You may think that profitable betting without high risk on basketball is easy; we insist that everyone must fulfil specific criteria to make money. You can bet on a massive range of markets in every game, from moneylines, handicaps or totals to props and outrights. But which is the best one to build a basketball betting strategy around?
Is it better to back firm favourites or underdogs with real winning chances? We will talk about that alongside the most profitable basketball leagues and everything else you need to pay attention to before placing your wagers.
Top 3 Basketball Betting Strategies that Work
Backing the team with the home-court advantage can lead you to win bets on moneylines and double-digit handicaps if you wager on a dominant favourite. In that case, you can make a profit from Over total or team points when you risk an underdog. It’s common for these teams to need high scores to keep the potential chances to defend their ground. Basketball is a fast-paced sport with numerous possible scenarios for each game.
It’s difficult to be consistently accurate in your predictions, but you can boost your chances by placing smart bets under specific circumstances. It seems easy to learn how to win basketball betting, especially in the main markets. You can invest in the teams’ total points, but many aspects can affect the result. Chasing underdogs or backing favourites is more straightforward.
You can also risk handicaps, but if you bet randomly, there’s a high chance you lose. We have listed the best basketball betting strategies to help you avoid runs when you wager on elite leagues, domestic tournaments, or lower divisions.
Bet on minor leagues
In the elite leagues, most matches exceed 150 points in total. The outcome is even higher during NBA games, frequently surpassing 200 points. But what about minor leagues, lower divisions, women’s or even youth competitions? The players’ scoring ability can’t be compared with the scoring ratio of an NBA star, and the average point total is significantly lower. In minor leagues, bookmakers create handicaps and lines according to general statistics. So, if you discover a higher line than the total average points both teams usually score, it’s worth making a basketball betting system based on under-total points.
Back a losing favourite
You can build your best basketball betting strategy by exploiting the pros of live betting. For sure, basketball upsets are extremely rare compared to other sports. The favourite team usually wins, even in the NBA, where top-seeded teams reach the playoffs with a total of 65 or 70 wins from 82 regular-season games. There are numerous examples of favourites who need only a few minutes to tip the balance of a match in their favour; that usually happens in the second half. Many advanced bettors invest money by placing bets backing losing favourites when it comes to their live basketball betting strategy; the target is secure value in the offered odds.
Develop a betting system
Creating a basketball betting system to find profitable alternative markets in the NBA and the Euroleague will boost your efforts. For example, you can develop a model that will consider point differential; it will be helpful for you to place accurate bets on handicaps. These systems examine several factors using a wide range of data and statistics. So, you can find betting value by focusing on specific basketball stats categories for each team you want to back.
- 1 Points For & Against
- 2 Rebounds For & Against
- 3 Fast-break Points
- 4 Points in the Paint
- 5 2nd Chance Points
- 6 Shooting percentage
- 7 Points per Possession
- 8 Individual stats for points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, etc
Even if you choose to invest in moneyline markets, which is the simplest form of basketball betting, it's important to take advice from relevant statistical sources for the type of wager you want to place, whether it's a 2-way or a 3-way basketball bet (feel free to read also the what is 3-way betting in basketball guide). Let's consider an example based on the NBA Playoffs Game 3 between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. It is beneficial to consult relevant stats sources to make informed betting decisions.
The money line odds are:
⏩ Toronto to Win at 1.98 (49/50).
⏩ Philadelphia to Win at 1.87 (87/100).
Philadelphia took Games 1 & 2 by scoring 243 points in a sum against Toronto’s 208. Focusing on Game 1, the series’ favourite secured 10 more 2nd Chance Points (17 vs. 7) and 19 more fast-break points (29 vs. 10), while they scored 50 in the paint. In Game 2, the 76ers exploit more fast-break points (22 vs. 10), having a higher 3-point percentage (46,7% vs. 34,4%) and field-goal shooting percentage (52,2% vs. 42,7%). Additionally, they created big leads (+24 & 29, respectively), so if you evaluate these stats, you can conclude that their odds of winning the game have value.
How to win basketball bets using advanced stats
Advanced stats will help you understand if a favourite may suffer back-to-back upsets or if it can recover. When you reach some more experience, you will be able to use stats in a combinatorial way. For instance, you should check some offensive averages from the season and the team’s current form if you want to back a home team after bad offensive appearances. These stats can indicate your pre-match and live betting basketball strategy if the favourites you want to bet on can bounce back.
