Beginners Guide to Basketball Betting

In the following review, we comprehensively elucidate the fundamental aspects crucial for successful basketball betting. By adhering to our expert guidance, you’ll master the art of wagering on basketball games and secure those winning bets with confidence.

Understanding the Rules

Before diving into the world of betting, it’s vital to grasp the basic rules of basketball. Fortunately, basketball rules are relatively simple.

Basketball is a team sport played by two teams, each consisting of five players. The objective is to score by shooting a ball through a hoop positioned 10 feet above the ground. Each team has its own hoop at opposite ends of the court.

The basketball court is divided by a mid-court line into two sections. Players must advance the ball past this line within ten seconds of it being put into play, or else possession is given to the opposing team.

Once the attacking team crosses the mid-court line, they cannot retreat behind it; doing so results in a turnover.

Progression of the ball up the court is achieved through passing or dribbling. The defense aims to regain possession by stealing the ball, contesting shots, deflecting passes, and securing rebounds. Understanding these basic rules is essential before venturing into basketball betting.

Point Scoring

Scoring in basketball comes with its own set of values: a standard basket nets your team two points and hands possession to the opposition. However, if you manage to sink a shot from beyond the three-point arc, that’s worth three points, adding a higher reward for your team’s accuracy. Additionally, a free throw, often a result of fouls, contributes one point to your team’s tally.

Free throws are granted based on the nature and frequency of fouls committed. When a shooter is fouled during a shot, the number of free throws awarded depends on the shot’s location. Fouls beyond the three-point line result in three free throws.

Furthermore, ‘team fouls’ only lead to free throws once a specified total has accumulated in a half. Upon reaching this limit, the fouled player receives a ‘1-and-1’ opportunity. Succeeding in the first free throw earns them a second attempt, but if they miss the initial shot, the ball is live, and the game continues in play. Understanding these scoring dynamics is essential for a comprehensive grasp of basketball.


The game is typically divided into four 12-minute quarters, with a short break between the second and third quarter. If the score is tied at the end of the regular game time, overtime is played until a winner is determined. However, in certain leagues, each quarter may be shortened to 10 minutes.

Basic Terms

In comparison to some other popular sports, basketball boasts a relatively straightforward understanding. While you can grasp the game’s fundamental concepts quickly, delving into the finer details and mastering the unique terminology may require a bit more time. Here, we elucidate some of the most commonly used basketball terms:

  • Back Court: This term can refer to the team’s guards, responsible for preventing opponents from scoring. It may also denote the area of the court on your side of the half-court line.
  • Backboard/Glass: The backboard is the rectangular board positioned behind the hoop, where both teams strive to score. Since most backboards are constructed from materials like plexiglass or tempered glass, they are sometimes simply referred to as “glass.” It can also allude to the region near the end of the court. For instance, a coach might instruct a player to position themselves near the backboard to attempt a rebound.
  • Assist: An assist signifies a successful pass to a teammate that leads to a score. While in the past, assists encompassed any pass preceding a score, today’s definition is more stringent and hinges on how little action the scorer takes after receiving the ball.
  • Force: “Force” comes into play when a player takes a shot prematurely in the shot clock, often referred to as “forcing” a shot. It can also describe a scenario where a defender compels an opposing player to move in a specific direction, like steering them away from the basket.
  • Walking: This term refers to a player taking too many steps without dribbling the ball. It can also quite literally mean a player walking while the ball is in play, either up or down the court. Understanding these basketball terms enriches your appreciation of the game’s nuances.

Where to Find Basketball Betting Websites?

Numerous best sportsbook websites provide an array of basketball betting options, including NBA games. Discovering the cream of the crop among bookmakers for basketball betting is a straightforward task, thanks to abundant resources that meticulously compare every aspect of these platforms. Prioritize your security by selecting a sportsbook that is both reliable and trustworthy before divulging any personal information or initiating a deposit.

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What Are the Most Popular Basketball Competitions?

