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How to bet on basketball – A complete guide on how does basketball betting work [2024]

Do you love basketball? You are not alone. More than 26 million Americans play basketball.

As popular the game is, basketball betting is equally popular as well.

The reason – it provides the right mix of fun and adventure. If you are a beginner and wondering how to bet on basketball, this article is for you.

Here we will discuss how to place a bet on basketball and explore other related details. Rest assured, the betting process is not too complicated and with proper strategies, you can really thrive.

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What are the rules of basketball?

Before we explore how to bet on basketball games, it is essential to know the rules of the game. You will need to know the rules of playing basketball as well as the rules which are applicable to betting.

Rules for the offense:

• The player will have to keep moving both feet while bouncing or dribbling the ball in one hand. If the player uses both hands and stops dribbling, then the player can only move one foot.
• The ball has to be within bounds. If the team on offense loses the ball and it goes out of bounds, then the opponent gains possession of it.
• If a player stops dribbling, he or she cannot start it. If the player does start dribbling, he or she will face a double dribbling violation and the opponent team will get to control the ball.
• After the offensive team crosses the half-court, if they go back to the backcourt, the team will face a backcourt violation. Now, if the opponent manages to knock the ball into the backcourt, then the other team can cross on to the backcourt to recover the ball without facing any violation.

The rule for the defense:

• There is only one rule for the defensive team and that is to not commit a foul. A foul in basketball, like in most sports, is to try to take unfair advantage of the offensive team through physical contact. Players on the defense cannot touch any player of the offensive team in a way that causes them to lose the ball or make them unable to take a shot. Usually, it is up to the referee to call a foul.
Basketball players cannot touch the ball with their fist, or kick it and they cannot touch it when it is moving down towards the basket. But touching the ball while it is on the rim of the basket is allowed in some levels of the sport.

Basketball betting rules

Wondering how does basketball betting work? Here are rules for betting:

• Usually, all bets are settled on the result. This includes overtime which means even the bets for the second half of the game.
• Overtime does not take into consideration the bets referring to the 4th quarter in the second half. However, at certain levels of basketball, overtime does include both quarters in the second half.
• If for some reason a match is abandoned, then the best results will be taken as final if there are only 5 minutes left for the match to end. This means, that for NBA games, matches being abandoned after 43 minutes can have the official bet results declared while WNBA, NCAAB and FIBA matches will need to go on for 35 minutes.
• For the bets to be official, all games will have to be played on the day they have been scheduled. Otherwise, the bets will be declared as void.
• In group sports betting basketball, if a team abandons the match, then the points it has scored before abandoning will be taken into consideration and all the bets placed will be called valid.
• In seasonal match bets, both nominated teams will have to play all their scheduled games for the season, for the bets to be valid.

Important terms that you should know before betting on basketball

To know how to place a bet on basketball, there are a few terms that you will have to know.

These are the most common ones in basketball betting.

• Point Spread

This is a method of betting where the bettors predict by how much a team will win or lose. The favorite team which is expected to win usually lays points to the team which is expected to lose. This makes up the difference and provides an incentive for the bettors. Many bettors then bet on the underdogs and the two sides are balanced out. Keep in mind that the most important key numbers in betting on basketball are 7 and 2.

• Total

The predicted combined score of the two teams that are being bet on is known as “total”. While betting, the bettors will be presented with a number. They can choose to bet on whether the scores will be more than the predicted scores or less than them. If the final score is over the total, then the bettors who wagered that will win.

• Parlays and Teasers

Often known as “exotic bets”, parlays and teasers like the sweetheart teaser allow the bettors to predict who will win on two or more games. Bettors can bet against the point spread on parlays while on teasers they can adjust the point spread according to their preference.

What are basketball moneyline wagers?

Moneyline wagers in basketball are wagers where you can predict the winner of a particular match. Here, you do not bet on any margin or the final score line but just on which team will win.

How should you read basketball betting lines?

If you want to know how to bet on basketball games and win, then you will have to know how to read basketball betting lines.

