Betting on Basketball

Basketball is one of the most exciting games to watch. Fast and furious, tactical plays and skilled moves, adrenaline-pumping scores…often into the hundreds make it one of the world’s best loved games, whether player or spectator.

We know football (or soccer) is the first most popular team sport in the entire world, what you might not have known is basketball is second.

Basketball Betting sites

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Basketball History

Since its all-American birth back in Springfield Massachusetts in 1891, basketball grew quickly from college games to a professional sport, with the formation of the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1949. Basketball is identified as an integral part of all-American sports culture. The international basketball game was back in 1909 in St Petersburg, with Germany, Italy and France quickly taking on the sport. Its first appearance in the Olympics was in Berlin in 1936. Needless to say, today the game is played all over the world. The FIBA Basketball World Cup began in 1950 with the first international championship, which was originally restricted to amateur players and professionals only allowed in since 1989. Today over 200 nations compete in the Olympics for basketball. And hundreds of millions of people all over the globe enjoy the sport.

Major Associations and Competitions

Either right at the top of the list when it comes to major competition basketball are the NBA Finals (US), the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Olympic Games, and the Euroleague (Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup). Also there’s the Argentine League (LNB), Italian League, Spanish ACB League, French League, FIBA Oceania Championships, South American Championships, Asian Championships, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), African Championships… all attesting to the international popularity of the game.

Basketball Betting Overview

Basketball is big business. From domestic games to international championships, it continues to grow and gain in popularity, and game attendance and television viewing has expanded massively.

Millions of people throughout the world place bets on basketball games, whether domestic matches or international competitions. And over 100 million people betting on sports in the US every year.

Since the easy availability of online betting, and now mobile betting, basketball audiences around the world can enjoy a wager, and with it the added adrenaline of following a game and seeing who wins. For many dedicated basketball fans, placing a bet on a big game adds to thrill of any potential win.

Betting on Basketball Games

Betting on sports, including basketball, is nothing new. There are many games and competitions around the world for you to follow and all the good online sites help you with this.

As far as sports betting goes, basketball is one of the easiest to bet on, with the most popular way to place a bet on a basketball game being the point spread.

Most of the online sportsbooks offer a wide range of basketball betting options

The convenience of online betting offers all the various options available at your fingertips no matter where you are. Plus you have a range of choices available for depositing and withdrawing money.

Getting started with sports betting is easy. You can place your bets via all good online sportsbooks, such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Coral and William Hill.

Types of Bets for Basketball

It’s easy. There’s always money line betting available, but the point spread wager for betting on teams as well as the over/under ratio is the most popular (just like it is for football and baseball). 

Moneyline Bet

Quick and easy moneyline odds or bets where you’re just betting on the outright winner of a game or event (as opposed to a points spread where you’re betting on who wins and by how much). These are also known as American odds. There are no handicaps and payoffs are based on the true odds (since there are no fixed odds). Odds show how much you will win on a $100 wager.

These bets are the easiest to understand. Here you bet directly on the winner of the game. But there are odds here too since it’s rare that teams will have a 50/50 change of winning.

Betting on the team expected to win means that you’ll be wagering more than you stand to win, for example betting $20 to win $10 (if the Lakers, say, are -200. If the other team are +100, then if you’re betting for this team to win you’ll be risking $10 to win $20

Points Spread

The points spread includes a handicap the sportsbooks include on a team to ensure equality for betting. The “favourite” is the team is expected to win, and the “underdog” is expected to lose.

Say the top ranked team is playing a lower ranked one. A points-spread might make the top team, say the Lakers, a 15 point favourite. If you place a bet on for the Lakers for this game, the Lakers then need to win by 17 points or more for you to win the bet. If you bet the underdog, say the Cleveland Cavaliers, then you’d need them to lose by 14 points or less for you to win.


After the points spread, this is the next most popular way to bet on basketball. Basically it’s betting on what the total combined score of a game will be. You can wager more or less than the predicted score (and that’s why this type of betting is sometimes called over/unders betting).

Say the odds are 10-9, you risk $10 to win $9.

Lots of Markets to Choose From

Just as there are for football (or, depending on where you are, soccer), there are a bunch of markets you can choose to bet on in basketball. While soccer might take these betting market options to the extreme — and can often reach into over one hundred choices available — for basketball each online betting site provides you with a range of markets to choose from: points markets, first half markets, as well as the highest scoring quarter, the points spread, and so on. From this selection of markets your betting options include who will win or lose, the margin a team will win by, first quarter and first half handicaps, who’ll score the first basket, or bet on a specific player scoring a specific number of points or more with their team to win, what will be the total points scored, etc.

You’ll generally have the option to view your betting options as you prefer, which will be dictated by where you are and what you’re used to. Fractional, decimal and American options to view your odds and how much you can win for your money.

Promotions and Bonuses

Betting promotions and bonuses exist to draw punters in and take a chance. And their offers can often be very attractive. Just be sure you’re aware of the conditions relating to these offers. There are opening account offers, mobile betting offers, multi betting offers, matching deposits, etc.

Basketball Betting Tips

What do you need to know to enhance your chances of winning when you bet on basketball? It’s a combination of knowledge and luck that give you the best chance in sports betting.

  • Knowing the game and the teams, lessens any risk when laying down hard cash for a chance to win. And the odds improve. Knowing the rules of the game and as much as possible about the players on your team all help to improve your chances to win your online sports bet. So it’s definitely worth your while to spend some time researching and analysing team and player statistics. If you’re a dedicated basketball fan and team follower, can be a lot of fun too.
  • Follow the trends. Watch out for when teams are performing best: is this related to time of day, if they’re winning or losing (are they on a winning or losing streak?), etc.
  • Watch for when teams are playing with that all-important home court advantage, and never for so for US teams. In the NBA, the home team will always be listed second: LA Lakers v Boston Celtics indicates that the Celtics are playing on their home turf.
  • Keep aware of player injuries. Know who’s in and who’s out for a game.

Keeping up to date with the teams will help you to recognise when a bet’s a shoe-in, like when the top performing team is playing against the underdog.

Best of luck!