Free throw percentage
Free throws offer the easiest points in basketball, and teams that take advantage of the score from the foul line can win more games. Examining the number of free throws each team take and score, you will learn key indicator points about the overall strength. When contenders take a high number of free throws, they provide great offensive skills. These teams win opponents’ fouls constantly, having several field goal attempts. If you back a team with a high free throw rate to score more points than the offered line, your winning chances are increased at least. So, it seems optical to create a pre-match or a live betting basketball strategy based on that stat.
You can build a basketball betting strategy on totals and handicaps using that metric. The offensive rating helps evaluate a team’s actual scoring skills; that advanced stat shows the average number of points a team scores per hundred possessions. When you observe that teams have high offensive ratings (e.g., 85,5 or 90,5), you can understand their strength, the ability to draw fouls and take offensive rebounds, shooting both 2-pointers and 3-pointer with efficiency, etc. These teams can produce high-scoring totals, so you must include them in your strategy.
The defensive rating helps you learn how many points a team allows per hundred possessions. The teams with lower numbers here (e.g., 70,5 or 75,5) are those who play strong defence, allowing fewer points. It’s optimal to prefer a basketball handicap prediction, backing them against the spread when they are in an underdog place. Moreover, if you create a basketball betting system on totals, that metric can help you evaluate the implied probability of the offered odds, especially for the Under prices.
Several star basketball athletes play to help their teams win but for their personal stats. Choosing prop bets on them might be profitable if you can estimate their impact by examining individual stats. Basic stats, like points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, personal fouls, and turnovers, can help you build basketball betting strategies on special bets based on athletes. For example, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid finishes the NBA 2021/22 regular season with 30,57 points per game and 49,9% field goals percentage; he also has taken 11,71 rebounds per game. Betting Over on Embiid, even on high lines of 29,5 points and 10,5 rebounds, seems a decent option for your bankroll.
Tips to Build a Winning Basketball Betting Strategy
Like any other sport, discipline is the number one tip for betting. You should follow a clear staking plan and do comprehensive research before investing any money. The basketball betting markets explained section is at your disposal to learn every secret, but betting on all of them is counter-productive. Let’s look at all the critical factors that can help you make a profit.
Place-value basketball bets
To be successful, you must identify where the value lies. Let’s see an example of a Euroleague game. Armani Milano hosts title-holder Efes for the Playoffs Game 1 without two key players.
The moneyline odds are:
- Milano to Win at 1.65 (13/20).
- Efes to Win at 2.35 (27/20).
The odds on the Italian side mean 60,61% implied probability, although they have suffered three defeats in the last six matches. Your analysis shows that Milano has a 50% chance of winning the game. So, if you bet on the home team at 2.00 (1/1) or lower odds, your bet has no value. Generally, a helpful piece of basketball betting advice is to avoid backing favourites with little to no value; it seems like a one-way road to losing money.
As we examine and analyze all the top basketball betting strategies to help you make money, it’s time to promote the top online bookmakers that offer the highest and most competitive odds for pre-match and in-play basketball betting.
Follow the latest news
Don’t try to build your basketball betting strategy on rumours and untrustworthy sources. You should never forget that when injuries or suspensions news reaches the media, the bookies will act upon it immediately. They will adjust the odds, so you must decide whether the changed prices are in your favour or not. By following the news from reliable sources, you can avoid an uninformed decision that can cause damage to your bankroll. For instance, the Dallas Mavericks' strength depends on Luka Doncic’s availability, and when the Slovenian star is absent, this affects the NBA team’s results. So, you must always analyze match data and read news about possible absences (injuries, suspensions etc.).
Avoid big ACCAs
Chasing big accumulators with 4+ selections or more is a controversial basketball betting system. Indeed, the favourites win with a high ratio; that’s why, especially in domestic leagues with two or three dominant teams, the moneyline odds are low, around 1.20. If you decide to create an ACCA with heavy favourites, you will need at least four picks to reach 2.00 odds. If you face one upset or a bad run, you will see damage to your bankroll. You should also avoid big ACCAs during the NBA regular season; there’s no ultimate winning team in an 82-game period.
Analyze teams’ schedules
It’s crucial to examine a team's schedule to see the current form and specifically check who they have won and which opponents they struggle against. Especially in continental short-time tournaments, like Eurobasket, a close defeat to a favourite and a close win against a weaker team can generate many opportunities if you choose the right Eurobasket Bookmakers.
