The whole world knows that Canada is a hockey country through and through.
The sound of skates on ice, hockey sticks clashing and gloves being thrown down pre-punch-up is as ubiquitous as the sound of castanets in Spain and yodelling in Switzerland.
YES, I’M AWARE THOSE ARE APPALLING STEREOTYPES.
THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT…
We all assume that the NHL conquers all before it and leaves little room for alternatives. The NHL certainly does dominate but there’s always room for more than one sporting interest in a nation that loves their sport so much.
As it turns out, there is interest to be found in other sports for sure. It just so happens that basketball is the fastest-growing sport in Canada.
This is, in no small part, down to the success of the excellent Toronto Raptors. They have drawn much attention to the NBA in the North and really helped to expand the game beyond its obvious home base and broaden its horizons.
The NBA is perhaps the most accessible of all sports when it comes to having a cheeky bet or two. The games are fast and action-packed. Scoring is high and skill is never lacking. There are frequent moments of high-drama and last-second upsets that really keep the viewer engaged and have been known to instantly convert those who witness the.
PARTICULARLY WHEN WATCHING LIVE
The real beauty of betting on the NBA though is that it is so versatile. The options extend way beyond a simple ‘Moneyline’ or straight bet on who will be the winning side. For us, the best NBA betting is the kind that relies on less obvious events and statistics. But that’s just us. Our articles on ‘NBA over/under strategy’, ‘NBA player props tips’, and ‘What is line betting NBA?’ are really great introductions to some of the concepts and strategies behind various betting options when it comes to the NBA. The principles involved remain very much the same in Canada.
Our article – ‘how to bet on NBA games‘ – is also a great reference point and guide for newcomers and veterans alike. However, there are some differences in the sites available for NBA and other sports betting in Canada.
In this article, we’ll run through some of the options and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various NBA betting sites and online sportsbooks.
THE PROBLEM YOU MUST OVERCOME
When it comes down to it, NBA betting sites offer very similar deals and promotions a lot of the time. They vary in some significant ways in terms of appearance and navigation but are essentially pretty alike. Some have unique elements that are genuinely worth investigating but, at their core, they are all made for one reason and one reason only.
TO TAKE YOUR MONEY
You knew that though. You’re not naive to the motivations of giant corporations. What you might be less aware of is how spectacularly efficient even a lesser-known online sportsbook is at doing what it is meant to do.
Take into account the fact that they charge you for the privilege of betting against them. Ponder the incredibly complex algorithms they employ to try and ensure that no gambler can find an edge over them. Marvel at the network of information-gatherers they employ to find every scrap of news and snippet of data they can to use against you.
YOU ARE IN FOR A HARD BATTLE…
BUT IT IS ONE THAT YOU CAN WIN IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO PUT IN THE HARD WORK REQUIRED
We have another article that will give you more NBA betting tips and tricks than you can shake a stick at. It is one that requires a serious amount of dedication and effort. It is not for the faint-hearted, casual bettor. But it is rock solid if you are already obsessed with the NBA and would love nothing more than to pore over stats and figures all day.
‘How to build an NBA betting model‘ is worth a read even if you don’t plan to approach your betting lines that way.
Ok, enough waffle. It’s time to take a close look at the range of options you face when scouring NBA betting markets.
CANADIAN-BASED ONLINE SPORTSBOOKS
At the time of writing (March 2022), there are no Canadian sportsbooks established as NBA partners or official sportsbooks of the NBA.
This situation is unlikely to last long, as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation have already partnered with the NBA on a number of previous initiatives.
Canadian sports media/gaming giant theScore agreed a significant deal with the NBA in 2020 to become an authorized betting operator.
They already use the NBA’s official betting data and trademarked logos so it will not be long before the connection is solidified further.
BEST NBA BETTING SITES
In no particular order then:
PointsBet claims to offer the most NBA markets per game of almost any online betting site in the world.
WITH UP TO 1,000 NBA MARKETS PER GAME…
…who are we to argue?
That might even be overwhelmingly huge to cope with at first but is a genuine advantage to some. If like some of the guys here in The Jump Hub office, you get your kicks betting on random aspects of the NBA, then you are going to love PointsBet.
PointsBet is one of the top betting sites in Canada for NBA betting. It is also one of the NBA’s official authorized sports betting operators.
AS SUCH, THIS NBA BETTING SITE STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD IN A NUMBER OF WAYS
In agreement with the NBA, PointsBet shares a powerful analytical tool with a number of NBA-related websites.