• On the far left of where the odds are listed, you will find the date and time of the game. To the right, you will find the names of the teams that are playing.
• All numbers are sequential on the odd sheet. You will see that the numbers are universal. This will help you identify which team you want to place your wager on.
• To the right of the odd sheet, the point spread, MoneyLine and the over/under is mentioned. The point spread does make it difficult for the bettors to bet on the right team. Spreads are often in decimals which help in avoiding a tie. In case of a tie, the money is given back to the bettors and all bets are off.
• The spreads will have the favorites team listed with a negative number while the other team will get a positive one. If you bet on the underdog, you will make money if they win or if they lose just by a margin of two points or even lesser. If you bet on the favorite team, you will make money if they win by three or more points.
• The MoneyLine is either to the right of the spread or it is given separately. With the line, if you bet on the team the wins, you will get paid.
• The over/under gives the predicted combined score. This too is often a fraction or a decimal to avoid a push.

How to bet on basketball and calculate probabilities?

To bet on basketball, you will have to calculate the implied probabilities. In implied probability, the betting odds are converted to a particular percentage keeping in mind the margin stated by the sportsbook.

There are three ways to calculate probabilities, depending upon the type of odds.

1. If there are decimal odds, then 1/decimal odds, multiplied by 100 will give the implied probability.
2. For fractional odds, the result of the denominator divided by the sum of the numerator and the denominator, when multiplied by 100, gives the implied probability.
3. In the case of American odds, the result of the negative odds when divided by the sum of 100 and the negative odds, multiplied by 100, will give the probability.

Different types of bets available on basketball

• Point Spreads

This is the most common type of bet in basketball. So, how to bet on basketball point spread? There is usually a favorite team and an underdog team and the difference between them is adjusted by taking points from the favored team. Bettors who wish to place a wager on the underdogs have more insurance, while those wagering on the favorites can do so without spending too much.

• Overs/Unders

Here a predicted combined score is presented. Bettors can wager on whether the score line will go over the number or will be under it.

• Moneylines

If you want to know how to bet on basketball moneyline, it is important to mention here that MoneyLine bets are one of the simplest bets. The bettors bet on who will win the match without taking the points scored into considerations.

• Parlays

In parlays, bettors choose two or more sides. To win the bet, all the chosen sides will have to win at parlay insurance.

• Propositions

In proposition bets, bettors bet on certain events, team or player statistics in a particular match.

Basketball betting moneylines

Basketball betting moneylines have no point spreads to cover and only wager on who will win the match. If you place a Moneyline bet on a team that wins, you get paid. It does not matter if they won by a point or 100 points. The pay-outs, therefore, are manipulated in a MoneyLine bet.

For instance, a team that is -200 is more favorite than a team that is -150. Similarly, a team with +400 is a bigger underdog when compared to a team with +200.

Which are the most popular betting markets for basketball?

Markets in betting are the different types of bets available for a particular sport or event.

The most popular betting markets in basketball are listed below:

MoneyLine betting
• Two-way betting
• Total (over/under)
• Handicap or point spread
Teaser
Parlays
• Future Bets
• Proposition Bets

Basketball Livestream and in-play betting

There are many betting sites with live streaming. They also allow you to bet on basketball games. This has become very popular over the years, so that online betting sites livestreaming matches offer various betting options to choose from.

In-play bets are bets placed while the match is going on. It is also known a live betting. When you are participating in an in-play betting, the odds continue to change depending upon what is happening on the pitch.

Tips To Become a Smart NBA Wager

Tip

If you want to know how to bet on basketball games and win, here are some tips that will come handy.

  • Track all line movements. The lines are released a day before the game and you will be able to strategize and check which are moving in your favour.
  • Make sure you have a money management system in place. The NBA has 82 games on its schedule, so you do not want to end up betting more than you can afford.
  • Always give priority to home court matches. Teams have a tendency to perform better on these and you should not underestimate that.
  • If there is a chance for injury in a team, do not go for betting a spread.
  • Only play at the best NBA betting sites

How to bet on basketball to win money?

To win money by betting on basketball, you will need to have a solid strategy. The best way to do so is to analyses the statistics, histories, and performances of the teams as well as the players.

Doing so will help you make better predictions. You should always take calculated risks instead of sudden decisions. This way you will be able to make a lot more profit.

NBA betting explained

The NBA is one of the most well-known sporting events. It is watched by hundreds of people, it’s very popular when it comes to sports betting and some people even consider it the easiest sport to bet on.
If you are wondering how to bet on basketball, the point spread is the answer to most NBA games. The oddmakers will try to balance out both sides when a favorite team is playing the underdogs.

