue their rebuild and continue the quest to end a playoff drought that has now reached six seasons.

  • Home Court: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • Key New Players: Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock, RJ Barrett
  • Key Player Losses: Mario Hezonja, DeAndre Jordan, Luke Kornet, Emmanuel Mudiay
  • Over/Under Regular-Season Win Total: 26.5

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets made one of the biggest splashes in the off-season by winning the Kevin Durant free agency sweepstakes. Though Durant will miss the season coming off Achilles surgery, Kyrie Irving joins the Nets as a free agent to lead a young core that made the playoffs last season.

  • Home Court: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
  • Key New Players: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan
  • Key Player Losses: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Jared Dudley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
  • Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 44.5

Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers continue to “trust the process” and were a Kawhi Leonard Game 7 buzzer-beater away from making the Eastern Conference finals. They continued to tweak their lineup over the offseason, looking to add the “right” missing pieces

  • Home Court: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
  • Key New Players: Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Trey Burke
  • Key Player Losses: Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick
  • Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 53.5

NBA Power Rankings 2019-20

An essential consideration while making an NBA betting decision is understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team. This is particularly critical early in the season before teams have settled into their respective forms.

ESPN has released its preseason/training camp power rankings for the upcoming season.

The Sixers top the local teams ranking third overall behind the Clippers and Bucks. The Nets check in at 11 with a bit of a wait-and-see approach as to how Kyrie Irving meshes with the existing pieces in Brooklyn.

With 30 teams in the NBA, the Knicks check in at 29th, just behind the Suns and ahead of the lowest-ranked Hornets.

Standard basketball bets in New Jersey

There are many ways to bet on NBA games in New Jersey.

The “traditional” full-game bets are:

  • Against a designated point spread.
  • Straight up versus the moneyline.
  • Totals: Under or over the total points scored in the game.

These bets are based on a full game and inclusive of any “overtime” periods. Additional game wagers will vary from book to book, but other types of NBA bets that may be available include:

  • Winner and over/under total points in each of the four quarters and first or second half.
  • The first team to score 5, 10, 15, 20 points and upward.
  • Winning margin
  • Team points odd/even
  • Total team points over/under
  • Will there be overtime? Yes or no
  • Individual player props connected to scoring the first basket, over/under total points, rebounds, assists, 3-point field goals, etc.

How to make NBA parlays

Example of a two-team parlay at Fanduel

Parlays combine the selections of multiple games into a single wager. The overall odds (and amount of payout) of the parlay will increase based on the pricing of the wagers and the number of events in the parlay.

Here is an example of a two-team parlay that would pay 2.64 to 1:

Each sportsbook may approach parlays differently.

For example, books will typically not allow you to combine the result of two events from the same game, i.e., total points and points spread into a single parlay.

Same game parlays NBA

FanDuel has recently begun to offer “same game parlays” in the NFL that allow a bettor to combine select multiple outcomes from the same game into a parlay. It remains to be seen how they will approach the NBA regular season.

Also, how will sportsbooks approach the number of events allowed in each parlay?

For example, DraftKings has a 12-team limit. FanDuel caps parlays at 15 events while Caesars allows 20+ events in a parlay.

With 17 sportsbooks in NJ, it pays to shop around to see what is available in terms of NBA line pricing and NBA prop offerings.

NBA live betting (in-game betting)

If you miss out on getting a pregame bet in, there are still plenty of options to make bets when the game is underway.

The base wagers of point spreads, straight up versus the moneyline and under or over the total points are offered; however, the odds and spreads are updated in real-time during the game.

As you can see by the FanDuel example, the odds are updated continuously, with red and green color codes to denote the increases and decreases to the respective odds:

Odds updated in red and green to reflect changes

There will also be live NBA bets available on:

  • Winner
  • Over/under total points in each of the four quarters.
  • Over/under on total points in the first and second half.

All of these odds will be updated as the game progresses. The opportunity to play specific player props typically ends once the game begins.

Beginner NBA betting strategies

There are several factors that any new bettor should consider as the basketball season gets underway.

1. Give yourself some (sportsbook) betting options

As referenced in various sections of this guide, it will always be a bettor’s market. With 17 sportsbooks to choose from in New Jersey, it pays to shop around.

Downloading the mobile app is an excellent first step. Most books will allow you to review the odds and props without logging in or having an account.

