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NBA 2K is the biggest esports-title basketball video game. The National Basketball Association works in close partnership with the developers of the NBA 2K game, which means the game feels very much like the real thing- but is also unique in other ways.
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As you may expect from its title, NBA 2K is a video game simulation of traditional basketball. The title prides itself on being a realistic copy of its physical counterpart, with few differences and a pretty one-to-one following of the traditional NBA rules. Similarly to FIFA, the game is updated each year with the player changes and transfers taken into account in a mirror image. Thanks to this, the game has built up a substantial and loyal fanbase, and some of the social accounts of the game, like the Twitter account, have over 3 million followers.
The game is played on multiple platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Wii and Android systems all can enjoy NBA 2K. The seamless transition from traditional sports into esports in this game makes it a popular choice with esports first timers.
The main NBA 2K tournament is called the NBA 2K League, and was founded in 2017. Like the game itself, the competition is a joint-venture by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive. In NBA 2K esports, a team is made up of five players who each play a different starting position. This makes NBA esports teams bigger than other sports/esports crossover teams.
2018 was the first iteration of the NBA 2K League tournament, and 17 teams took part. By 2020, the League rapidly expanded and featured various qualifier events throughout the year like the NBA 2K League Qualifier, the NBA 2K League Combine, the NBA 2K League European Invitational and the NBA 2K League APAC Invitational. All of these competitions had players trying to take part in the main NBA 2K League, which had grown to 23 teams.
These teams could then draw players from an overall pool of talent, but for the 2021 season the rules changed: teams could now host their own pro-am tournaments in order to increase the chances for the community to get involved and new talent to break through into the NBA scene.
For you, the NBA 2K bettor, that means there are many more tournaments to come in the future than ever before, and what we may have known to be the break from the regular season is bound to be filled with more action. The 2021 Season of the NBA 2K League concludes on September 4th, with $1.5 million to be awarded throughout the season.
Even though the esport is pretty new, there are already quite many bookmakers that offer NBA 2K betting. Some of these include some of our favourites are Rivalry and GGBet. These, among others mentioned in this piece, have been trialled and tested for years, for popular esports games like League of Legends, CS:GO, and DOTA2.
Lootbet is an esports-only bookmaker known for having favourable odds. There is also a generous welcome bonus waiting for you when you sign up for an account, and Lootbet really supports your betting experience. It’s worth checking out the vast games library of Lootbet, as it is very likely it also has other games you want to bet on. The bookmaker also has pretty good customer support, and is very easy to navigate if you are only into esports.
GGBet boasts a range of betting options, and is a great looking site. One of the best parts of this bookmaker is that you can watch the games live as they happen on the site, and take part in live betting. GGBet also has creative special bets for most esports titles during key competitions, so make sure you check it out around the time of the NBA 2K League and take advantage of the special markets it has to offer.
The site also prides itself in having good odds, and loves to send its users personalised promotions in place of welcome bonuses or general combos, so make sure you check your email once you have used GGBet.
Rivalry is pretty new to esports betting, but the Isle of Man based company truly understands what gamers are looking for. The site doubles up as an informational hub, so you can learn anything you would ever want to know about roster changes, game hero guides, or the key teams in the competitions: everything to help you make smarter wagers. The bookmaker also has the support of many esports streamers, journalists and other figures, and overall provides a nice, comfortable and authentic experience for any esports fan.
Rivalry also really cares for its audience, and they provide a series of detailed, easy to understand guides, called Rivalry Academy which they recommend you read before betting with them. This user experience really makes them stand out in our eyes, so go and check them out.
While betting on NBA 2K is really similar to that of traditional basketball, and in some cases may seem like an underdeveloped version when it comes to betting availability, there are benefits to betting on NBA 2K, especially if you already have a lot of knowledge about traditional basketball- but that is not a requirement!
For instance, it is incredibly simple to tune into a game of NBA 2K or find VODs of it anywhere online. And, on top of that, it can be exciting just to come check out how the virtual version compares to the traditional sports version we know.
