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The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). In 1976, the NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA) merged, adding four franchises to the NBA. The NBA’s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. The league’s playoff tournament extends into June. As of 2020, NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. It is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are tied with the most NBA championships at 17 each. The Golden State Warriors, are the defending league champions, as they defeated the Boston Celtics 4–2 in the 2022 NBA Finals, to mark the end of the 2021–22 season.

Larry O'Brien Trophy

The 2022 NBA Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, redesigned by Tiffany & Co. for the first time in 45 years. Photographer: T|Tiffany & Co. Studio/Digital Communications|Digital Screens

History of the Game

The Basketball Association of America, which existed as the NBA’s official moniker for the past three years and at its inception in 1946, eventually merging with the National Basketball League in 1949 and changing its name to the NBA. Financial problems plagued the league from the beginning, and given the NBL teams who joined during the merger were in smaller markets However, the NBA thrived with 8 teams from 1955 until the Chicago Packers joined the league in 1961. And in the 1960s, the NBA experienced a growth spurt by adding new teams, a rival springing up to challenge the ABA.

During the 1980s, the league and the basketball game experienced a remarkable growth, with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s rivalry playing a significant role. The NBA began to play as the Basketball Association of America in 1946. The BBA merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to create the NBA. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises and this transition ran until 1954–1955.

Going through tremendous growth in the 1960s and 1970s and doubled its franchise numbers. They also merged with the American Basketball Association in 1976, creating one unified basketball league with the best players, coaches and teams. Following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. To give appreciation for the merger and prevent any possible legal issues, the league’s name was changed to the current National Basketball Association, despite the fact that the merged league remained the BAA’s governing body then NBA currently claims the BAA’s history as its own.In 1979, the league added the ABA’s three-point field goal. More people were interested in the league after Michael Jordan’s 1984 NBA appearance with the Chicago Bulls.

In the 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team, the NBA showcased its NBA stars in its lineup featuring Michael Jordan as the anchor, along with Bird, Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and star NCAA amateur Christian Laettner. The NBA presented their first outdoor game in the modern era of the league, played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 11, 2008, between the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets. The first official NBA league games on European ground took place in 2011. In two matchups, the New Jersey Nets faced the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena in London in front of over 20,000 fans.

In today’s history its considered (by some) the Top 10 players are – 

  • Michael Jordan – Most Points per Game – Most Finals MVP
  • Lebron James – has won 2 NBA Championship rings and an NBA Finals MVP award.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Most MVP Awards
  • Magic Johnson – career successes with the 5-time champion, 3 season MVP awards, and 3 Finals MVP titles. The Hall of Famer averaged 19.5 points in a game, 11.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds in 906 games over 13 seasons in his entire career.
  • Kobe Bryant – one of the most outstanding NBA player’s in league history. He seized the top 5 NBA players of all time.
  • Shaquille O’Neal – is the most formidable basketball player NBA history has ever produced. Possessing a height of 2.16 m and a weight of 147 kg, O’Neal dominated the area under the basketball when he was still playing. He is also the owner of the league MVP titles.
  • Larry Bird – led the Boston Celtics to three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP titles.
  • Wilt Chamberlain – is the basketball player who paved the way for the development of today’s NBA stars. Not having many opportunities to show off during college, Chamberlain was an essential piece of the infamous Harlem Globetrotters for a year before starting his NBA career.
  • Bill Russell – with 5-time MVP awards and 12 times All-Star, throughout his career, he has accumulated 21,620 rebounds. The average is about 22.5 rebounds in a game.
  • Tim Duncan – Having 5 NBA championships and All-Defensive team selections, and is also one of only five players in NBA history to earn more than 25,000 points and 15,000 rebounds.
Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee, WI1968Fiserv Forum2
Chicago BullsChicago, IL1966United Center6
Cleveland CavaliersCleveland, OH1970Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse1
Boston CelticsBoston, MA1946TD Garden17
LA ClippersLos Angeles, Arena0
Memphis GrizzliesMemphis, TN1995FedExForum0
Atlanta HawksAtlanta, GA1946State Farm Arena1
Miami HeatMiami, FL1988FTX Arena3
Charlotte HornetsCharlotte, NC1988Spectrum Center0
Utah JazzSalt Lake City, UT1974Vivint Arena0
Sacramento Kings Sacramento, CA1923Golden 1 Center2
New York KnicksNew York City, NY1946Madison Square Garden2
LA LakersLos Angeles, CA1947 Arena18*
Orlando MagicOrlando, FL1989Amway Center0
Dallas MavericksDallas, TX1980American Airlines Center1
Brooklyn NetsBrooklyn, NY1967Barclays Center2
Denver NuggetsDenver, CO1967Ball Arena0
Indiana PacersIndianapolis, IN1967Gainbridge Fieldhouse3*
New Orleans PelicansNew Orleans, LA2002Smoothie King Center0
Detroit PistonsDetroit, MI1947Little Caesars Arena5*
Toronto RaptorsToronto, ON1995Scotiabank Arena1
Houston RocketsHouston, TX1967Toyota Center2
Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphia, PA1946Wells Fargo Center3
San Antonio SpursSan Antonio, TX1967AT&T Center5
Phoenix SunsPhoenix, AZ1968Footprint Center0
Minnesota Timberwolves Minneapolis, MN1989Target Center0
Oklahoma City Thunder Oklahoma City, OK1967 Paycom Center1
Portland Trail BlazersPortland, OR1970Moda Center1
Golden State Warriors San Francisco, CA1946Chase Center7
Washington WizardsWashington, D.C.1961Capital One Arena1

