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Written by

Siobhan AslettSiobhan Aslett
Published on 28.03.2022
Reading time 14 min

NBA Betting in Ireland

Basketball is one of the most popular sports globally and it is not surprising to see punters bet on basketball games with millions of people across the globe watching the sport in several leagues and tournaments. Today's most popular basketball league is the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US, and betting on NBA games is the epitome of basketball betting. This guide to NBA online betting covers everything you need to know about betting on NBA games and other basketball tournaments. We will look at NBA betting odds, the NBA betting market, and other relevant information. We will also offer some NBA betting tips that could prove useful to you when betting on NBA games.

Best NBA Betting Sites

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As you know, it used to be that the only option NBA betting enthusiasts had when it came to betting on NBA games during the NBA season was through land-based bookmakers. However, thanks to the advent of online casinos and sports betting sites, this is no longer the case. 

Today, hundreds of online sports betting sites provide NBA basketball betting to punters in Ireland and beyond. You are free to play on these sites as long as the site accepts Irish punters. 

That being said, our team of betting experts at Irishluck has reviewed some of the best sports betting sites that provide NBA betting to punters in Ireland.  We update the necessary information about these sportsbooks on our sports pages and the news, but for now, you can check out the list above.

History of Basketball in Ireland

While it may not be the most popular sport in the country, basketball is a pretty popular sport in various circles in and around Ireland. The sport can trace its roots in Ireland when Major Sergeant Doogan introduced it in 1920 as a supplementary gym exercise for the army in training. Surprisingly, before long, the sport gained popularity and status in its own right with rules introduced to the gameplay. 

The establishment of the Basketball Ireland (BI), formerly the Amateur Basketball Association of Ireland (ABAI), in 1945 spelt a new era for the basketball sport in Ireland. The BI, a part of "FIBA Europe," the European basketball governing body, and of FIBA, the World basketball governing body, is the body in charge of promoting and administering basketball throughout Ireland and Irish international participation.

Venues for Basketball in Ireland

Basketball is pretty popular in Ireland, as evident by the number of professional basketball clubs in the country, the schools with youth basketball teams, and the community of players, officials, and fans that partake in the sport. As a result, there are many different in-door and out-door venues where basketball is played throughout Ireland. 

However, when it comes to where Irish national and international basketball events occur, there are two major venues: the National Basketball Arena and the Mardyke (UCC).

  • The National Basketball Arena: The National basketball arena, also known as Tallaght Arena, is an indoor sports arena in Tallaght, South Dublin, established in 1993. The arena, which can hold 2,500 people, serves as the headquarters of Basketball Ireland and the home court of the Ireland national basketball team and the Ireland women's national basketball team.
  • Mardyke (UCC): Established in 1911 and renovated a few times over the years, the Mardyke Arena, an indoor sports arena, is the home court of UCC Demons, an Irish basketball team based in Cork.

There is no league or tournament bigger than the National Basketball Association (NBA) league situated in North America when it comes to the basketball sport. Alongside the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Major League Baseball (MLB), the NBA is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, known as the "Big Four." The league comprises 30 teams and has a regular-season that usually runs from October to April. It is the third wealthiest professional sports league in North America and among the top 4 in the world. 

The sport has millions of fans worldwide, with a recorded average of about 1.34 million viewers watching NBA season games regularly. Due to this immense popularity, it is no surprise that NBA season games are available for betting. Today, you would rarely find a sportsbook that doesn't feature betting markets for NBA games during playing seasons. However, while the NBA has taken the spotlight, it is not the only basketball league that punters can place wagers on. Irish punters can place wagers on many other leagues and divisions in different countries. 

Listed below are some other popular basketball leagues and divisions:

  • Women's National Basketball Association (WNMA)
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball (NCAAB)
  • German BBL, etc.

NBA Betting Terminologies

You will agree that to be successful in NBA online betting, an Irish punter needs to understand all there is to know about the game and betting on it, and this starts with the phrases and terms used. Like any sports betting, certain terms are unique to betting on NBA games, and any sports betting expert will tell you that learning as many of these phrases as possible can make all the difference. Therefore, we recommend that you study the terms that have to do with NBA games, NBA bet types, as well as general betting terminologies. 