As the NBA 2K esports scene is not the most developed out there, the betting markets can differ by bookmaker, but there are a few you should see appear pretty consistently. Also, these are always good to cross-compare across various bookmakers, as you are bound to find better odds in one than another. So, if you are serious about your betting journey, make sure you make a couple of accounts across various bookmakers, and check the odds on each of the markets you are interested in before you place your money down.
Note: we will suggest bookmakers for each of these markets, but the availability/odds can change at any given time, so make sure you always cross compare with other bookmakers.
This betting market refers to the total amount of points scored by both teams, cumulative, and is one of the harder bets that may require you to research the teams well. Usually, bookmakers will offer this around a certain number, and you have to bet on an over (higher than the number) or under (lower than the number) choice.
Best esports betting site for total points scored: 1xBet
This one is pretty straightforward: the ‘outright winner’ or ‘match winner’ market refers to the team that wins the game, and can often be shown in the form of the home or away team, depending on the ‘location’ of the game.
Best esports betting site for winner of the game: Betfair
Similar to the first market we discussed, this is also an over (higher) or under (lower) choice of a certain figure. However, here you bet on the total points scored by a given team, so you only need to closely know the one team.
Best esports betting site for total points scored by home team: Rivalry
This market is probably self explanatory by now: over/under bet on a number. However, this bet represents the away team, so make sure you pay close attention to what that team is for a given match, and bet responsibly.
Best esports betting site for total points scored by away team: GGBet
One of the more interesting markets is the futures one, and it is not available with all bookmakers. In this market, you can bet outright on the outcome of the League. In this type, payouts can often be a lot higher than in some others as you are committing a bet to the outcome of the entirety of the tournament.
Best esports betting site for total points scored by away team: ArcaneBet
There are already a couple of tips for you throughout this piece, but we have also compiled an additional list of key points you should always keep in the back of your mind when playing the betting game:
1. Make sure you bet only income you can afford to lose
This might be a no-brainer, but this is one of the most important things when it comes to betting. Most people tend to apply the rule of 1/20, meaning you should never commit more than 1/20 of your disposable income, even if you’re really sure the bet will work in your favour.
2. Research and watch
Just because a team is doing incredibly well in the physical NBA competitions, it doesn’t mean they have the same luck in NBA 2K– or, they may not even exist in the esports equivalent of the game. It will work in your favour to spend some time finding out who is the best of the bunch amongst the NBA 2K realm. Part of research also comes with watching the games, so if you have a spare moment, be sure to tune into the matches.
3. Don’t get too hung up over a lost bet
Remember the base principle of betting: you can never know the outcome until it happens. This means that some bets you place you will lose, regardless of the level to which the odds were in your favour. Stay calm and don’t give up on your strategic betting for the future.
We hope you now have the knowledge to progress towards the next steps on your journey to NBA 2K betting. If you would like to learn more about other esports games, we have a selection of guides available for you, for League of Legends, DOTA2, FIFA, Fortnite, Rocket League and for mobile esports games like King of Glory.
All in all, I think the NBA 2K esports betting scene is only going to grow with the esport, and the crossover between sports and esports here is important to its growth. As it is such an easy game to understand, and is widely available to watch, I believe the markets across bookmakers are only going to expand, and it will be exciting to see where NBA 2K betting ends up in the future.
The number of bookmakers that offer NBA 2K betting grows by the month. Some of our favourites are Pinnacle and Rivalry.
NBA 2K is the video game translation of traditional basketball, played on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The most elite NBA 2K tournament is the NBA 2K League, in which there are 23 teams.
Before participating in any sort of betting, make sure you check the laws of the country in which you reside in. Other than that, it is a perfectly legal system, especially if you bet with our trusted sites.
NBA 2K has partnered with Twitch TV, YouTube, and the ESPN network in order to bring you the action.
Research the teams and their track record, commit only a small fraction of your disposable income, and do not get too invested in your losses, and do not get greedy.