To ensure this, a certain number of points is taken from the favorites so that both sides are equal. If you are betting on the totals in NBA, your wager is on the combined score. However, basketball MoneyLine is the most common in NBA betting. The odds differ and the favorite team usually gets a lower number of odds while the underdogs end up with a higher number.

While you can bet on individual games in the NBA, you can also consider future betting. In future betting, one wagers on which team will win the finals. This market is available as soon as the season begins.

NBA handicap betting explained

The process of placing a wager on and predicting by what margin a team will win or lose in one of the NBA matches is known as NBA handicap betting. Here, you are usually betting against the spread. Handicap bets should only be placed if you are sure of your choice.

If you are convinced that the favorites will have a sweeping win or that the underdogs will definitely beat the favorites, then you should go ahead and place your bet. Basketball handicap betting does involve a significant degree of risk so it is better to go for the spread if you are not sure.

Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Let’s say:

XYZ –7.5 (-120)

PQR +7.5 (-120)

In this example, the (-) sign next to the spread amount indicates that YZ are the favorite. This means that if you place the bet on the favorite, you will win if they win by more than 7.5 points. Similarly, the (+) sign indicates that PQR are underdogs by 7.5 points, Thus, either they should have a clear win or lose by less than 7.5 points for a wager on the PQR to payout.

How can you get NBA picks?

You can get NBA picks from betting sites on game nights. Usually, the picks are given a couple of hours before the first game begins. Now, the betting lines often move, so you should check them before you get the picks and bet.

Picks of all types, against the spread, as well as over/under are available. Some sites also offer a few free picks after analyzing the numbers of particular teams.

Basketball betting: spread betting, underdogs, popular teams, and totals

In spread betting, the points from the favorites are taken so that the gap between them and the underdogs is reduced. Popular teams usually have many bettors betting on them but if the difference is too much, they pose a serious risk to those betting on the underdogs. The totals, for over/under betting thus provide a better chance as the bettors are wagering on the combined score of the two teams.

Betting on NBA playoffs

The NBA playoffs are played in the knockout stage format. Each team competes in a best-of-seven pattern and the winners play in the finals. The betting markets available during the playoffs include MoneyLine (first half as well as first quarter), spread (first half and first quarter), and totals. If you can recognize the trends in the performance of the teams during the playoff, you will be able to come up with a proper strategy before placing your bets.

Betting on College Basketball

If you are a beginner who has just figured out how to bet on basketball games, college basketball is a good place to star. Similar to NHL, college basketball begins right after NFL ends and is a great opportunity for fans and bettors. But still, which one is the best? NBA vs. NFL? what is your opinion?

You can place a spread bet on which team will perform better than the rest. Long term or future betting is also available for college basketball, in case you do not just want to place a wager on who the winner of a particular match might be.

MoneyLine betting is also available. In college basketball bet, it only matters which team wins and if you place a bet on that team, you get paid. Proposition bets, bracket bets, and tournament bets are also common in college basketball betting trends.

In proposition bets, you do not wager on the final score but on certain events during the match, for example, who wins the 2nd quarter. In bracket bets, you can predict who will win every match of the tournament. During the whole season, college basketball teams compete in several tournaments. Tournament bets are wagers placed on who will win each of these tournaments.

FAQs for how to bet on basketball:

To bet on underdogs, check their statistics, not in comparison to the favorites. If they have performed well during the season if there is no chance of injury and especially and if the match is being played on their home ground, you can place a bet on the underdogs.

There are many betting sites and online scorebooks which allow you to bet on NBA matches, NFL matches, college basketball tournaments, and other leagues. You will need to register on one of these websites before betting. Online betting can also include live stream and in-play betting.

The Basketball money line is a type of betting where you just predict which team is going to win. There is no combined score or point spread that the bettor needs to consider.

Yes, you can. Basketball is one of the most popular sport to bet on worldwide, so for sure you can bet on Basketball by mobile.

Bet on basketball and win!

To learn how to bet on basketball, follow the tips and gain as much information as you can about the betting markets. You will be able to bet correctly and gain a lot by doing so. Since there are many basketball tournaments happening throughout the year, you can take your time to hone your skills as a bettor, and in no time will you be making huge profits. In 2024 basketball is in high demand all over the world, in countries like Argentina and other parts of South America. If you are a real basketball fan you may also read NBA all time scoring list article.

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