Basketball Betting

Updated: 17.06.2024

Basketball has always been one of the top sports worldwide and also in Latvia. Basketball has become even more popular in Latvia since our famous Latvian players, such as Kristaps Porziņģis, Jānis Timma or Bertāni brothers, have been playing successfully in different clubs around the world. Consequently, basketball bets have become one of the top bookmaker bets. Read on to learn more about basketball bets and the best expert-assessed basketball bookmakers.

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  • Wide availability

  • Exclusive bonuses and promotions

  • Diversity of betting lines

  • There are slightly less basketball betting offers compared to football

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What Types of Bets Do Sportsbooks Offer for Basketball Matches?

Betting types

The higher the status of a basketball league, the more attention it gets from bookmakers and gamblers. The most popular championships include the NBA national tournaments, VTB United League and Euroleague, FIBA Champions League, ULEB EuroCup and FIBA EuroCup.

Basketball betting is extremely popular as it allows you to try many different sports bets. We have put together a guide on basketball betting.

Type of betDescription
📌 Moneyline betPrediction of the match winner
📌 HandicapAmount of points that can be added or subtracted from the final result.
📌 Over/UnderPrediction whether both teams will score the amount of points that will be over/under the line determined by the bookmakers.
📌 Outright betting or tournament winnerPredicting the winner of the championship, tournament, or league.
📌 Even/OddPrediction whether the end result will be even or odd.
📌 Live basketball betsType of betting that can be done during the match.

Moneyline Bet

Moneyline bet - example

Just like in other sports games, the simplest basketball bet predicts which team is going to win a game. Basketball is played in four quarters (4×10 min in Europe, 4×12 min in the NBA) and, unlike hockey and football, it is not possible to bet on a draw in basketball.

There are two potential outcomes – you either place a bet on the home to win (1) or the away team to win (2), with corresponding odds assigned. Generally, a basketball game cannot end in a tie, but when it does happen, which is extremely rare, the outcome is determined by means of overtime.


Handicap bet - example

Handicap is the second most popular basketball bet, essentially the number of points that can be added or subtracted from the final result, with the aim of adjusting the score of the selected team and bringing the bet closer to victory.

The proposed handicaps may be positive, negative or equal zero. These basketball bets are super simple – if a handicap is positive, extra points are added to the corresponding team, and if, by adding these points, your selected team wins – your bet wins. However, if the handicap is negative, points are removed.

For example, an NBA match between Denver’s “Nuggets” and Brooklyn’s “Nets” offers an 8.5 point handicap. The choice of -8.5 means that “Nuggets” must win by at least nine points, while +8.5 means that “Nets” cannot lose by more than nine points. “Nuggets” beat “Nets” 121:112 to win the match, with a difference of 9 points, which means that the -8.5 bet has won.


Over/Under bet - example

The last place in the TOP 3 basketball bets is an over/under or more/over bet. Bookmakers determine the total number of points for basketball teams, usually indicated with a half-point to avoid a “draw bet.” Your aim is to predict whether the total number of points will be over or under the bookmaker’s number.

Compared to football or hockey, basketball is heavier on points, since the total acquired score can range from 120 (in Europe) up to 220 (NBA and several Asian leagues). For example, a bookmaker’s total score for the “Knicks” vs “Lakers” game equals 218.5. To win the “Under” bet, the teams cannot go over 218 points, but to win the “Over” bet, the teams must get at least 219 points.

Outright Betting or Tournament Winner

Outright betting in basketball

In basketball, just like in other types of team sports, you can also place a long-term bet on a championship, tournament or league winner. The most popular basketball club tournaments are the NBA and EuroLeague, cross-national – Olympics, the World Cup, and European championships.

Prior to the commencement of, let’s say, an NBA season, bookmakers offer to place various bets – on the winner, the best player of the season, team’s entry into the finals. During the interseason, you can also place bets on whether player A will join Team B or will transfer to another team during the season. Long-term bets can be placed in any season/tournament period, but remember that odds may vary at different stages.

These bets allow players to remain active throughout the season. The risk is pretty high, and you have to wait a while for the results to be announced, but it will keep your adrenaline levels high throughout the season.


Even/Odd bet - example

During a basketball game, each team accumulates a certain number of points. You can win this bet if you predict correctly whether the overall result will be an odd or even number.

For instance, 102:85 (in total 187) or 95:84 (in total 179), both results represent odd numbers. Such results as 60: 80 (in total 140) or 78:70 (in total 148), on the other hand, – are even numbers.

Live Basketball Bets

Live betting in basketball - example

This is a very popular but also risky basketball bet because the game is so fast-paced and dynamic that sometimes it is challenging to keep track of the changes that occur on the playground, not to mention the moment when it is time to place a bet.

The player places bets during the match based on events on the playground. For example, if the first quarter ends with a low overall number of points, you can take a risk by betting that in the next quarter there will be more points than what has been predicted by bookmakers.

How to Bet on Basketball?

Basketball betting is an enticing activity for aficionados of sports forecasting. Betting enthusiasts can find plenty of options, including sophisticated data analysis or instinctive speculation, to advance their gambling hobby. Accumulating expertise in basketball - keeping abreast of players’ development, current trends and other pertinent facts - will considerably increase the chances of making advantageous betting decisions. As with any form of gambling, however, it is necessary to play responsibly and be aware of the risks before placing a bet on basketball.

Step 1
Bet types in basketball

Understand betting lines in basketball.

