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How to Bet on the NBA in Tennessee

Betting on the NBA is becoming an extremely popular pastime among Tennessee residents. For as popular as betting on football may be in Tennessee, the college and pro seasons each only last about five months, and the vast majority of their games are on Saturdays and Sundays.

NBA games give sports bettors some great cards to bet on during the week in the early stages of the season. And after the football postseason wraps up in early February, the NBA takes center stage with its late-season action and then its thrilling postseason starting in April.

Whether you are a Memphis Grizzlies fan, a fan of another team, or just a fan of star players and great basketball, you’ll find plenty of betting options to choose from in the NBA.

How to bet on NBA games in Tennessee

Online sportsbooks and sports betting apps in Tennessee

Betting on the NBA is completely legal in Tennessee. However, there are no physical locations where you can place your bets. All licensed sportsbooks in Tennessee operate online only. You can access these online sportsbook websites from your computer or download their sports betting apps on your favorite Android and iOS mobile devices.

NBA bet types

Online sportsbooks in Tennessee offer many ways to bet on the NBA. These include:

  • Moneyline: A moneyline bet is a straight bet on which team will win the game. The price varies on each team, with the favorite listed with “-” betting odds and the underdog listed with “+” betting odds. The number following the “-” indicates how much you have to bet on that side to win $100. So a -240 favorite would require a bet of $240 to win $100, or $24 to win $10. The number following the “+” indicates how much you will win if you bet $100, so a +200 favorite will earn you a profit of $200 on a $100 bet if it hits.
  • Point spread: The point spread is a points handicap applied to each team to attempt to make the two sides even from a betting perspective. For example, if the Memphis Grizzlies are a -4.5 favorite over the Phoenix Suns at +4.5, this would mean that Memphis must win the game by at least five points to cover the 4.5-points spread. A bet on Phoenix +4.5 would win if the Suns win the game or lose by four points or fewer. Point spreads generally offer both sides at -110.
  • Totals: Also referred to as over/under bets, a totals wager is a bet on whether the combined total score will go over or under a posted total for the game that the sportsbook has set. For example, if the sportsbook sets the game’s total at 210.5, an NBA bettor could bet on the over 210.5 and would win if the two teams’ total score adds up to 211 or more.
  • Futures: Future bets are long-term wagers on events that are set to happen in the future, such as what team will win the NBA championship, what team will win the Eastern Conference or what player will win NBA Rookie of the Year.
  • Prop bets: Proposition bets are wagers on events that occur with an NBA game. For example, you can bet on whether Anthony Davis will go over or under a certain number of points, whether the Memphis Grizzlies as a team will have over or under a set number of rebounds, or on which team will be the first to get to 10 points.
  • Live betting: Live betting allows you to bet on in-game lines for NBA games that are currently taking place. Prices on moneylines, spreads, totals and prop bets are constantly changing based on the action that is unfolding in the game.
  • Parlays: A parlay allows you to combine multiple wagers into one bet. Under the rules of a parlay, if any of the bets that you add to your parlay lose, the entire parlay is a loss. But if all of your bets win, you can earn big payouts. Payout sizes vary depending on the amount of picks you make and what the odds on those picks are.

NBA teams in Tennessee

The Memphis Grizzlies are the only professional basketball team in Tennessee and the only team across the major professional sports in North America to play in the city of Memphis. The Grizzlies started in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies, joining the NBA as an expansion team in the 1995-96 season. They moved to Memphis at the end of the 2000-01 season and have played in Tennessee since the 2001-02 season.

Memphis Grizzlies facts

  • Owner: Robert Pera
  • Head Coach: Taylor Jenkins
  • Home Arena: FedExForum
  • Scoring, Top 5 All-Time: Mike Conley (11,733 points), Marc Gasol (11,684), Zach Randolph (9,261), Pau Gasol (8,966), Rudy Gay (8,562)
  • Assists, Top 5 All-Time: Mike Conley (4,509), Marc Gasol (2,639), Jason Williams (2,069), Mike Bibby (1,675), Pau Gasol (1,473)
  • Rebounds, Top 5 All-Time: Marc Gasol (5,942), Zach Randolph (5,612), Pau Gasol (4,096), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (3,070), Rudy Gay (2,758)
  • Games Played, Top 5 All-Time: Mike Conley (788), Marc Gasol (769), Zach Randolph (551), Rudy Gay (479), Pau Gasol (476)