Basketball boasts a rich tapestry of global competitions that captivate millions of fans and bettors alike. Let’s delve into some of the most revered and highly-watched tournaments in this exhilarating sport:

National Basketball Association (NBA)

  • The NBA reigns supreme as the most iconic basketball league worldwide. Comprising 30 teams, with 29 based in the United States and one in Canada, the NBA has graced the courts for over seven decades. Legendary franchises like the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers add unparalleled prestige to the league.

National Collegiate Athletic Association March Madness

  • March Madness is an annual single-elimination extravaganza that unfolds in the United States each March. Featuring 68 college basketball teams, it stands as one of the most widely-watched basketball events in North America and enjoys immense popularity among bettors. Esteemed college powerhouses include UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, and Indiana.


  • The EuroLeague stands as the pinnacle of European basketball, gathering the continent’s elite clubs for an annual showcase. These premier teams engage in fierce competition during the week, leading to a riveting knockout stage. Notable EuroLeague dynasties include Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos, and Varese.


  • As the second-tier competition in European basketball, the EuroCup operates under the EuroLeague umbrella. Teams earn qualification based on domestic league success or potential invitations from the EuroLeague. Triumph in the EuroCup secures a ticket to the EuroLeague for the following season. Leading the way in EuroCup history are teams such as Valencia Basket, Rytas, Khimki, Real Madrid, UNICS, and Lokomotiv Kuban.

Liga ACB

  • Spain’s premier basketball league, Liga ACB, was established in the late 1950s. The season, spanning from October to May, involves 17 teams, with the two lowest-ranked teams facing relegation. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have historically dominated the league, amassing the majority of league titles.

Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL)

  • The Turkish Basketball Super League, also known as BSL, was founded in 1966. This league, running from October to April, boasts 16 competing teams and is recognized as one of the world’s rapidly growing basketball leagues. Among the league’s successful Turkish teams are Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe, Eczacıbaşı, Galatasaray, and İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi.

VTB United League

  • The VTB United League is Russia’s premier basketball competition, featuring teams from neighboring countries like Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The league comprises 13 teams and operates from October to April each season. Since its establishment in 2008, CSKA Moscow has been the most successful team, with Khimki as the only other side to claim the title. UNICS and Lokomotiv Kuban have also demonstrated strong performances.

Basketball Bundesliga (BBL)

  • Germany’s top-tier basketball league, the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), aspires to become one of Europe’s premier leagues. With robust league support, extensive marketing efforts, and a pool of talented young players, the regular season spans from September to May, featuring 18 teams. Bayer 04 Leverkusen holds the title of the most successful team in the league’s history, with USC Heidelberg, Brose Bamberg, Alba Berlin, and Bayern Munich as notable contenders.

NBA Betting – What Should You Know?

Before delving into basketball betting, it’s crucial to grasp some fundamental aspects of the game:

Understanding Divisions and Conferences

  • In the NBA, the league is organized into Eastern and Western conferences. Each conference comprises 15 teams, further divided into three divisions of five each. The Eastern Conference has the Pacific, Northwest, and Southwest divisions, while the Western Conference encompasses the Central, Atlantic, and Southeast divisions.

NBA Games Schedule

  • The NBA season kicks off with each team facing off against all others in their division four times, totaling 16 fixtures. Following this, teams go head-to-head with clubs from different divisions within the same conference, playing four games against each of them for a total of 24 matches. Lastly, each team meets the last four teams in the conference three times each, summing up to 52 conference games. To round out the regular season, teams engage in home and away games against all the sides from the opposite conference, culminating in an 82-game season that runs from October to April the following year.

NBA Playoff Games

  • Post-regular season, the NBA playoffs commence and extend until June. The top eight teams from each division after the 82-game season secure a spot in the playoffs. The playoffs adopt a ‘best of seven’ format, with the first team to secure four victories advancing to the semi-finals. This structure persists until there’s a conference champion. The NBA finals then feature the champions from each conference in a ‘best of seven’ face-off, where the first team to clinch four wins earns the title of NBA Champion.