* LAKERS – 1 NBL Title 1948
* PACERS – 3 ABA Titles 1970, 72, 73
* PISTONS – 2 NBL Titles 1944, 45

    NB – The Kia All-NBA 1st Team is made up entirely of players age 27 or younger for the first time since the 1954-55 season.
  • NBA Fan Favorites
  • Bob Lanier Community Assist Award
  • NBA Hustle Award
  • Social Justice award
  • Kia All-Defensive Teams
  • Kia NBA All-Rookie Teams
  • Kia MVP award
  • Coach of the Year award
  • Kia Sixth Man of the Year
  • Kia NBA Most Improved Player
  • Kia Rookie of the Year award
  • Kia Defensive Player of the Year
  • NBA History: All-Time awards

Basketball is probably one of the most difficult sports to bet on, and for good reason. The season is a long one, 82 regularly season games and then a long playoff run to make it to the finals. Great records in the NBA regular season have seen only two teams with more than 70 wins in the regular season. The all time best record is held by the Golden State Warriors with 73-9 record, in 2015-2016 season, interestingly they actually lost the Final Series to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a classic 7 game series, with the Cavs edging out the win 4-3. The lengthy season, also sees long road stretches where teams can play a week on the road in 3 different cities. The game of basketball is also evolving, and we’re seeing higher and higher scores during the regular season. Teams seem to take more chances on the road from outside, and if they get it right then they tend to pick up the road wins. The regular season seems to lack the defence the playoffs offer, as teams free wheel a lot more in the regular season as opposed to when the playoffs come around. 

There is generally 300 – 350 markets for every single NBA game., thats a lot of markets. Now most of those markets are worthless or way to speculative for us to look at, so realistically there’s probably 80 markets, now thats still a lot of markets to assess, but it does provide opportunity to find lanes. When you find a lane that works stick with it. Finding that lane, well thats the challenge. With seemingly endless outcomes to select from you are going to want to follow the laws of averages within the game, and then work your market odds and returns to find the right outcomes for each match. 

When betting on professional basketball you have to be able to learn and develop a staking system. You’re generally going to want to select a lot more outcomes too, so a reduced your overall stake per outcome makes to accommodate a long season, and then adjust stakes when hot streaks are running. Totals and or alternate totals look to always have better overall chances than if you’re sticking with a traditional line or spread option. If you’re going to just bet spreads then good luck with that, as even the very best cappers cant seem to agree on who might even win the game head to head. There is one thing with rivalries they tend to be good tough matches, so pick your spots as they come up during the season.

Where the season really heats up and we believe offers the best value for money is when the playoffs roll around. Due to the fact that it’s now win or go home, you tend to see the defences step it up and the entire nature of the game changes. It’s also rare that the Top Seeds in both the East and West Conferences loss in the first round, while you may be taking reduce odds on series outcomes, winning is better than losing right!? The other great opportunity in playoff basketball is player performance outcomes. You can get some really interesting same game multi (parlay) options that can really generate some great value, trick always is to not go to far, with to many outcomes.

Our best advice for betting on basketball games, is you have to be able to take reduced odds for trims, or teasers and couple those together. You might also want to save some of your stake for the first two rounds of the playoffs (where the tends to be pretty sizeable mismatches then thats where you can up your stake a little and up the return. Generally scores over the course of the season are high, so if you’re looking at a trimmed over total then you’re probably a fair chance most games. Just be prepared to ride most games to the buzzer as thats just how basketball seems to playout.

It’s anyone’s game. Watch the most heated rivalries, competitive matchups, and 24/7 coverage with NBA League Pass.