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With it being one of the most popular sports in the world, it stands to reason that betting on basketball is something that a lot of people do. Whether it’s to add an extra dynamic to the action as it unfolds, back a hunch you have for who will win a game, or you’ve studied the form and you think you’ve spotted a team that can upset the odds, there are all sorts of reasons people place basketball bets online.
Here at BetUK, we offer a wide range of UK sports betting options when it comes to basketball, including all the games in the top leagues such as the NBA (National Basketball Association) regular season and postseason. We also provide explanations on how to bet on basketball, so you can understand exactly what you’re wagering on. Knowing the meaning of the likes of moneyline and the spread can help you to make your basketball betting picks, and even play a part in creating your own bet strategy.
Basketball Betting Markets
As with most sports, basketball offers a diverse range of markets when it comes to betting online, some of which may be easier to get your head around than others if you’re new to the sport. Essentially, they can be broken down into individual game bets and longer-term wagers. Basketball game bets will generally cover the outcome of a game, i.e. which team will win and by how much, but they also cover player performances, such as top scorers in a match. Longer-term bets, often known as futures, predict outcomes over an extended period of time.
Basketball Moneyline Bets
The moneyline refers to a bet on which team will win a basketball game. Unlike some other sports, games have to have a winner in almost every instance (the only exception being in some regions where multiple-legged ties have an aggregated score), and so predicting a victor becomes a slightly more streamlined process.
That said, the moneyline bet may not be best suited to your personal basketball betting strategy. It’s perhaps best employed when the two sides involved are similar on paper, as the odds of either winning will be much closer. If there’s an obvious favourite, the odds of backing them will be much lower, which may give you a reason to explore the spread betting market instead.
Basketball Points Spread Betting
Spread betting is a form of handicap, in which one of the two teams involved will be given a points obstacle to overcome, while the other will be given a points boost to level the playing field. You could, however, choose to back the favourite with a points advantage, although this will reduce your odds even more than the moneyline, and is possibly best used within a basketball accumulator bet.
So, what is the point of spread betting? Well, it’s essentially designed to make a game more even on paper, and provides what is generally considered to be a more interesting betting option than a straightforward moneyline bet on a favourite. For you as a bettor though, spread betting provides a margin of error that you won’t find if you simply bet on one team to win. If a spread bet results in a tie, the wager will be a “push”, meaning it will be returned to you without winning a profit.
Basketball Prop Bets
Prop bets, or proposition bets, are those that back your predictions or judgements about the specifics of a game. They can be divided into two categories; player prop bets and team prop bets. Team props focus on a side as a whole, such as how many points a team will score, how many successful three-point shots they’ll make, and which team will be the first to reach 80 points, for example. You can also bet in the over/under basketball odds market, which covers whether a team will achieve a points target or not.
Player props focus on individual performances, including which player will score the first basket of the game, who will score the most points overall, and even predicting the number of blocks a defensive player will make. It’s worth mentioning that prop bets may not be available in all of the basketball odds markets, although they are fairly common in bigger leagues such as the NBA, including the NBA playoffs.
Basketball Futures Betting
Futures bets allow you to place wagers on outcomes that won’t be determined until towards the end of the season. When it comes to teams, you can bet on who will win their league, or any other silverware available to them. You can also predict whether or not teams will qualify for the playoffs if applicable.
Regarding players, there are lots of futures markets, including who will be the top scorer over an entire league campaign. There are also player futures markets surrounding individual trophies, such as awards for MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and so forth. Futures bets are often among the easiest to understand, although finding them in markets is sometimes a struggle but when they are found you will find very competitive odds for the market.
Basketball In-Play Betting Markets
In addition to placing these sorts of bets before the tip-off, you can also place bets during a basketball game. With live in-play betting you have the option to adjust your strategy based on the unfolding action, whether that’s to double down on your initial prediction, to make additional prop bets along the way, or to back an underdog if they look lively.
League Basketball Betting
Here at BetUK, you can place wagers on some of the biggest leagues in the world. Chief among these would be the NBA, the premium level of the sport in North America. Chances are you’ve heard of the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors, and this is where they play, with the season culminating in the NBA Finals. NBA betting tends to offer player and team prop bets too. We also have betting markets on college basketball, including the NCAA March Madness.
Outside of the NBA, you can place bets on basketball a little further afield. Both the NZNBL (New Zealand’s highest level of male competition) and the BBL (the British Basketball League have betting odds too. So if you’re looking to back the Wellington Saints or the Newcastle Eagles, you can bet on basketball games from these leagues and more.
Basketball Odds FAQ
What is “Covering the Spread” in Basketball?
The phrase “covering the spread” can apply to either the favourite or the underdog. Backing the favourite with a points handicap will require them to win by more than the theoretical deficit, i.e a favourite backed at -7.5 will need to win by 8 or more points. An underdog beats the spread.
What is the Best Basketball Bet?
Aside from the simple answer of “any bet that wins”, the best bet comes down to personal preference and strategy. Some bets will yield smaller returns but will be more likely to come off, while some will offer higher returns for less-likely events.
How Do I Win Basketball Bets?
There’s no surefire way to guarantee a win when placing a bet on anything, including this sport. Doing your research when it comes to betting trends and basketball betting tips can help with a strategy, but ultimately there is still a chance that even a well-researched wager won’t be successful.