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The Ultimate Guide to Basketball Sports Betting and Strategy

Betting on basketball - tips

Basketball is one of the most popular and most followed sports in the world, and betting on basketball is remarkably popular. It is a fast-paced sport that usually goes down to the wire. This makes it an extremely fun and potentially profitable experience for betting enthusiasts. Just like other popular sports, there are numerous basketball leagues and competitions around the world that offer different things to fans and sports betting enthusiasts. Among the most popular basketball leagues are the NBA, EuroLeague and the various individual country leagues like France's LNB Pro A,  Italy's Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) and Polish Basketball League. 

If you are an ardent basketball fan or you just stumbled on basketball and you are thrilled by sports betting, you are in the right place. We are going to guide you on how to bet on basketball, betting options and strategies to succeed in basketball betting. 

Wagering on basketball is one of the most straightforward and  simplest sports betting forms and a perfect place for beginners to start and experienced bettors to make profits. 

Common Types of Bets

One of the most thrilling things about basketball betting is that there is an endless number of ways you can build a successful betting strategy. However, the most important thing to understand the sport itself and the type of bets available. Here are the most popular types of bets in basketball. 

Point spread

Point spread is one the most popular and simplest forms of bets in basketball. Essentially, point spread is a betting line based on the number of points one team is projected to win by. In this bet, the team that is thought to win is called the favourite, while the team expected to lose is referred to as the underdog. For instance, let’s say Toronto Raptors are playing Boston Celtics. Let’s also assume Toronto Raptors are the better team and the bookmaker thinks Toronto Raptors will win by 10 points. The bookmaker would set the point spread on this game at -10 for Toronto Raptors to win. This implies that if you wager on Toronto Raptors to win, they have to win the game by more than 10 points for you to win your bet. 

Money line

Money line bets in basketball are simply bets on the team that will win the game. In this type of bet, there are no point spreads; it comes down to the ultimate winner of the game. If you place a money line wager on Toronto Raptors and they win the game by 1 or 50 points, it does not matter. You win your bet either way.


Totals also called over/under, is a type of bet where the combined scores of the two teams are predicted. A bookmaker posts a number and bettors have the option of betting whether the combined score of both teams will be under or over the posted number. 

Prop bets

Prop bets are probably the most exciting and fun bet types you can make in a basketball game. They are sometimes referred to as ‘specials’. They don’t fall in the regular betting categories such as scores prediction or who is going to win the game. Well, that is somewhat obscure definition, but prop bets are all over the place. The best way to describe prop bets is by using an example - that way, you will understand them better. Prop bets are split into two categories, skilled and unskilled bets (It is important to note that you will never see them split this way in a sports betting site).

Skilled prop bets

Skilled prop bets are bets that you can actually apply your strategies and skills to try to win. These type of bets normally require knowledge of the game and the players involved. They can be volatile at times, but they are key to building a successful basketball betting strategy. 

Here are some examples of skilled prop bets:

  • Will Lebron James score more than 30 points in this game?
  • Will Stephen Curry get more than 3 blocks in this game?

As you can see, these are things that may not directly affect the final scores. It is betting on how well individual players will fare in a game or how well a team will perform in a series. They may look hard on the surface, but you can apply knowledge and skills to make informed predictions of each.

Unskilled prop bets

Unskilled prop bets are straight gambling. These type of bets do not require knowledge or skill; although you might make a tiny prediction, you will be guessing most of the times. Here are some examples of unskilled prop bets:

  • How many fouls will be committed in the 2nd quarter?
  • Which team will score first?
  • Will there be over 3 dunks in the game?

As evident, such bets are usually impossible to predict. The most important thing here is to remember that unskilled prop bets should be played for fun. They should not be part of your money-winning strategy.

Common Betting Mistakes

It doesn't matter whether you are new to sports betting or a seasoned bettor. There are numerous mistakes you can make to hurt your money-making strategy. Here are common sports betting mistakes: 

  • Failure to understand the basics: Diving into sports betting without understanding the basics limits the likelihood of making a profit.
  • Wagering under the influence
  • Lack of a bankroll management plan
  • Failure to shop betting lines
  • Wagering on unsafe betting sites
  • Failing to cash out
  • Betting too often

Basketball Betting Tips

  • Always confirm your ticket: Just like with other sports betting, checking your betting slip accuracy is very important, whether you are betting live at a casino, online or at a bookmaker.
  • Discipline: Before placing bets, ensure you have a plan and follow it. Also, follow the performance of a team in all its games. This will help you make informed decisions on how to bet in future.
  • Have a bankroll management plan
  • Check out the betting trends
  • Never bet with emotions.


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