Basketball Betting

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How to bet on basketball

Basketball is one of the most popular games on the planet, each year millions of people watch basketball tournaments in one of the many leagues and tournaments which take place around the world.

The North American NBA is the largest single league but there are also leagues in Europe, while Asia has seen strong growth over the past decade. And then there are global tournaments, such as the World Cup, and let’s not forget basketball is an Olympic sport.

So it’s no surprise to find that basketball is also one of the most popular games to bet on.

In this online basketball betting guide, we are going to look at the different types of bets you can make and what you need to look out for.

Basketball rules

Before you place a bet it’s as well you know the rules of the game. Basketball is easy to follow and the rules are pretty straightforward. Basically, there are two teams of five players who face each other on the court. Each team scores points by throwing a basketball through the opposing sides hoop.

Two points are scored for a successful throw inside the arc which surrounds the hoop. Successful throws from outside this arc are worth 3 points. A single point can also be scored by a ‘free throw’ which is earned if a foul is committed. A foul results in two free throws at the hoop. The free throw must take place from behind the free-throw line.

When moving the ball around the court, players must bounce the ball every two steps. To help quicken the game a shot clock is also in operation. This is usually set at 24 seconds and the team with the ball must make a shot within that period or the ball automatically transfers to the opponent.

Basketball games are split into four quarters of 12 minutes each. If the game is drawn after four quarters the game goes to extra time until a winner is decided. There are no draws in basketball. As a result, most professional basketball games last between 120-150 minutes.

Types of bets you can make

Betting on basketball games is easy to get to grips with. Because the game is relatively simple, there are only a handful of bets you can make. So let’s take a look at each of them individually.

The outcome of games

Betting on the outcome of the game is the most popular bet to make. With this type of bet, the punter only has to pick which of the teams will win. Because there are no draws in basketball this bet either wins or loses. Most outcome bets cover extra time, but you can place in-play bets for a winner before extra-time if you wish.

Handicap betting

Handicap betting is also popular in basketball. With this type of bet, the underdog team is given a hypothetical advantage by being given extra points before the game starts. An alternative method sees the favourite having points deducted. This helps make uneven matches much more competitive.

Over/under bets

Over/under bets are a bet that the score will either remain below ‘under’ or above ‘over’ a specific target. Because the average basketball score is 180/220 most over/under bets pivot around these points.

First-quarter bets

This is simply a bet of which team is winning after the first quarter or first half period. This type of bet works the same as an outcome bet but there is the added possibility that the teams may draw at the end of the period. In this case, both win/lose bets will be voided.

Player bets

Player bets are also popular in basketball. Here the punter places a bet on which player will score the most points. Punters can also place bets on which player will score first. This is a great way to support a player you like, even if they don’t play for your team.

Season-long bets

Season-long bets allow you to place bets on who will be the championship winner. You can also place bets on Rookie of the Year and which teams will make the championship final or playoffs.

Betting in play

In-play betting has also become popular as more and more basketball games are streamed live around the world. This allows punters to place bets on which team will score next, which player will score the next point and which team will lead the next quarter.


Online basketball betting is a great way to learn more about the sport. And because it’s easy to understand it’s the ideal sport for beginners to get to grips with online betting. The games are also fast-paced so there are plenty of opportunities to make bets, especially if you are watching live.