Any sportsbettor worth his or her salt is familiar with betting on basketball. It's one of the hottest sports right now, not just in the United States, but around the world. It's fast, and action packed, and there are a ton of marketable stars that increase the game's curb appeal—from LeBron James and Stephen Curry in the NBA, to Association castoffs playing professionally overseas, to any of the latest college studs at some of the NBA's biggest programs. And when something is that popular, you need to get in on it.
The most popular forms of betting on basketball include spread, moneyline, over/under and future plays. They are are all pretty easy to understand.
Spreads entail you betting on whether a team is going to win or lose by a certain amount.
For example, if the Golden State Warriors are favored by 10 points (-10) over the Cleveland Cavaliers (+10), you either bet that the Warriors will win by more than 10 or the Cavaliers will lose by less than 10.
Moneylines are extremely straightforward. You're just picking which team you think will win. That's it.
Overs and unders have you wager on the total score between the two teams facing off against one another.
If the over/under for that hypothetical Cavaliers and Warriors tilt is 208, you're betting that the two teams will combine to total more or less than 208 points between them.
Futures wagers typically consist of you betting on which team you think will win a division, a conference, a championship, etc. long before it happens.
These bets can be quite lucrative, but they're incredibly difficult to predict. There are years when clear favorites exist, making it slightly easier. But when there is no clear alpha dog, tread carefully.
Best Basketball Sportsbook Odds
Welcome to your one-stop-shop for all potential basketball betting needs. This will help you keep up to date with every possible basketball matchup and wager that you can make.
Always double-check the moneylines, spreads, overs and unders if you're not making your bet right away.
The information can move on a moment's notice as other bets are taken or as more information about every particular matchup—such as injuries, rest days, suspensions, public game plans, etc.—become available.
Looking ahead in the schedule will help you plan bets in advance. Though you won't know the lines too early, it can help to get a feel for games on which you went to bet, so that you can begin the necessary due diligence.
Preemptively measuring how two teams stack up against one another, be it college or the pros, will make placing your gambles on game day so much easier.
How To Make Money Betting On Basketball
Successful betting in the basketball sphere comes down to effort. If you're properly informed, and willing to do what it takes to get the requisite information, you'll have no problem making money and enjoying yourself. This research can be intimidating at first, but it's really not that bad.
First, unless you're a full-time gambler, do not split your focus too much. Digging up intel for so many games can be overwhelming and detrimental to your goal. You have a life, a family, a job and all that good stuff. Taking on too much will either result in you going crazy or doing cursory research that generates poor bets and excessive losses.
When betting moneylines, it's smart not wage single game plays on big time favorites. You have to bet too much money to make a little bit of money; the risk, quite simply, isn't worth the reward. Parlaying moneylines, especially if you're betting on favorites, is a good way to increase your return while lowering the amount you bet. They're more dififcult to pull off, but the extra difficulty is worth it in the long run. If you're gambling on underdogs, single games are, in that case, the preference—unless you're so confident in multiple underdogs that you have no problem turning in a parlay.
Spreads, meanwhile, are all about the matchup. See how the players on each team stack up against one another. If there's a good offensive and defensive team playing a squad that's bad on both ends of the floor, you will know a blowout is likely. If you have two factions that are good on both sides of the court, you will know you are in for a tightly contested affair. And so on and so forth.
Overs and unders are also about matchups. Two defensive specialists won't make for a high scoring competition, so that's cause to go for the under. A pair of offensive juggernauts implies an enormous point total, making the over an intriguing play.
Finally, across all forms of betting, the earlier you place your bets, the more favorable your odds will be. This isn't motivation to rush your research; it's just a fact. Place your bets as reasonably early as possible, because the odds are only going to move in the more popular direction as the days, weeks and months go on—especially when it comes to things like championship futures.