To place bets, however, an account needs to be created, a funding source has to be linked to the account and, in most cases, a verification process from the sportsbook will occur.

That will require a new account holder to provide such elements as a driver’s license and/or utility bill.

You can then begin your comparison shopping for the best odds for the basketball games that interest you.

2. Go with what you know

A logical first step in basketball betting is to focus on the team you most closely follow, whether it’s the Sixers, Nets, Knicks or another NBA team.

Understand the team’s tendencies in such areas as:

  • Are they a different team away from their home arena?
  • Do they relax and let up when they get a lead?
  • How do they perform as a favorite or underdog against the spread and straight-up against the moneyline?
  • Which players are trending up in terms of scoring and minutes per game?
  • Which players are battling a lingering injury or might be in the coach’s “doghouse?”
  • Which player(s) are in the final year of a contract and might be giving maximum effort to resign or cash in as a free agent?

Focusing on one team also allows you to get a closer look at the other teams in the division. During the NBA’s 82-game schedule, each team will play their four other division foes four times (two home and two away) during the season.

For example, let’s say the Sixers gutted out a hard-fought overtime win at home versus the Celtics. How will they fare the next night when they travel to Toronto to play the Raptors?

Following the Atlantic Division teams carefully will allow you to formulate a strong opinion.

3. Watch for NBA promotions and bonuses

As the season progresses, it pays to be on the lookout for NBA-themed bonuses and promotions on offer from sportsbooks.

They may range from a sign-up bonus to open a new account to matching with a free bet if an NBA bet at a defined minimum is placed.

Not every book will offer a promotion. Even sportsbooks that do, they rarely tailor promotions around the local teams, so be on the lookout as you shop.

Last year, to coincide with LeBron James’ first game with the Lakers, a $25 moneyline bet on the Lakers also included an additional $5 bonus for every 3-pointer made by the Lakers (they made seven that night, none by James).

NBA betting FAQ

When does the 2019-20 NBA regular season start?

It begins Oct. 22. The three local teams all open on Oct. 23 with the Knicks in San Antonio, the Nets in Brooklyn hosting Minnesota and the 76ers tipping off at home against the Celtics.

When is the 2020 NBA All-Star game?

The 2019-20 NBA All-Star game will be on Feb. 16 in Chicago. It’s the third time the NBA All Star Game has been held in Chicago but the first in over three decades. All-Star Weekend is Feb. 14-16 and the regular season resumes play on Feb. 20. Major events included in All Star Weekend are:

Rising Stars Challenge
Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 on TNT, 9PM ET

All Star Saturday Night (3 point shoot out and slam dunk contest)
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 on TNT, 8:30PM ET

NBA All Star Game
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 on TNT, 8PM ET

When do the NBA playoffs and finals begin?

The 2019-20 NBA playoffs are scheduled to begin April 18, with the NBA finals slated to start June 4. Eight teams from each conference make the playoffs with the top-seeded team playing the eight-seeded team, the second-seeded team playing the seventh-seeded team, and so on. Each series is a Best-of-7. The first team in each series to win four games advances to the next round. No re-seeding is done with the highest-seeded team in the next match-up retaining home court advantage. Conference seedings are discarded for the NBA Finals; home court advantage goes to the team with the best regular season record. Ties are broken by head-to-head record then conference record.

Will there be any international NBA games this year?

Yes, there will be three games:

Dec. 12: Mexico City; Dallas Mavericks versus Detroit Pistons

Dec. 14: Mexico City; San Antonio Spurs versus Phoenix Suns

Jan. 24: Paris; Charlotte Hornets versus Milwaukee Bucks

When is the NBA lottery & draft?

May 19: NBA draft lottery in Chicago

May 21-24: NBA draft combine in Chicago

June 15: NBA draft early-entry withdrawal deadline (5 p.m. EST)

June 25: NBA draft

Do I need an account to bet in-person at a retail sportsbook?

No, there is no account registration needed to place a sports wager at any of the retail sportsbooks in New Jersey. Certain sportsbooks offer loyalty cards that provide additional perks and benefits when pre-set betting amount thresholds have been met.

Online sportsbooks, on the other hand, do require you to set up an account and also be within state boundaries to place a bet. You do not have to be in-state, though, to open your account, deposit funds, cashout, or manage your account.

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