Basketball Betting Tips
Basketball is one of the most popular sports among bettors in the world and no matter which league you bet on, there are tried-and-tested punting tips that will help you make a profit.
The most popular leagues are the NBA, Euro League, D-League and the NBL in Australia. These leagues offer many betting markets, great value and our recommended bookmakers have the best deals for betting on basketball.
Whether you’re new to basketball betting or have been enjoying a friendly punt on the sport for years, you’ll want to take notes on the tips provided.
Happy punting basketball fans.
Riding the win streak
When betting on basketball it’s important to find out which teams are most profitable on a win streak. In order to fully utilise this strategy, it’s best to predict when teams will go on a winning streak, and also when this streak will stop.
This sounds hard, but it’s achievable with the right information. Looking at the strength of schedule can be a good indicator of whether teams will go on a winning streak. If a heavily favored team is facing sub-par opponents in its next 10 games, then this is a good time to ride that winning streak. The odds available, on this occasion, might not seem life-changing but when you parlay (multi) all 10 games, the profits are hugely rewarding.
The teams that put together six to 10 straight wins are often high-scoring teams. Despite the defense they play against, the quality, high-scoring offenses always find a way to get at least one of their outside shooters open, and this is where betting on these teams can be valuable. In the NBA, teams such as Golden State and the LA Clippers have high-scoring offenses and they have the ability to string multiples wins together.
A common rule in gambling is to increase your bet when you get on a winning streak, to fully maximise your potential profits. However, when betting basketball it’s key to keep an even keel and bet every game as if it was any other.
The most profitable aspect of this strategy is to find the overachieving teams before the “public” catches on. For example, a team has started its season with four wins and eight losses, therefore its odds will inflate from game to game, but if you think those losses have come against quality opposition and it faces a string of easier opponents, now is the time to get on.
Undervalued teams often go on small four- to five-win streaks where you can get great value in every game. Why? Because bookmakers are waiting for the winning streak to end, as it inevitably will, but the value will remain intact until they do.
Don’t start backing teams which have already won seven to 10 games. Statistics show this streak will end soon, and you have already lost many games’ worth of value, so move on and look for another streaking team to bet on.
Look out for the streak busters
This strategy is for situational bettors – streak busters are teams that end winning streaks and this is the best time to find value.
No bookmaker in their right mind would make a team on a significant winning streak an underdog, therefore if you can correctly predict when a team’s streak will end, you’ll be making a steady profit.
This type of bet isn’t overly common, so you will have to be patient and wait for the right moment to strike. Look for the teams, facing streakers, which have a good home record and/or have the edge in the head-to-head statistics over the past few seasons.
For example: The Boston Celtics have seven straight games, but head to New York to face the 0-7 Knicks. This may seem like an easy win for the Celtics, but statistics show the Knicks have beaten the Celtics in four straight games over the past two seasons, and have won 10 from 12 at home.
These are the telling statistics to look for when trying to bust a winning streak as some teams simply have the wood over others. Also look for key injuries and the influences they have had on streaking teams.
Keep an eye on struggling teams
Many bettors say “If you bet on a bad team, you deserve to lose” and that couldn’t be more wrong.
Yes, betting on bad teams can be frustrating, but that usually applies to those who have been chasing that one team. Chasing refers to bettors who back teams every game in the hopes that they will finally get a win.
Finding the bad teams that have an advantage in the match-up, despite their recent form, is a great way to get value when betting basketball. Many basketball leagues have conferences, and this can alter the public’s perception on their overall win/loss record. A team may start its season 0-10, but has faced tough teams in its division and now it has a soft schedule where punters can reap the rewards.
In the NBA for example: the Philadelphia 76ers started their 2014-2015 season with 17 straight losses – a franchise record – but some bettors saw the value in betting them in their next few games. The 76ers, hoping to avoid another loss, were facing a team with a poor overall record but because the bookmakers didn’t want to risk them by shortening their odds, they still offered $3.00 for Philadelphia to win, against a team with a 4-13 record.
This is where this strategy is at its best. The 76ers have since won again at $3.00 odds, which means you can continue to bet them and they only need to win once in every three games.
Note: When bad teams play other bad teams, it’s always worth taking a look at the underdog. You may as well get plus value on a coin toss.
Bet on teams with a home fortress
There are teams all across the world that rarely lose on their home court. Some of the best home records in the NBA include Portland at 10-2, Golden State 7-1 and Memphis at 8-1. Betting these teams has been profitable and finding teams that rarely give up a win on their home court is a good way to take out the luck factor in basketball betting.
The influence of the home crowd and, as silly as it sounds, knowing your home court’s dimensions, are all big factors in betting the home team. For an example of court dimensions, the NBA’s Chicago Bulls’ court looks deceptive to away teams due to depth perception. This alters the shot of incoming teams and it’s these little things that all add up to a successful wager.
There is no exact science as to why some teams dominate at home, apart from the obvious crowd support factor, but teams such as the Perth Wildcats in Australia’s NBL show that betting home teams is a solid punting strategy.
Find the best player for prop bets
Prop, or exotic betting, in basketball is widely marketed as a good betting strategy and they’re not wrong. Bookmakers give bettors a wide variety of options which include total points, rebounds, assists and markets on the overall performance of certain players.
Bookmakers will give you the option to bet on certain players and you have to decide whether or not they will do better or worse than the statistics they show. For example: bookmakers are offering $1.90 for Kobe Bryant to score more than 22 points for his next game. This would be a good bet as he is averaging an NBA-high 27 points per game – but you must look at all the factors in playing prop bets.
What style of game will it be? If two offensive teams are playing each other then the total player points scored will be higher than if two defensive teams play each other. In that case, bookmakers will tend to lean towards the total rebounds market where the big men in basketball get some action.
Betting on total rebounds can be rewarding and there are a few simple rules to take advantage of this market.
- Rule 1: Bet on the player with the highest average of rebounds.
- Rule 2: Enhance your bet when you are playing against a team with a poor shooting rate.
- Rule 3: Ensure your player will be given plenty of court time – often big players sit on the sidelines during lop-sided games and your bet becomes that much harder to win.
- Rule 4: Defensive rebounding is where the majority of the rebounds come from, so ensure the player you select is the main rebounder for the team.
- Rule 5: Missed free throws are easy rebounds for defenders, so make sure your player is one of the two rebounders who stand closest to the hoop on free throws.
Tips for live betting on basketball
Live betting can be a tricky bet to place, but there is always value to be snapped up. Some bookmakers use a system to update their live betting, wherein they take the original odds into account, and the computer adjusts accordingly, based on the current score and time left.
This is a huge opportunity for bettors to get involved, especially if they are following the game closely. One team may have been heavily favored before the game and is up 22-16, therefore the odds for the opposing team have already blown out. There may have been factors throughout the game, however, that the computerised odds system would not have picked up.
Factors to look for in live betting:
- Foul counts – players might be in foul trouble and bookmakers rarely pick up on that.
- Injuries – some bookmakers will keep their odds safe if a player is down injured, but some won’t adjust and this is the time to back the opposing team.
- Betting good teams when they are behind – basketball is a game of runs and the odds can get attractive when the good teams are down by double digits. But never fear, these teams usually go on big runs and the odds get flipped before you know it.
Perhaps a list of the best bookmakers to offer live betting on basketball?