This innovation is known as ‘Win Probability Metric’
It provides real-time access to the same stats, key items of news, and algorithmic findings that the site itself uses to set its NBA betting lines.
This is genuinely useful in the battle to beat the book and is the equivalent of them showing their hand. That goes to show just how hard it is to beat them. They’ll even show you how they’re doing it and still take your money!
In all seriousness though, that is a pretty remarkable tactic and one that might be unique in the world of sports betting.
The site also features official NBA betting data. All in all, that’s a rather significant amount of reliable information that you don’t have to chase after. If you know how to make the most of it then happy days.
POINTSBET HAS A USER-FRIENDLY INTERFACE…
…and is straightforward and easy to navigate.
When you choose to wager with PointsBet, you can also expect to gain access to some interesting promotions unlike any you will find elsewhere. For example, their ‘Good Karma’ scheme means that they will sometimes pay out if there has been a perceived injustice or incident of bad luck that affected an outcome. They also have an ‘Early Payout’ scheme where the bet will be considered a winner and paid out, even before the action is completed. If the karma runs the other way and there is a last-second upset then it’s hard cheese for them and you keep the winnings. This is spectacularly benevolent when it comes to the general attitude of most bookmakers anywhere in the world. It should not be easily dismissed.
A fine examples of this came in 2019. Early Payouts were issued to anyone who bet on the Golden State Warriors to be victorious in the NBA Finals a week before the series even began! As you might remember, the Toronto Raptors had other ideas and claimed the Finals win. Those payouts were not returned.
PointsBet do not attempt to deter professional ‘sharp’ bettors from using their site for large wagers by limiting bets to smaller amounts.
BetMGM is the official betting partner of the NBA and also the Philadelphia 76ers. They boldly claim that their goal is to offer the best NBA odds available anywhere. And, for the most part, they make good on this commitment. BetMGM has certainly put itself forward as one of the best places to bet on the NBA.
There are all the usual betting markets you’d expect to find at any decent online sportsbook.
BetMGM runs a variety of NBA betting promotions that can be guaranteed to change and be updated regularly. An example of one such promotion was found during the 2021 NBA Finals. A $100 bonus was given to anyone who signed up for a new account and dropped at least $20 on some aspect of the Finals. If the bet lost, they still got to keep their $100.
In a direct partnership with the NBA and Turner Sports, the trio launched NBABet during the 2021 NBA Playoffs. It is a content-based concept that is available across digital and social media platforms.
Perhaps our favourite aspect of this particular initiative comes in the form of their NBABet Stream video service. Access to additional camera angles, commentary, and analysis is never going to be something we don’t want here at The Jump Hub. It is genuinely refreshing to hear alternate voices and opinions and provides good entertainment value. BetMGM provide the betting odds and lines that are discussed during the broadcasts.
FanDuel have a partnership with the NBA that makes them an authorized gaming operator.
The site offers a wide-range of NBA bets that includes everything you would expect to find and more.
There have been many innovative NBA-related promotions offered by FanDuel. Parlay bets that give you a $10 refund if (when) the bet fails and other interest-grabbing concepts.
FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the most popular choices for NBA betting and it’s not hard to see why. Their NBA betting hub is crammed full of useful information that acts as a guide to betting on the NBA. Well worth a look.
As Phoenix Suns’ official sportsbook and daily fantasy sports partner, FanDuel have also launched the first ever sportsbook to be built inside an arena in the USA. The Footprint Center now boasts a huge, state-of-the-art facility with a 35-foot video wall and 40 HD televisions to make sure you don’t miss even a second of the action.
BetRivers is not affiliated with the NBA directly but is the official betting partner of the Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Pelicans.
This means that the site offers a free-to-play game through the Detroit Pistons own mobile app. There are also frequent related promotions and experiences.
As we have come to expect, BetRivers offer a good variety of NBA betting options and promotions. Some of the promotions we have appreciated and made use of included:
Daily odds boost specials for the biggest NBA games of the day
A profit boost of 20% when live betting on NBA betting markets
$100 worth of free bets when depositing $50 or more during the NBA Playoffs
Free $10 futures bet on placing a 3+ leg parlay of $25 or more on any NBA game
In our view, these are some rather good deals and have certainly enticed us into making bets with BetRivers that we might not otherwise have done.