This section of our guide will look at some of the most common terms you will most likely come across when betting on NBA games:

  • Accumulator bets: Also known as parlays, accumulator bets are wagers that consist of bets from the same or different events and bet markets.
  • Dime bets: A dime bet is a beat whose value is €1.000.
  • Buck refers to a bet which stands at €100.
  • Push: refers to a stake that neither wins nor loses.
  • Wager: refers to the act of putting money on NBA games.
  • Exotic bets: refers to all bets except for multiples and straight bets.
  • In-play/live betting: refers to betting on sporting events while the match is ongoing.
  • Prop bets: refers to bets that don’t relate to the outcome of a sporting event.
  • Even money: refers to bets where a punter can only win an amount as big as their stake.
  • Line: Line describes the bookmaker's odds on a specific event.
  • Favourite: refers to the team that is the most probable winner of an event.
  • Juice: refers to the cost of making a stake.
  • Underdog: refers to the team less likely to be the winner of an event.

NBA Betting Odds

Before we explain what the NBA betting market has to offer, we should look at how the NBA betting odds work. In NBA betting, odds are used to indicate how likely or unlikely a sportsbook thinks a certain outcome will occur. NBA odds are usually displayed by sports betting sites in 3 different formats: decimal odds, American odds, and Fractional Odds.The fractional odds format is the preferred format for betting on sport in Ireland. This format expresses the profit punters will receive against their stake. It is usually displayed something like 3/1, 7/3, 2/5, etc.

For example, let’s say that a sportsbook features 3/1 odds for the Spurs to win in a matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzles. If the Spurs win the match, the sportsbook will pay out €3 for every €1 stake. So, if a punter places €100 on such a market, they will receive €400 (€300 profit + €100 returned stake). That being said, the NBA betting odds work in the same way as that of any sports gambling. The market with high winning chances of winning features pretty low odds, while the markets that are unlikely to happen come with low odds. The higher the odds you get, the bigger the potential payout you can win.

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NBA Betting Markets

Every sports betting enthusiast knows that there is no shortage of basketball betting options when it comes to the NBA. Every aspect of an NBA game and the NBA season itself provides several betting options, creating many opportunities for NBA betting enthusiasts to build their bankroll. However, to become an expert, you must first understand what markets are available to you when betting on NBA games. Thankfully our team of betting experts at Irish Luck has a good understanding in this regard, so this aspect of our guide will look at the different wager types that the NBA has to offer.

Moneyline Betting

The NBA money line betting, also known as a straight-up bet, is perhaps the easiest to understand when betting on NBA games. Here, a punter needs to bet on who they think will win an NBA match. In this market, sportsbooks calculate the implied probabilities of each team and set appropriate odds for the market based on teams’ ability, overall strength, and other factors. You will notice the clear underdogs and favourites when the two opposing teams are not evenly matched. 

The example below demonstrates a typical money line wager in the NBA market:

  • Los Angeles Lakers - 1/6
  • Chicago Bulls - 8/1

In this case, the Los Angeles Lakers are the clear favourites, and you will only win your bet on them if they win the game. However, the payout is quite low as a punter will only win a profit of €100 with a €600 bet. On the other hand, the Chicago bulls are the underdog with little chance of winning, and a bet on the Bulls will only win if the bulls manage to win the game. Unsurprisingly, the potential payout punters will earn if the Bulls win is pretty high, and a wager of €100 in the market above will yield an impressive €800 profit.

NBA Totals Markets

What determines win and loss in an NBA game is the number of points that each opposing team scores in the NBA game. However, when the points scored by each of the two teams are combined, it creates another betting market for NBA betting enthusiasts, called the Totals market or the Over/Under market. In this market, each sportsbook will provide a total number of points that they expect the final score to be based on several factors like the game's location, the teams' strength, ability, data, stats, and previous results. Once the sportsbook sets a totals benchmark, you will wager on whether you think the actual combined points scored in the game will go over or under the benchmark

For example, let’s say that a sportsbook features an Over/Under market for an NBA game between the Golden States Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks as seen below:

  • Over (200) - 5/1
  • Under (200) - 3/7

Betting on the Over will only win if the combined points scored by both teams at the end of the game are more than 200. On the other hand, betting on the Over will only win if the combined score is less than 200.

NBA Point Spread Betting Market

Like most sports, you will find that most opposing teams are not always evenly matched when it comes to NBA games, and the clear favourites usually beat the underdogs. So, betting on the underdog often results in losing bets, and betting on the favourites doesn't usually bring good payouts. Sportsbooks provide spread bets in an attempt to level the playing field and equalize the chances of winning when punters place wagers on both the favourites and underdogs. In spread bets, sportsbooks remove a certain number of virtual points from the favourites as a handicap and give several virtual points to the underdog as a head-start. This handicap and head-start always come in negative and positive points, respectively. In this scenario, a bet on the favourite will only win if it beats the opposing team by more points than their handicap. The bigger the difference in the strength and ability of the opposing teams, the more points the handicap will be. To win a bet on the underdog, the team has to win the game, end the game in a tie, or lose by a total less than the head-start that the sportsbook gave them.

