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American Sports

The Ultimate BasketBall Betting Guide


Although the NBA might convince you otherwise due to a majority of the world’s attention being placed upon it, Basketball leagues worldwide also have high levels of popularity. One of the most frequently played sports globally, it is only expected that Basketball betting is also popular amongst casual players and fans. Whether you want to know how the overall basketball betting process works and how you can do it, or you want to uncover the most popular leagues and markets to bet on as part of your strategies, all of this will be covered throughout this basketball betting guide. 

Basketball Betting Explained and How it Works

Holistically, basketball is a rather straightforward yet exciting end-to-end game. Two individual teams fielding five players each face one another on the court. The main aim: throw the ball through the opposition team’s hoop. Seems simple right? By achieving this, players are awarded points, with their value depending on the distance or fashion in which the ball entered the hoop. Scoring a successful throw within the area around the hoop will earn the team two points. Scoring from outside that zone sees teams awarded 3 points; hence, the common term ‘three pointer’. Incidents leading to fouls in play can also see teams awarded free throws, in which players are allowed to throw two uncontested shots, each worth a point.

Traversing with the ball requires players to bounce it every two steps, should they wish to move with it. Moving without bouncing is one of the fouls that could result in an opposition free throw, commonly known as ‘travelling’. When it comes to defending offences, basketball is nuanced in its approach. Strictly a non-contact sport, players are prohibited from touching or physically exerting any pressure on players to win the ball back. Despite this, jostling is a common occurrence when it comes to players getting into their desired positions on the court.

An average basketball game includes four individual quarters to the match, each consisting of 12 minutes of play. After half of the game has concluded, players will enter a 15-minute half-time break before resuming play for the final two quarters. Within each half, the teams are assigned a basket each, and the switch ends after the first half. However, should a match be locked as a tie at the final whistle, an additional overtime period of 5 minutes will commence, with as many of these being able to be played until the deadlock is broken at the end of one of these.

Basketball predominantly has three styles of players. The first of those being a ‘Centre’. These players are typically your tallest and, as a result, are positioned nearest to the baskets, whether on offence to score some points or on defence to block shots. A ‘Forward’ player could be considered one of the game’s playmakers. Like Centres, the Forwards also operate a key part in the defence, cutting off passing lanes and preventing rebounds or drives at the hoop. Finally, the last main role in basketball is the ‘Guard’. Quite often, the shortest players on the court are also heavy playmakers, technically gifted with the ball at dribbling and setting up vital plays for their teammates to finish. 

How to bet on Basketball?

Now you’ve had a brief breakdown of the general concept and rules of basketball, you are now probably more qualified to begin betting on basketball itself. Basketball has a wide array of varying leagues on which you can begin to place your bets, some of which will be detailed below.

What are the popular Basketball Leagues to bet on?


The most popular of all the basketball leagues is the NBA. Also known as the National Basketball Association, this league is one of the wealthiest sporting leagues around the world. Consisting of 30 teams across both the United States and Canada, it is the most popular of all the basketball leagues receiving the most amount of the limelight due to its featuring superstars and global household names. Due to the immense popularity of this league, it is easier than many others to source and access all the vital statistics that could help you inform your betting decisions and determine the best possible bets. However, due to the worldwide popularity of this league alone, the competition between it and many other of the world’s best leagues is vast. Due to them having an array of multi-million sponsorship deals for the league alone, with teams housing their wealthy owners to help attract the world’s best players with their wage offerings. This ensures that some of the basketball games are of the highest quality due to the elite players that reside in the league.

The regular season of the NBA sees the 30 different teams play 82 separate matches in an attempt to reach the playoffs. The playoffs are a set of knockout rounds that sees qualified teams from the various regions of the United States. Each playoff sees two teams battle it out in a best-of-seven match to be crowned world champions!


Despite only being a competition organised between America’s college teams, the NCAA is an extremely popular sport and league within America. This is partly due to the league acting as a development ground for some of the world’s up-and-coming elite basketball prospects. However, because there are over 12,000 institutions that could compete with their teams, regular games between colleges can be extremely difficult to place bets on. However, a competition featuring some of the best teams across the US is hosted each year in March, known as ‘March Madness’. This sees 68 college teams play in a knockout tournament to determine which college houses the best youth team. As this is more in a tournament fashion, it can be easier to track the best teams after each elimination round; however, with any knockout tournament, there is always the potential for underdog upsets.

The EuroLeague

Moving away from the North American continent, the EuroLeague is the top level for European basketball. Rising through the ranks and becoming the second wealthiest basketball league following the behemoths of the NBA, the Euroleague sees the best European teams compete to be crowned European champions. Since its inaugural season back in 1958, 22 different clubs from various European countries have won the competition, with 14 of these winning it on more than one occasion.

Basketball Betting Markets

Now that you’ve had a rundown of the biggest and most popular basketball leagues, you may consider placing bets on some games. However, looking at the wide array of betting options available regarding basketball, you may feel overwhelmed. Not to worry though, as we will be delving into the various basketball betting markets available and what each of them means.