Except the parlay one…
PARLAYS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL AND MUST BE SHUNNED AT ALL TIMES…
There are some valuable sources of NBA betting content to be mined here too. GTG’s iSport Genius offers NBA data, fact-analysis, and general insights into the game. Our favourite idea was to introduce a series of “CityCasts” – locally-based podcasts that focus on their nearest NBA teams. These have become a success and are expanding to include a wider geographical area in the near future so keep your ears open for those. There’s plenty of interesting NBA betting content to get your teeth into.
DraftKings Sportsbook is another of the NBA’s authorized sports betting operators. The site has fantasy sports and other deals with a number of NBA franchises.
DraftKings have the best live NBA betting options in the business. Almost 50% of the money they take on basketball betting is spent on live betting during game-time. The number of options to do so is genuinely impressive and it’seasy to see why this has become known as the site to turn to for live betting.
DraftKings also offer some decent promotions such as offering money towards other betting lines when you put money on their target bets. Not ground-breaking but appreciated if you were thinking of making those bets anyway.
So – those represent our favourite choices for NBA betting in Canada. But don’t take our word for it.
You will learn very quickly that, in the NBA betting game, you need to find out for yourself. Sure, take in all the information you can. Absorb it and see how relevant you feel it is and how it fits into the picture you have already been creating for yourself.
QUESTION EVERYTHING AND ACCEPT NOTHING UNLESS IT IS LITERALLY WRITTEN IN STONE
We’ve got decades of NBA betting experience here in The Jump Hub office but we are not infallible. There might be updates and changes that occur after this article is published. It might be that our observations don’t tally with your own and you disagree. That’s fine.
THIS IS NOT A BLACK AND WHITE SITUATION
Check out the sites we’ve recommended and see which ones grab you. Remember, it’s ok to use different sites for different bets. There’s no loyalty in the sports betting game and you place your bets based on the best NBA odds and promotions you can access at any given time.
BETTING ON THE TORONTO RAPTORS
Now, we don’t want to make any more sweeping statements about Canada but let’s assume that a ton of you are going to be betting on the Raptors.
They are currently Canada’s only team and are a very decent proposition. If you’re new to the NBA then here are some details about the Raptors:
The first time the world had a chance to see a Toronto-based team play basketball against their American counterparts was in 1946. The Toronto Huskies played the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. That game was the first ever in the Basketball Association of America. Three years later that same league became the NBA.
In 1993, 2 years before their first game in the modern NBA, The Toronto Raptors were awarded an expansion franchise to begin playing in the 1995/96 season. The NBA also gave approval for a team from Vancouver to also participate and the Vancouver Grizzlies were good to go. Sadly, the derby between Toronto and Vancouver (is there a derby between 2 geographically more-distant teams anywhere on Earth?) was not destined to have longevity. The Vancouver Grizzlies became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2000/01 instead and Toronto were left to represent Canada alone.
The Toronto Raptors originally played out of the Air Canada Center from 1999 until a name-change occurred and it became the Scotiabank Arena. The arena has a maximum fan capacity of 19, 800 and most frequently sees visits from other teams in the Atlantic Division/Eastern Conference, where the Raptors find themselves situated.
The team’s nearest rivals geographically are the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Raptors have taken the Division title 7 times in their history and the Eastern Conference title once in 2019. That was the same year that they went all the way to the top and beat out the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. This was the team’s first ever NBA title and cemented them as a dangerous team to watch and never underestimate.
The Raptors currently have 2 All-Star players on their roster. Pascal Siakham and Kyle Lowry.
HOW TO BET ON THE NBA IN CANADA
So – you’ve read our reviews and done your due diligence. It’s time to get the ball rolling.
Basketball betting at legal online sportsbooks via the use of websites or mobile apps is fairly straightforward and easy to do.
There are three steps to complete in order to do so. They are:
1. SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT
Depending on the sportsbook that you have chosen, you can usually sign up for an account through the mobile app. If not, then certainly through its website. You know the script here. Fill out the forms and jump through the hoops (pun intended) Sign away your rights and agree to be bombarded by promotional emails and notifications.
That sounds a little bitter – you can opt-out of any of those nuisances easily enough.
Don’t forget to add any promotional codes you have acquired in your investigations.
2. MAKE A DEPOSIT
The site you choose will not make this difficult at all. They accept all kinds of payments to suit any and all clients. Reputable sites do a great job of protecting your information and preventing fraud or theft. You can feel comfortable giving out your financial details to any of the sites we have discussed here. Just be aware that they are not all so credible, so protect yourself and, if in doubt, walk away.