For example, an NBA betting market will look something along the lines of:

  • New York Knicks (-2.5) - 9/10
  • Brooklyn Nets (+2.5) - 9/10

Betting on the Brooklyn Nets (underdog) to cover the spread will require that the team wins outright or lose the game by 2 points or less. On the other hand, a bet on the New York Knicks (favourite) will win if the team wins the game by a margin of 3 points or more.

NBA Future Bets

Another market that NBA betting enthusiasts can have fun with when betting on NBA games is the NBA futures market. Unlike regular match betting, future NBA basketball betting markets focus on the overall results of the full NBA season and playoffs, not individual games. The most popular NBA future betting is naturally betting on which team you think will win the tournament outright. Of course, this is not the only option that future bets have. 

Depending on the bookmaker of choice, you will find several other future bets options to bet on, some of which includes:

  • To win conference
  • To win division
  • Regular season MVP
  • Rookie of the year
  • Defensive player of the year
  • Coach of the year, etc.

The “future odds” for this market usually open a long time before the season starts and usually close as soon as the first game starts. However, many sportsbooks keep the market open even after the season has already started. But, as the season progresses, the odds will fluctuate based on the players and teams' performance during the games.

Props Betting

Another form of betting growing in popularity in recent years is props betting or proposition betting. Props bets are bets placed on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events that may not directly relate to the game's outcome. These bets are broadly classified into player props, team props, game props, and others. The player props allow Irish punters to place wagers on the individual performance of key players, especially NBA stars like Lebron James, Steven Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, etc. The team props bets have to place wagers on the performance of each team in the game, and the game props deal with the overall outlook of the match. 

Some of the most popular props bets that you are most likely to come across when betting on NBA games include:

  • Total points scored by a player.
  • Total assists by a player.
  • Winning margin.
  • The team will score first, etc.

Live NBA Betting

Live betting, also referred to as in-play betting, has become one of the most popular forms of sports betting online today and the go-to betting for many bettors in Ireland and beyond when it comes to betting on sports. This is because live betting allows punters to place bets on their favourite games when the game has already begun. As a result, punters can easily observe the live-action of an NBA game and place appropriate bets based on how the game is panning out. The In-play betting markets allow punters to bet on the traditional markets like matchups, point spreads, etc. The market also gives punters the chance to place wagers on unique situations like the next team to score, the next player to score, and many different bets. However, you should note that unlike the bets you place before the start of any pre-match, live NBA betting does not feature stable odds. Instead, the odds on offer at live betting markets are regularly updated and changed based on what is happening during the game.

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How to Bet on NBA Games

Now that you know how the NBA betting odds work and the betting markets available for NBA betting, we should look at how to place bets on NBA games. Thankfully, the process is straightforward and pretty easy for newbies to understand. 

This section of our guide covers step-by-step instructions on how an Irish punter can go about the betting process from start to finish:

  • Sign up with a sports betting site: If you don’t already have a sportsbook account, the first thing you need to do is to find a good betting site and create an account.
  • Deposit money into your account: Sports betting requires real money, so after you have successfully created an account with a sportsbook, the next step to take is to fund your newly created account with some cash.
  • Make your picks: Next, you can then go ahead to make a selection of NBA games and markets that you want to place wagers on. This is the most important stage of the betting process, so you need to do proper research and analysis before making your picks.
  • Do a final check: You will agree that a mistake during the sports betting selection process can be costly. So, once you are done with all your selections, remember to do a final check to make sure everything is as it should be.
  • Add your stake: You need money to make wagers on games, and the bigger your stake, the bigger the potential payout you will receive. So, after you are satisfied with your wager selection, you need to add the amount you want to wager on it and submit the bet slip.

How Did We Find the Best Betting Site for NBA Betting

As we have mentioned, hundreds of bookmakers offer NBA betting to punters in Ireland and beyond. As a result, while some sites offer excellent betting markets and services to their customers, others offer substandard experiences. This is why Irish punters need to be selective whenever they decide where to place bets. Our team of betting experts at Irish Luck has provided insight into some of the factors that any bettor should consider before making a choice.

  • Licensing: A gaming licence is a stamp of approval that proves that a bookmaker is legal and is regulated by a governing authority. So, you want a site with a valid licence from any of the most reputable licencing and regulatory authorities.
  • Reputation: Occasionally, you will find cases where some disreputable online bookmaker cheats punters of their money. So, before you choose where to play, you should ensure that the site has a good reputation on the market.
  • Availability of NBA betting on the site: While it is quite rare, not every sports betting site provides NBA betting services. So, you want a site that provides NBA betting to its punters.
  • Wide market coverage: The market offered for NBA betting usually varies from one bookmaker to another, with some providing more betting markets than others. So, before choosing where to place your wagers, you should make sure that the site covers a wide range of betting markets.
  • Competitive Odds: Like betting markets, odds usually vary from one betting site to another. So, you want a site that provides the best possible odds.
  • Extra features: One of the best things about placing bets on NBA games online is the availability of some impressive extra features that assist players in having a more pleasant time betting. This includes bet builder, live streaming, cashout, and many other features. So, you want a site that provides many extra features to its punters.

