When most of us think of betting on basketball games, we think about filling out a bracket for March Madness. However, basketball betting goes way beyond March Madness.
There are all kinds of different basketball bets that you can participate in throughout the year. In fact, some people make their entire living from betting on basketball games.
But before you dive headfirst into basketball betting, there are some things you need to know. Check out this guide to discover what you need to know to get started with basketball betting.
Understand the Different Types of Basketball Bets
First, you need to understand the different kinds of basketball bets. Here are some of the most common types of bets you can place:
Money Line Bet
A money line bet is the most popular and straightforward betting system to understand. With this type of bet, all you need to do is pick the winning team. Because only two teams play, you always have a 50/50 chance of winning a money line bet.
However, money line bets can get a bit confusing when it comes to payouts. You’re not going to get the same amount of money if you win by picking a massive favorite that you would if you picked an underdog that ended up winning.
This is because everyone bets favorites, and if they offered large payouts every time, the sportsbooks would end up losing a ton of money. To prevent this from happening, online sportsbooks aim to balance their actions on both sides of the game.
To accomplish this, the sportsbooks encourage gamblers to bet on the underdogs by offering bigger payouts should they win. To deter everyone from betting on the favorite team, they offer lower payouts should the favorite win.
So if you decide to make money line bets, you need to pay attention to how much you stand to win should you always pick the favorite. While betting for the underdog is always riskier, it comes with a higher reward.
After money line bets, spread bets are the second-most popular type of basketball bet. A spread bet begins with the sportsbook deciding how many points they think a basketball team will win or lose by.
You can then place a bet based on which team you think will outperform their prediction. For example, let’s say the sportsbook predicts that the Lakers will beat the Celtics by 10 points.
Now, let’s say you think the Lakers are going to win by 15 points. If the Lakers go on to win by more than 10 points, then you’ll win your spread bet, as the Lakers are outperforming their expectations.
If, however, you think the Lakers are only going to win by 6 points, then you shouldn’t place your spread bet on them. Instead, you should place your spread bet on the Celtics. The Celtics are expected to lose the game by 10 points. As long as they lose the game by less than 10 points (in your estimation, they’ll lose by 6 points), then you win the bet.
This is the general concept behind spread bets. Most of the time, they pay out the same on both sides of the bet (i.e., whether you bet on the winning or losing team).
A future basketball bet refers to any bet that will be decided in the future over the course of multiple basketball games. For example, if you’re going to bet on the winner of the NCAA tournament, you’d be making a future bet. The same goes for if you were to make NBA picks.
Future bets can take point at any time during the season. The earlier you bet and the worse team you bet on, the higher your payout could be. If you bet on a favored team later on in the season, you’re going to have a lower payout, as a lot of other people will also likely bet on this team.
Parlay bets can seem really complicated at first glance, but these are nothing more than two or more bets strung together. Parlay bets come with higher payouts, as it’s much harder to win more than one bet at a time.
To win the parlay, you need to win every single individual bet. For example, if there are two NBA games occurring on the same night, you can make two money line bets on the winners of both of these games. If you win both of the bets, then you win the parlay.
Choose the Right Betting Site
While you can formulate a betting pool with people you know, if you’re serious about basketball betting, you should place your bets through an approved gambling site.
There are many different sites to choose from, but some of the top options include:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
Most of these sites allow you to bet on both NBA games and NCAA games. Some even offer betting for other sports leagues, such as the NFL and the NHL. Before choosing a site, make sure you understand what payment options they accept.
While some sites only allow debit and credit cards, others allow you to bet with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You also need to make sure you understand the payout rules, as in some cases, you may need to wait a few days or more to get your money.
Are You Ready to Try Basketball Betting?
Now that you understand the basics of basketball betting, it’s time to get started. Before you know it, you’ll be a basketball betting pro.
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