3. MAKE A BET
That’s it. It really is that simple. The tricky part is, of course, ahead of you.
Making bets that don’t lose money is, as everybody expects, easier said than done. Even top professional gamblers – or ‘sharps’ expect to lose about 40% of the bets they place. And believe me, they’ve got it down when it comes to playing this game. You have to accept that you’ll be winning a lot less frequently than they do and this is going to be tough.
If you are financially and emotionally able to cope with any losses, then it’s time to get into it
The physical act of placing a bet is the same as if you filled out a betting slip the old-fashioned way. Most sites and apps will baby-step you through the process if you need it.
Browse the markets and bets that the site is offering and make your selections. One you click, a digital betting slip will be created and you simply fill out the amount you wish to wager.
If you add other bets to this slip then it becomes a parlay bet. Although they are unconnected in any other way, and can even be on different sports if you wish, they all have to win for you to get paid. The odds of winning drop very sharply but the amount that you stand to win goes the opposite way.
Parlay bets are beloved by groups of friends or colleagues who want to chip in and try to win back big. It raises the excitement they get out of the bet and means they would see a nice return for a reasonably small stake should it come off. They are not invested in any meaningful way and when the ticket inevitably loses it is brushed off easily. Parlays are highly unlikely to come in and we don’t recommend them as part of an ongoing strategy.
But it’s fine to experiment at first and find the betting style that works best for you.
There are no real right and wrong answers in this, just observations from years of bitterly won experience that we’re imparting to you.
Having said that…
THIS PART IS CRUCIAL:
There are NBA betting tips galore if you want them but none better than this.
If you do one thing before you think about making any NBA bet –
Read our article on ‘How to manage your bankroll in sports betting’.
It will be worth the investment in time a thousand times over if the wisdom therein imparts itself upon you.
Protecting your bankroll is the only way to keep betting and not find yourself out of money before you even had the chance to get used to how it works and enjoy yourself.
We won’t go into too much detail here, just read the article. It will give you a strategy to stick to that gives you the best chance of keeping some money in the pot at all times. It is a system that is employed by every serious gambler we have ever met.
WHY IT’S BETTER TO STICK TO LEGAL NBA BETTING SITES IN CANADA
Non-licensed online sportsbooks exist and they can offer competitive NBA odds, but it is not a route we recommend taking.
Governments vet and approve licensed online sportsbooks and you have some recourse of action if a problem arises. Your chances of solving an issue satisfactorily with an offshore sportsbook are virtually nil. The chances are that they will honour any bets you make and pay out if you win. But there are no guarantees whatsoever and, should they suddenly fold and disappear just as you’re about to cash out $2,000 you will be left high and dry.
In these modern times of virtually ubiquitous access to betting markets, there is really no reason to go down this route. The betting odds and lines you will find offered by legitimate, legal online sportsbooks are highly competitive and leave plenty of scope for shopping around and finding an edge to mine.
So – hopefully this article has terrified and excited you in equal measure.
In truth, there’s no reason to be terrified. If you stick to the rules that the articles we have given you links to here and proceed with caution then you’ll be fine. Ther are a couple of final pearls of wisdom it is beholden upon us to pass on before signing off. The real golden rule in all of this is really rather simple:
NEVER BET MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE
If you stick to that then, honestly – what’s the worst that can happen? You lose some money that won’t really be missed too badly and sulk for a bit. You’ll get over that.
Tha real problems start when people bet with money that they don’t really have or that which they cannot afford to lose.
If you are reading this as a genuine beginner in the world of gambling then there is a long road ahead of you.
IT IS MORE OF A ROLLERCOASTER REALLY
There will be soaring highs that come rushing towards you with great ferocity and shockingly fast descents into blackness. It will be flashy and brightly lit some of the time. Other times it will be dingy and dull. If you’re just hoping to spend a few bucks here and there to spice up your enjoyment of the glorious game of basketball, then you cannot go far wrong.
WE’RE SORRY IF WE SCARED YOU
This article is a guide to choosing a suitable online sportsbook. It is also a final chance for those of you who sense that you do not possess the emotional fortitude to go the distance to drop out. There’s no shame in that. There are members of our team who have a highly addictive nature. They recognize and accept it and have put systems and measures into place to prevent their gambling from ever getting out of hand.
Be honest with yourself as you experience your own wagering odyssey and make one promise to yourself that you will never break.
WHEN THE FUN STOPS. STOP
Good luck and thanks for stopping by.