How to Bet on Basketball: A Guide for Beginners

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to improve your sports betting bottom line is by understanding and making use of key numbers?

There’s never been a more exciting time to venture into the electrifying world of basketball betting. With its fast-paced games and unpredictable twists, basketball offers a unique thrill in the sports betting arena.

But it can be challenging to know how to make your first bet on basketball. Not only do you need to understand the rules of the game. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with how sports betting works.

To help clear up confusion, we have put together a guide. Read on if you are interested in learning more.

How Basketball Betting Works

Betting on basketball is an exciting way for fans to get involved in the game and test their knowledge of the sport.

Similar to other types of sports betting, it involves placing a wager, or bet, on the outcome of a game. The basic idea behind basketball betting is predicting an outcome and placing a bet on it.

If your prediction is correct, you win money based on the odds set by the sportsbook. If your prediction is wrong, you lose the amount you bet.

Here are several common types of bets that people can make in basketball.

Point Spread: A point-spread bet is the most popular form of basketball betting. In this type of bet, the sportsbook sets a point spread, which is a number that indicates how many points one team is expected to win or lose.

You can bet on either team to “cover the spread.” For example, if the point spread is 5.5 points, and you bet on the favorite, they need to win by 6 points or more for your bet to win.

Moneyline: A money line bet is a simple wager on which team will win the game. Instead of using a point spread, the sportsbook sets odds for each team based on their chances of winning.

Betting on the favorite will have lower odds. This means you’ll win less money if they win. On the other hand, betting on the underdog will have higher odds. This means you’ll win more money if they win.

Over/Under: In an over/under bet, the sportsbook sets a total number of points that they expect both teams to score in the game. You can bet on whether the actual total points scored will be over or under the number set by the sportsbook.

Prop Bets: Prop bets, or proposition bets, are wagers on specific events happening within a game. These can include things like which team will score first and how many points a specific player will score.

You can even bet on the number of three-pointers a team will make.

How NBA Betting Odds Work

Understanding NBA betting odds can be a bit tricky at first. But once you get the hang of it, it will be a major betting help. This means that you might be able to win money.

Betting odds tell you how likely a certain outcome is in a game, and how much money you could win if you place a bet. In the NBA, odds can be displayed in American odds, Decimal odds, and Fractional odds.

In the US, the most commonly used are American odds. American odds have a plus (+) or minus (-) sign in front of a number.

The minus sign indicates the favorite (the team expected to win). The plus sign represents the underdog (the team less likely to win).

If a team has odds of -150, it means they’re the favorite. The number tells you how much you need to bet to win $100. So, if you bet $150 on this team and they win, you’ll get your initial $150 back plus $100 in winnings.

If a team has odds of +180, it means they’re the underdog. The number tells you how much you would win if you bet $100. If you bet $100 on this team and they win, you’d get your initial $100 back plus $180 in winnings.

Keep in mind that the favorite doesn’t always win. Betting on the underdog can be a good strategy if you think they have a good chance to win. This is because it can lead to bigger payouts.

Understanding Live Betting 

Live betting is an exciting form of wagering that allows bettors to make NBA picks and place bets while a basketball game is in progress. This adds an extra layer of excitement to the betting experience.

It is easy to understand how live betting works. Once a basketball game starts, the sportsbook will continue to offer updated odds for different bets based on what’s happening in the game.

These can include updated point spreads, money lines, and over/under totals. You can also place prop bets. This might include which team will score next or how many points a player will score.

One of the benefits of live betting is that it allows you to use your observations of the game to make informed bets. If you notice that a team is playing particularly well you can use that information to make live bets.

This dynamic aspect of live betting makes it a thrilling option for many sports bettors.

Another advantage is that it can provide additional betting opportunities. If your pre-game NBA picks aren’t going as planned, you can still get in on the action with live betting. However, live betting also comes with its risks.

The fast-paced nature of basketball and the constantly changing odds mean you have to make decisions quickly. This can sometimes cause people to place hasty, ill-considered bets. Also, because the odds are updated in real-time, they may not be as favorable as pre-game odds.

How to Place a Basketball Bet

It is easier to place a basketball bet than you might think. Here are the most important steps that you will need to take.

Understand the Basics of Betting: Before placing a bet, familiarize yourself with the basics of betting. This includes understanding what point spreads, money lines, over/under, and prop bets are. Also, learn how to read and interpret basketball betting odds.

Choose a Reliable Sportsbook: A sportsbook is an establishment or platform where you can place bets on various sports events. Pick a reputable online sportsbook that offers competitive odds and a wide range of betting options.

Make sure it’s licensed and offers secure payment options.

Create an Account: After selecting a sportsbook, you’ll need to create an account. This usually involves providing some personal information, such as your name and email address.

Deposit Funds: Once your account is set up, you’ll need to deposit funds to start betting. Most sportsbooks offer various deposit options, including credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, or e-wallets like PayPal.

Select a Game to Bet On: Browse through the available basketball games. This could be NBA, NCAA, or international basketball games.

Choose Your Bet Type: Decide on the type of bet you want to make. You could choose to bet on the point spread, the money line, the total points (over/under), or various prop bets.

Place Your Bet: After you’ve decided on your bet, click on it, and it will be added to your betting slip. Enter the amount you wish to bet in your betting slip. Make sure to double-check your bet and the potential payout before confirming.

If everything looks good, confirm your bet. The bet amount will be deducted from your account balance.

Watch the Game and Check the Results: Now, the fun part! Watch the game and cheer for your team. After the game, you can check back in your betting account to see if your bet won and if the winnings have been credited to your account.

How to Avoid Common Betting Mistakes

When betting on basketball games, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes. One such mistake is not doing adequate research before placing bets.

Taking the time to analyze team performances and player stats can make a significant difference in your betting success. Also, be careful about following your emotions without considering a team’s actual chances of winning.

It’s also crucial to avoid chasing losses. This can lead to poor decision-making and, ultimately, more significant losses. Finally, always remember to bet responsibly and within your means.

How to Bet on Basketball Games

It is easier to bet on basketball games than you might think.

But it is important to first familiarize yourself with the basics of how sports betting works. You should also take time to understand the different types of sports bets that you can make and to choose the right betting platform.

Lastly, never wager more money than you are ready to lose.