Successful basketball betting requires a bettor learn to make wagers based on research within their bankroll management strategy.
Considering professional sports bettors work full-time handicapping and strategizing to struggle for a 51% or 52% win rate, it is clear that beating the book is not just a matter of watching Sportscenter every day and placing a bet within your established unit-size limit.
The version of the game played in the USA, college and professional, have lengthy seasons with multiple games. Both versions have their unique features – the college game’s March Madness playoff system requires complex gambling strategy, and brings with it some of the heaviest action on the sports betting calendar. The NBA’s long season is extended by weeks of playoffs that require a different style of handicapping.
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Basketball betting is popular right round the world with much of the attention focusing on the NBA, and when they come around the Olympic Games and World Championships. This means when these competitions are running sports betting sites up their promotions surrounding matches. This provides great value for punters.
If you are in a country with a regulated betting market (think Australia and the United Kingdom) you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to betting on basketball, especially your home leagues and the NBA. As an example Australia’s no.1 bookmaker Sportsbet offers a huge selection of markets on every NBL and NBA match currently being offered, as well as a range of futures markets. All of the top Australian betting sites have odds and betting markets available for basketball.
It can be trickier, but not insurmountable if you are in the USA or China, where online betting is banned everywhere, or at the very least in some regions. This basically means you are forced to bet with an “offshore” site which features the markets you are looking for. A popular betting site that caters to USA punters is 5Dimes.eu, with it featuring great money lines and competitive odds.
Basketball Leagues to bet on
The USA is the epicentre of basketball with the National Basketball Association watched globally for the magical play that has encouraged other leagues to pop up around the world. Other very prominent leagues are based out of Spain, Canada, Argentina and China.
|South Africa <BNL)|
|Argentina (Liga Nacional de Basquet)|
|Brazil (Campeonato Brasileiro de Basquete|
|Chile (Liga Nacional Movistar)|
|Colombia (Baloncesto Profesional Colombiano)|
|Dominican Republik (Liga Nacional de Baloncesto)|
|Mexico (Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional)|
|Paraguay (Paraguayan Metropolitan Basketball League)|
|Puerto Rico (Baloncesto Superior Nacional)|
|Uruguay (Liga Uruguaya de Basketball)|
|Venezuela (Liga Profesional de Baloncesto)|
|China (Chinese Basketball Association)|
|Hong Kong (A1)|
|Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Basketball Championship)|
|Kuwait (Kuwaiti Division I Basketball League)|
|India (UBA Pro Basketball League)|
|Iran (Iranian Basketball Super League)|
|Lebanon (Lebanese Basketball League)|
|Philippines (Philippine Basketball Association)|
|Qatar (Qatari Basketball League)|
|Saudi Arabia (Saudi Premier League)|
|South Korea (Korean Basketball League)|
|Thailand (Thailand Basketball League)|
|Vietnam (Vietnam Basketball Association))|
Basketball Betting Strategy
Whether a gambler’s preference is for the amateur or pro game, this niche in the sports wagering marketplace requires a different approach than sports with shorter seasons or more time between games. Here are a variety of tips for approaching the complex world of basketball wagers.
- Basketball, especially, the professional game with its long season and high level of team parity, is one of the toughest sports to handicap. It is a statistically-rich sport in which small changes have big impacts over the long haul of a season.
In this sport, losing a back-up Center or Power Forward can change the way a game is handicapped just as much as the loss of an elite team leader. Because of the popularity of NCAA and NBA basketball, a productive rumor mill means big change in lines and spreads between games. Being realistic about the likelihood of success as an NBA bettor is the first and most important piece of strategy a bettor can implement.
- Professional bettors have to do a lot of handicapping in a short amount of time. They streamline their research methods to those sports stats that are most likely to impact the outcome of games. No doubt each of these pros has his own favorite stats for handicapping basketball; here are some of the most important statistics to watch for.
The two most vital numbers in general basketball handicapping are a team’s turnovers and the number of points they’ve scored “in the paint.” In the college game, points in the paint is an even more effective predictor of success than in the professional sport, due to a lower overall lack of player skill. Shots players take closer to the goal are statistically more likely to score – teams that score a large number of points (or a large percentage of their total points) up close generally dominate those that don’t.
As for a team’s turnover stats, these can be an indicator of when a wager against a point spread is worth researching. Teams that cause frequent turnovers score more often, and offense is key to success in the NBA. On the other hand, otherwise-successful squads that happen to have an abnormally high turnover rate (or a rate that’s significantly higher than their competition) will find it more difficult to cover a spread of +4 or more. This is especially true in the NBA, where team parity is more consistent than in NCAA play.
- Before bets, it’s important to check both team’s starting lineups and their latest injury reports. This is true for all sports but is especially critical for games played by teams with small numbers of players like basketball. The impact of a single player’s absence or presence on the way a game is handicapped is much greater than in sports where teams have a larger pool of rotating players – and in basketball, the injured player may not even be a super-star. Don’t undervalue a change among a team’s role-players.
Waiting until closer to game time to place a bet is smart for basketball bettors for other reasons – this tactic also gives punters time to watch lines and find more valuable propositions. Oddsmakers post weak lines from time to time – this is especially true in the thick of a pro or college season or either sport’s playoff series. Being patient rewards the basketball bettor more than players in other sports.
- It is common for a book’s basketball lines to include a large number of small (or “short”) underdogs. These are teams expected to lose by just a few points, listed as +1, +2, or +3. If a bettor’s research pushes him in the direction of laying money on these short underdogs, he would be wise to consider a moneyline wager instead of betting on the point spread. In fact, laying a wager on the favorite in these short situations may also be a better time to bet the moneyline as well.
This is because moneyline wagers on underdogs generally pay more than straight point spread wagers against the favorite. The moneyline also takes away the stress of worrying about covering the spread in the case of a punter who wants to bet a slight favorite. When point spreads start to get to +4 or higher, it is usually a smarter investment to bet spreads over moneylines.
- This small league does not have a huge fan base like the men’s game, but it does offer many advantages to sports bettors. The majority of sportsbooks now offer traditional wagers on WNBA games, though more exotic wagers like parlays are not easy to find.
With just 12 teams in the league, handicapping is simplified. The small number of teams also requires teams play head-to-head many times in the same season, making direct match-up research easier.
Sportsbook betting limits are further proof of the value inherent in wagering on the women’s professional league. Larger bet maximums are made available for bets on spots that offer less risk to the book, such as the high max bets found for horse racing.
Even cursory research into WNBA maximum bet sizes shows that the majority of books limit WNBA bets to 1/5 of the size they limit the men’s game. A sports bettor interested in finding a new niche that’s easier to research and offers a lower risk-reward ratio should learn how to wager on women’s professional basketball.