Basketball Betting Guide for Beginners Cover

Basketball Betting Guide for Beginners

by Oddspedia Experts
Reading time 9 min
Basketball is one of the most popular sports today, with NBA dominating in the USA. Due to the competitiveness of the game, the number of basketball bettors has increased significantly. That has, in turn, seen numerous basketball betting sportsbooks crop up in recent years. This basketball betting guide will take you through everything you need to know about basketball gambling.
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How Basketball Betting Works

Betting on basketball is simple if you have insight into basketball. The process entails predicting the outcome of different basketball games before or during the game. Most basketball events are sourced from different leagues such as:

Some sportsbooks offer college basketball fixtures, making them suitable for extreme basketball fans and bettors. However, if you want to place the correct basketball bets, you must understand the game. You also need to do intense research on basketball events so that you may gather enough useful sports betting information. The process is quicker if you are using the best basketball betting site. Such bookies come with a wide range of markets, competitive betting lines, and fixtures that assist with basketball betting.

Basketball Odds on NBA Betting Explained

Odds play a huge role in basketball betting. That is whether you want to place NBA bets or bet on events from other top basketball leagues. Thanks to basketball odds, bookies make revenue. On the other hand, you can use them to determine how much you are likely to earn in a single bet. To do so, you need to multiply your stake by the odds value.

However, basketball odds vary depending on the bookie and the betting market.

For instance, NBA odds tend to be competitive due to the fierce competition in the league. On the other hand, betting markets like Outrights or Futures have high odds since they are high-risk basketball markets. Lastly, different bookies offer different basketball odds formats making them accommodating. Some of the main odds formats include Indo, Malay, Decimal, European, and Hong Kong.

Most Common Basketball Betting Types Explained

Basketball has a wide range of betting types meant to guide you when placing bets. If you are new to basketball betting, here are the most common basketball betting markets that you should know.


The money line is one of the most common betting options. It requires you to predict which team will win the game. For instance, the market can apply if the Los Angeles Lakers play the Cleveland Cavaliers in a regular NBA season. You can predict between the two teams playing which one will emerge victorious. If you place your bet on the Los Angeles Lakers and they win the game, you get a profit.

Race to Points

Race to points is yet another common betting market in the basketball gambling scene. The betting line requires you to predict which team will be the first to reach a certain number of points. A good example is a game between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Nicks. In the match, you can predict the Chicago Bulls to be the first team to reach 20 points. If that happens, you win the bet.

Handicaps/Spread betting

Handicap is a point spread betting option that is most common in NBA games involving superior and inferior teams. In this case, the operator will disadvantage the superior team to make the game fair. The superior team must overcome the handicap for the bet to be fulfilled. In a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat, the operator might give Miami Heat a handicap of (-5.5). If you decide to punt on Miami Heat to win the game, there is an aspect that must be considered. First, the Miami Heat will have to overcome the (-5.5) handicap. After that, the remaining final score must still be greater than that of the Minnesota Timberwolves for you to win the bet.

Winner Margin

Instead of predicting the Match Winner, you can take advantage of the high odds provided on the Winner Margin option. The bet type requires you to predict the margin with which the winner will beat the loser. In a game between Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors, you can punt on the latter to beat the former with a 10-point difference. Therefore, you will only win if the margin is correct by the end of the NBA game.

Over/Under markets

Over/Under is a popular totals bet. The betting market mostly applies when predicting the combined score of two teams in an NBA game. A good example is a game between Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. You can punt on both teams to have a total score of Over 200.20. However, if you want better odds, you can consider the Correct Score betting market.

Quarter Bets

Quarter bets are profitable betting markets that usually have exciting odds. However, you can only place quarter bets when dealing with professional basketball leagues. They are mostly available to NBA bettors and European basketball punters. A good example of quarter bets is punting on Utah Jazz to beat Brooklyn Nets in the first quarter. Therefore, by the end of the first quarter, Utah Jazz must be leading.

Long-term and Special bets

Like any other sport, basketball offers long-term and special bets. It is advisable to consider the betting markets if you want to enjoy high odds. For better understanding, long-term bets are Futures bets. These are betting markets that require you to punt on basketball events even months before they happen. The best example of long-term bets is Game Outright bets. Also, the NBA Championship winner is a long-term bet.

