Whilst basketball is very much a US sport, what many people don’t realise that there are a number of professional leagues throughout Europe. These guys don’t get the exposure or the money that the players in the NBA do, but it’s probably America’s biggest exports in terms of their four key sports.
This generally makes betting a tricky proposition for most bookmakers. Whereas some will rely on the NBA to form the majority of their markets, others have seen fit to introduce leagues from around the world into their betting portfolio. What we have found is that the ‘rest of the world’ leagues are much more accessible than that of the American ones. Many games are played at night in the US that means the very early hours for most, making betting not as appealing as it could be.
That being said, the sport certainly has progressed in terms of betting and now there are more bookmakers than ever really trying to push the sport. This is great for the most part and added competition is something that works in the punters favour. As bookmakers continue to increase in size, what generally happens is that they work to outdo each other and gain a foothold in that market. This is definitely something we have seen with basketball and below we have managed to find our top three bookmakers for betting on the sport.
Best Basketball Betting Sites
#1 – Ladbrokes
It was quite a surprise when conducting the research for this article to see Ladbrokes offering up such a compelling basketball section. The reason is because that there are so many sports that you think they should promote in great detail, that they just don’t, and to be honest we thought that basketball might fall into that category. How wrong we were!
The first thing we want to mention is their live streaming channel and we were really pleased to see so many games covered. The FIBA World Cup is just around the corner and it looks like they have pretty much full coverage of that tournament. It’s easily one of the highlights in the basketball betting calendar, especially for countries outside the US, and it was this sort of attention to detail really drew us towards them.
On top of live streaming they do offer up a good range of leagues that they offer on market from around the world. We take the NBA as pretty much a given for all bookmakers in our picks, but you get all sorts of leagues from South America, Africa, Asia and Europe it bet on as well.
#2 – BetVictor
BetVictor fall just short of Ladbrokes in the pecking order and that’s mainly because of their lack of live streaming. The site covers a good range of both markets and leagues to bet on. You get around 7-10 for upcoming matches and this number might rise when it comes to some of the higher profile NBA games.
The coverage of the Euro leagues isn’t quite as good as the two bookmakers above with a lot of them just including outright winner bets. That being said, and we harp on about this point quite a lot with BetVictor, but they are one of the better priced bookmakers out there. Comparing odds on basketball betting using Oddschecker.com shows that they are consistently in the top two or three for most of the markets they serve up. We’ve got to say, that if its value you are looking for and are willing to sacrifice features such as live streaming and a compromise in market depth, then BetVictor should be your pick over the two bookmakers above.
How to Bet on Basketball
A lot of people aren’t actually aware how in-depth many bookmakers are at covering US facing sports. Granted, they don’t get the coverage the likes of football or horse racing get, but as you’ve seen from our three picks above, they cover pretty much all the bases that you would expect or need for betting on the sport and, as we have mentioned, are often better than a lot of US bookmakers when it comes to basketball betting.
After picking your bookmaker its then time to really get stuck into making your bets profitable and to do this you will need to sort out where you are going to conduct your research. Luckily, the majority of it can all be done online and for free. There are a number of sources that you can check out such as sports reports, newspapers, social media and even paid basketball access areas which include behind the scenes information. You should be looking to try and get as much information from past pros as you can as they are often the ones in the know. ‘Tipsters’ are ten a penny online these days and the majority are rubbish, so beware!
Basketball Betting Markets
One thing that basketball does bring is a wide range of betting markets for the sport. The three main ones are the spread (which is basically a handicapping market), to win and the over or under on total points from that game.
Prop bets are a bit of an American institution and these are bets that can be based on the game itself or a certain team. They range from game totals, number of three points thrown, number of free throws, double results, team totals and point’s totals.
What you will find from a lot of these markets is that the odds are set up in a way where they are even money bets either way. So you might be betting on the over or under of a certain teams total points and the line will be set in a manner where the price for over or under will both be around or very close to even money. Not all markets are like this, but the American style of betting seems to enjoy these types of bets as the range in talent of each team differs greatly compared with a sport like soccer, where it’s much more even, generally.
- Points Spread – The point spread allows you to pick a team to win with either an advantage of points or disadvantage. It’s basically the same as handicapping.
- Game Totals – Pretty simple, just choose the over or under on the total amount of points in the game.
- Money Line – The money line is your outright winner market where you simply select who you think will win.
- Race to 20 Points – Select which team will reach the 20 points mark first.
- Double Result – You can select which team will be ahead at half time and then again at full time. You can include ties for half time results. If the game goes to overtime then it’s whichever team wins will be your full time result.
- Winning Margin – You can select the winning margin for each team. You must include the correct winner of the game and then may choose between a series of brackets for the points.
- Team Total Odd or Even – A simple market requiring you to select if the total number of points scored by one team will be odd or even.
- Game Total Odd or Even – The same as above but you need to select the cumulative points of the game instead.
Basketball Betting Rules
It’s worth pointing out that match bets will include overtime and in the event of a tie even after overtime, then the bet will be marked as push and all stakes will be returned. This also applies to all points and total points markets where overtime will be used. This will not apply to markets that are specific to certain quarters or half’s, where these will be completed upon the completion of each. Betting on overtime markets will only include the outcome of this section of the game and will not include the previous quarters.
Proposition bets will become void if the game is abandoned for whatever reason. If that market has already been settled prior to abandonment then these bets will stand. Player props will require that player to start for that bet to stand.
- Push Rule – All pre game bets include overtime scores unless otherwise stated. In the event of a tie on full time results the push rule will come into play.
- Dead Heat – Team bets such as highest scoring quarter, player and total points will be pushed if they end in a dead heat.