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets, also commonly referred to as result betting, are one of the most popular basketball betting markets due to their straightforward and rather easy-to-understand nature. Simply put, this market is placing a bet on the winning team. When it comes to the odds for the teams, this can be influenced by a team’s current form and any star players that may or may not be featuring for either of the teams.

Handicap Bets

Basketball handicap bets place a virtual advantage on an underdog team. If there is a heavy favourite out of one of the two teams, placing a handicap on these will increase the odds and most likely make them closer to evens with the underdog. However, due to the imposed handicap, a team may have to score over a certain select number of points just to overcome the imposed handicap. For example, if the favourite has a minus 10.5-point handicap, the team will have to win by a winning margin of 11 points or more to confirm the winning odds.

Totals Bets

There are many alternatives when it comes to totals. The ability to bet on a total number of points scored, assists, rebounds or blocks can have bets placed, with you having to predict whether or not the number will be Under or Over a specific amount.

Points Range Bets

Points range differences are placing a bet on the winning difference of a selected team. With four main point ranges existing, including the 3-way, 7-way, 12-way and 14-way point ranges, you can select if a specific team wins by a certain amount of points or between a select range of points. The more ways you select within this market, the tighter the ranges get, making it harder to predict; however, these odds are often the highest.

Race to X Points Bets

When watching the matches, using the Race to X Points bets is an exciting option. This market allows you to place a bet on the team who will reach a certain number of points first. When delving into statistics, you could find information to help influence your decision. For example, how many points a specific team concedes or scores in the first quarter. Betting on the first team to reach 10, 20 or 30 points also doesn’t hold limitations, meaning if a team scores the 30th point in the last minute of the game, you still win the bet. In addition, if a team reaches the selected number of points first but then loses the remainder of the game, this isn’t a problem as there is no correlation between the bet and the final winner.

Odd/Even Points Bets

Odds/Even Point Betting is a relatively simple market. In this, you can predict if the sum of the final score will add to either an odd or an even number. As there are both 1, 2 and 3-pointers being able to be scored during basketball, predicting the outcome is not an easy feat. In addition to this, you also can select these markets not only for the combination of the final score but also for individual teams, meaning you can guess if one team alone will end the game with an odd or even number of points.

Quarter/Half Time/Full-Time Result Bets

When it comes to placing bets on the periods of a basketball match, there are numerous options available. For example, you can predict the total number of points, the winning side (with or without a handicap placed on them) or a specific number of rebounds or 3-pointers within the first quarter, half or by the final buzzer. In addition, you can select which period will be the highest scoring. However, it is important to note that if you are betting in play with these markets, the result of the ongoing game will likely influence the odds, which will change throughout the game. For instance, if a team has a dramatic lead by the end of the 3rd quarter, the losing team’s odds will likely increase, as they are now the underdogs in the game due to the leading team at the end of this sector mostly going on to win the match.

Proposition Bets

Considering an individual team or player’s stats, prop bets allow punters to predict whether or not one of these will have over/under a select number of points, steals, assists, rebounds or blocks. As well as this, you can place bets if a team or individual will score a certain number of 3-pointers, double-doubles or triple-doubles within a singular match.

Future Bets

Future bets are your best option if you’re looking for longer-term betting markets. Within this market, you can place bets on the winners of the tournament, such as the NBA or the EuroLeague. In addition to this, you also can predict the top scorer or first scorers of the tournament. As well as this, you have the option to predict which player will receive MVP or the certain teams who may be relegated from certain leagues. All these bets can be placed before the first game of the season, before the playoffs or throughout the entire season.

Basketball Betting Strategy + Matched Betting

Should you choose to delve into the world of Matched Betting, basketball could be one of the sports to utilise. Acting as a middle man between punters and bookies, BetConnect gives bettors the opportunity to both place lay and back bets. This means you are either backing an outcome to happen or not to happen. Applying this to basketball, you could bet for both the Lakers to win as well as for them to lose, one as a back bet, the other as a lay bet. 

More often than not, you’d have to search around the various different bookmakers to find matched odds on each of these outcomes in order to guarantee neither bet loses you any money. This can prove to be a tedious process due to the constant changing of odds, meaning it could be hard to find the best odds for your matched bet. As well as this, most bookmakers require you to take a qualifying loss in order for you to qualify for any free bets available. However, when using BetConnect, all of this is negated. All the best odds available are housed in one place, constantly updating to ensure they are always available to you. As well as this, Betconnect doesn’t require you to take any qualifying losses, meaning you can maximise your profit. Moreover, with Matched Betting Pro, you have the ability to both lay and back bets on the same platform without any commission. The integrated timer within this feature also allows you to freeze odds for a select amount of time, meaning you can go over to a betting exchange to place your lay bets with confidence that you have the best odds locked in.


In conclusion, Basketball Betting gives you numerous different possibilities to bet on the various different and exciting markets available. Whether placing long-term future bets, or in-play quarter result bets, all of this is made even easier with BetConnect. Housing all the best options and markets as well as the best odds from all the different bookmakers. All of this makes your basketball betting experience even easier, as well as negating some of the concerts when it comes to matched betting, should you choose to explore this avenue.