On the other hand, special bets are wagers made on events in and out of the game. They are sometimes called proposition bets. Some of the main special bets include player bets and manager bets. For instance, you can punt on the next permanent basketball club manager or the NBA MVP. You can learn more about special bets on any NBA betting guide.

How Does Live Betting on Basketball Work?

Basketball live betting is a trending form of gambling that allows you to punt on continuing games. Unlike pre-match betting, live punting gives you access to live markets and odds. You should expect the odds to change periodically. Furthermore, some betting options don’t remain open throughout the game. That is why you need to confirm the market before you place a bet.

The advantage of basketball in-play betting is that you get to be part of the action. However, you need live statistics to place likely bets. It is vital to consider bookies that offer the best live betting services. For instance, the sportsbook should have live betting features such as cash-out, live streaming, and live animation if possible. Such function will assist with live betting hence making the entire process effortless.

How to Place a Basketball Bet: Step-By-Step Guide

Placing basketball bets is simple, especially if you understand basketball gambling. However, if you are new to the basketball betting scene, here is a step-by-step basketball betting guide to use.

Choose A Basketball Betting Site

The first thing you need to do is select a suitable basketball betting site and create a betting account. If you want to bet on NBA events, pick a site that covers every game on the NBA schedule. For instance, it should cover the initial games, NBA playoffs, and NBA finals. Additionally, the site should have all the necessary betting features such as:

  • Live Streaming Option
  • Cash-Out Function
  • Bet Builder

Lastly, consider a sportsbook that allows in-play betting more so if you prefer gambling on continuing games.

Create Your Betting Account

Once you get the right sportsbook, you need to create an account. The account registration process entails providing the operator with your contact, personal, and address information. Furthermore, you need to email the necessary documents to the operator for account verification. That is the only way to gain complete access to every section of the sportsbook. Note that you cannot perform certain tasks without account verification, for instance, making necessary transactions.

Choose A Payment method & Make a Deposit

The only way you can place a basketball bet is if you have a positive bankroll. Therefore, choose a payment method and make a deposit. Different sportsbooks offer different payment methods. Some of the common payment methods include VISA, MasterCard, ecoPayz. Neteller, and Skrill. Using the available payment solutions, you can deposit money in your account securely. However, make sure you confirm the minimum deposit allowed by the payment method.

Make your Bets

Once you have an account and enough bankroll, you can proceed to place your bets. When placing a basketball bet, you need to consider multiple factors. First, make sure you go through the events and choose the match you wish to punt on. After that, proceed to select the markets and compare the available odds. Lastly, stake and place your bet. You can then wait for the outcome to see if your prediction is correct.

How To Start Betting?

Everything You Need To Know In 5 Easy Steps!

How To Start Betting?
Pick A Highly Rated Bookie

Find the right bookmaker for you and sign up.

Fund Your Account

Make a deposit with the payment method you prefer. Consider responsible gambling features and bankroll management.

Claim Your Bonus

Many betting sites have a welcome bonus or free bet, which you can claim after making the first deposit. *never forget to read the small print!

Choose An Event To Bet On

Find an event you are interested in, select a betting market that appeals to you the most and "click" on the odds.

Start Betting

Go to the bet slip and input the details of your desired bet and confirm the wager.

Tips and Strategies For Betting On Basketball

To place likely basketball bets, you need to apply working basketball gambling tips and strategies. Some of the main strategies that will increase your chances of placing winning bets include:

Look out For the Best Available Odds

Always look out for the best available basketball odds. The only way you will notice competitive odds is if you compare the odds of different markets. Some of the football markets known to offer substantial odds include Outrights, Spread bets, and Special bets. These markets are considered riskier compared to other betting options. Note that the best available odds determine how much you profit if you place a winning bet.

Take Advantage of Matched Betting and Arbitrage Betting

Matched betting and arbitrage betting are unique betting systems. These methods of placing basketball bets can help you increase your chances of winning. They are popular among expert punters because they cover every outcome making it hard to make an unlikely bet. For instance, matched betting entails using the sportsbooks bonuses to place multiple bets on a market, altogether cancelling the risk. On the other hand, arbitrage entails punting on all outcomes of an event on different sportsbooks. That means you will win regardless of the outcome.

