Basketball has enjoyed growing popularity among bettors over the last few years. Like the NBA or the Euroleague, elite competitions offer numerous opportunities to turn a profit. Before you start, you should know all the available basketball betting markets, the different ways you can wager, and the best time to invest your money.
The main advice is to follow our guides as an explainer if you are a newbie bettor or a good resource if you have rich experience. In both cases, you will boost your knowledge by understanding all the options and learning what you should bet or avoid when it comes to basketball betting.
Basketball Betting Markets Explained
The fast-paced nature of the sport allows you to place a wide range of bets, from moneylines and handicaps to props like players’ total points and assists. Let’s take an example from the NBA postseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz. Besides the main options (e.g., Winner, Handicap, Total Points), you can find Players’ and Teams’ Specials, Quarter and Half markets. Furthermore, more risky picks like the way of first and last point, which team will win the jump ball, and if the game will end with a winning buzzer-beater improve the offering. Our basketball betting markets explained section would show you how to place winning pre-match and live bets, avoiding all the common mistakes that a bettor makes.
Main Basketball Betting Markets
Before you build your basketball betting strategy, it’s critical to understand how to use all the basic types of bets. Bookmakers offer numerous options on handicaps and totals alongside the most straightforward moneyline 2-way and 3-way basketball betting markets. These are the most popular bets on a quarter, half-time, and regular duration:
It’s the most straightforward market, and you just have to predict the winner of the game. The odds for each opponent are affected by their strength, current form, and injury reports. It’s pretty common to deal with lower odds on the favoured team and higher prices on the underdog.
For example, if you back Gran Canaria to beat Venezia at home, you can bet on 1.43 (43/100) odds while the Italian side pays 2.90 (19/10). These prices refer to the final result, including overtime. You can also bet on the final result after the regular time only, where the draw creates a 3-way moneyline market. The game’s odds are now adjusted: Gran Canaria to Win at 1.47 (47/100), Draw at 10.75 (39/4), and Venezia to Win at 3.10 (21/10).
Handicap or spread is a 2-way market where a virtual advantage is added to the underdog. If the two teams are more or less equal, the handicap will be low, like 0,5 or 1,5 points. If there is a quality, motivation, or form difference, you will see a higher handicap imposed on the favourite, like 15,5 points. The strongest team has to win with 16 points or more to confirm the winning odds. The main advantage of basketball betting on handicaps is the equal odds in most cases.
However, the disadvantage is the probability of the favourite team winning without overwhelming the bookie’s handicap. Most bookmakers offer various alternatives in the points handicap market. You can have the option to back a team’s win on a -10,5 points handicap at 1.90 odds; you can also choose a smaller handicap of -5,5 points at 1.50 odds. On the flip side, there’s the option to bet on the same team by risking a higher -15,5 handicap at 2.40 odds.
Basketball betting on the total points, rebounds, or assists for teams and players gives you plenty of alternatives. All the above options are 2-way markets. Bookies set a certain number of points (e.g., 153,5), and you have to predict if the number will be Over or Under the line. In most cases, the odds are equal for each option.
Note that if you choose an alternative line, that decision will affect the prices. Let’s say the main line on totals for an NBA game stands at 220,5 points. The odds for both Over and Under are 1.90 (9/10). If you choose the 209,5 points handicap, the odds you will get are 1,55 (11/20) if you back the Over and 2,25 (5/4) for the Under bet.
Now that we have analyzed all the main basketball betting markets, it’s time to promote the best bookies offering the most options and the highest competitive odds for bettors.
Secondary Basketball Betting Markets Explained
After you choose a league and game, it’s necessary to have a clear idea of what you want to bet on. Other factors like the number of possible outcomes affect the odds on secondary basketball betting markets. Let’s see which are some of the most popular alternatives.
If you want to place a bet on the winning difference of the team you back, there are specific point margins you can choose among the best basketball bookmakers. Four main points’ ranges exist:
3-way: You have three options to choose from Team A wins by X+ / Neither Team wins by X+ / Team B wins by X+, where X is the points’ digit that the bookie sets.
7-way: It’s an extended option with seven possible winning margins: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31+. The favourite you will back must cover the selected point range.
12-way: In that point range basketball market, you can choose among twelve options, six for Team A and B: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26+.
14-way: This is the most challenging point range market in basketball because the winning margins are too tight. You can choose among fourteen options, seven for Team A and Team B: 1-2, 3-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14-16, 17-20, 21+.
Similar basketball betting markets exist for total points scored, where you can choose from eleven possible margins depending on the league. In most cases, for the NBA games, these options are: <151, 151-160, 161-170, 171-180, 181-190, 191-200, 201-210, 211-220, 221-230, 231-240, 241+.
Race to X Points
The Race to 10/20/30 Points market allows you to bet on the team that will reach 10, 20, or 30 points in the game. A profitable way to predict which teams can start better than the other is to delve deeper into specific stats categories. You can find how many points a team scores or allows in the first quarter, risking on underdogs that can make a temporary lead. The Race to X Points basketball betting market doesn’t connect with the final winner, and there’s no time limitation. Your bet wins if you back the Los Angeles Lakers to reach the 30 points first against the Los Angeles Clippers and take a 31-28 lead in the 2nd quarter.
