How to Bet on Basketball

basketball and a point spread sheet
Welcome to an exciting article on how to bet on basketball! In this comprehensive guide, written by experienced gambling experts with over 20 years of experience in sports betting and betting education, you will learn everything you need to know to enhance your basketball betting skills.

In this article we will begin by explaining the importance of understanding odds and how they determine the potential payout and likelihood of a particular outcome. We will cover the concept of positive and negative odds, and how they relate to favorites and underdogs in basketball betting. Alongside odds, the we’ll emphasize the significance of considering other factors such as team performance and recent form when making informed bets.

Next, we will dive into the different types of bets available in basketball. From moneyline bets, where you predict the outright winner, to point spreads, where you bet on whether a team will win by a certain amount of points or more, we will cover it all. We’ll also explores point totals, player props, and parlays, offering a variety of options to suit your preferences.

Furthermore, we will dive into futures bets, allowing you to bet on future events in basketball like NBA championships or season MVPs. We provide insights into the research and strategies required to make informed basketball bets, including analyzing team performance, studying head-to-head matchups, and monitoring player statistics. We will also discuss responsible gambling, encouraging you to set realistic budgets and time limits and seek help if needed.

Get ready to take your basketball betting to the next level with our expert guide. So, whether you’re a seasoned bettor or new to the game, we have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding how to read odds is important in basketball betting.
  2. There are different types of bets available, such as moneyline, spread, and over/under.
  3. It is crucial to develop a clear understanding of betting limits.
  4. Responsible gambling is essential, and setting realistic budgets and time limits is important.

How Odds Work

To understand how odds work in basketball betting, you need to grasp the concept of positive and negative odds and their implications for potential profit or wager amount. In basketball betting, odds are a way to determine the likelihood of a particular outcome and the potential payout if you win your bet. Positive odds indicate an underdog, while negative odds indicate a favorite.

For example, let’s say you want to bet on a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are the favorite with odds of -150, while the Warriors are the underdog with odds of +200. If you bet $100 on the Lakers to win, you would need to wager $150 to win a profit of $100. On the other hand, if you bet $100 on the Warriors to win, you would win a profit of $200 if they come out on top.

Understanding odds is crucial for developing a successful betting strategy in basketball. Positive odds can provide opportunities for higher payouts when betting on underdogs, while negative odds may require larger wagers to win a significant profit. It’s important to consider the odds along with other factors such as team performance, injuries, and recent form when making your bets.

Different Bet Types

When it comes to betting on basketball, understanding the different bet types is crucial. One popular bet type is the points bet, which involves betting on the total points scored in a game or by a specific team. With points bets, you can wager on whether the combined score will be greater or less than a specific number. This type of bet adds another layer of excitement and variety to your basketball betting experience.

Bet Type Description
Moneyline Betting on which team will win outright,
with odds assigned to each team.
Spread Betting on whether a team will win by a
certain amount of points or more.
Point Totals Betting on the total points scored in a
game or by a specific team.
Player Props Betting on specific statistical categories
or achievements of individual players.
Parlays Combining multiple markets into one wager
for higher odds and potential payout.


Bet on the outcome of a basketball game by selecting the team that you believe will win outright. This type of bet is known as the moneyline. Here are three key points to understand about the moneyline:

  1. Moneyline bets involve choosing the winner of the game.
  2. The odds are assigned to each team, indicating the potential payout.
  3. Minus odds indicate a favorite, while plus odds indicate an underdog.

When wagering on the moneyline, bettors need to consider the odds assigned to each team. Higher odds for underdogs can result in a larger payout if they win. On the other hand, favorites with minus odds have a higher probability of winning, but the payout may be smaller. Understanding the moneyline allows bettors to make informed decisions and maximize their potential payout. Moneyline bets are the favorite of most of the staff at OnlineCasinoBlueBook. They are simple, and easy to understand.

Point Spreads

Point spreads involve betting on whether a team will win by a certain amount of points or more. This type of bet helps create close to even odds for both teams, even if one is favored to win. Sportsbooks assign a certain amount of points to the favorite that they must win by for the bet to win. Bettors can also bet on the underdog to win or lose by less than the assigned points. Spread bets can provide more balanced odds and opportunities for different outcomes.


To continue exploring different bet types in basketball betting, let’s dive into the concept of over/under, which focuses on the total points scored in a game or by a specific team.

  1. Over/Under bets in basketball involve predicting whether the total points scored in a game will be over or under a specific number.
  2. Bettors can also wager on the point total for a specific team, whether they will score more or less than a certain number of points.
  3. Over/Under bets provide a different perspective on the game, focusing on the overall scoring rather than the outcome.

The totals set by sportsbooks reflect the expected pace and offensive capabilities of the teams involved. By analyzing past trends, team statistics, and other factors, bettors can make informed decisions on whether the total points scored will be over or under the set number.


As you explore the different types of bets in basketball betting, one popular option to consider is props. Props involve betting on specific statistical categories or achievements of individual players. With props, you can bet on various aspects of a player’s performance during a game. For example, you can bet on the number of points a player will score, the number of rebounds they will grab, or even if they will achieve a double-double or triple-double. Props add an extra layer of excitement to the game as you focus on individual player performances and their ability to meet or exceed certain statistical benchmarks. So, if you’re looking for a unique and engaging way to bet on basketball, props are definitely worth considering.

In-Game or Live Betting

Now let’s delve into the exciting world of in-game or live betting, where you can take advantage of different bet types while the basketball game is happening. In-game betting allows you to place bets and make decisions based on the current state of the game, giving you a dynamic and interactive betting experience. Here are three key aspects of in-game betting:

  1. Real-time odds: With live betting, the odds are constantly updated based on the game’s progress. This provides you with the opportunity to find value and capitalize on changing circumstances.
  2. Wide range of bet types: In-game betting offers a variety of bet types, including moneyline bets, point spreads, and over/under bets. This allows you to choose the type of bet that aligns with your strategy and preferences.
  3. Quick decision-making: In-game betting requires you to make quick decisions based on the current context of the game. This adds an extra level of excitement and challenge to your betting experience.


