James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 and founded the University of Kansas basketball program shortly thereafter. Fans took to the game quickly and Naismith lived to see the sport reach two major milestones: the first NCAA basketball championship and its inclusion in the Olympic Games.
Online basketball betting saw a similar growth rate beginning in the mid-90s when the first online sportsbooks appeared. Now you don’t have to leave the house to bet on basketball games. We list basketball betting sites that offer wagering on the NBA, FIBA, BBL, NCAA and a whole host of other international leagues.
Here is a quick list of basketball wagering sites that get all the important aspects right:
Where to Bet on Basketball Online
With many competing basketball betting websites covering multiple leagues with hundreds of bets opening every day. It’s now easier than ever to research and compile information for the purpose of finding profitable bets.
Choosing where to bet on basketball is the first step in a successful handicapping experience. It is easy to find a basketball betting site that will take your business. The biggest thing to look for here is overall quality. What we’re looking for here are basketball betting sites that provide security, a wide range of betting options, valuable promotions, and easy deposit methods.
Security is always the main thing I look for in any basketball betting website. Security is comprised of a few elements. A secure environment means the site itself is trustworthy. Does the site have a verifiable history of paying players quickly, hosting fair lines, and following up on promises? That is a basic requirement for listing here.
Coverage of basketball leagues, odds, and bonuses are also important, but security is essential. The only way to really know if any website is secure is to watch it over time. If you recognize any of the brands recommended above, that’s because the basketball betting sites have been in business for a long time.
All basketball bookmakers cover the NBA. But for die-hard hoops fans, there’s a whole world of professional basketball beyond the NBA. We have college basketball, international competitions, domestic European leagues, the British Basketball League, the Polish league, the Olympics and more.
Basketball wagering options come second only to security in terms of ranking a site. Expanded variety leads to expanded opportunity – especially in some of the lesser-known European leagues.
Basketball Betting Promotions
Promos and welcome bonuses add nice value to the basketball gambling experience. When you sign up for an account at a basketball betting website you’ll receive a first time deposit bonus.
In most cases, basketball betting bonuses are released in increments as you place wagers. Every time you place a bet a piece of your bonus is released into your account. This continues until the entire bonus has been released. It’s a nice way to get a few extra bets in.
Online basketball betting promotions tend be most available at the beginning of a season, during playoffs, and upcoming championship events. Sometimes these take the form of reload bonuses, free wagers, special lines, and reduced juice.
All basketball bettings sites listed on this page offer access to a wide variety of quick and easy deposit options, such as credit cards, instant bank transfers, and e-wallets such as PayPal.
Depositing and withdrawing takes greater importance in countries where banking laws make it difficult to move money to and from sports betting sites.
Any basketball sportsbooks that we recommend all have a history of paying legitimate winners promptly.
Popular Basketball Leagues to Bet On
The NBA is the highest level of professional basketball in the world, with the highest-paid athletes, and most consistent news coverage. However, the NBA is far from alone. There are a number of other basketball leagues that you can bet on at large online sportsbooks.
Online NBA Betting
The premier basketball league in the world is the National Basketball Association. 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 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.
We have taken our time in listing NBA betting sites that are safe and reputable.
Read more about the betting on NBA games online:
College BasketBall: NCAA Basketball Betting
The United States has the best amateur college basketball players in the world competing in NCAA Basketball. College basketball has a massive following, with hundreds of teams across several divisions and action at many reputable NCAA basketball betting sites.
The NCAA has a 64 team single elimination tournament to decide the National Championship after reach regular season. Thus begins what we lovingly refer to as March Madness here in the States. It takes place every year in the middle of March. 32 of the teams in the tournament are entered automatically for winning their conference tournaments while the rest are “at large” bids decided by a selection committee.
All games are held at neutral locations and culminate when just two teams remain out of the 64 to battle it out for the NCAA Basketball Championship.
Wagering on Other Professional Basketball Leagues
There are dozens of international and domestic leagues around the world, complete with professional teams, dedicated fans, and championships. The UK, most of Europe and Asia all have professional basketball leagues and some very impressive talent from all parts of the world.
Euroleague Basketball is a Champions League type of competition for the best club basketball clubs in Europe. Every year the Euroleague pits the top teams from the previous year into pool play, and a Championship game at a neutral site.
It may come as a surprise to Westerners, but China has a strong basketball culture as well. In fact, basketball is ranked as the most popular sport in the country, with an estimated 300 million self-described players. The Chinese Basketball Association has adopted NBA rules and playoffs formats, which makes it the first country in Asia to do so.
