HomeNBA Betting in California

NBA Betting in California

Sports betting is still prohibited in CA, so this page contains a predictive look at what NBA betting in California could look like once the legal status changes.

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Expected CA sportsbooks for NBA betting

Once the legal status of sports gambling in California changes, many of the top oddsmakers will flock to the state to obtain a license. Here are some of the best expected CA sportsbooks for NBA betting.

DraftKings California


DraftKings is already available to California NBA fans through its daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform. However, when the sportsbook platform is licensed and live in CA, DraftKings users will enjoy the selection of player props for NBA action.

FanDuel California


Like DK, FanDuel began in the DFS space, and typically where one goes, the other isn’t far behind. FanDuel popularized the same game parlay and has one of the biggest selections of that betting type.

Caesars California


Caesars has already forged partnerships with several NBA teams, and it likely would jump at the opportunity to join one of the California teams once sports betting is legalized. The bookie is known for offering lucrative bonuses to new and returning players alike.

BetMGM California


In addition to BetMGM’s top-notch rewards program, we’ve found the bookmaker to be one of the earliest to post futures wagers and one of the most frequent to update the lines. The customer service with BetMGM is an industry gold standard.

Getting started betting on the NBA in California

Once you are permitted to bet on the NBA in California, the process of getting started will be quick and hassle-free. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Learn more about available sportsbooks: CASportsBettingSites.com aims to keep you as informed as possible about betting issues in California. Once we know what operators are approved in the state, we will compose rigorous sportsbook reviews to analyze the bookies based on a series of important metrics and features.
  2. Pick where to play and get registered: Within the reviews, we will have links to the registration forms which will ensure you’re getting the best possible welcome bonus when you’re signing up. We will also include any relevant promo codes. The registration forms will require (at minimum) your legal first and last name, date of birth, street address, phone number, email address, and the last four digits of your social security number. This information will be used to verify your eligibility and to track for tax documentation purposes.
  3. Make a deposit: Bonus offers will be rampant around the time of the sports betting launch. While some may offer bonus bets or betting credits as part of your registration, you’ll still need to make a real-money deposit to claim the promotion and access the funds. Link your bank account, debit card, or PayPal (or use one of the other approved methods the operator employs) and make a deposit that is within your financial means.
  4. Study the markets and matchups you want to play: Information is ammunition when you’re betting on the NBA, and the more you have at your disposal, the better. Understanding game flow and matchups is important, but spending time tracking the lines, analyzing potential strengths and weaknesses, and seeking out betting value will be key to sports betting success.
  5. Shop the odds and make your bets: Finally, the best thing you can do to maximize betting value is to shop the odds. This means looking at a few different sportsbooks to decide which bookie is offering the most favorable line for the betting market you’re choosing. Think of it like shopping for a car - why pay more at Store A when you can get the same vehicle at a better price elsewhere?

Here are a few of the most popular bet types for NBA wagering in California.

  • Moneyline and Spread: The moneyline and the spread are two betting markets focused on the winner of the game. Moneyline wagers involve picking the winner straight up while spread wagers require the team that is projected to win to “cover” a margin decided by the sportsbook (the favorite must win by at least as many points as the spread to cover while the underdog can win outright or lose by fewer than the spread total to cover).
  • P+A+R: P+A+R is a player-focused prop bet centered around a player’s combined points+assists+rebounds. For example, LeBron James’ P+A+R total may be set at 35.5. If you took the over, you’re wagering that James’ combined total in those three categories will be 36 or more. This bet type isn’t tied to the final score, so your P+A+R bet could still be a winner even if your favorite team loses.
  • Futures bets: Futures bets are long-term wagers that are often focused on team performance or individual awards. Some examples would include which player will win league MVP or Rookie of the Year honors, team win total, or on which team will be crowned NBA Champions.

Reading NBA odds

Reading NBA odds can be a little bit confusing at first, and it can be a tripping point for new bettors. However, with a little practice, you’ll be a pro at reading the lines in no time!

The important detail to look out for is where the “+” sign falls and where the “-” sign is when looking at the NBA odds. A “+” sign denotes the underdog, which is the less likely outcome, while a “-” sign indicates a betting favorite, the most likely outcome.

After the “+” and “-” signs, you’ll see a number with at least three digits. The easiest way to think about that number is to base it around $100. For the “+” sign the number afterward is how much money you would win on a $100 wager; conversely, the number after the “-” sign tells you how much money you would need to wager to win $100 (betting on the favorite will yield a smaller reward for a winning wager while the underdog will pay out more at the same stake on a win).

It’s important to know you do not have to wager $100 when making your bets. You can wager smaller or larger amounts and the payouts will change proportionally.

Expert advice when betting on the NBA

When you’re betting on the NBA, be sure to keep this expert advice in mind.

  • Don’t bet big on heavy favorites: While favorites do win the majority of the time, they don’t always account for favorable betting value at the sportsbooks. When you get into odds of -200 or higher (-210, -250, etc.), you are getting to the point where you’re wagering more than twice as much as you would potentially win. This represents poor betting value as you have a bigger risk on a loss and a smaller return if your bet hits.
  • Keep the schedule in mind: The NBA has done a better job of phasing out back-to-back games, but they will still pop up throughout the season. According to Green and Gold Analytics, teams playing on the second night of a back-to-back win just 44% of the time. Fatigue can be a factor in a quick turnaround.
  • Remove emotions from your wagers: Betting on your favorite team can be fun, but it’s not always the most profitable move. You’ve likely heard the phrase “bet with your head, not your heart.” This is important whether you’re winning or losing, as betting at either emotional extreme can lead to ill-advised wagers and poor gambling behaviors.


Will the NBA be a popular league to bet on in California?

Yes, the NBA will be a popular league to bet on in California once the state’s sports betting laws change. With four NBA teams in the state (Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings), Californians love their basketball. We expect the state to follow the national trend where the NBA is the second-most wagered-on league behind the NFL.

Is it legal to bet on the NBA in California?

No, it is not legal to bet on the NBA in California. Sports betting in CA is still illegal. Until that status changes, the closest alternative is participation in daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests.

Which sportsbook offers the best odds on the NBA?

There isn’t one particular sportsbook that offers “the best” NBA odds, as all will have differing lines based on both their projections and the betting action. It is important to shop around at multiple sportsbooks to find the most favorable odds for the lines you intend to play.