Basketball Betting Guide | Best Bookmakers For Basketball

Basketball betting has boomed during the last years and has overtaken other traditional markets such as American Sports, horse racing or greyhounds. Apart from the NBA, which is undoubtedly the most recognizable brand in the world, sports betting sites are nowadays covering various events through the live streaming feature, such as top European competitions or even national leagues. Punters are keen on basketball betting as in most cases there’s no option of a tie, so their chances of winning range at 50%, instead of a 33% on a typical 3-way football bet.

Another great advantage to every player is the multitude of betting options, as on an average day more than 40 basketball games can be found. Additionally, you might get a second chance on certain bets, (e.g. match winner, total points), as every wager is settled when the match has been concluded and not at the end of the fourth quarter. A 3-way market is also available that includes odds for a draw, but it is has become unpopular among punters. Although the odds found on draws and the possibility of extra time are huge (over 12,00+) they are reasonably considered, as risky bets.

Match Winner 2-way

The simplest market on basketball betting is picking the winner of the match. The odds for each team are adjusted according to the opponents strength. Given than basketball is more predictable compared to football, as upsets rarely happen, bookmakers usually offer lower basketball betting odds on the favorite in regards to football matches. Most of the times, punters use this market for multiples betting (usually over 5-fold or 6-fold) in order to augment their total odds.

What does handicap mean in basketball betting

This is the most common and popular market in basketball betting. A simple 2-way bet with an extra handicap added on the underdog, that has to be overcome by the favorite in order to confirm the win. If the two teams are of equal strength, the handicap placed will be minimal (e.g. 0,5 points or 1,5 points). The stronger a team is compared to the opposition, the bigger the handicap will be. If the difference is significant, you will see a big handicap imposed on the favorite, for example 20,5 points, which in turn means that the favorite team has to win with 21+ points to confirm the winning odds.

The main advantage of this market is that the odds offered on both teams, are most of the times equal, or have a small difference among them. The disadvantage however, is that the number of points specified by the bookie is arbitrary on most cases. This is due to the fact that the winning team does not have to overcome the specified handicap, as they can secure a win regardless of the margin.

Most bookmakers, offer various alternatives on the points handicap market. You are free to bet on a team's win on a -10,5 points handicap at 1.90 odds, but you can also choose a smaller handicap of -5,5 points, at 1.50 odds. You can accordingly bet on the same team overcoming a larger handicap (-15,5) at 2.40 odds. You can usually find an extensive amount of point handicaps to suit your needs.

Best basketball betting sites 2018


Players Rating: (7 Rates) 6.4


Players Rating: (3 Rates) 8.7


Players Rating: (2 Rates) 8.5

Total Points Bet

Another popular market in basketball betting on the total points scored in a match. Bookmakers used to offer a 3-way bet (including an exact number of points standing for the “draw” odds) but this is a rare occasion nowadays. A 2-way bet is most commonly found, that consists of a certain amount of points plus 0,5 (e.g. 153,5), while you are asked to predict whether the total points will be over or under this limit. Usually the odds are equal for each option.

There are various outcomes of possible total points that are extensively covered by many different odds. If for example the basic total points handicap for a match stands at 153,5 points and you get 1,90 for each way, you could choose the 145,5 points handicap to get odds at 1,45 for an over bet and 2,35 for an under bet. Punters can shape the line as they like, almost without limit, as odds are offered on almost every point handicap.

Another market of points betting is when you bet on the total points a single team will score. In this case the points handicap is, obviously set much lower, usually at half of the total.

Winning Difference Bet

If you can't decide whether a match result handicap will be surpassed or not, you can try betting on the winning difference bet, that sets various point margins on the team you're backing to win. The lowest odds usually start at 5.00 and can climb up to 25.00 on highly unlikely margins.

