How to bet on basketball: tells you all you need to know!

Basketball is one of the biggest sports in America and is one of only a handful that could be classed as a global phenomenon.

The NBA’s fan base is rapidly growing, with millions of Europeans tuning in to watch the billion-dollar franchise, week-in week-out.

Like in football, or soccer depending on where you are from, basketball has a range of markets, but the most common are called money line, handicap and totals.

How the NBA works

The NBA comprises of 30 teams that play in the Eastern Conference (15 teams) and the Western Conference (15 teams). Each conference is subdivided into three divisions. Eastern Conference divisions are called Atlantic, Central and Southeast. Western Conference divisions are called Northwest, Pacific and Southwest.

Money line basketball betting

Money line markets are the most common and simplest for a punter to understand. This form of betting is simply placing money on a certain team to win the game.

For example:

Minnesota Timberwolves: 1.55
Denver Nuggets: 2.25

In this example, Minnesota are the odds-on favourites to beat Denver.

Handicap basketball betting

Once you understand how to bet on basketball using the money line, betting on the handicap is easy. 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 — ) is factored into the final score to determine the game’s outcome. This means the handicap result is sometimes different from the actual result.

For example:

Golden State Warriors: (-7.5) 1.80
Brooklyn Nets: (+7.5) 2.25

So, if Golden State win the game (101–97), bets on their handicap would 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.

If the Warriors won 110–96, this means they win. This is referred to as “covering the handicap”.

Totals basketball betting

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:

Over 210.5: 1.90
Under 210.5: 2.20

If you bet on the game to be over 210.5 points, and the result was 116–98 (an aggregate total of 214 points) then you would win. If you had backed the total score as under 210.5 you would have lost the bet.

You can bet on a range of sports including basketball at — and remember, #BetBigWinBig.