Follow Basketball Tipsters and Their Expert Predictions

Following basketball tipsters is one of the best actions to take, whether you are an expert punter or an amateur gambler. Tipsters always provide crucial information on a select betting market. On the other hand, expert predictions will help you know which bets to place. Adding such useful information to your research findings will see you make the best basketball gambling decisions.

Keep Track of Your Betting Record

Make sure you keep track of your basketball betting records. That is the only way to know what works and what doesn’t. Also, it is advisable to make the records elaborate. For instance, you need to take note of all your losses and wins. Also, keep track records of all major games. The information you record will assist with your future research.

Take the small wins and profits

Basketball punters have a tendency of using the small profits they make to place more basketball bets. Others focus on big wins making it hard to appreciate small wins. That usually makes punters anxious to win big, and ultimately they start placing any bet with big rewards. To avoid making such mistakes, always take the small wins and profits. Anything that is not a loss should be celebrated.

Home Court advantage in the NBA Playoffs

NBA playoffs are elimination matches put together by the National Basketball Association board. In most cases, players do well on their home court during playoffs. It is important to take note of the home-court advantage. That is by focusing more on the NBA team hosting the event. If they are in good form with all top players in good condition, the team will likely win.

Most Common Basketball Betting Mistakes

Basketball bettors are known to make numerous mistakes while placing basketball bets. Those mistakes often cost them, leading to losses. Some of the main mistakes that basketball punters often make include:

Not familiar with the sport

Placing a basketball bet with little to no information on the sport is often a bad move. That is because you don't know what to research and which teams to punt on. Furthermore, you have no idea how to analyse the game statistics making it hard to place a likely bet. More often than not, such players end up placing unlikely bets simply because they are not familiar with the sport.

Ignoring team form & injuries

The team form and injuries matter when placing bets on a particular event. Don’t ignore a team that is in bad shape. You should also not assume a team will perform well while most top players have injuries. Such important aspects come in handy when placing bets, like which team will make the first hoop. You can also use the details to place correct Match Winner bets.

Mismanaging your bankroll

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is mismanaging your bankroll. That is by exceeding your betting limits or placing bets without doing adequate research. Bankroll mismanagement can make you get into your savings. To avoid making such a mistake, make sure you come up with betting limits. For example, set aside your weekly gambling cash and make sure you adhere to the set limits.

Avoid betting on your favourite team

If you are a basketball fan, it is obvious that you have your favourite NBA team. It is key that you avoid betting on your favourite team. Unless you have done extensive research and the facts indicate that the team is likely to win. If not, bet on the NBA team that has a high chance of winning.


How do you place a bet on basketball?

To bet on basketball, you need to select the event, analyse the markets, compare the odds and place your bet. But make sure you do extensive research to increase your winning chances.

🏆 Which is the best basketball betting site?

The best basketball betting site is bet365. The bookie is known to cover all basketball championships, including the NBA and EuroLeague.

💶 How are basketball betting odds calculated?

Basketball betting odds are calculated based on the probability of an event occurring. Bookies use special software to calculate basketball betting odds due to the significant number of markets per event.

💳 Can I cash out on basketball betting?

Yes, you can cash out on basketball. Cashing out allows you to withdraw your stake at any time of the event. However, always confirm that the bet allows cash out before applying the function.

🤔 Can I bet live on basketball matches?

Yes, you can place in-play basketball bets. Most bookies offer live basketball betting services to accommodate NBA bettors. But make sure the bookie you choose for live betting offers live betting features such as the live streaming option.

What does over/under mean in basketball betting?

Over/Under is a spread betting option that allows you to punt on a margin and not the exact outcome. It is also referred to as a totals bet. That means you get to predict the total points NBA teams will get in a match.

🏆 What is a Moneyline?

Moneyline is a common bet that requires you to gamble on the match result. The betting option is common among punters since it only focuses on the Win, Draw, Win outcome.

💶 Does basketball betting include overtime?

Yes, some basketball events offer overtime, for instance, total score. In this case, the operator will consider extra time before settling the bet. However, others don’t allow overtime. Therefore, confirm before wagering on an event.
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This article was written by our team of betting experts, any contributing references are noted below.
Last updated 26/10/2022
  1. Basketball Betting Tips & Guide | DraftKings Sportsbook. (2021). Draftkings.
  2. How To Bet on Basketball | Basketball Betting Explained | Unibet. (2021). Unibet.
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