Top 5 NBA players from Tennessee

  • Oscar Robertson, born in Charlotte: Oscar Robertson is not only the greatest Tennessee-born NBA player of all time. He’s one of the greatest NBA players of all time, period. Robertson is the only player in NBA history who ranks in the top ten all-time in both points per game (ranking ninth all-time with 25.7 PPG) and assists per game (ranking third all-time with 9.5 APG). He made the NBA All-Star Game in the first 12 seasons (1961-1972) of his 14-year career, was named to the All-NBA First Team nine times, won the NBA championship in 1971, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.
  • Bailey Howell, born in Middleton: The Detroit Pistons selected Bailey Howell with the second overall pick in the 1959 NBA draft. Howell went on to put together a Hall of Fame career across 12 seasons, averaging 18.7 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game. He went to the NBA All-Star Game six times and won NBA championships in back-to-back years with the Boston Celtics in 1968 and 1969.
  • Anfernee Hardaway, born in Memphis: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway’s brilliance was cut short due to a long string of injuries during his career. But when he was at his best, he was something to behold. From 1994-95 through 1996-97, Hardaway averaged 21.2 points per game and 6.7 assists per game and was a two-time All-NBA point guard. Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were one of the best and most popular 1-2 punches in the NBA in the late 1990s during their time with the Orlando Magic.
  • Lou Williams, born in Memphis: Lou Williams has carved out a fantastic career coming off the bench, so much so that he’s been named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year three times, once with the Toronto Raptors (2015) and twice with the Los Angeles Clippers (2018 and 2019). Williams has thrived in his time with the Clippers, averaging 20.6 points per game from 2017 through 2020. He currently ranks third among Tennessee-born players in scoring with over 14,000 points and has a great shot at surpassing Bailey Howell (17,770 career points) for second on this list.
  • J.J. Reddick, born in Cookeville: J.J. Reddick has built an impressive career off being an excellent pure shooter. Reddick’s .416 shooting percentage from 3-point range is the best among all Tennessee-born NBA players with a sample size of over 100 3-point attempts. Reddick has attempted a whole lot more than 100 3-pointers with 1,860 makes on 4,474 career attempts through the first 14 years of his NBA career.

NBA betting FAQ

How does the NBA regular season work?

There are 30 teams in the NBA, forming two 15-team conferences: the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference. In addition, each of these conferences is split up into three divisions, which are the Atlantic, Central and Southeast divisions in the East and the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest divisions in the West. The Memphis Grizzlies play in the Southwest Division with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs.

Unlike in the other major North American professional leagues, divisions do not matter at all in the NBA when it comes to determining playoff seeding. All 30 teams in the league play 82 games during the regular season. Fifty-two of those games are against conference opponents, and 30 are against the 15 teams in the opposing conference. At the end of the regular season, the teams with the eight best records in each conference advance to the NBA postseason.

How does the NBA postseason work?

The NBA regular season determines the order of the top eight teams in each of the Eastern and Western conferences. The team with the best record in its conference earns the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason, the second-best record earns the No. 2 overall seed, and so on all the way down to the No. 8 seed. In the event that two teams have the same regular-season record, a series of tiebreakers starting with head-to-head record determines which team gets the higher seed.

The eight seeds in each conference play as follows: No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. The winner of the No. 1 vs. No. 8 series will face the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 series in the second round, while the winner of the No. 2 vs. No. 7 series will face the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 series. The two remaining teams in each conference meet in the Conference Finals, and the two winners of the Conference Finals meet in the NBA Finals.

Every postseason series is a best-of-seven format. The higher seed gets home court advantage in the series and hosts home games in Game 1, Game 2, Game 5 and Game 7, if Games 5 and 7 are necessary. In the NBA Finals, the team with the better record gets home court advantage.

What happens to my NBA bet if the line changes?

In the days and hours leading up to an NBA game, it is common to see the betting lines move. Sometimes the movement is due to changes in the game like a news break that a player is injured or getting the day off to rest. But more often than not, Tennessee sportsbooks make slight adjustments based on the betting action that they are receiving on both sides. If one side is getting too much action, the sportsbook may change the line to make the other side more enticing, changing the Boston Celtics from +3.5 to +4 or +4.5, for example.

Regardless of where the line closes, your bet is final at the number that you place it at. A $60 to win $50 moneyline wager on the Memphis Grizzlies at -120 will be locked in even if the Grizzlies end up moving to -150 or -110.

Can I cancel or change my NBA bet after I’ve placed it?

No. All bets are final once they are confirmed. Online sportsbooks in Tennessee allow you to review your wagers before confirming them, so make sure that you are happy with the side you are betting on and the amount you are wagering before you confirm the bet.

What happens if my NBA against-the-spread bet ends in a tie?

If you have the Memphis Grizzlies -3 and they win by a final score of 124-121, this is called a push. You will receive your original wager amount back.