BettingA Basketball Betting Guide for Newcomers

A Basketball Betting Guide for Newcomers

The NBA is one of the most popular and successful sports leagues in the world. It has a global fan base, lucrative media and sponsorship deals, and superstar athletes. The games global appeal is highlighted by its huge following on social media, with the NBA twitter feed attracting 43 million followers, while Instagram has over 80 million.

The game appeals to fans thanks to its high-octane on-court action, buzzer-beating results and the ability to place a multitude of bets on the sporting action through online sportsbooks, meaning every fan can add to the excitement by having some skin in the game

If you’re new to basketball betting, you might feel overwhelmed by the variety of options and markets available. Which is why we’ve rounded up the most common basketball bets around and provided a few tips and tricks to help you on your way.

The most common types of bets in basketball:


This is the simplest and most straightforward type of bet, where you simply pick the winner of a game. For example, if you think that the Los Angeles Lakers will beat the Boston Celtics, you bet on the Lakers to win. The odds for moneyline bets are based on the probability of each team winning, and they can vary depending on the strength and form of each team. It’s easy to check out the very latest 2023 NBA Championship odds at online sportsbooks.


The advantage of moneyline bets is that they are easy to understand and place, and they can offer good value if you find an underdog that has a chance to upset a favourite. 


The disadvantage is that they can be risky if you bet on a team that is heavily favoured, as you might not get a good return on your stake.

Point spread: 

This is a more popular and common type of bet in basketball, where you bet on how much a team will win or lose by. 

For example, if the point spread for a game between the Lakers and the Celtics is -5.5 for the Lakers, it means that the Lakers are favoured to win by 5.5 points. If you bet on the Lakers to cover the spread, they have to win by more than 5.5 points for you to win your bet. If you bet on the Celtics to cover the spread, they have to either win the game or lose by less than 5.5 points for you to win your bet. 


The advantage of point spread bets is that they can offer more balanced odds and payouts than moneyline bets, as they take into account the difference in quality and performance between the teams. 

Betting against the spread is a great way to make every game interesting, even while the game is live.


The disadvantage is that they can be harder to predict and more influenced by factors such as injuries, fatigue, motivation and momentum.

Point Totals: 

Sometimes called Over/Under, this is another popular type of bet in basketball, where you bet on the total number of points scored by both teams in a game. For example, if the total for a game between the Lakers and the Celtics is 220.5, you can bet on whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under that number. 


The advantage of totals bets is that they can be fun and exciting to watch, as you root for or against points being scored. 


The disadvantage is that they can be unpredictable and affected by factors such as pace, defence, shooting accuracy and fouls.


Parlays involve stringing together a series of bets to increase your odds and therefore your winnings. By combining several bets into a parlay, the chances of winning are less, but the rewards are much higher if all your predictions come true.


A great way to mix up a bet and make a game or season more exciting. The more ‘legs’ you have in your parlay the higher your potential returns.


Higher risk bet that is more suited to bettors with a bit more experience or those that are happy to do their research. But remember, if just one leg of your parlay fails, the whole bet fails.

Tips for Beginners

Before you place your bets on basketball, check out our tips below to maximise your chances of winning and keep your betting fun.


Basketball is a complex and dynamic sport that involves many factors and variables that can affect the outcome of a game. Therefore, it is important to do your research before betting on any game or market. Check out the latest NBA news to discover team records, head-to-head results, home-court advantage, scoring averages, defensive ratings, injury reports, suspensions and more. 

Set a budget:

In order to ensure that your betting remains fun, it’s important to set aside a bankroll that you can afford to lose.

Once you’re feeling more confident you’ll soon discover that there are many more exciting bets available, such as points, rebounds, assists, quarters or halves results, first team to score, last team to score, who will win the championship or MVP award, and many more. Which means there’s sure to be a bet out there for everyone to enjoy.

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