Short History and Facts

In 1891, a Canadian teacher at the YMCA Training School embarked on a mission to devise a game that would help students stay active during the winter months. Dr. James Naismith’s experimentation led to the creation of an early version of modern basketball. Initially, players aimed to score by tossing the ball into peach baskets mounted high on a wall. Retrieving the ball was quite the task for referees after each score. Eventually, the peach baskets gave way to metal hoops and wooden backboards.

The popularity of the game quickly spread to other American schools and universities. Today, the March Madness College Basketball tournament draws an astonishing estimated 47 million Americans who engage in betting, wagering over 8.5 billion dollars collectively. These numbers surpass even those generated by the Super Bowl.

With such remarkable statistics in college basketball, it’s hardly a surprise that the NBA Finals rank among the world’s most heavily bet-on events. In the state of Nevada alone, approximately 10 million dollars are wagered per game, while a global audience of 20 million viewers tunes in to watch the NBA Finals. Here are some intriguing basketball facts that might surprise you:

  • Initially, basketball was played with a soccer ball, a far cry from the sleek, orange sphere we know today.
  • Games were much shorter, consisting of two 15-minute halves, with a mere 5-minute halftime break.
  • In those early days, inclusivity was key, with each team fielding a default lineup of 9 players.
  • Surprisingly, dribbling wasn’t part of the game; instead, players were required to pass or throw the ball from wherever they caught it.


When it comes to betting on basketball, the principles are akin to wagering on any other sport – knowledge and expertise are your allies. Your level of familiarity with the competition, betting markets, and selections significantly influences the quality of your bets and the potential for profit. To excel in basketball betting, take the time to acquaint yourself with the sport’s terminology and the intricacies of the betting landscape.

Fortunately, a wealth of online resources and guides is at your disposal to sharpen your skills in selecting winning bets. While learning from hands-on experience is invaluable, staying vigilant for trends and meticulously evaluating each decision you make will undoubtedly hone your basketball betting prowess.


  • What does 2.5 mean in basketball betting?
    • In basketball betting, 2.5 typically refers to the point spread market. If you wager on a team with a 2.5-point spread, you’re betting that they will win the game by three points or more. This .5-point increment helps avoid ties or void selections. If a spread market uses a whole number and the team wins by that exact margin, your bet neither wins nor loses.
  • Which are the most popular bets in basketball betting?
    • Point spreads and totals are the top choices for basketball betting enthusiasts. Money line wagers, parlays, and teasers also have their following among certain bettors.
  • How do I bet on basketball?
    • Betting on basketball is straightforward, especially if you have a good understanding of the game and the betting market you’re interested in. Many helpful guides are available to explain basketball betting for beginners, making it accessible to new bettors.
  • What is NCAA basketball betting?
    • NCAA basketball betting revolves around college basketball, particularly the highly anticipated March Madness tournament. With 68 college teams participating each year, this event garners significant attention from bettors worldwide.
  • Why should I bet on basketball?
    • Betting on basketball offers simplicity and potential profitability, especially if you’re knowledgeable about the sport. Basketball features easy-to-track betting markets and selections, making it beginner-friendly. Additionally, basketball is a rapidly growing sport worldwide, providing ample betting opportunities.
  • What is money line wagering in basketball?
    • Money line wagering is a popular betting market in basketball. It involves selecting a team to win the game, with odds adjusting based on the team’s perceived chances of victory.
  • Should I bet on NBA games?
    • Absolutely! The NBA is the premier basketball league globally, attracting a vast international audience. With the best players and teams competing, NBA betting is incredibly popular. Most reputable sportsbooks offer NBA betting markets, making it an excellent choice if you want to combine your love for basketball with the chance to win some money.
  • What is the best competition for basketball betting?
    • The best basketball competition to bet on depends on your preferences. The NBA is a top choice due to its widespread appeal and high-quality play. You’ll find numerous sportsbooks offering NBA betting markets and in-depth selections explained on various online basketball betting tips sites.

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