The 3-way basketball betting refers to the possibility of wagering on three outcomes of a given game; home win, draw, or away win. You can place a bet following this type on game lines, winning margins, and totals range. In all cases, 3-way markets feature greater odds than the 2-way ones, where there’s no available ‘draw’ option.
Let’s introduce what is a 3-way bet in basketball by using an example of a FIBA World Cup qualification game with a heavy favourite. The moneyline odds for Montenegro vs. France clash are 4.80 - 1.20, including overtime. If you turn these odds into 3-way, the new prices are 4.90 - 11.75 - 1.22, referring to the 40-minute result.
Our guide explains why placing a 3-way basketball bet is better while introducing the best tips to make money.
Best Strategies To Place a 3-Way Basketball Bet
Picking the right best bookies for basketball with the most markets and the most valuable odds is a good starting point before placing a 3-way basketball bet. Apart from extensive research around teams and players, though, you should also follow public betting trends and check all the in-play available options.
Nonetheless, our experts focus on 3-way markets analysis introducing specific pieces of advice for you to become a sharp bettor.
Best 1st quarter 3-way betting strategies
If you want to learn how to bet on basketball and win, try to bet in the 1st quarter; you will find lower lines than the ones regarding the entire game. In some rare cases, especially in live betting, it’s possible to find options for winning margins and total game point ranges; however, bets are always available for moneylines and game lines. Predicting how each team will start a game is tricky, so we point out some factors that can help you win at 1st quarter 3-way betting.
Back the favourite
Studying Euroleague games has shown that the 1st quarter highly correlates to a team’s winning percentage, unlike the three other quarters. Powerhouses with positive records have more than 80% winning percentage in the 1st quarter. In that case, you can find lower lines to cover if you back the favourite on a 3-way basketball bet.
Suppose you make a basketball handicap prediction based on an 8-point line at 1.80 for the Real Madrid vs. Alba Berlin game; the 1st quarter line would be 2 points at 1.70 odds. So, betting on Real Madrid to win the period with 3 or more points seems profitable without having to wait for the game to end.
So, if you want to back a favourite for the 1st quarter, follow this advice:
✔️ Analyse a favourite’s performance during the 1st quarter, checking offensive and defensive variables.
✔️ Keep 1st quarter records, noting how often the team you back covers its given handicap.
✔️ Εvaluate a team’s home-court advantage or its away form and check how your favourite responds to them.
Risk of underdog betting
Take advantage of the opportunities in continental short-time tournaments like Eurobasket by considering underdog bets for specific quarters. While it's rare for underdogs to win the entire game, they may have a better chance of performing well in the beginning. This presents an opportunity to pursue higher odds by betting on the 3-way moneyline basketball market or a game line.
You can explore options like backing an underdog for a first-period win or supporting their competitiveness on the game line. Remember to select reputable Eurobasket bookmakers that offer attractive odds and a range of markets to enhance your betting experience.
Following the example above, if you think that Alba Berlin can upset the Spanish giants in the 1st quarter, you can risk a first-period win at 2.50 odds; or back the possibility of being competitive and defending the +2 points game line at 2.00.
If you decide to risk with the underdog, follow these points:
✔️ Find the 1st quarter win-loss record for the team you choose to back.
✔️ Keep a record and check how often your underdog thrives against the handicap.
✔️ Check the average number of points the dark horse scores per possession during the 1st quarter.
Bet on draw
As we explained, weaker teams can make upsets at the beginning of games; that’s why a potential draw in basketball betting has more winning chances over the 1st quarter rather than expecting a tied game after 4 periods (or 2 halves). The critical part is finding value because bookmakers consider a draw in the 1st quarter and during overtime as having almost the same winning chances.
Going back to our Real Madrid vs. Alba Berlin example, a draw in the 1st quarter pays 11.00 odds, while the same outcome after the 40 minutes offers 11.75 odds. The 1st quarter has 10 or 12 minutes and the entire game 40 or 48; simply making it easier for an underdog to compete with a stronger team over a shorter period of time.
Thus, if you want to risk with 1st quarter basketball draws, check these:
✔️ Examine both contenders’ motivation factors which could force them to have a conservative approach from the beginning of a game.
✔️ Prefer low-scoring leagues to high-scoring ones; it’s an indicating factor for the most competitive games with tight scores over each quarter.
✔️ Take an overall look at both teams' offensive stats, field goals, 3-pointers made and average points scored for the 1st quarter.
