Basketball is probably the easiest of the four major sports to pick. There is less parity than in football, where upsets happen on any given Sunday, and you are not depending on pitchers who may or may not have a bad day on the mound. The basketball season is also long enough that you can carefully pick your spots and find the “easier” match-ups to wager on.
Just like with football and baseball, sports books usually offer point spreads, Money Line and over/under bets on basketball games. Spread bets are the most common, with bookies offering $11-to-win-$10 odds on these wagers.
Let’s say that the Lakers are at -12 against the Bobcats and you are certain that Los Angeles will win by at least 13, you will probably put some cash on the Lakers. A $110 bet will return $100, which is a nice pay out. These same 11 to 10 odds are usually offered on game totals (over/under) as well.
If you’d rather stay away from spreads and totals, you can just focus on money line bets. With Money Line wagers you are picking a winner straight up, which makes betting much easier.
If we use that same Lakers vs Bobcats example, the Lakers might be at -220 to win and Charlotte at +190. The Lakers are probably going to win outright, but you’ll have to lay $220 to get $100 back. If you are confident that the Bobcats can pull the upset, you will be rewarded with $190 if you put in $100. As always, Money Line bets are more appealing if you are picking dogs.
Most sports books also offer parlays and teasers on basketball bets, allowing you to parlay various bets (spread plus total for example) or tease a point total up or down. That Laker wager may be more intriguing to you if they were at -9, so pay a bit more to buy those two points and work that spread more in your favor.
If you’re looking for a good place to bet on basketball, make sure to find a room that offers future bets and prop bets as well. This gives you more betting options, as you can bet on division winners, conference winners, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, finals winner and much more. All-Star game prop bets can also be fun and profitable should you be able to predict the Slam Dunk champ or 3-point shooting champ for example.
Basketball may be the easiest of the major sports to bet on, but that does not mean that you will automatically win all your bets. Unexpected things will always happen on the court and you are not going to magically hit 8-team parlays every night.
You can however improve your chances by doing your research and making smart bets. Study the numbers, study the trends, make rational decisions and pick your spots.
If you are ready to bet on basketball, make sure to find a reputable and professional sports book where you can place your wagers. Just about every quality sports book offers basketball lines, so you’ll have to find the one that fits you best.
We’ve tried to make your selection process a bit easier by listing the best places where you can bet on basketball. These sites offer great lines, different betting options and – just as important – easy to use and secure software.