Last updated: 09/04/2024

How To Bet on Basketball: Tips and Tricks

How To Bet On Basketball

With exciting team rivalries, top talent, and a fast pace, basketball is one of the best sports around. Plus, there are 82 games in the NBA schedule, meaning there’s always a new fixture to watch. Perfect for punters who can’t get enough of the action!

Whether you’re new to the sport or a long-time fan, knowing how to bet on basketball will significantly increase your enjoyment of the game. In this guide, we’re looking at the basics and top tips you need to know while basketball betting. Let’s get into it. 

Must-Know Basketball Betting Basics

The NBA and the British Basketball League are breaking viewership records. But you must know how to bet on basketball before joining the fun. 

First of all, familiarise yourself with the game. Spend some time watching games and reading about the rules. Of course, most fans won’t have to do this research. However, it’s a must if you’re entirely new. 

Next, you’ll need to learn the most popular types of basketball bets. Understanding these is critical to placing well-calculated wagers. Here are the top three options:

  • Moneyline – A moneyline bet requires you to predict and wager on the winning team. For this, you’ll have to look at the odds, the strength of the teams, and other factors that may affect the play. 
  • Point spread – Point spread bets level the playing field between the basketball teams as the bookie sets a points handicap. The favourite team must win by more than the spread, whereas the underdog has to win outright or lose by less than the spread prediction.
  • Over/under – Over/under (also known as totals) requires you to bet on whether the final score will be over or under the tally set by the bookies.

Once you’re familiar with the game and top wagers, it’s time to learn about basketball odds. More about these below.

Understanding Basketball Odds

Since basketball and the NBA are most popular in America, you’ll often see the odds in a moneyline format. This odds style is most popular in the US and shows the probability of a $100 wager. 

Moneyline odds use plus (+) and minus (-) signs to show potential winnings. Any odds with a positive sign show the profit for a successful $100 wager. Minus odds show how much you need to spend to win $100. 

For example, if you have +150 odds, a correct $100 wager would result in a $150 profit. However, -150 odds show you’ll need to spend $150 to make $100 on a successful bet.

Top Strategies for Winning Basketball Bets

If you’re learning how to bet on NBA games, exploring strategies that can boost your success is vital.

Whatever sport you’re betting on, research and analysis are always the key to placing a successful wager. Here are some of the factors you should add to your betting strategy to increase the likelihood of a winner:

1. Check Injury Reports

NBA teams only have five players on the court at the time. So, an injury can impact the play more than non-GamStop football with eleven players and baseball with nine players. 

Injury reports are usually released on the game day. So, while betting early is a helpful tactic, you should wait until the last minute with some wagers to account for late injuries.

2. Consider Team Rivalries

Some teams have fiercer rivalries than others. This can lead to unpredictable strategies and better (or worse) performances. Check whether the head-to-head match-up has a long-standing feud, as this will likely impact gameplay.

3. Team Form

How well have the teams been playing recently? Current team form is a critical factor to analyse. Look at recent in-game statistics, win-loss records, and any winning or losing streaks.

4. Home Advantage

Sometimes, teams feel more comfortable on their home court, giving them an advantage over the other side. Often, teams are also more defensive at home. Look at where the game is happening and factor this into your analysis.

5. Bench Depth

Bench depth refers to each team’s substitute players. While there’s no guarantee the subs will play, you should still assess their skills. You never know when an injury or foul will happen, and knowledge about the subs will help you navigate the odds – especially if you’re live betting.

6. Historical Trends

Alongside recent forms, take time to examine historical trends and patterns. Looking at how teams react in specific situations (e.g. playing away or as underdogs) will provide insights into the current match-up factors.

7. Coaching Styles

Finally, coaching styles and strategies should also be on your list. This includes overall game plans, in-game adjustments, and long-term coaching plans. Coaching matters just as much as player stats, so don’t ignore it!

Managing Your Bankroll

There’s an abundance of knowledge about how to bet on basketball online. However, alongside focusing on the game and the odds, you also need to ensure you’re managing your bankroll well. 

What is a Bankroll?

In sports betting, your bankroll is the budget you set aside to spend on gambling. It should be an amount of income that you can afford to lose, as there’s never a guarantee that your wagers will be successful. 

How to Manage Your Basketball Bankroll

Keeping your basketball bankroll well-managed will protect your finances and put you in a position to make better wagers. It also helps you minimise losses and can help refine your betting strategies. 

Some bettors use the unit system to manage their cash. This involves dividing your budget into units (1-3% of the overall sum) and using these to plan bets. For example, you might limit yourself to a few units per event or game. 

You should also consistently review and adjust your bankroll in response to wins or losses. Flexibility is needed if you want to fine-tune your betting strategy for success!

Other ways to manage your bankroll include:

  • Tracking your spending
  • Using a betting plan/strategy
  • Diversifying bets
  • Placing well-researched bets
  • Using betting limits 

Best Basketball Betting Sites

Will you be betting in person or via a sportsbook or non-GamStop betting site? The options are endless. But if you want to bet on basketball games online, we’re here to help you navigate the many choices.

Unfortunately, not all online sportsbooks with basketball are legitimate. You should take a quick look around your options before signing up. This extra bit of research will ensure you join a genuine site that has your needs in mind.

