Basketball is one of the most universally beloved sports. The game has millions of fans on almost every continent and worldwide popularity. The NBA is by far the top competition around the globe, but there are also other interesting leagues tournaments.
You can constantly find basketball betting opportunities from different parts of the world which makes the sport an excellent choice for people trying to win money. This guide to betting on basketball will help you do just that.
Our experts are here to help you learn how to bet on basketball if you’re a complete beginner. If you’re more experienced, there’s still plenty here for you. We’ve got some advanced strategy advice, along with all the latest basketball odds and our predictions and betting picks.
We also keep you up to date with the best sites to bet on basketball online, and there’s a ton of other information and advice, too.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in our basketball betting guide. You can jump straight to any section that interests you, or read through this entire page for full details of what we offer.
The best way to make money from betting on basketball is place your wagers online. The top basketball betting sites offer better value than the land-based bookies thanks to the higher odds, and the variety of juicy promotions.
Online sportsbooks also offer a wider variety of basketball betting markets, meaning more opportunities to find profitable wagers. If you add the convenience factor, it’s a no-brainer. If that sounds appealing, this section can help you get started.
The sportsbooks above are the best basketball betting sites online in 2020. They each have a gambling license issued by a trusted regulator, appropriate security measures, and a solid reputation.
They are also the best places to wager on basketball online because of the high basketball betting odds and the countless opportunities to earn more through promotions and bonuses. Add in fast payouts, mobile compatibility, and great customer service, and it’s crystal clear why we recommend them.
If you want to learn more about our selection and review process, visit our page dedicated to the top basketball betting sites.
One of the most exciting features the leading online basketball betting sites is that they are available on popular mobile devices like iPhone, Android, iPad, and Windows Phone. Some have a native app for the different platforms, but most simply offer a mobile-responsive site.
You can just open the page using your browser and all the basketball betting markets will be at your disposal. The same applies to the bonuses and promotions of the bookmakers. If you want to give them a try, check out the trusted basketball betting apps we recommend.
If you are ready to get started with basketball betting online or on mobile, but are new to it, you might want to look at our general guide on online betting. It can help you understand the basics and avoid the most common mistakes.
Basketball Betting for Beginners
This section is designed to explain all the basics in simple terms, for those of you that are new to betting on basketball. Here’s what we cover.
The different basketball betting options
How basketball odds and betting lines work
Some basic tips for betting on basketball.
Let’s start with the most common basketball bets you can place.
Basketball Betting Options
The popularity of the sport and the large number of people looking to bet on basketball online brings many advantages. The variety of betting markets is certainly among them. The most popular group is the traditional options that are available for individual basketball games.
You bet on a teams to win a game. Overtime is included, so the draw is not an option here.
Basketball point spreads
Sportsbooks provide called spreads or handicap markets in which the underdog effectively starts with an advantage of extra points. You can bet on the favorite to cover those points or back the underdog to win with their advantage.
Basketball totals, or over/unders
You wager on the total number of points scored by both teams combined. The sportsbooks set a line and you have to decide if it will go over or under that threshold.
There are plenty of other variations of those three, but they are the main basketball betting markets you will find of betting on basketball games.
Another group of widespread options are the basketball futures, also called outrights. The concept behind these is that you can place cash on long-term events, such as backing a team to win a certain competition or a selected player to collect an award.
Here are some examples of basketball futures.
Team USA to win the Olympics
LA Lakers to win the NBA Championship
James Harden to become the NBA regular season MVP
There are similar options for most of the major basketball tournaments and leagues.
Some people are not interested in futures because you typically have to wait for months to collect your cash, but they should not be ignored. A good bet is a good bet, so always look out for profitable opportunities even if they’re longer term.
That same logic applies to basketball prop bets, or proposition bets. There are plenty of them, and they can be related to almost anything.
Many traditional basketball props are related to the performance of a team or player during a single game. For example, you can bet on James Harden getting over or under 34.5 points in a selected fixture. Similar markets exist for most statistical categories.
There are also long-term basketball props that apply to full seasons, drafts, deals, and so much more. Some of them are really wild and down to pure luck, but others open the door to interesting angles where you can find an edge.
Basketball Odds and Betting Lines
After learning more about the different markets, it’s time to take a look at how basketball betting odds work. Simply put, the odds determine how much money you win if a wager is successful.
There are three main formats of basketball odds, as follows.
The easiest to understand are the decimal odds. You simply need to multiply your stake by the price and you get your total return. For example, if you place $100 on 2.00, you get $200 back if you win. That’s your initial wager of $100 and your profit of $100.
American odds are more complicated because there are two options here. The first one is to see a positive price, such as +200. If that’s the case, the number shows your profit for a bet of $100. In the case of +200, your winnings will be $200 for a $100 bet. Or a total return of $300, if you add your initial stake.
If you use US prices and you see a negative value, such as -200, that’s the amount you need to place for a profit of $100. In the example here, that means that a wager of $200 will return a total of $300 for a $100 profit.
Finally, there are fractional odds, mostly popular in the United Kingdom. This format includes two numbers separated by a slash, for example, 4/5. The number on the right represents your stake, while the number on the left represents your profit. So, in the 4/5 scenario, betting $5 will return a profit of $4 or a total of $9 if we add your initial stake.
We have a simple odds converter that can help you switch between the different formats, so feel free to use it. The tool can also turn any price into implied probability, which is essentially how you determine where the betting value lies.