NBA Betting Tips and Strategies

One of the first things you will discover once you start betting on NBA games is that there are no special tips or sure strategies that will guarantee that your predictions will win. This is because, at the core of it all, NBA basketball betting is a game of probabilities, and anything can happen during a match. However, although there are no special NBA betting tips that guarantee a win, there are certain practices that many NBA betting experts keep to when it comes to betting on NBA games. While these practices and tips don’t guarantee that bettors will walk away with a win, they improve their winning chances. 

Our team of betting experts at Irish Luck have provided some of these NBA online betting tips that could prove useful to you when you place wagers:

  • Know the sport and the NBA betting market: You will agree that without an in-depth understanding of the NBA basketball game and how the NBA basketball betting market works, a punter will find it difficult to achieve success while betting on NBA games. So, the first thing you need to do when you want to bet on NBA games is to understand all there is to know about basketball games and the NBA betting market.
  • Do thorough research: Before you place a single wager on any NBA game, you need to do thorough research on the two opposing teams. Check the teams’ present form, previous results, stats, news, injuries, and any factor that might affect the game's outcome.
  • Pay attention to everything: NBA games, like any other sport, can be significantly affected by any change in the status quo, like the absence of certain players on the court. So, if you want to be successful in NBA games, you need to pay attention to every trend and news so that you don't miss any suspension, injuries, or anything that could make the team not play at its best.
  • Take advantage of handicap bets: Handicap betting is a great way for punters to get great value for their bets, especially when they bet on favourites to win. So, it would be best if you took advantage of handicap betting.
  • Bet with your head: When you are betting on NBA games, you need to keep your emotions about your favourite teams in check and bet on the team that has the best chance of winning and not the one you wish would win.
  • Don’t get greedy: When you are making picks for your NBA online betting wagers, add more bets to bump up the potential payout. Target quality odds with better winning chances.
  • Stick to the market you understand: When you are gambling on NBA games, you may get tempted to try your luck on some exotic markets. But you need to stick to the market you understand first and then slowly transition to trying out other markets.

Closing Thoughts

Betting on NBA games can provide some of the most exciting and profitable betting markets online. With a ton of competitive teams and action during the season and a wide range of betting markets to choose from, NBA betting is on most sports betting enthusiasts' radar. If you don't have much experience in the NBA online betting scene, make sure to go through this guide and other NBA betting resources before you kick start your career in NBA betting. Remember always to gamble responsibly and have fun.

NBA Betting in Ireland FAQs

Yes. As one of the biggest and most-watched sports globally with millions of fans, NBA games are available to sports betting fans on most online betting sites.

Yes. There are currently no laws prohibiting Irish punters from betting on NBA games. It is perfectly legal to bet on NBA basketball games in Ireland.

No, like most sports betting, NBA basketball betting is not rigged. However, you should note that while the betting is not rigged, the odds are often not in your favour as the sportsbooks have an advantage over sports betting enthusiasts most of the time.

Yes, betting on NBA games offers great potential profit to those who understand and have in-depth knowledge of the sport and the NBA online betting scene.

NBA betting works like any other form of sports betting in that a punter has to navigate to their favourite NBA games, select the NBA markets that interest them, and then place wagers on it. Should the predictions prove accurate, the punters will receive payouts.

NBA handicap bet, also known as spread point betting, is a form of side bet that gives virtual advantage and disadvantage to the favourite team and underdog team within a game. This gives the punters higher odds when they bet on the favourite team to win and a slightly safer and less risky market when they bet on the underdog.

The truth is that there is no special NBA betting tips or strategy that guarantees that a punter’s pick(s) will yield profit. However, there are certain practices that Irish punters can adopt to improve their chances of winning when they bet on sport.

NBA Moneyline betting is the simplest and a popular form of sports betting. It simply involves punters picking which team will win a game outright.

The NBA betting odds are used to calculate bettors’ prospective winnings when they bet on NBA games. It expresses the profit bettors stand to gain against their wager in any NBA betting market.

NBA live betting involves punters placing bets on NBA games while the game is on. This feature allows Irish punters to check out the flow of the live-action during a game and place appropriate bets based on what they observed.

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Siobhan AslettSiobhan Aslett

Irish Sportsbook Specialist

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