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A Beginner’s Guide to Basketball Betting Online


Basketball Betting GuideBasketball is a hugely popular sport in North America, thanks to superstar players such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James - just to name a few. However, the popularity of professional leagues throughout the rest of the world has grown exponentially, leading to a rise in online basketball betting.

This article will provide you with a better understanding of betting on basketball online as a beginner.

Popular Basketball Competitions

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA is the number one basketball league in the world. 30 teams from the United States and Canada competing for the highly coveted championship (not to mention the ring!). Players from around the world aspire to play in the NBA, from the pioneering Vlade Divac (from Serbia) to the current MVP Giannis Antetokuonmpo (Greece).

College Basketball (NCAA)

Colleges throughout the United States compete to become divisional champions, and to receive their invitation to ‘March Madness.’ March Madness is a single elimination tournament made up of 32 Division 1 champions and 36 teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee. The collegiate teams fight it out to be crowned National Champions. The ‘March Madness’ bracket challenge has become a fascinating spectacle for analysts, workplaces and of course the beginner and experienced bettors.

European Leagues

Many European countries have professional basketball leagues, including:

  • British Basketball League (BBL) in the United Kingdom.
  • Basketball Bundesliga in Germany.
  • Liga Endesa in Spain.
  • Basketball Super League in Turkey.

The best teams from domestic leagues around Europe compete annually in the Euro League and Euro Cup. These tournaments have become very popular with online basketball bettors. 

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and European Women’s Basketball League

Professional female basketball players competing in competitions across America and Europe.

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Types of Basketball Bets

Basketball sportsbooks offer a wide variety of markets (usually 100+), however, the most popular markets when betting on basketball online are:

  1. Money Line – this is determining the outcome of a game. Will either Team A of Team B win. 
  2. Point Spread – taking into consideration the teams playing, a basketball sportsbook will offer a point spread to both teams. For example, the New Orleans Pelicans (-9.5 point spread) are playing the New York Knicks (+9.5 point spread). If you place a bet on New Orleans at -9.5, they will need to win the game by 10 or more points. If you place a bet on New York at +9.5, they can either win the game outright, or lose by no more than 9 points.
  3. Game Totals – this market is also determined by the sportsbook. The bookies will decide on a total number of points scored in that game, you will then have to decide if the actual game total will be above or below that figure.

There are also a number of other intriguing markets to look at when deciding on how you are going to bet on a game, a selection include:

  • Double Result – this is also known as half time/full time. There are a number of outcomes with this betting type. For example, you could back Home / Home, which means the Home team would have to be leading after the 2ndquarter and the 4thquarter. Another possibility is Tie/Away – both teams will have to be tying after the 2ndquarter, but the Away team would have to be leading at the end.
  • Team Total – similar to the game total above, but you are deciding if the Home or Away team will score over or under a certain number of points offered by the sportsbook.
  • Player A Number of Points / Rebounds – sportsbooks offer certain markets on individual player performances. Will Lebron James score over/under 27.5 points? Will Anthony Davis have over/under 5.5 rebounds?
  • Accumulators – betting on 2 or more outcomes on a single betslip. Each one of your bets will have to win if you are to succeed with this betting technique.  

Betting Advice for Beginners

When you are a beginner in the world of betting on basketball online, there are a number of considerations to take into account:

  1. Home/Away record of each team – wins and losses.
  2. Points scored and conceded by each team home/away – this will help when looking at the game / team total markets.
  3. Home/Away spread results – during your in-depth research, look at each game and the number of points the team has won or lost by. If a team plays consistently well at home and wins by 7+ points each game, this will help with your decision on how the spread will look at the end of the game.
  4. Teams performance against similar opposition type – this is a major DO in my opinion. If the opposition has a record of below .500, look at the other performances that team has had against other teams with a similar record.

Please keep an eye on the odds that basketball sportsbooks offer on a money line bet. If a team is highly favoured, they will have very short odds (-300). I wouldn’t recommend backing a team at such short odds, as there is minimal upside to doing so. I would suggest looking into the spread total market, or even adding that team into an accumulator bet.  

Top NBA Players and What to Know About Them

A guide to basketball betting would not be complete without mentioning some of the top players. Knowing some of the players in the team, their advantages, and disadvantages are sometimes all you need to make a winning bet! 

Stephen Curry - the only thing you need to know about this guy is that he's probably the best three-point shooter currently active in the NBA.

James Harden - another 3-pointer to keep an eye on, what makes him interesting is that he is left-handed! 

Time to Start Betting Online

After conducting in-depth analysis into each game on tonight’s slate, it is time to place your bets on your favorite sportsbook.

Thankfully, a basketball season is very long (1230 games, and playoffs, in the NBA alone), so you can take your time and practice betting on a number of different markets with low wagers until you have refined your research techniques and gained more knowledge in the game.

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