How to bet on Basketball
How to bet on Basketball
While soccer and American football, specifically the National Football League, are the two most-wagered sports in the world, basketball betting is gaining more and more popularity each year, whether it's wagering on the NBA, the best league in the world, NCAA basketball or the top European leagues. Here's a quick tutorial on how to bet on basketball as well as some simple basketball betting tips.
One reason why basketball betting is popular among newcomers is because it's a simple point spread system unlike hockey or baseball betting where no such betting wager exists because those types of games are so low scoring. A spread is the point differential BetOnline places in a game between two teams. It's not a determination of what the sportsbook thinks will happen but at what number the most betting action should occur.
So, in an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, you might see this line: Warriors -4.5/Cavaliers +4.5. That means from a basketball betting perspective that Golden State starts the game at minus 4.5 points or Cleveland has a 4.5-point lead. So, a bettor on the Cavaliers simply needs them to lose by 4 points or fewer and the bet is a winner. A Warriors backer must have a victory of at least 5 points to win. Half points are often used to avoid a tie -- known as a push -- but not always.
If two teams are evenly matched, the home team will be favored by 2-3 points, which is generally considered what home-court advantage is worth in a game. But it also depends on how good one team is at home or on the road.
If you don't want to worry about the final score in betting on basketball, you can wager on the moneyline. When using that betting style, you only pick the winner -- it doesn't matter if your team wins by 1 point or 50. Moneylines are based off a bet of $100. So, in the above example, the Warriors could be -190 and the Cavaliers +165. Thus, a bettor would have to wager $190 to win +100 on Golden State. On the flip side, a +100 bet on Cleveland returns +165. European markets will offer decimal prices on moneylines. The Warriors would be priced 1.5263 at -190, while the Cavaliers would be priced 2.6500 at +165.
Finally, there is total wagering in betting on basketball. That's simply the total points scored in the game by both teams, and you either bet over or under that total. A typical NBA game could have a total set of anywhere from 170-230. The style of teams playing is what determines the set total. Both the under number and over number will have a moneyline attached to it, which is usually the same price (often -110).
There several variations on spread and totals as well. You can get spreads per quarter or half. Same with totals. There are also various props on players, for example over/under how many points LeBron James might score in a game.
One top basketball betting tip for NBA games is to wager against a team playing its second game in two nights or third in four against a team that is well-rested. Teams concluding long road trips are often wise to bet against because the players are worn down by the schedule and all the traveling. But nothing is more important in betting on basketball than watching the injury reports. If someone like LeBron might miss a game due to injury, it's a good time to bet on the opposition.