You can increase your potential payout and excitement by incorporating parlay bets into your basketball betting strategy. A parlay bet is when you combine multiple bets into one wager. This means that you can bet on the spread, odds, and other types of bets all at once. The catch is that all of your bets have to be correct for you to win the parlay. This can be challenging, but if you manage to get all of your bets right, the payout can be significant. It’s important to note that parlays have a higher hold for the sportsbook, meaning that the odds are more in their favor. However, if you’re looking for a big win and are confident in your selections, a parlay can be a thrilling option to consider.


One popular type of bet in basketball is the futures bet. With futures bets, you can wager on long-term outcomes in basketball, such as conference winners or individual awards. It’s a bet that requires patience, as the results may not be known for months. Here are three key points to remember about futures bets in basketball:

  1. Future events: Futures bets allow you to bet on future events in basketball, such as the NBA championship winner or the Most Valuable Player of the season.
  2. Potential for big payouts: Because futures bets are made well in advance, the odds can be more favorable, offering the potential for larger payouts if your prediction comes true.
  3. Long-term commitment: Unlike other types of bets, futures bets require a longer timeframe, as you have to wait for the outcome of the entire season or tournament.

Futures bets can add excitement and anticipation to your basketball betting experience, as you root for your chosen team or player throughout the season.


Before placing your bets on basketball, it is crucial to conduct thorough research. By analyzing statistics and doing proper research, you can make informed decisions and increase your chances of winning. Here are some tips to help you with your basketball betting research:

Team Performance: Analyze the performance of teams in recent games. Look at their win-loss record, point differentials, and offensive and defensive efficiency. This will give you an idea of their overall strength.

Head-to-Head Matchups: Look at the history of matchups between the teams. This can provide valuable insights into how they perform against each other and if there are any trends or patterns to consider.

Player Analysis: Study the performance of key players on each team. Look at their scoring averages, shooting percentages, rebounding, and assists. This will help you assess their impact on the game and potential outcomes.

Injury Reports: Stay updated on any injuries or player absences. This can significantly affect a team’s performance and potential outcomes.

Home vs. Away Performance: Consider how teams perform at home versus on the road. Some teams excel in their home arena, while others struggle away from home. This can impact the outcome of the game.

Test Strategies

To evaluate the effectiveness of your basketball betting strategies, it is important to analyze your past wagers and their outcomes. Testing your strategies allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t, helping you make adjustments for future bets. Here are three key steps to test your strategies:

  1. Review Your Team Analysis: Take a closer look at the teams you bet on and analyze their performance. Look for patterns and trends in their winning or losing streaks. Assess the impact of player injuries or changes in coaching staff. This analysis will give you insights into which teams are more likely to win and help you make more informed decisions.
  2. Assess Player Performance: Individual player performance can greatly influence the outcome of a game. Pay attention to players’ statistics, such as scoring averages, rebounds, assists, and shooting percentages. By evaluating the impact of specific players on their team’s performance, you can identify profitable betting opportunities.
  3. Track Your Profit: Keep a record of your bets and track your profit or loss. This will help you assess the overall success of your strategies. Calculate your return on investment (ROI) to determine if you are making a profit in the long run. If your strategies consistently lead to losses, it may be time to reevaluate your approach and make necessary adjustments.

Gambling Responsibly

When gambling responsibly, it is important to set realistic budgets and time limits. By doing so, you can ensure that your sports betting activities remain enjoyable and controlled. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game and lose track of your spending, so establishing a budget beforehand can help you avoid any potential financial pitfalls. Additionally, setting time limits can prevent excessive gambling and help you maintain a healthy balance in your life.

To further understand the importance of gambling responsibly, take a look at the table below that highlights key aspects of responsible betting:

  1. Set a Budget: Allocate a specific amount of money for betting purposes.
  2. Establish Time Limits: Determine how much time you will dedicate to betting activities.
  3. Avoid Chasing Losses: Don’t try to make up for losses by placing larger bets.
  4. Do Your Research: Gather information about the teams, players, and odds before placing bets.
  5. Seek Help if Needed: If gambling becomes a problem, reach out to a support network or helpline.
  6. Avoid Gambling Under the Influence: Gambling while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair your judgment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Test Different Betting Strategies?

To test different betting strategies in basketball, start by analyzing historical data and tracking your bets. Experiment with different approaches, such as focusing on specific teams or using statistical models. Evaluate your results and adjust your strategies accordingly.

What Are Some Resources or Tools I Can Use for Researching Teams and Players?

To research basketball teams and players, you can use resources like team websites, official NBA statistics, sports news websites, and social media accounts of players and teams. These tools provide valuable information for making informed betting decisions.

Is There a Specific Formula or Method for Calculating the Odds?

There isn’t a specific formula for calculating odds in basketball betting, but sportsbooks use various factors like team performance, player injuries, and historical data. Understanding how odds are determined can help you make informed betting decisions.

How Can I Ensure That I Am Gambling Responsibly While Betting?

To ensure responsible gambling while betting on basketball, set realistic budgets and time limits. Avoid chasing losses or viewing gambling as a way to make money. Use responsible gambling tools and seek help if needed.

Are There Any Specific Tips or Strategies for Placing Successful Prop Bets on Individual Player Performance?

When placing successful prop bets on individual player performance, research player statistics, consider matchups and injuries, and analyze trends. These factors can help you make informed decisions and increase your chances of winning.

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