A Beginner’s Guide to Betting on Basketball Games

A Beginner's Guide to Betting on Basketball Games

Perhaps you’re a complete betting newbie that has a passion for the NBA. Alternatively, perhaps you have placed bets in the past in alternative sporting fields and you want to diversify into basketball betting. Either way, we acknowledge that the techniques and strategies that go into sports betting vary depending upon the specific sport.

Without further ado, this article presents useful tips, tricks and inspiration on basketball betting for beginners to help you increase your chances of winning the jackpot.

Why Bet on Basketball?

Of the major sports, basketball is considered as being one of the easiest to bet on. This is very good news for die hard NBA fans or complete newbie bettors who are nervous about placing money on games. There are diverse ways in which you can bet on basketball games depending on your personal preference. Of course, different odds and risks are present depending upon the particular style of bet that you decide to place your money on. Largely though, basketball betting is very similar in nature to football betting. In the same way as football, basketball betting uses the point spread. This is the most commonly used method of betting on matches in this sporting area.

Understanding the Basketball Point Spread

A Beginner's Guide to Betting on Basketball Games

The point spread is the most common method for betting on basketball games. This is essentially a very basic bet which sees bettors try to predict the most likely winner out of two teams. The “favorite” team is the team that is expected to win the match, whereas the other team is referred to as being the underdog.

Where point spread bets are concerned, Bookmakers also assign different conditions that are required in order to win. For example, if the LA Lakers are playing the Golden State Warriors, maybe the Lakers are the favorite to win. However, a simple “win” does not make the bettor money, and bettors need the Lakers to score a certain number of hoops in order to win. Similarly, those betting on the “underdog” (in this case the Golden State Warriors) need the Lakers to lose by a certain amount in order to win.

Don’t Bet for Nostalgia

Where sports betting is concerned in any field, it is important to bet based on expert predictions and mathematical probabilities rather than nostalgia. For example, perhaps your team is the Celtics and they are playing the Knicks. Obviously, your heart lies with the Celtics and you really want them to win, but that doesn’t change the mathematical probabilities involved or the fact that the Knicks are the favorite. When it comes to basketball betting, it is important to follow your head over your heart.

Conduct Research Prior to Betting Money

A Beginner's Guide to Betting on Basketball Games

Basketball betting, like any form of sports betting, is always going to have an element of risk involved. There is no such thing as a 100% sure bet, and regardless of how much you research and strategize, you will never be guaranteed to win. That said, you can minimize your exposure to risk as much as possible. In order to win at basketball betting, essentially you need to predict the outcome better than the market and the bookmakers. This is easier said than done. By conducting research though, assessing the forms and lineup of each team, and listening to the views and opinions of professional pundits, you can increase your likelihood of success.

Understanding “Totals” Bets

The point spread may well be one of the most common forms of betting when it comes to basketball, but the second most popular method is betting totals. This is also commonly referred to as over/under. When betting totals, bettors do not predict which team will win or lose but will beat estimates on the total amount of hoops scored in a game. This total is comprised of the total points of both teams combined.

Bookmakers will place an estimate of how many hoops they feel will be scored during a match, and participants can choose to go “over” or “under” this prediction.

Basketball Betting and Money Line Wagers

The third most popular means of betting on basketball games exists in the form of money line wagers. In a way, this is a more straightforward alternative to the point spread. While the point spread betting system requires an element of predicting the actual scores of the games, basketball money line wagers are a simple matter of estimating who will win the game and who will lose based on odds.

Bookmakers will provide odds of each team winning a match and bettors can place money accordingly. As to be expected, they are likely to win more money if betting on the underdog to win and their predictions come true, than betting on the favorite.

Basketball betting is a very personal thing. What one person deems to be the “easiest” way of winning money, may not be the same for another. In the early stages, it may be beneficial to conduct trial and error and bet small amounts of money on games against all of the different common methods of betting outlined above, in order to determine which, you prefer and are most comfortable with. 

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