Online Basketball Betting Guide
Basketball has come a long way since its inception all the way back in 1891. James Naismith, a Canadian-American invented the game in Springfield, Massachusetts and helped grow the sport as a coach at the University of Kansas. Today, Basketball is an international game that is still rapidly expanding worldwide. The interest in the sport has increased drastically over the past several decades, and online bookmakers have responded with more wagering options for players. Options for betting on Basketball online is now available just about everywhere, and still expanding – making it an excellent time to wager at basketball betting sites.
Where To Bet On Basketball Online
World’s Top Basketball League
The top basketball league in the world is the National Basketball Association, known by its acronym, NBA, which is based in the United States. The NBA is the top professional league in the world, and while it is populated by mostly American born players – international signings have become the norm over the past decade. In fact, some of the NBA’s best players come from abroad.
The NBA has 30 teams, and two conferences, the Western & Eastern Conferences. Each conference has three divisions with five teams in each. After an 82 game regular season, eight teams from each conference make the playoffs. Teams will play a single elimination best of seven games series to decide who moves on the next round. In the end, one team will emerge from by the West and the East and will play for the NBA Championship, in the same best of seven game format.
The United States has the best amateur college basketball players in the world competing in NCAA Basketball. College basketball in the US has a massive following, with hundreds of teams across several divisions.
The NCAA has a 64 team single elimination tournament to decide the National Championship after reach regular season. “March Madness” (note: see march madness betting sites) as it is called in the states, takes place every year in the middle of March. 32 of the teams in the tournament will be entered automatically for winning their conference tournament; the rest will be “at large” bids that are decided by a selection committee.
All the games are held at neutral sites, and will culminate when just two teams remain out of the 64 to battle it out for the NCAA Basketball Championship.
There are hundreds of leagues based throughout the rest of the world, but generally the sport has grown a lot in Europe and China. Most European countries have their own domestic leagues, in which Champions are crowned by having the best record in the regular season, similar to European soccer.
Euroleague Basketball is a Champions League type of competition for the best club basketball clubs in Europe. An annual event, the Euroleague pits the top teams from the previous year into pool play, and a Championship game at a neutral site.
Basketball is the most popular sport in China, a country of 1.3 billion people. The Chinese Basketball Association has adopted NBA rules and playoffs formats, the first country in Asia to do so.
Basketball at The Summer Olympic Games are the world’s top basketball competition, but only occur every four years. 12 teams qualify for the competition including the host nation of said Olympics. The Olympics begin in group play, where two teams from each group move on to the single elimination tournament. Finally, the Gold Medal game crowns a Champion.
The other worldwide basketball competition is the FIBA World Cup, a contest also held every four years. The format is very similar to the Olympics, starting off with a group stage and then finishing with a single elimination knockout round.
How To Bet Basketball Online
Basketball wagering may seem intimidating to bettors who are new to the game, but it is easy to understand the odds and wagering types.
NBA games use point spreads and are normally shown using American odds. Here, is an example of an NBA matchup:
- Team A -2.5 -110 Over 187 -110
- Team B +2.5 -110 Under 187 -110
In this game, the Lakers are taking on the Spurs at home. They are -2.5 favorites, and must win the game by 3 points or more for the bettor to win if he bets on the Lakers.
The numbers to the right of each team is the total or over and under. The total is the combined number of points scored by both teams in the game. In this game, the total is 187, and the bettor can wager that the teams will score more or less than 187.
The default vig on an NBA side is -110, or a 10% bookmaker’s fee. However, online sportsbooks may change these odds dependent on wagering action, just like they would the betting line.
As Basketball has increased in popularity, so has the number of wagering options for bettors. Proposition bets are sub outcome bets, which in basketball, are often related to points scored, rebounds, assists and other stat lines for individual players or teams. Here, is an example:
- Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) Total Points
- Over 26 -110
- Under 26 -110
The prop bet involves the total points for Kevin Durant, an All Star forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder. If bettors think KD will score more than 26 points, the bettor will wager over – if he thinks KD will score less, the bettor will wager under. It seems simple – because it is.
Prop bets can vary wildly from sportsbook to sportsbook, and can have a virtually unlimited number of wagering options. Bet types include which team scores first, points plus assists, props that pit players against each other and much more.
Futures are longer term wagers that are normally decided within weeks or months, but can decided in shorter time periods. Popular basketball futures include the championship of a particular league, runners up and place of finish. Another popular future wager is a particular team’s total wins, which bettors can select over or under.
Live betting has become increasingly popular for all sports and involves in-play betting for games that are already in progress. The odds will update live, and bettors will be able to choose from plenty of options such as prop bets, sides and totals. Nationally televised games or high profile contests will have a better chance to be picked up for live betting by the books.
Finding The Best Online Sportsbooks For Basketball
Basketball is offered at every online sportsbook available, so it will be easy for bettors to find an online book that offers basketball wagering. However, not all books are created equal.
Wagering options are different depending on the online sportsbook. Some may offer a large assortment of props and futures than others. NBA and NCAA betting will be available at nearly all sites, but European or Asian basketball leagues may not.
In addition to choosing an online bookie that is trusted and has a sterling payout record, it is also vital to be aware of the basketball betting options available at each book.
Basic Basketball Betting Strategy
Basketball gambling is different based on the league, players and other factors. Here, are some basic tips to get you started.
One of the most notable aspects as a bettor to be aware of, especially with older teams, is fatigue. Teams may play back to back nights and have to travel long distances on short notice for their next game. Older teams may rest their star players a little more during tough stretches and may not respond as well on short rest.
Home and Away
Home and road splits are an enormous factor for certain teams and players, and should be accounted for in your handicapping. College basketball arenas have intense environments, and can tremendously impact a team’s performance. Some teams undoubtedly feed off their home crowd, and going to a tough environment to play can have the opposite effect.
While injuries to key players are almost always adjusted into the line, it is up to the bettor to weigh the effect of the injury on the team as a whole. The NBA always seems to have a long injury report, and players will often not know until tip off if they can suit up or not.
Knowing the league, team and player rivalries will help you take advantage of situational betting. NBA bettors have an 82 game regular season, which is one heck of a marathon for bettors and players. Teams will occasionally lose focus or overlook opponents throughout the long season.
A good knowledge of players, coaches and teams are essential for capitalizing matchup advantages. A weak frontcourt may mean a big day for an opposing center, and an up tempo run and gun offense may be tough for a team who has poor transition defense. Understanding matchups and how basketball is played in the league you are betting on is crucial to success.