In addition, leagues like the NBA have an exhausting schedule for the athletes. Several teams on the road play back-to-back matches and sometimes even three games in four days during the regular season. So, for example, you can wait for the third consecutive away match of a favourite and back the underdog, which has the home advantage.
Keep a basketball betting record
That helps you learn from mistakes and make more accurate decisions. Reviewing your past results can be a factor in generating long-term profit. If you keep a detailed archive, you can understand which markets you are wagering successfully and where you lose money. When you decide to build a basketball betting strategy, you must include specific details:
- Date of your bets
- Betting markets (e.g., moneylines, handicap, totals)
Follow our basketball experts
Basketball betting tips are another way to go; following experts can help you boost your bankroll and overcome a lousy run. Undoubtedly, you should find reliable and trusted sources that release predictions for free. We publish bookmaker predictions and daily tips for the NBA, Euroleague, EuroCup, etc.
You can find the best basketball bookmakers that offer the most main and secondary betting markets for all the top continental and domestic leagues in the complete list below.
How can basketball betting strategies be profitable?
Our goal is to teach you how to use the options a bookie offers and build a system to increase your bankroll while avoiding common mistakes. You must have a clear staking plan to start betting with high winning chances. Discipline is crucial, and the conclusion that you don’t need to win every day but in a certain period can help you build a profitable basketball betting strategy. The markets are numerous, so pick the top 2-3 suits your style and stick to them. Follow the steps below, and make money from basketball betting.
Check the odds value before you invest your money. It’s preferable to bet on slight underdogs at 2.10 to 2.40 (11/10 to 7/5) odds than heavy favourites at 1.10 to 1.30 (1/10 to 3/10).
Doing comprehensive research before you bet on basketball can lead you to win decisions. Probable injuries or suspensions, current teams’ form, and H2H stats are some details you should examine first before placing a bet. It’s not advisable to invest money without analyzing all the critical factors affecting games’ outcomes.
Study numbers and advanced stats. Players’ stats and efficiency ratings, offensive and defensive percentages and sums, and unique indicator statistics, like the true shooting percentage, can help you make informed decisions.
The key point is to focus on specific markets and find value in odds by comparing different basketball bookmakers. A clear staking plan and extended research based on news and stats can help you make well-informed decisions. If you build a solid basketball betting strategy, you will understand why it can be profitable for your bankroll; you will also save time and money, making your bets easier.
Following advanced stats can help you analyze the next game with sufficient accuracy. Like the Win/Loss summary, team stats, the best scoring and rebounding teams are always critical. Moreover, you can find trends, like the best teams at Against the Spread bets. Finally, offensive and defensive statistics, such as 3-point percentage and blocks per game, can help you make more informed decisions.
Firstly, you must delve deeper into some specific women’s leagues like the WNBA and the NCAA Women’s Basketball DI. These are the most popular tournaments, where you can wager on the main and secondary basketball markets.
Indeed, live betting on basketball can offer several profitable options, but you shouldn’t force yourself to find opportunities. It’s crucial to watch the game you want to bet on and make decisions depending on the stats, evaluating first the contenders’ form and sharpness. Υou can wager on 1st quarter, half-time, and moneyline bets with players' props and specials.
There’s no magic recipe to betting on basketball successfully. You should follow certain steps to become a sharp bettor, and our guides can help you reach your goal. However, one helpful piece of advice is not to follow the consensus without examining all the pre-game facts. Of course, it’s not optimal to bet always against the public; you should avoid arbitrary decisions and do extensive research before you invest money.
Here is one of the most popular live betting basketball strategies. If you bump into a tied match where no team has a safe point difference, it might be worth betting on over points total. If the deficit is small, there will be a lot of free throws in the last seconds, which is a favourable condition to surpass the point limit.
Οne of the best basketball betting strategies for the Euroleague is to study the favourite’s schedule since teams travel every few days. If a team has an easier league game before an important continental one, the players most likely want to finish the job early. Additionally, the coach could decide on a required rotation, so pay attention, especially in the point handicap market.
Many bettors take a risk in live betting, backing a losing favourite. A solid team can come from behind and win a game against a weaker opponent. So, you can find several opportunities among elite continental leagues, like Euroleague and domestic championships.