Betting on Basketball

NBA bettingThere was a time when certain US-origin sports were popular only in North America but the rise of the new betting sites and the explosion in satellite TV which brings the live action into our homes, has opened up a global audience.

Basketball is a prime example of that and while it could have been considered a minority sport in some countries, it’s now a worldwide phenomenon. Online sports betting has also increased in line with its burgeoning popularity but if you’re thinking of having a punt, which markets are open to you?


Straight result betting is available for all games but it’s important to remember here that shocks are very rare in this sport and unless the teams are very evenly matched, it will be hard to find any serious value.

Over the course of a basketball tie, the stronger side will usually come through and prices can often drop to a less than tempting 1.20. Handicapping is rare but it can be found for the bigger games and this may offer a few more options if you’re seeking bigger returns.


Side betting is almost dominated by point scoring and there are few bets to be found in terms of individual players. The game is divided into four quarters and for most people, side bets will start by speculating on how many points will come in each quarter, or in each half. This option increases the odds and potential returns and by studying statistical analysis, you can determine whether one, or both teams on show are heavy scorers in any specific period.

You can also bet on odds or evens at the end of each quarter, half or the match itself but with that bet, prices are generally matched at around the 1.91 mark for each option – a bit like betting on a coin toss in cricket.

Finally, another popular online basketball bet involves the points scored by each individual team although this will usually involve totals at the end of the game, rather than bets in each specific quarter.

Additional side bets, depending on the bookmaker involved, might include the team to score first, the winning margin and the first team to 20 points.

Watch the spread

In any game where there are plenty of points up for grabs, spread betting comes into play in many different areas of the game. With its higher exposure, but potentially lucrative returns, the spread can kick in on total points, winning margin and much more.

Betting in play is also available but it’s important to check with your bookmaker to see exactly what is on offer. Not all outlets have embraced basketball, so choose your provider wisely if you are looking to place a bet. North American based companies such as Betonline and The Greek have a good selection of markets but the sport is popular in continental Europe too so make sure it’s well covered before you sign up for an account.

Like all sports, a game of basketball can be enjoyed more when you place a bet so do your research and get involved with this fast growing event.

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