If you are looking for the latest odds available for the most popular basketball competitions, check out the following pages.
Most people who bet on basketball lose money in the long run and that’s a fact. On top of that, the large majority of the gamblers are in a bad position before even placing their wagers because they don’t have a clear strategy.
Our basketball betting tips can help you avoid the most common mistakes, so make sure to check them out. Following this advice won’t be enough by itself to win money consistently, but it’s a good place to start. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t learn the fundamentals.
Bet for value
You must understand that basketball odds represent probabilities and look for wagers with a higher probability than the price suggests. That’s called value betting and is the only way to make money. Most people try to guess what’s going to happen, disregarding the odds, and that’s a doomed approach in the long run.
Watch the leagues you are betting on
Some people bet on basketball teams and leagues they barely know. They use stats, read a preview somewhere, and decide to go for it. That’s a huge mistake and you should always place your wagers on competitions that you are familiar with.
Be selective with your basketball wagers
Another crucial mistake is to bet too often. The harsh reality is that most basketball betting markets don’t contain value, and profitable opportunities are reasonably rare. If you place too many wagers, you’re likely to lose the majority.
Follow strict bankroll management
You’ll lose wagers sometimes even with the most successful basketball betting strategies. If you don’t protect your bankroll by applying a reasonable staking plan, you could be out of funds after the first bad streak.
Keep a cool head
Chasing after a close loss or betting under the influence of alcohol are the most obvious examples of basketball gambling decisions that are almost guaranteed to lose in the long run. Only place a wager when you are in a clear state of mind.
If you want to learn more about the fundamentals of basketball betting, you should visit our main sports betting guide. It features useful information that applies to almost all forms of sports gambling.
Another useful resource that you could utilize is our blog. We often launch basketball betting picks and predictions for popular competitions, as well as analysis and news. Here are the latest entries.
We all know that the NBA is the most popular basketball competition in the world, with millions of fans from all over the globe. Many of them like to bet on the league so believe it deserves some special attention.
That’s why we have a separate section dedicated to NBA betting. Here’s what you’ll find in it.
General NBA betting to help you improve your strategy
The last NBA odds and betting lines
NBA betting previews
Predictions for all major NBA betting markets
Daily NBA picks for games
All the above content is delivered by our experienced NBA writers who have been following the league and betting on the NBA for years.
We also cover college basketball extensively. The future NBA stars play a ton of games throughout the regular season and then come the Conference tournaments and March Madness. We know that many of our readers are interested in college basketball which is why we have prepared a special guide.
It includes a lot of tips on college basketball and useful information about the way the NCAA works. We also have a constant flow of picks and updates, especially around March Madness. If that sounds interesting, be sure to check it out!
There are plenty of exciting basketball competitions outside of the US and international tournaments that our team likes to follow.
Let’s look at some of the most popular among them.
Summer Olympics Basketball
The Summer Olympics Championship is the most prestigious international trophy in basketball. The top teams on the planet face each other every four years to find out which country is the best. The USA has been dominant in most editions, but there are exceptions.
Some countries like Greece, Serbia, Russia, Argentina, and Spain often have competitive rosters with plenty of strong players. It’s a feast for the fans of the sport and there are plenty of betting opportunities.
FIBA World Cup
Another international basketball competition that takes place every four years is the FIBA World Cup. Once again, the top countries from all over the globe meet to determine the best of the best and there are some excellent games along the way.
Plenty of different teams have won over the years and the level of basketball on display usually is excellent. Naturally, most basketball betting sites offer odds on the FIBA World Cup and our team also covers every edition of the tournament.
The top-tier competition in European basketball is called EuroLeague. It features the champions of the strongest leagues on the continent and other prominent teams from the top basketball countries. They play in a league format throughout the season.
The champion is decided in the EuroLeague Final Four. Unlike the NBA, the knockouts are in the best-of-one format which increases the intensity dramatically. The show is guaranteed every year and there is some money to be made from a betting perspective.
Other Popular Basketball Leagues
Here are some of the other basketball leagues that deserve your attention. They provide high-quality games and are available at many trusted online betting sites.
South American Championship
Basketball Champion’s League
ABA League Eastern
Basketball Super League
Greek Basket League
Chinese Basketball Association
Lega Basket Serie A
Basketball Betting FAQ
Can I win money betting on basketball?
AYes, it’s possible to win money consistently and there are people doing it. However, most gamblers lose in the long run, and there are no basketball betting systems that are guaranteed to work.
Is it safe to bet on basketball online?
AYes, if you stick to our recommended basketball betting sites. If you pick an online sportsbook on your own, make sure to find one with a legit gambling license.
Is it legal to bet real money on basketball online?
AIt depends on how your country handles online gambling. You can bet on basketball legally in most regions, but there are exceptions and we recommend you to check the gambling laws where you live.
Do I have to pay taxes on my basketball betting winnings?
AThere is no straight answer here. Some countries require gamblers to pay taxes, others are satisfied as long as you declare your profits. The best way to know would be to ask an accountant.
How can I deposit money to bet on basketball online?
AOur top-ranked betting sites for basketball offer multiple reliable methods like credit and debit cards, e-wallets, Bitcoin, wire transfers, prepaid cards, and more. The exact list depends on the bookmaker you choose and your country of residence.
How long does it take to withdraw my winnings?
AThere’s no fixed timeframe, but the top basketball betting sites generally pay out pretty quickly.