How To Place Bets On Basketball?

Basketball Betting Guide

Want to start betting on sports? If you’re a basketball fan already, why not start by placing bets on your favourite ball game? It’s easy, it has a wide range of options, and you’ll find plenty of winning opportunities to choose from! 

Even if you’re not the biggest basketball fan out there, you’ll still find plenty to enjoy about basketball betting, particularly with the NBA, the world’s most prominent basketball league. Having started more than 50 years ago with just 11 teams, today the NBA boasts an amazing 60 teams, made up of the best players from the USA, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia too.  

During a regular NBA season, each team plays a total of 82 games – 41 at home, and 41 away. With these games taking place over a period of 7 months every year, there are more than enough betting opportunities to be had, particularly when you factor in the numerous US college basketball games as well. With thousands of these played in a season, you’ll find more than enough to bet on, and hopefully score some successful wagers too.  

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Basketball betting terms  

When betting on basketball, it’s important that you understand the various terms involved so that you can place the right type of bet. By far the most popular of these is spread, or line betting, a type of handicap betting used in basketball.  

Spread betting  

If you log onto a sports betting site and want to place a spread bet, you’ll usually see it represented something like this:  

Boston Celtics -5.5 VS LA Lakers +5.5 

What this means is that if you want to bet on the Celtics, they’ll need to win by more than 5.5 points for you to collect on your bet – essentially their winning margin needs to be 6 points or more. If you choose the Lakers, they’ll either need to win, or only lose the game by a maximum of 5 points for your bet to be successful.  

Basketball totals  

Another type of betting is basketball totals – the range in the total number of points scored in a tournament or league. For example, NBA totals will usually cover a range of 180 to 220 points, with an average of 190. By contrast, European or college basketball tournaments will have a lower point range, typically between 120 and 160 points.  

To place a bet here, you’ll need to keep track of a team’s points total over time, noting how many times they go above or below the average, and why. Perhaps some games will go into overtime, which will affect the points total, or perhaps other factors will affect the total one way or the other.

Once you feel you have a good grasp of what a team’s points total should be, you can check the points total listed by the bookie for an upcoming game, and bet whether your team will be under or over that total. It takes some research and a deeper understanding of the game, but it can be a rewarding betting choice all the same.  

Popular teams 

Another choice of bet is to make a wager on one of the most popular teams, like the 2019 NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors. If you’re placing your bet based on sound knowledge of the team, their stats, their form, and their win/loss record, then that’s a well-informed betting decision. If you’re simply placing a bet because everyone else is and they’re a popular team, you could soon find yourself losing money as a result.  

Rather than betting on teams that have short-terms runs of luck, look to teams with more consistent track records, as these will give you more successful outcomes over time. There’s nothing wrong with placing your bets on a team, but always make sure you’ve done your research first. 

Money line 

Don’t be confused by the fancy name – money line bets are simply head-to-head bets. Here you’ll be betting on which team will win a particular game, with overtime included. All you’ll need to do is look at the odds listed, use your knowledge of the teams playing, and place your bets accordingly.  

These types of bets are fairly simple, and as such as a good place to start for beginners. There’s no need to worry about complicated handicaps or betting strategies – just choose who you think will win the game, and go from there.  

While there are a number of different betting markets in basketball which could be confusing to a novice, the good news is that the more basketball you watch, the more research you do and the more bets you place, the more comfortable you’ll become placing your bets. Consult as many sources as you can, learn as much as you can, and you could soon be scoring huge payouts for yourself. Good luck!