International Basketball Championships
Basketball takes the world stage in two high profile championships. Every four years, Olympic-hopeful countries assemble the best basketball talent they have to compete for glory on the international stage. The United States has a long history of dominating the Olympics, but it’s never a foregone conclusion. Spain, Argentina, Lithuania, Croatia, France and Yugoslavia have all put together some very tough teams.
Another event hosted every four years is the FIBA World Cup, taking place every two years in between Olympic seasons. The FIBA World Cup has a similar format to the Olympics with a group stage followed by a single elimination knockout round.
How to Bet On Basketball Games
Basketball sportsbooks look like a foreign language to the uninitiated, but it helps to remember that in every wager you are predicting an outcome. If your prediction is correct, you’re going to win money. Every piece of information displayed on a betting board is somehow related to how much you’re risking, what you stand to win and what the terms of winning are.
In many cases, the basketball bets you see at basketball betting sites are actually a combination of wagers. Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate how it all works.
- Team A +7 (-115)| +245 | Over 198 (-105)
- Team B -7 (-105) | -290 | Under 198 (-115)
Basketball Point Spreads
There are three distinct wagers being displayed here. First is the point spread. The +7 next to the Team A means they are the underdogs and will be given 7 points for the purposes of wagering. This means if you bet on theTeam A to win, you win the wager if theTeam A win outright or if they lose by fewer than 7 points.
Team B are the favorites in this matchup so they are giving up 7 points. If you place a bet on the Team B, they need to win by at least 7 points for you to win the bet. If they lose outright or win by fewer than 7, you lose the bet.
The -115 and -105 show how much you’re being asked to risk in comparison to the reward. Any time you see a negative number, it means you’re going to have to risk more than what you stand to win. The -115 next to the Team A shows that you’ll have to put up $115 for every $100 in potential winnings. The -105 next to theTeam B means you’ll have to put up $105 for every $100 in potential winnings.
Note: You don’t have to wager in multiples of 100. You could also look at -115 as being asked to risk $1.15 for every $1.00 in potential winnings.
Moving over one spot to the right, we see basketball moneyline totals. If you don’t like point spreads, you can just wager on the moneyline. In this wager, the point total doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is your team getting the W.
The +245 next to theTeam A tells you that you’ll win $245 for every $100 risked on theTeam A. The basketball sportsbook is paying more for them in an effort to attract betting dollars on the underdog. The -290 next to theTeam B shows that you’ll have to risk $290 for every $100 in potential profits.
Basketball Totals and Over/Under
Moving over to the right one more time gets us to the point total. In this basketball bet, you’re wagering on the total number of points to be scored over the course of the game. The total for this example is set at 198 and you can either bet on the actual combined score ending up being more than 198 or less than 198.
Basketball Prop Bets
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
This basketball 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 at basketball betting sites 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, basketball props that pit players against each other and much more.
Futures are long term wagers. Popular basketball futures include the championship of a particular league, runners up, and place of finish. Another popular basketball future wager is a particular team’s total wins, which bettors can select over or under.
Live “In Play” Basketball Betting
Live basketball betting has become increasingly popular 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.
Fantasy Basketball Betting
Fantasy basketball betting is a whole different form of wagering in which you draft individual players from around the league to form your own fantasy team. You can then pit your team against the fantasy teams assembled by other people in real money competitions and tournaments.
As your players rack up points on the court in the real world, you earn fantasy points for your team. The person whose team ends up with the most points wins the competition. Daily fantasy basketball leagues work a little differently than traditional leagues played in the past. Most notably, online leagues only last for a day or week as opposed to an entire season.
Daily fantasy basketball sites are the only legal sports option for US residents at this time, unlike other markets around the world who have chosen to license, tax, and regulate traditional sports betting. Read more at:
Basic Basketball Betting Strategy
Basketball handicapping is a deep subject that could fill a thick book. Here, we’ll just start with the basics and look at a few things to consider when betting on a basketball game.
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 at basketball betting sites. 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.
Pick Your Spots
Don’t ever feel pressured to place wagers. The NBA alone plays a total of 1,300 games a season. There’s no need to place a wager out of a sense of urgency or because you hit a bad run the last time around. Take your time and pick your spots. There is not necessarily a “winning” bet in every game. Some games simply aren’t profitable. Wait until you have a specific, concrete reason to wager before putting your money on the line.
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