As a fast-paced end-to-end game, basketball offers bettors an exciting way to try and make a profit. To help those who want to learn how to bet on basketball get started, we’ve explained a few basic bet types that are vital to basketball betting. Continue reading to find out more.
Money line markets are the most common and simplest market for a bettor to understand the cost of a bet. This form of basketball betting is simply placing money on a certain team to win the game. For example, look at these money line odds for Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz:
Boston Celtics: 3.440
Utah Jazz: 1.364
In this example, the Utah Jazz (1.364) are the favourites to beat the Celtics (3.440) at home - in American odds this would be -275 and +244. If you staked £10 on the Jazz, you would get a return of £13.64 – which includes your £10 stake. The profit would be £3.64. However, if the Celtics had won, you would win nothing and lose your £10.
If the Celtics win, your return would be £34.40 including your initial £10 stake, which would leave you a profit of £24.40.
Once you understand how to bet on basketball using the money line, betting on the handicap can become a valuable tool when one team is heavily favoured over their opponents. With handicap basketball betting, to counter the perceived bias in ability, bookmakers offer a handicap to level the playing field.
The handicap number (displayed as either + or – a value, such as +7.5 points) is factored into the final score to determine the game’s outcome for the purpose of the bet. This means that the handicap result is sometimes different from the actual result. For example, look at these two handicap bets:
If the Pacers won the game (100 – 96), bets on their handicap would actually lose. This is because for the purpose of this bet they started the game with -7.5pts, and therefore we have to subtract 7.5 from their final score. This makes the match outcome 92.5 – 96 in the Warriors’ favour.
If the Pacers won 104-96, the adjusted handicap result is 96.5-96, which means the Pacers still win. This is referred to as “covering the handicap”.
Totals betting (also known as Over/Under) is a bet on whether the combined points scored in a game will be over or under a set number. For example, look at the totals odds for the Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat below:
If you bet £10 on the game to be over 210.5 points, and the result was 116-98 (an aggregate total of 214 points), you would make a return of £19.62 (£9.62 profit). If you had backed the total score as under 210.5 with the odds of 2.110, you would have lost the bet.
Despite this article outlining the basic forms of basketball betting, giving a solid grounding in understanding how to bet on basketball, there are more advanced bet types that can be implemented now you know how to bet on basketball.