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Betting on Basketball
The squeaking noises, the thump of the ball, the creak of the hardwood, the shouts, the cheers: basketball is without a doubt one of the most adrenaline-pumping games out there. Following the fate of your favorite players and sides can become a life-consuming pastime and placing a cheeky bet on their victory makes it all the more entertaining to cheer them on during the big game.
The biggest basketball events
The National Basketball Association (NBA) hosts the most notable basketball competition in the world, and any team participating in the league instantly qualifies as one of the best on the planet. For promising up-and-coming talent and their exploits, the NCAA’s college basketball competition serves as the main outlet. There’s also the Olympics, the World Cup, national leagues… more basketball than you could ever imagine!
All of these events offer the usual trappings of top-tier sporting competitions, with massive broadcast deals, great stadium nights and myriad betting opportunities to consider. It’s no surprise they attract massive audiences around the globe every single year.
The NBA or the National Basketball Association is the most famous basketball league in North America and arguably the entire world. This competition features 30 teams (29 from the US and 1 from Canada) and provides a lot of action throughout the year, as well as numerous NBA betting opportunities. If you want to bet on basketball games, you should first start to bet on NBA games.
If you want to engage in NBA basketball betting, the first thing that you should learn about is the NBA teams. There are 15 NBA teams in the Eastern Conference and another 15 competitors in the Western Conference.
Eastern Conference teams:
· Miami Heat
· Boston Celtics
· Milwaukee Bucks
· Philadelphia 76ers
· Toronto Raptors
· Chicago Bulls
· Brooklyn Nets
· Atlanta Hawks
· Cleveland Cavaliers
· Charlotte Hornets
· New York Knicks
· Washington Wizards
· Indiana Pacers
· Detroit Pistons
· Orlando Magic
Western Conference teams:
· Phoenix Suns
· Memphis Grizzlies
· Golden State Warriors
· Dallas Mavericks
· Utah Jazz
· Denver Nuggets
· Minnesota Timberwolves
· New Orleans Pelicans
· Los Angeles Clippers
· San Antonio Spurs
· Los Angeles Lakers
· Sacramento Kings
· Portland Trail Blazers
· Oklahoma City Thunder
· Houston Rockets
The more you learn about each of these NBA teams, the better you’ll become at predicting their results. Every match is different, but you can often get a good idea of what you can expect if you study the players and the previous results of their team.
NBA Betting Odds and Markets
When you bet on basketball games related to the NBA, you can usually wager on multiple results. Here’s a list of the most important NBA betting markets that you’ll find on Rivalry:
Match winner (including overtime)
This type of NBA bet allows you to predict who will be the winner of a particular basketball game.
1st half winner
If you don’t want to bet on the result of an entire basketball match, you can bet on who will win the first half.
2nd half winner
If you believe that a team is usually stronger in the 2nd half of an NBA match, you can bet on it to win that half.
1st half point handicap
This type of NBA bet is similar to the “1st half winner”, except you’re betting on a team to win while having a given point handicap. This handicap can be a disadvantage (ex: -4 points) or an advantage (ex: +5.5 points). The NBA betting odds of such bets vary according to the severity of the handicap.
This type of NBA bet is similar to “match winner”, except you’re betting on a result that gets adjusted by the handicap you select. A score of 100 – 95 in favor of team A becomes 93 – 95 if the handicap you selected is -7 for team A.
1st half total points over/under
You can make a prediction about the total number of points that will be scored in the 1st half of an NBA match, wagering that the number will be above X or below X.
Game – total points over/under
This is the same as the previous NBA betting market, except it applies to the entire duration of the match.
How to Bet on NBA
Betting on basketball games from the NBA is easy. On Rivalry, there’s ample coverage for that and you can see the basketball betting odds associated with each match days in advance. This allows you to do thorough research before placing NBA bets.
NBA Betting Tips
When you bet on NBA matches, you can improve your chances by developing your own betting system and by following the latest news about transfers, injuries, and results. Mastery comes with experience. But the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. The best way to bet on the NBA is to do it live, while watching your favorite teams compete.
Each NBA game is different, but if you watch enough of them you’ll start seeing patterns. Of course, if you play the game yourself, it’s even more fun to bet on it because you can see all the tiny details that make a team lose or win against its opponent.
The final score of an NBA game is often decided by the best players on the court. And the overall results of an NBA championship depend on the teams’ ability to adapt to every opponent. To be up to date with what’s going on, make sure you check the final results of the previous NBA season and then check the transfer list. Even the best teams change some of their players and seek to improve their overall strength to stay on top. Players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or James Harden don’t change their team that often, but a lot of other players do.
Key Things to Keep in Mind
Basketball odds are no different from other sports betting odds. They reflect the strength of the teams relative to each other. Some of the best NBA odds can be found when big matches take place, such as the ones from the NBA Playoffs. Rivalry is an online sportsbook that covers every match thoroughly, but priority is given to the most important matches.
The score of a match is the result of the combined score of each of its 4 quarters. This is similar to what you find in other popular sports.
When you engage in live betting, keep in mind that the opening odds start varying as soon as the match begins, based on the points scored by each team. The current odds usually don't last for long, because in basketball betting, the situation changes rapidly.
