Our Basketball Betting Guide
All you Need to Know
Whilst basketball remains synonymous with the U.S.,the sport has also become increasingly popular in the UK and across the globe over time. Legendary British players like Kevin Griffin and Justin Robinson have played a key role in this evolution, with the BBL now widely watched and enjoyed nationwide.
Here’s our brief guide to basketball betting and how you can make the most from your wagers!
The Rules of Basketball
The nature of basketball gameplay is quick and frenetic, creating an exciting spectacle that’s incredibly entertaining.
Despite this, it’s one of the easiest sports to follow, as two teams of five players compete with the sole objective scoring points by throwing the ball through their opponent’s hoop.
Team will earn two points for a successful throw from inside the immediate area of the hoop, whilst players who score from outside this zone will earn three points for their side (with shots of this type commonly referred to as ‘three-pointers’).
Following a foul, the offensive side will earn two free shots at the hoop, each of which is worth a single point if they’re converted.
The team that has scored most points by the end of the game will win, with an NBA match consisting of four, 12-minutes quarters of action. However, games can take in excess if two hours to conclude overall, due to stoppages, breaks and strategic time-outs.
From an attacking perspective, players in possession must bounce the ball every two steps that they take, whilst a shot clock ensure that both sides push forward and attempt to score
Whilst basketball is typically referred to as a non-contact sport, you should know that players regularly jostle for position both on and off the ball.
Basketball Betting Explained
There’s no doubt that Basketball is an intense sport, and one that sees more than 1000 matches played in a single NBA season alone.
This creates ample opportunity for punters to wager their hard-earned bankroll, whilst there are also several markets available across the board.
There’s also an argument that basketball offers better value to punters, as the game offers numerous chances for competitors to score. This, combined with the sport’s unique emphasis on attack, allows the better players and teams to dominate matches and prevail.
This undoubtedly makes basketball betting less random than other sports, with the very best exponents likely to win single matches and reach the end-of-season play-offs.
But what are the most lucrative wagers? Well, handicap bets are particularly popular in basketball, thanks to both the nature of the scoring and the fact that each game usually features an obvious favourite.
In these respects, handicap bets enable punters to leverage exact winning margins and profit from backing favourites to win, potentially boosting the value of each win without incurring too much additional risk.
For example, let’s say that last season’s Western Conference winners Golden State Warriors are entertaining the L.A Lakers at home. In order to lengthen the odds of a Golden State win and find value in this wager, you can apply a handicap of -5.5-points and speculate that the Warriors will win by at least six points.
Conversely, you can apply a +5.5-point handicap to the Lakers, which essentially affords them a start and creates a wager that will come so long as the side loses by less than six points overall.
This type of bet represents a great way of manipulating odds and creating additional value, without overly compromising your chances of winning!
Over and under bets are also popular in NBA and BBL betting, particularly as games regularly see more than 220 points scored in a single match.
So, rather than trying to profit from predicting precise winning margins or exact scores, you can bet on whether or not the total points scored in a game will exceed a predetermined value.
For example, you could wager than a Pistons vs. Buicks game will yield +190.5 points, and this bet will come in if 191 points (or more) are ultimately scored.
Conversely, you could speculate that –190.5 points will be scored in the same game, and this simple market is capable of delivering excellent returns over time.
The Last Word – Player Betting and In-Play Markets
Like most sports, individual player bets are exceptionally popular in basketball. The reason for this simple; as most sides have one (or maybe two) star players who contribute the majority of points.
So, there’s ample opportunity to back these players (such as the Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic) to top score in a single game, or over the course of the season.
Most leagues also reward their MVP (Most Valuable Player) and the Rookie of the Year but, statistically, the players that land these titles represent a Championship winning side. So, you may want to hold off on placing this type of wager until later in the season, as you look to gauge which sides are likely to reach the play-offs.
Given the high-profile nature of the BBL in the UK, you can also leverage in-play betting as a way of accessing new markets and enhancing your enjoyment of live matches. Some bookies also stream live action through their websites, enabling punters to place informed in-play wagers that yield genuine returns.