How To Win a 3-way In Basketball Betting
There’s no doubt that 3-way bets are one of the best methods to win in basketball, especially if you have deep knowledge of the sport. Evaluating the pros and cons is a critical decision among countless options. Our experts analyse the four main markets to place a basketball 3-way bet to help you set yourself up for wins.
Depending on the league, the 3-way moneyline market in basketball is typically applicable over the 40- or 48-minute period. It involves predicting whether either team will win the game or if the final result will be a draw after regulation time. An example of this market can be seen in the FIBA World Cup qualification game between Puerto Rico and the USA, where the odds are 4.00, 11.75, and 1.30 respectively.
When looking for the best basketball odds, considering the prices offered in the 3-way moneyline market is crucial for evaluating the potential outcomes during regular time.
- Puerto Rico To Win @ 4.00 odds (e.g., 100-99).
- Draw @ 11.75 odds (e.g., 100-100).
- USA To Win @ 1.39 odds (e.g., 100-101).
The 3-way handicap at some bookies includes a draw due to the set of an integer line. Because of the winning chances being meagre, prices are high in a tie situation. Following the example above, we have a 13-point line for the Puerto Rico vs. USA game, and the odds are Puerto Rico (+13) - Τie (-13) - USA (-13).
Following the basketball betting rules, you can see below the three given possibilities for the 40 minutes and find the answer to the question, “What is a draw in basketball betting?” for game lines:
- Puerto Rico To Win or Defend the line @ 1.90 odds (e.g., 100-99 or 100-112).
- Draw @ 21.00 odds, which means a 13-point Win for the USA (e.g., 100-113).
- USA To Cover the line @ 1.83 odds (e.g., 100-114).
Picking winners and beating the lines are the most popular strategies, but winning margin in basketball betting remains a good alternative, especially on 3-way bets. You must deal with a pre-arranged handicap, different from the main line, at adjusted odds.
We will analyse a winning margin 3-way basketball bet by using Puerto Rico vs. USA example, where the odds are: Puerto Rico To Win by 6 or more points - USA To Win by 6 or more points - Neither Team Wins by 6 or more points:
- Puerto Rico To Win by 6+ @ 12.00 odds (e.g., 106-100).
- USA To Win by 6+ @ 1.26 odds (e.g., 100-106).
- Neither Team Wins by 6+ @ 4.25 odds (e.g., 103-100 or 100-103).
Total Points Range
For more experienced bettors or for those who hunt higher odds when betting on basketball, the total points range market offers a risky yet profitable alternative. Bookmakers set a lower and upper limit of total points, creating three bands. So, players must predict if the total sum of points scored will be from zero up to the lower limit, between the lower and upper limit, or from the upper limit and above.
If we follow the aforementioned example and the 158 to 179 total points limits, the possible outcomes for a 3-way basketball bet are 0 To 158, 159 To 179 and 180+:
- Under 158 Total Points @ 3.50 odds (e.g., 78-80).
- 159 To 179 Total Points @ 2.00 odds (e.g., 79-100).
- 180+ Total Points @ 3.10 odds (e.g., 81-100).
Why place a 3-way moneyline basketball bet
You have three options when betting on the basketball WDW market; that means you theoretically have a 33,33% chance to win, regardless of what you choose. A conclusion might be that 2-way ones are preferable because the draw possibility doesn’t exist; but remember that it rarely appears in basketball to begin with. Therefore, is it better to place a 3-way moneyline basketball bet than a 2-way one?
Let’s follow an example where you can bet 2-way at 1.40 - 2.40 odds and 1.50 - 14.00 - 2.50 on a 1X2 market.
Draw’s low chance: Converting the WDW prices to implied probability, you can observe the draw’s low chances. The implied odds are 66,67% - 7,14% - 40%; thus, from the theoretical 33,33% draw possibility, the percentage according to the odds is 7,14%, which means it’s rather rare to happen.
Higher odds: The VIG isn’t always the same for 2-way and 3-way moneyline basketball bets; sometimes, you will pay a higher commission on the WDW market due to the one extra possible outcome. Breaking down our example, you can find that the VIG is almost the same when the draw is included, 13,81% to 13,1%. It’s a given that a draw has a low chance of actually happening; meanwhile, you can see a slightly higher difference in your payout, so the WDW odds seem a preferable option.