Here are some critical factors to consider:

  • Licences – Always look for a sportsbook with a genuine licence. From the UKGC to Curacao betting sites, plenty of regulatory bodies exist to choose from. You can usually find licence information on the website’s footer.
  • Availability of basketball – Next, make sure you look for basketball betting options. If there aren’t any, quickly move on!
  • Sports and markets – Alongside basketball, check for other popular sports and markets. A good sportsbook should offer a variety of in-demand sports and events. 
  • High-value bonuses and promotions – Sports betting bonuses can take your experience from good to great. Common promotions to look for are welcome bonuses and freebet promos. 
  • Variety of payment methods – It’s a good sign if a sportsbook has a wide variety of payment methods. Top options include debit cards, bank transfers, cryptocurrency, e-wallets, and credit card betting sites.
  • Deposit and withdrawal minimums – In addition to payment methods, you should also analyse the deposit and withdrawal minimums. Some websites have high minimums, meaning you must spend a lot to get started or wait until your funds build up to withdraw. Not ideal for all punters.
  • Reviews – Finally, looking at expert reviews and real players’ thoughts can give you a genuine insight into the sportsbook’s user experience.

These factors are always applicable when looking for a high-quality sportsbook. Bookmark this page so you don’t lose them!

Common Basketball Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Once you know how to bet on basketball, it’s time to look at what not to do. Learning common errors will help you make informed decisions and reduce your risk even further. 

1. Chasing Losses

After a string of losses, you might feel tempted to up your wager sizes or make more bets in a short amount of time to re-win your cash. This is almost always a bad idea, as it disregards your bankroll management, ignores your betting strategy, and leaves you much more likely for high-risk bets and more loss. 

Instead, stick to your betting strategy – even after losses. This might feel counterintuitive, but placing consistent and well-researched bets will always have a higher success rate than their counterparts.

2. Under-Researching

You should also avoid placing bets without thorough research. The more you know, the more accurate your wager will be. So, skipping the research will leave you vulnerable to more losses. 

Of course, if you’re betting without goals and don’t necessarily care if you win, betting for fun and without research is okay. But you can’t expect to win every wager if you don’t know the latest information. 

3. Following The Favourites

Favourite teams attract attention for a reason. But you shouldn’t blindly follow the buzz. Before you place any basketball wager, you should assess the odds and relevant factors. If they still favour the favourite – great! Go for it. However, your research might show that the underdog might be more likely to win than the odds expect. 

5 Tips For Maximising Your Profits

Alongside tips for avoiding common errors, our experts have also provided the top five tips for maximising your basketball profits. Note these down before you visit the bookies. 

1. Consistency & Discipline

Consistency and discipline are two key factors of sports betting. Placing consistently sized bets reduces the impact of variance and big losses, therefore protecting your bankroll and reducing the likelihood of big losses. Discipline helps you stay in control of wagers, as you set yourself betting limits and manage your bankroll in a non-emotional manner. 

Together, consistency and discipline help you build your confidence, minimise risk, and have an overall good time.

2. Shop Around For Odds 

Sportsbooks set their own odds, so it’s always a good idea to shop around and examine different options before diving in. This will allow you to see discrepancies and whether some websites are over (or under) estimating a team’s skills.

3. Specialise In A Market

Is there a market you find more exciting than others? Do some of your predictions come back better than others? You might have a knack for a specific market. Many bettors focus on a few individual markets and hone their skills in the area. 

Concentrating on a niche allows you to build up in-depth knowledge and leaves you in a better position for success. 

4. Diversifying Your Bets

It’s also a good idea to diversify your bets. Diversification allows you to reduce the risk by spreading your money over different bets, markets, and games. 

Though we explained it’s important to niche down on a market above, you should also include a few “safe” or low-risk bets into your wagers. These will balance out the risk and increase your opportunity for profit.

5. Use Bonuses & Promotions

If your chosen basketball sportsbook provides free bets, bonuses, or promotions, don’t ignore them. Use these juicy offers to your advantage! Bonuses can help you increase your bets and make your money go further. 

Sometimes, sportsbooks even release event-specific bonuses. So, even if you’ve used up your new player bonuses, you can charge your wagers with extra funds. 

Always read the terms and conditions of bonuses before you get started. Some may have high-wagering requirements, short time limits, or capped winnings.

Final Thoughts on Basketball Betting

Knowing how to bet on basketball is a skill that’ll set you aside from the hobby bettors. Plus, it helps you have more fun when the NBA or Euroleague rolls around. Remember to do your research before confirming your bet slip and keep your bankroll well-managed for success. If in doubt, just come back to this blog for more advice!
Learn more about sports betting from experts on the Non-GamStop Betting blog.

Meet Our Team Of Gambling Specialists

Hello! I’m David Goldblatt, the lead author at I’m an experienced sports journalist who transitioned into making online gambling content in the mid-2010s. It’s something that fascinates me and I’ve always loved the way sports betting can make any event more exciting!

When I’m not researching the latest non-GamStop bookies, I’ll be playing football in the park or watching the local cricket club with my mates. I’m a massive advocate for responsible gambling, so feel free to message me if you need help. Other than that, I hope you enjoy my stuff and can find some trustworthy betting sites to join!