Sometimes, the weaker team can win the game, so when the season begins, you should have a number of underdogs on your watch list and not just bet on one team every single time. Team odds are very high when a team is perceived to be a modest underdog against a particular opponent.
Before you start betting, make sure you’ve checked the previous results. Injury news and transfer news are particularly important. Make sure you've done your preparation for each match before the game starts.
College Basketball Betting
If you’re interested in college basketball betting, you should follow the NCAA. It features numerous matches each week throughout its duration and provides a lot of entertainment.
NCAA Basketball Bets
On Rivalry, NCAA basketball betting is given high priority, so you will find numerous NCAA betting odds. Every match is covered well in advance and the college basketball betting odds and markets are extremely varied. It all depends on what your interest is. Perhaps you follow the Big 12 Conference. In that case, you should keep an eye on the teams from that competition and be aware of their match schedule. But you can also follow numerous other NCAA conferences. Here’s a list of them:
· America East
· American Athletic Conference
· Atlantic 10
· Atlantic Coast
· Big 12
· Big East
· Big Sky
· Big South
· Big Ten
· Big West
· Colonial Athletic
· Conference USA
· Ivy League
· Metro Atlantic Athletic
· Missouri Valley
· Mountain West
· Ohio Valley
· Patriot League
· Southwestern Athletic
· Summit League
· West Coast
· Western Athletic
As you can see, college basketball betting provides more action than you can handle and Rivalry covers it intensely.
College Basketball Betting
When it comes to college basketball betting, one thing you need to understand is that the matches are closely related to the school year. Opportunities related to NCAA basketball bets are abundant during the months when college students are in school. During the Summer months, you will need to find other competitions to bet on.
Because there are so many conferences, it’s a bit harder to master NCAA betting than it is to master NBA betting. One thing that you can do to overcome this problem is to specialize in 3 – 4 NCAA conferences and then primarily bet on those.
Basketball betting 101
There are many different types of basketball bets and they can easily confuse a rookie bettor at first. Don’t worry, here’s a handy walkthrough to cover the most popular betting options:
Moneyline bets (match winner)
This is the simplest stuff: who’s going to win the match? Wager on the winner and you get the green – but if you get it wrong, your balance will dip into the red.
Suppose there’s a big skill gap between the two teams playing, making moneyline bets less enticing to consider. You still have the opportunity to predict how many points a team is going to win (or lose) by, giving you a chance to adjust the potential outcome based on their skill difference. For example, a spread bet would have one of the teams at +9 (meaning they’d win by at least 9 points) or their opponents at -9 (meaning they’d keep the game closer than 9 points at the end).
Over/under (totals) betting
This is simple stuff: how many points will be scored in total by the two teams across the games? Your job is to guess whether the real number will be above or below what’s suggested by the bookies.
Futures (tournament winner)
Anything that happens far into the future over the course of multiple games of basketball can be the subject of a futures bet. Who’s going to win the NBA? Who will make it to the playoffs of the NCAA? Who will qualify for the next World Cup or the Olympics? All of these are futures bets. Though you can make such a bet at any point, your potential payout will be a lot higher if you make your prediction earlier – the higher the uncertainty, the better the betting odds!
Basketball Live betting
Though this isn’t, strictly speaking, a specific bet type, live betting on basketball lets you make in-play bets based on exactly what’s happening on the court. The odds shift in real time based on the events in the game and you will need to change your plans and strategies accordingly – however, it is one of the most exciting ways to bet on basketball!
Why choose Rivalry: a regulated basketball betting site
Rivalry stands out among the basketball betting sites thanks to our safe and secure platform and unique features. Our Isle of Man Gaming License is one of the most reputable ones in the gambling industry and we constantly work on acquiring further country-specific ones to enhance our betting offerings over time.
Couple this with our awesome offerings like Rushlane and kickass contests for our customers and you can easily see why we’re confident that we proudly belong among the best basketball betting sites.
We do online basketball betting differently than most:
We are fully licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
All balances are enforceable by law, and we are strictly compliant with all rules and regulations.
Instant deposits and real money
Cash is not only 100% legal but it allows us to make your deposits available instantly and to pay you faster.
New to esports betting? No worries. Our Rivalry Academy teaches you everything you need to know to start having fun and place informed bets on your favorite games in a safe environment with every information you need for a good time.
Now you know all the basics required to make an informed punt on your favorite basketball event! Be it college basketball betting or NBA betting you’re interested in, we at Rivalry have all your needs covered, with a kickass support team ready to help out with any further questions.
Frequently asked questions
How do you bet on basketball?
How to bet on basketball, you ask? It’s simplicity itself: select a basketball betting site of your choice, create an account, deposit some funds (make sure to take advantage of any free bets or welcome bonus offered!), then check the basketball betting odds offered for the game you’re interested in, place a wager and boom! You’re all done.
How do betting odds work in basketball?
These odds work the same way as they would in any other sport: the decimal points denote the multiplier on your initial stake, so a team offered at 1.7 to win would net you 7$ in profit on a 10$ bet.
What does +1.5 mean in basketball?
This relates to point spread betting and tells you how much of an underdog the team in question is – or in other words, the difference in points expected by the bookies. +1.5 simply means that this team is expected to lose by more than 1.5 points, and you can place your bet around these lines.