Professional basketball has a history in Colorado that dates back to 1967, when the ABA franchise that was originally supposed to go to Kansas City instead made its home in Denver and the superior McNichols Arena. Originally called the Rockets, the team had to change its name before it moved to the NBA because the Houston Rockets were already a team. So the NBA’s Denver Nuggets were born, as an ode to the long-defunct Denver Nuggets who played in 1949-50.
Of course, you don’t need a local team to love the NBA, or betting on the NBA. With more than 100 international players from nearly 40 countries around the world, the NBA is a true global phenomenon.
NBA Season Structure
Some people complain about the long NBA season. None of those people are NBA bettors.
From October to April, there are 1,230 NBA regular-season games, with each team playing 82 games – 41 at home and 41 on the road. Then after the regular season is over, an entirely new season begins: The NBA Playoffs. The NBA Playoffs feature 15 different playoff series from mid-April to mid-June that add roughly another 90 games to the schedule, and 90 more opportunities to place NBA wagers.
It all culminates in one of the crown jewels of the sports betting calendar, the NBA Finals. From a sports betting perspective, the NBA Finals is like a seven-game Super Bowl.
Where to Bet the NBA in Colorado
In November 2019, voters in Colorado approved legal sports betting. By May 1, 2020, regulations were in place, and betting was live in the state. And when the NBA resumed its interrupted season in July, every sportsbook in Colorado was taking NBA bets. Fortunately for fans of betting on the NBA, there are a lot of sportsbook options.
Colorado limits sportsbooks to retail casinos, which are limited to the towns of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City. But with more than 30 operating casinos, retail sportsbooks are plentiful.
- Monarch Casino (BetMonarch)
- Ameristar Casino Black Hawk (Penn National)
- Golden Mardi Gras Casino (DraftKings)
- Isle of Capri Casino (William Hill)
- Red Dolly Casino (Elite Gaming)
- Saratoga Casino (Betfred)
- Wildwood Casino (BetWildwood)
- Johnny Nolon’s Casino (ISI)
Adding to the eight retail sportsbooks that Colorado offers sports bettors (a number that will grow), there are currently 12 online and mobile sportsbooks taking NBA action (a number that will also grow).
- FOX Bet
- Sky Ute Sportsbook
- theScore Bet
- William Hill
There are several ways to bet the NBA, so make sure when looking for the right sportsbook for you, that it offers the types of betting you prefer. They all will have the basics, but not all will have the same betting options that allow you to supercharge your bets for added winnings and extra fun.
Also, make sure to look for bonus and incentive offers. You will find sportsbooks that offer NBA specific specials, like 100-point insurance, as an example. With 100-point insurance, if your team scores 100 points but loses, you won’t lose your bet.
Instead, the amount of your bet will be refunded in the form of betting credits. You can also find Denver Nuggets specific bonuses and offers if you plan to wager on the home team on a regular basis.
Types of NBA Bets in Colorado
Point Spread: This is the most popular form of betting in the NBA. If you bet on the Nuggets -5.5, then for your bet to win, the Nuggets must win by at least six points.
Conversely, if you take the underdog at +5.5, they can lose by as many as five points, and your bet still wins. The last minute or so of free throws is nail-biting time for most point spread bets.
Moneyline: This is a straight win-loss bet with no concern for the point spread. Instead of points, the favorite and underdog get odds.
If the Nuggets are -140, which means that to win $100, you need to bet $140. If the odds on the underdog are +120, a $100 bet will win net you $120 in winnings.
Totals: It doesn’t matter who wins and who loses. All that matters is how many combined points are scored by both teams. Also known as an over/under bet because on that total points line, you place your bet on over the total or under the total. Free throw time at the end of the game is also nerve-racking for these types of bets.
The other popular types of bets that are available are futures bets and prop bets.
Futures Bets: Futures bets are bets on any event that will take place sometime in the future. The winner of the NBA Finals or if a team will make the playoffs are popular NBA futures bets.
Proposition Bets: Prop bets are individual and team bets that take place inside another event. Examples of these types of bets can be seasonal – NBA team win totals, who will win the MVP, which team will win the NBA Draft lottery – or by game, like most points scored off the bench, most made three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and which point guard will finish the game with the most assists.
Live NBA Betting in Colorado
Live betting is all the rage in the sports gaming world, and NBA betting offers some of the most exciting live betting of any sport. Live betting, also known as in-game or in-play betting, features bets that are placed on a game already in progress.
If you’re live betting, you’re dealing with constantly changing point spreads and odds, quarter lines, halftime lines, and automatic changes to the spread as the game unfolds. There are also buyout options and numerous individual bets.
Live betting best works on a mobile device because of the connection speed required to follow the changing odds. All of the mobile sportsbooks operating in Colorado have fast and flexible platforms perfect for live betting.
Tips for Betting the NBA in Colorado
Bet on what you know or what you can easily learn. If you live in Denver and follow the Nuggets, you know the team.
You know who does well at home, who struggles on the road, and which teams give the Nuggets the biggest fits. Use that knowledge to your advantage when you’re researching NBA bets.
The best formula for finding good NBA bets is knowing injuries, size of home-court advantage, recent roster changes, team motivation, fatigue, coaches fighting for their jobs, and any other factor that will affect performance.
It’s a lot to know, but it’s all valuable to know, and it’s how you can separate yourself from other NBA bettors.
Keep a betting journal. To be a successful sports gambler, all you need to do is shift the probabilities in your favor by a little bit. When you record your bets, and then go back and study them, you’ll see the trends.
You’ll see which bets you won, and why. And even more importantly, which bets lost, and why. All of that knowledge will better inform your NBA bets going forward.
Things to Avoid When Betting the NBA in Colorado
Never, ever chase your losses. A good sports bettor has a plan. A winning sports bettor sticks to the plan.
If you lose a bet and think you’re going to win it all back by doubling down on the next game, you are no longer following the plan, and you have put yourself at unnecessary risk. Even the very best bettors in the business will lose 40% of their bets.
It’s not only okay to lose; it’s expected. Just stick to the plan.
Bet with your head and not your heart. It sounds basic, but it’s worth the constant reminder. Wanting a team to win is the worst reason in the world to bet them.
Only wager on your favorite team when the data supports it. There is nothing worse than watching your team lose and losing money on a fool’s bet.
Don’t overextend yourself. That goes true for the money you have out at any one time, and the number of NBA games you bet on any given day. You can only consume so much NBA news and stats for a day’s slate of games.
If you try to bet on too many games at once, you will undoubtedly be betting with less information than you should. Information is good, less information is bad, and it leads to bad bets. Don’t fall into this trap.
FAQ About NBA Betting in Colorado
How do bookmakers create NBA odds?
It’s important to know that posted odds by a bookmaker are not meant to be a prediction of the result. Nor does it reflect any kind of rooting interest.
Odds from a bookmaker serve one goal – to stimulate equal amounts of wagering on both sides of the line. And when the majority of wagering falls on one side of the line, bookmakers will adjust the odds and point spread to the other side to serve that one goal.
One thing to note – because handicapping the odds on so many games takes a team of people to do it accurately, many bookmakers outsource their bookmaking. That means many sportsbooks are getting their odds from the same source, giving you, the bettor, less variance.
Does an over/under bet in the NBA include overtime?
Yes. The entire game counts, be it the end of four quarters or at the end several overtimes. And this counts for second-half wagers too. If you bet on a first-half line, that bet ends at halftime. But if you make a second-half wager, that bet doesn’t end until the game does.