Basketball Betting Guide: How to Bet on Basketball

Basketball has long had its supporters in Australia, but the increasing international success of many homegrown players, the accessibility of the NBA and the fast improving standard of the NBL means that the sport’s popularity down under is growing at a rapid rate. The NBA itself runs for the majority of the year with a multitude of games on virtually every day, while various other leagues from around the world ensure that there are quality professional games being played throughout the entire year. Unsurprisingly, this popularity and accessibility means that it has become an increasingly common sport on which to bet, and in this basketball betting guide we’ll go into detail about how to do just that, as well as some of the most popular basketball betting markets.

How to Bet on Basketball

To bet on basketball, simply head to the TopSport homepage and either log in to your account, or create one if you haven’t already. Once you’ve done this, locate the basketball markets, which will be available on the left-hand side of the home page in which all available sports are listed in alphabetical order.

Once you click on ‘basketball’, you’ll be greeted with a dropdown list of the many different leagues for which markets are available. Select the league of your choice and you’ll then be taken to a page with upcoming games and a couple of popular markets for each of them; click on the game and you’ll find even more markets, including each of those listed below.

Basketball Bet Types

As one of the more popular sports in Australia, and with games played on the majority of the days of the year, there are, unsurprisingly, a wide selection of different basketball markets available to bet on. Many of these are common markets which can be found for most team sports, such as win bets, line bets, and total points, while more basketball-specific markets like most points and futures such as MVP winners are also available. These are some of the most popular ways in which you can bet on basketball.

Basketball Win Bets

The simplest way to bet on basketball, as is the case for most team sports, is to simply bet on the outcome of any given game. With overtime played when basketball games are tied, there is always a winner at its conclusion, and as a result you’ll be picking out of just two different potential outcomes here. The odds for each team to win will be the first that you see when looking at markets for a basketball game, and placing a bet here is simply a matter of deciding which team you think is over the odds.

Basketball Line Bets

Line bets are another bet type which are available for most sports, and represent a way to bet on which team you think will perform better than the bookmakers’ odds suggest. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be betting on which team you think will win; you might think that the favourite will still win the game, for example, but not by as much as the odds suggest, and in this case a line bet on the underdog might be an apt choice. With this bet type, the sides are handicapped based on how much they are expected to win or lose by, so when you select a team, you’re betting on them to beat the opponent with the handicap given to them.

Alternative Line Bets

Alternative line bets function in the same way as a regular line bet but with a lot more flexibility. Regular line bets offer just two markets, with the teams handicapped in such a way that their respective odds are the same. Alternative line bet markets cover a much wider range of potential outcomes, enabling you to bet on a handicapped market which either offers better odds, or inferior odds but has a greater chance of happening. For example, the favourite might be expected to win by 3.5 points, but if you think they’ll win by at least eight you could opt for a line of -7.5, which will have superior odds to the regular line.

Over/Under Total Points

Total points markets are relatively self-explanatory and are another bet type which is available across many sports. Bookmakers will set a total which they believe is likely to be around the mark in terms of how many points will be scored by both teams combined throughout the course of the game. You can then choose to either bet on the game total going over or under this amount, with the odds offered for each option typically either matching or nearly matching one another.

First Basket

For punters who like their bets to be resolved quickly, most sports have a market for the first player to score, and basketball is no different. First basket markets will have odds for each of the ten players starting on the floor to score the first basket of the game. It’s worth noting that this refers to the first basket scored in actual play; free throws don’t count.

Most Points

This is another player prop, though this time one which takes the entirety of the game to be decided. As the name suggests, it simply requires you to pick which player you think will score the most points for both teams throughout the course of the match; in some games, one standout scorer will be at relatively short odds to lead this market, while on other occasions there will be numerous players likely to be near the top of the box score. In the event of a tie, your payout will be divided by the number of players who finished with the equal most points.

Quarter/Half Bets

Quarter/half bets are another way to have your bet decided before the end of the game. There are a number of different examples of these bet types. Typically you’ll be able to bet on the winner of each of the first and second quarters as well as each half, while you’ll also be able to find line bets for each individual quarter and half. This can be a good way to bet if you want the outcome decided early, or if you know that one team plays particularly well early or late in games.

Futures Bet

There are many different futures bets which can be placed on basketball for numerous leagues around the globe, though as the biggest league in the world the NBA is obviously particularly popular for futures bettors. Examples of futures include outright winner of a particular league, winner of each Conference in the NBA, MVP winners, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Most Improved Player.

Live Basketball Betting

Live betting has become an increasingly popular and accessible way to bet in recent years for many sports, and basketball is no exception. As a sport in which momentum swings are common and often drastic, the live odds can fluctuate fairly dramatically in a short period of time, meaning that betting in this way certainly has the capacity to be fruitful for the opportunistic. Of course, the speed at which odds can change means that you need to be relatively on the ball, and in line with Australian regulations you’ll also need to call up in order to place a bet.

Basketball Betting FAQs

What is line betting in basketball?

Line betting is a way to bet on the outcome of a game without being tied to the odds offered for the outright winner. For each game, bookies will set what’s called a ‘line’, which essentially functions as a handicap for each team. If, for example, they expect one team to win by 9.5 points, that will be the line. At the end of the game, you either remove 9.5 points from the final score of the favourite, or add it to the final score of the underdog, to determine the winner of this market. This means that if the favourite wins by ten points, they win the line bet; if they only win by nine, the underdog is the winner by half a point.

What is the double result in basketball betting?

Double result in basketball refers to a bet on which team will be leading both at half-time and at full-time. If you think the favourite will lead from the outset and win the game, for example, betting on this market can add a little more value. Alternatively, if you think the underdog will get the jump on their more favoured opponent and then be overrun later in the game, these odds will typically be particularly inflated compared to the odds for the game winner.

Where can I place a basketball bet?

TopSport offers a wide range of different basketball bets on many different leagues around the world. NBA markets are available throughout the roughly eight months of the year that the league operates, while there are also markets for other popular leagues like the NBL during the season.

Ready to place a basketball bet? Head on over to the basketball section at TopSport.