You must predict whether the sum of the total points will add up to an odd or even number. That market considers the total points of either both teams or those of a single team. Usually, the odds are equal at Odd/Even bets and will only move as the match ends. The final result depends on 2-pointers, 3-pointers, and free throws, so it’s not easy to bet on Odd/Even total points using stats.
This online basketball betting market is commonly associated with football, where the odds are usually higher. If you want to augment the prices of the team you back, you can bet to win from half-time through the match ends. Suppose you expect a dominant game for the favourite against the underdog. You can back your team from half-time and receive bigger odds. For instance, the moneyline odds for Utah to beat Dallas on the road are 1.55 (11/20). If the Utah Jazz wins from half-time, the winning odds will be 1.88 (9/10). Pay attention to the fact that there can be three possible outcomes at half-time (i.e., Team A, Draw, Team B) and full-time (i.e., 40 or 48-minute regular time).
Almost all the bookies offer winning and total points odds on each period. For example, you can predict the total points of each quarter and pick the winning side, either with or without a handicap. There’s also a specific option about the highest-scoring period, which can offer you some high prices, although risky. Take a deeper look at the 3rd-period markets where there’s a lot of value in basketball betting. For more experienced bettors is an excellent spot to place a bet because, in many games, the 3rd period shows the final winner.
Proposition bets are related only to teams’ and athletes’ stats. The most popular props refer to Over/Under, Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, and Blocks for teams or individuals. You can also find basketball betting markets for 3-pointers, double-doubles, or triple-doubles. A simple example comes from a star player's total points. Let’s say Lebron James has a total of 49 points in an NBA game with an individual line at 38,5 points; the Over wins.
Besides the basketball betting markets on specific games, you can also find longer-term options. You can predict the winner of an elite tournament, like the NBA, or the Champions of a European domestic league such as the Spanish ACB. Every bettor can place a future before a league/tournament starts or throughout the regular season, even during the playoffs. Outrights create an extensive range of basketball bets; you can predict the first scorer of a top tournament like the Olympic Games or the Euroleague. Also, most bookies release odds for the MVP, the player with the most assists, rebounds, or blocks, and the teams that will take 2nd or 3rd place or be relegated.
Which leagues offer the most basketball markets
There are plenty of factors that influence each league’s popularity and profitability. The elite tournaments, like the NBA and Euroleague, are more competitive without a doubt than some European domestic leagues. In every case, the fixtures are scheduled differently. The format is also unique, so you should consider other variables depending on where you want to invest money. So, let’s delve deeper into the three most familiar leagues for basketball betting, where you can find the most and the best markets.
NBA: It’s a league where numerous star athletes perform, so you can adjust your bets on their performance. Our NBA betting guide suggests the analysis of these players’ offensive and defensive stats in order to measure what they can do in all the main statistical categories. Following that way, you can create archetypes for props on points, rebounds, steals, blocks, etc.
Euroleague: The best teams in Europe eye the most valuable trophy in continental basketball. Due to several participants from Spain, Turkey, and Greece, you can find plenty of rivalries; that means tight games where handicapping seems a profitable option. The Euroleague betting guide indicates how to monitor the movement of the lines, the odds changes, suggesting when is the perfect time to bet on.
EuroCup: The second tier of European basketball in one of the best leagues in the world to bet on totals. Providing a high average number of points for each game, above 160 specifically, offers you the option to bet on Over for fixtures and teams separately. The EuroCup basketball betting markets explained section analyzes all the types of bets you can use and make money.
In the complete list below, you can find the best online bookmakers that offer the most valuable odds and the best basketball betting markets for all the elite leagues, like the NBA, Euroleague, World Tournaments, and domestic Championships.
Generally, it makes no sense to invest money on individual fixtures many days before the jump ball; the optimal time is just a few hours before a game starts. For instance, the absence of a key player can affect the total points line leading you to false decisions.
If you chase high odds, the draw in the regular time can secure you massive earnings when you place a winner. The 3-way moneyline market offers prices bigger than 8.00 (7/1) or 9.00 (8/1) odds for that outcome. You can also place a draw in European handicap betting when you back a slight favourite to win with 3 points exactly. You will receive returns if your pick manages to beat the opponent with a 3-point margin after regular time or overtime.
Learning basketball inside out and keeping a clear record of your daily bets are two important factors that can make you a sharp bettor. You should sign up with two or more bookies to compare and evaluate odds because even a small deviation can be profitable. Finally, being fully informed about injury reports and stats overview can give you the edge over bookies.
The point range is a common market that refers to a team’s winning margin in basketball betting. For example, the 1-5 margin means the team you back must win between 1 and 5 points (inclusive of 1 and 5) to receive returns from a successful bet.
Some basketball bookmakers offer markets based on lead advantages regardless of the final winner of the game. Suppose you back a team to take a 12+ or a 15+ point lead during the regular time. It doesn’t mean that the team should win; it’s enough to be ahead with at least 12 or 15 points respectively, even in the 1st quarter, in order to become your bet successful.
The most common combo bet in basketball is the final winner with the Total points. These two selections make a combo that offers higher odds compared to the moneyline and totals picks separately.
There’s a great variety of team and player specials, where you need to predict their stats performance. You can bet on whether a team or a player will overcome a certain number of points, rebounds, assists or successful three-point shots. You can also bet on the possibility of a double-double or a triple-double individual performance.