Typical ranges usually consist of 1-2 points, 3-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14-16, 17-20 and 21+. In some cases the point margin can stand at 1-5, 6-10, 11-1unibet-basketball5, 16-20, 21-25, and 25+, with according odds among them. If a team is predicted to easily win a match, or if a close margin is expected between two teams, you might be able to bet on the winning difference (ie 1-5 etc.) without having to pick the winner.

A similar market exists for total points scored. The options start at 100 or less points and range up to 111-120, 121-130, 131-140, 141-150, 151-160, 161-170 and 170+. You can find some truly huge odds on some risky choices. For example, a total score below 100 points usually pays around 250.00! You can find a great number of options concerning betting on basketball on Bet365.

Half Time/Full Time, Odd/Even

In order to augment the odds of the winning side you can also try your luck on the “Half Time/Full Time” bet. You’re asked to predict which team will be winning half way through the match and at the end. The odds on this market are generally lower compared to football betting, however various profitable opportunities may arise. If for example you expect a tight match between two teams of equal strength, you can bet on a draw at half time and receive huge odds.  You can also bet on the over / under of total points or predict the winner of the first half.

Besides the basketball betting markets mentioned above, you can also punt on the "Odd or Even" bet, in order to predict whether the sum of the total points will add up to an odd or even number. This bet takes into consideration the total points of either both teams, or those of a single team. Usually the odds are completely equal in this case and will only change as the match draws to its close.

Quarter/Period Bet

Most bookies nowadays will also offer winning odds and total point 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 bet about the highest scoring period, which although a bit risky, can offer you some really high odds. Many bookmakers extend the duration of the fourth quarter to include any additional extra time, so make sure to carefully read the terms before you place your bet.

Combo Bets

Similar to football, you can find basketball betting options that combine the final winner with the over / under total points of the game. More and more punters are choosing this market, as the combination of those two basic bets tend to offer better odds.

Race To

This special bet is quickly becoming popular, given that it does not take into account the match winner or the total number of points. You’re asked to predict which team will reach first a specific number of points during a certain period (a quarter or a half). In most cases your choices consist of which team will first score the selected amount of points, or whether none of them will be able do it.

Special players bets

There’s also a huge variety of player based bets, where you need to predict the performance of certain basketball players. You can bet on whether a player will reach a defined number of points, rebounds, assists or successful three-point shots. You can find a great number of basketball betting options on high profile matches such as the Euroleague or NBA. A punter can also bet on the possibility of a double-double or a triple double performance, on really profitable odds.

Top bookie for basketball betting

Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
  • 24/7 Livebetting with more than 5.000 Events/Month
  • Best online mobile website in the US
  • More than 20 years’ experience in the US market
  • 1. 24/7 Livebetting with more than 5.000 Events/Month
  • 2. Best online mobile website in the US
  • 3. More than 20 years’ experience in the US market
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  • US players accepted
  • Great variety of sports and US markets
  • Low minimum bet amounts
  • 1. US players accepted
  • 2. Great variety of sports and US markets
  • 3. Low minimum bet amounts
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  • US bettors are welcome
  • Quality mobile service
  • Possibly the highest deposit bonus
  • 1. US bettors are welcome
  • 2. Quality mobile service
  • 3. Possibly the highest deposit bonus
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  • 50% up to $1000 welcome bonus
  • Ηigh odds on tennis
  • Tons of alternative markets
  • 1. 50% up to $1000 welcome bonus
  • 2. Ηigh odds on tennis
  • 3. Tons of alternative markets
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  • 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • Great range of alternative markets
  • 1. 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • 2. Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • 3. Great range of alternative markets
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  • Betting in anonymity
  • Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • Cash out/partial cash out
  • 1. Betting in anonymity
  • 2. Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • 3. Cash out/partial cash out
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  • 25+ sports
  • Wide range of American Leagues
  • High limits on pre-match betting
  • 1. 25+ sports
  • 2. Wide range of American Leagues
  • 3. High limits on pre-match betting
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