When it comes to betting on basketball games, understanding the various types of rates is essential. There are several different kinds of bets that you can place- from Game Winner, which involves predicting the winning team, to Point Spreads, which is when one team is expected to win by a certain number of points. Additionally, you can also wager on individual players’ performance such as how many points or rebounds they will score.

Step 2
Licensed bookmaker

Find the right sportsbook.

To place your bets, you need to find a licensed sports betting site and take the time to do your research in order to find the best betting offers and odds available. Doing this takes a bit of effort but will ensure that you are getting the most value for your money.

Step 3
Make your bet

Make your bet.

When you are ready to make your bets, sportsbooks can provide the best odds. However, it is wise to always be aware of any losses you may incur, and to never bet more than you can afford.

Step 4
Claim your win

Claim your winnings.

If your predictions turned out to be successful, you will be able to receive your winnings from the sportsbook. It is important to note that some sportsbooks may charge a withdrawal fee, so be sure to check this before registering and placing your bets.

What Are the Adantages and Disadvantages of Betting on Basketball Online?

Online basketball betting has become a popular choice for sports fans. In general, the advantages of online betting can be divided into two main categories: convenience and accessibility. With online betting platforms, bets can be placed remotely, often by depositing funds directly from a bank account or personal credit card. In addition, online bookmakers usually offer modern and handy tools that allow you to better understand the value of odds and make informed decisions when placing bets. Of course, there are some potential downsides to online basketball betting. For example, it's all too easy to spend more than you can afford. Additionally, unethical practices are known to sometimes occur among unlicensed operators. It is the duty of sports bettors to remain vigilant and choose only reliable sites.

✅ Pros
Bets can be placed on games from anywhere in the worldOne of the great advantages of online basketball betting is that it can be done from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device.
There are many bonuses and promotions availableThere are often many bonuses and promotions available when betting online. These can include sign up bonuses, recurring deposit bonuses and more. This means that when you bet online, you can get an additional value that can be useful for making a profit.
You can find all kinds of betting linesIf you want to bet on basketball, you will be able to find different betting lines online. This includes moneyline bets, point spread bets and more. This means that you can adjust your bets to your preferences and strategy.
You can live stream the games while you bet on themAnother great feature of online basketball betting is that you can often live stream the games you are betting on right from your computer or mobile device. This means you can watch the game unfold while also placing your bets.
SafetyWhen betting online, there is no need to worry about unfair dealings when betting at licensed bookmakers.
✅ Cons
Time commitmentTo be successful in betting on basketball, you need to devote a lot of time to research and analysis. This can be difficult for people who already have a full-time job or other commitments.
The betting offer is smaller than in footballBasketball continues to grow in popularity as a sport, so bookmakers must also evolve to keep up with the demand. However, most of the current bookmakers do not offer a proper offer when it comes to betting on basketball games. Most bookmakers not only limit bets to handicap, total and outcome (winner or loser), but also offer a minimum selection. This lack of options can be especially frustrating for those who are used to betting on football and expect more from the bookmaker. Professionals may have no problem finding what they need when it comes to basketball betting, but this service isn't for other bettors who want a more diverse offering.
Advantages Availability Special bonuses and promotions Variety of bet types Live game broadcasts Safety
Disadvantages Time commitment The betting offer is smaller than in football


Basketball attracts millions of viewers worldwide, which is why so many betting options are available. The NBA League games are the most popular to bet on, but Euroleague, National Championships, and basketball tournament games are also in demand.

Basketball betting is nothing short of thrilling. In the NBA games, even a 20-point lead can be overturned within a few minutes, while in EuroLeague and LBL games 60 points can suffice for a win. It is not uncommon for the outcome of a basketball game to be determined by the final throw.

The most common are bets on the winner of a game. Gamblers also place handicaps and over/under bets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to win at basketball betting?

It would be impossible to identify the safest strategy to always win sports betting. But here are a few expert tips:

  • Teams are more effective mid-season;
  • Consider home games (Latvian Basketball League LBL), as statistics show that the teams playing at home are more likely to win;
  • Take note of basketball game statistics, choose the best odds, and do not take unnecessary risks;
  • You can win by placing bets on teams that are not favourites (underdogs). It is riskier, but the odds are higher.
What are the most popular basketball bets?

The most popular types of basketball bets are predicting the winner, handicaps, and over/under. Given the lively pace of the game and a large number of points, the outcome is variable and relatively unpredictable, so there is never a dull moment.

What are the most popular basketball teams to place bets on?

Among the NBA teams worth mentioning are the Boston “Celtics”, the New York “Knicks”, Washington “Wizards”, Dallas “Mavericks,” and Miami “Heats.” Among European teams- Madrid “Real,” Moscow “CSKA,” and Athens “Panathinaikos.” And not to forget the Latvian basketball teams (VEF, or Women’s Basketball League teams), as well as our neighbor – Kaunas “Žalgiris”.

Where can I place bets on basketball?

Pretty much every bookmaker offers basketball bets. The proposed odds, bonuses, and registration rules (including minimum/maximum deposits) will vary. You will have to find the right betting site, register, and place your own bet.

Tomass Liepa
Tomass Liepa
🏫 Professional writer 🃏 Likes to play poker 🏆 Always looking to improve skills
85 articles

Tomass Liepa is a professional writer who has been working in the field for several years. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and tips with readers, helping them to make informed decisions. In his spare time, Tomass likes to read books about business and play poker with friends. He is a keen observer and learner, always looking to improve his skills.

About Tomass Liepa

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