League’s overtime percentage: Suppose you are an NBA bettor and have to deal with 1,230 games every season. Going through your personal archive, you will observe that overtime has occurred 7,5% over the past four NBA tournaments. So, there has been an average of 85 overtime games per season. Here, a good advice is to check for leagues with the lowest overtime ratio, from that percentage and below, to increase your chances of winning a 3-way basketball bet.
Can 3-way betting in basketball be profitable?
3-way betting in basketball can bolster your bankroll if you have done extensive research beforehand. You should also make accurate predictions about the team that can win in regulation time and understand the lines for handicaps, winning margins, and total game ranges for teams’ and players’ props bets.
Compared to 2-way markets, 3-way ones have advantages and disadvantages. Still, it’s in your hands to exploit all the factors of a successful 3-way basketball bet in your favour by sticking to the advice below.
3-way moneyline basketball odds are higher than 2-way prices, so you can choose them, considering that a draw is rare in the sport.
If you are a draw bettor, you should know that 3-way WDW markets aren’t optimal for basketball. Draws are more probable in other sports, such as soccer and ice hockey. It can be more profitable to avoid them, preferring other 3-way basketball markets.
It’s necessary to find good value bets because the winning chances are less than those of 2-way bets because there’s a third possible outcome. Even a slight odds difference can secure you more earnings.
Learn to combine 3-way & 2-way bets in your strategy, evaluating each game separately. Suppose you bet on a competitive NBA Finals game where both contenders are on the same level. In that case, a draw is more probable, so you can bet over potential overtime on high prices.
Read any relevant betting rules to understand how your wager will be decided. You may decide to back a team that makes an overtime win or bet on a favourite to cover an integer handicap; so it’s critical to know when your wager can be a winner.
Best Bookmakers for 3-way basketball betting
In the following list, you can find all our recommended bookies with the most expansive variables of 3-way markets for moneylines, lines and odds, where you can place a basketball 3-way bet.
A 3-way or WDW bet has three potential outcomes, including draw. The frequency of games ending in a draw is lower in basketball than in football, although the 3-way moneyline market remains popular due to better odds than the 2-way market for bettors who are confident the team they back will win during the 40-or 48-minutes. That’s why overtime is excluded from 3-way moneyline basketball bets.
2-way odds are prices for games with two possible outcomes, Team A or Team B winning-for example- a basketball game. On the other hand, 3-way odds are offered on games’ three outcomes (WDW) and are higher than 2-way prices, where the difficulty level is lower for bettors. The maths explanation is quite simple; two possibilities have a theoretical 50:50 winning chance, while three have a 33,33% chance of happening.
You can combine multiple 3-way basketball bets for moneyline and other markets in one bet, but all the picks need to be winners to receive returns. Basketball is one of the most popular sports where bettors can create ACCAs, while 3-way markets are easily understandable; furthermore, you may risk with more complicated types than 3-folds or 4-folds, like a Lucky 15, where you can choose 15 3-way basketball bets.
The winning margin of a basketball game is the exact number of points by which a team wins. Regarding 3-way betting, the line is an integer number, but there’s no possibility of a draw. For example, let’s say you bet on Team A against Team B, with the winning margin line being 4 points for each contender. So, the three possible outcomes are 1) Team A to win with 4 or more (the only case your bet wins), 2) Team B to win with 4 or more, and 3) Neither Team Wins by 4 or more.
If you search through basketball bookies, you will undoubtedly find 3-way secondary markets for players’ and teams’ props bets. For instance, you can bet on Puerto Rico vs. USA for which team will have the highest-scoring quarter, at 4.20 odds for the home team, 1.40 for the visitors, and 6.50 for a draw, which means each contender’s highest-scoring quarter should have the exact number of points.
Based on how 2-way and 3-way odds are given, there’s a substantial VIG protecting bookies from losing money. If you compare the commission between these odds, you will find that a 3-way basketball bet includes more VIG due to the third possible outcome (a draw). Using our VIG Calculator, you can compare the 2-way (2.40 - 1.55, VIG 6,19%) and 3-way (2.42 - 11.00 - 1.57, VIG 14,10%) prices for the Team A vs. Team B game. As you can see, the 3-way odds’ Vigorish is more than double.
3-way bets are common and applicable to all sports, from soccer and basketball to American sports and rugby. 3-way betting is popular with games ending in a draw, such as ice hockey over the regular 60-minute time and integer handicap lines. You can also find 3-way odds and lines on many other sports where ties are possible, like the NFL, boxing and baseball 9-innings bets.