Sportsbook House Rules NBA Betting

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Sportsbooks have their own languages, methods and contingencies for handling any situation that may come up in any NBA game. If you want to bet on the NBA, you have to navigate those rules, in addition to the sportsbook’s NBA odds and lines.

In other words, there are some very specific rules to which sportsbooks adhere when it comes to NBA betting. Here’s a quick walkthrough of all the basic rules you should know for betting on NBA basketball at retail and online sportsbooks in Florida.

Basic sports betting rules in Florida

First, here’s a look at some basic terms and conditions at Florida sportsbooks:

  • You need to be 21 or older to place a bet in Florida.
  • You can have only one account with an online sportsbook.
  • Sportsbooks have the right to refuse any bet or limit its size.
  • You can’t cancel a bet once it’s confirmed.
  • Sportsbooks can limit a payout no matter how big your bet or the odds.
  • Winnings are taxable, and all taxes are your responsibility.
  • Sportsbooks are not responsible if you give up your account info and password to a third party.

Basic terms and conditions for odds & lines

Now, here are some more basic terms and conditions concerned with sports odds and lines specifically:

  • Sportsbooks can void bets on lines posted in error.
  • Sportsbooks will void bets on games that are rescheduled for a different day.
  • Bets on pregame lines placed after the game starts are voided.
  • In-game bets on who will score next are returned if the game ends before another score.
  • Sportsbooks can reject in-game bets if the odds change significantly before you can confirm the bet.

Betting rules particular to the NBA

Here are some NBA betting rules and regulations you should be aware of:

  • Game has to start on scheduled day (local stadium time) for bets to be in action.
  • Game time remaining must be over 5 mins for bets to have action (unless bet outcome is already determined).
  • If game is stopped before minimum time has been played, and not completed within 48 hours, bets are void unless bet outcome is already determined (or unless otherwise stated, i.e., playoff game rule).
  • If a game is stopped after the minimum time has been played, and not completed within 48 hours, the score when the game was stopped determines betting results (unless otherwise stated, i.e., playoff game rule).
  • Playoff Game Rule – In the case of a playoff game (or postseason tournament game) that is stopped, all bets have action until game is finished as determined by the league’s governing body.
  • If game is stopped at any time, and replayed in full, all bets will be void.
  • If a game venue is changed but the home team remains designated as the home team, bets stand.
  • If a game venue is changed and the home/away teams are reversed, original bets are void.
  • All bets include overtime unless otherwise stated.

Specific NBA betting market rules

Here’s a look at some more specific NBA basketball betting rules:

  • In quarter and half markets, the quarter or half must be completed for bets to stand, unless the result of the bet has already been determined.
  • Fourth-quarter and second-half markets include overtime.
  • Race to ‘X’ Points bets are voided and returned if neither team reaches the number of points required to win.
  • All bets are voided and returned on Player Performance Props, Most Points/Rebounds/Assists and Player vs. Player markets if the player or any one of the players in question does not play.
  • Free throws count in First Point Scored
  • Bets are voided and returned on First Point/Rebound/Assist bets if the player bet on does not start.
  • If two or more players tie in any Most Points/Rebounds/Assists bet, Dead Heat Rules apply, and you will win part of the bet and lose part with wins proportionally divided.

NBA props and futures rules

Here’s a look at even more rules concerning specific NBA props and futures:

  • All games involved in Daily Props must be completed for bets to stand.
  • Bets are voided and returned in Daily Player Markets on players who do not play.
  • Bets stand on all futures regardless of a change in NBA season length, team location, name changes or changes to the NBA Playoff format, unless otherwise stated.
  • The Eastern and Western Conference winners are the two teams that make it to the NBA Finals, not the teams with the best regular season records.
  • The conference’s top seed is the team with the best regular season record in each conference, and NBA tie-break rules apply.
  • Sportsbooks use the same tie-break rules as the NBA to settle Division Winners
  • All Make the Playoffs bets are voided and returned if the NBA does not host a postseason or if the number of teams that make the postseason changes during the season.
  • Regular Season Win Total bets are voided and returned if a team does not complete a minimum of 98% of its scheduled regular season games, unless the remaining games would not affect the result of the bet.
  • Regular Season Win Percentage bets stand as long as the team completes at least one game.
  • Win percentage is used to settle Regular Season Wins or Win Percentage bets if a team does not complete all its scheduled regular season games.
  • Bets stand on Best Average and Most Points/Rebounds/Assists bets regardless of how many games are played, and Dead Heat Rules apply to ties, meaning wins are proportionally divided.
  • Bets are voided and returned on regular season player props if the player’s team does not play at least 98% of its scheduled regular season games.
  • All Name The NBA Finalists Exact Result bets stand unless the NBA Finals are not played.
  • All NBA Awards bets stand unless the award is not handed out.
  • Player’s Next Team bets are settled by the team with which the player is under contract for the first game of the following NBA regular season, regardless of whether the player is in the lineup.
  • Draft props are settled using the data on the official NBA Draft page.

More NBA sportsbook rules explained

What happens when a sportsbook makes a mistake?

It really depends on the type of error. Sportsbooks will reverse most settlement mistakes on NBA bets once the mistake is discovered. As stated in the terms and conditions, sportsbooks can void bets on NBA lines that are posted by mistake, but sometimes they won’t.

In 2018, a glitch allowed one customer to bet $112 on the Denver Broncos to beat the Oakland Raiders at 750-1, when the actual live odds late in the fourth quarter of this NFL game should have been more like 1-6. FanDuel Sportsbook could have invoked its “palp rule,” which is written into its house rules and had been approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. It says the sportsbook can void bets on lines for any game in any sport that are posted by palpable error. Instead, FanDuel paid out the $85,000 win, chalking it up as the cost of all the good press that followed that decision.

What is “no action”?

A bet is said to have “no action” when it is voided, for whatever reason. Bets on NBA games either stand and have action, or are voided, returned and considered “no action.” For example, NBA Regular Season Win Total futures are no-actioned if the team completes less than 98% of its schedule, but NBA Regular Season Win Percentage future bets have action as long as the team completes one game.

Can I use free bets and bonuses to bet on the NBA?

Unless otherwise stated, you can use any free bets and bonus offers awarded to you by a sportsbook to bet on the NBA. Of course, these free bets and bonuses may come with some rules of their own. Terms and conditions of free bets and sports bonuses have been known to include things like minimum wagering requirements and minimum or maximum odds. Check the terms and conditions for any free bet or bonus, whether it’s from DraftKings Sportsbook , BetMGM Sportsbook or the Hard Rock Seminole Sportsbook.

Can I have more than one account with a sportsbook?

You can have an account with more than one sportsbook, but only one account with each. This helps prevent fraud and skirting around any betting limits a sportsbook may have.

Why do sportsbooks refuse to take certain bets?

Sportsbooks can refuse to take bets for all kinds of reasons. They’ll mostly do it to protect themselves against a big loss, which you could agree any business should have the right to do. Refused bets tend to be massive. Sportsbooks are not likely to turn down small to midsize bets on NBA games or futures, no matter the odds. For most of us, a sportsbook refusing to take a big-money bet on any NBA action is not something we need to worry about.

Learn more sportsbook rules for betting on specific sports on the pages below: