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Playing basketball is equal to playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) – which has become one of the world’s best basketball leagues of both North America and Canada. You can check our specific page on NBA for a complete guide and if you want, there are other bets that you can place on basketball at our NBA picks section.

This overview will give you an insight into how this sport has continued to grow in popularity across Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the globe. Below we have also named the top bookmakers for betting on basketball.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Basketball Betting

Basketball fans are treated to a variety of bet types and markets, and most competitions worldwide adopt the two-way betting model employed in North American games. All bets include overtime (unless otherwise stated), with the dominant betting markets being spread, totals, and moneyline:

Spread Betting

The spread is the same like Asian Handicap because one of the teams will be given a points ‘headstart’ while the other team will begin with a points ‘deficit’. This allows bookmakers to make the odds even by leveling up the playing field between two teams.

This is an illustration from the EuroLeague, where Real Madrid is going to compete against CSKA Moscow. These are the spread and odds:

  • CSKA Moscow -3.5 110
  • Real Madrid +3.5 110

If CSKA Moscow win by four points or more, they will be able to beat the spread. On the other hand, Real Madrid has an additional 2.5 points added to their score at the end of a match in terms of betting market. So if Real Madrid only lose by 2 points, this bet will win.

Total Betting

In the totals market, you simply bet on the number of points that will be scored in the game by both teams combined. Your bookmaker sets a points line and you can decide whether the total will be over or under that line. European punters are familiar with this kind of over/under bet.

The expression for the combined line and odds of the same match is given below:

  • Over 168.5 -110
  • Under 168.5 110

Moneyline Betting

The moneyline is one other 2-way market designating you to forecast the victor of the game; this is simply either home or away.

The moneyline odds for CSKA Moscow against Real Madrid are:

  • CSKA Moscow -170
  • Real Madrid +150

The favorites to win this match are obviously CSKA while the odds of Real Madrid is higher than normal since its an underdog. In case you anticipate a surprise, then betting on the moneyline can pay well but if you believe in the favorite, it is usually preferable to bet on spread and pray that they win comfortably so as to increase the odds.

Basketball player taking a shot

Additional Basketball Betting Markets

In addition to the usual markets, many bookies have a range of other bets including three above markets for first half and second half as well as each quarter. Other exotic and prop bets are available too.

Alternative Game Totals

This bet is basically the same as the total bets discussed earlier, but only that bookmakers offer different lines meaning that you have more odds. On some occasions where you feel the game will be a high scoring one, there might be a very attractive price of over 200 points.

Double Result

It is a good way of improving the odds for selection, but it also comes with increased risks. For you to win the bet, you must correctly guess both halves’ outcome of the game.

Winning Margin

This bet is on the winning margin of your selected team, as clearly stated. You have to pick a team that you think would win for this bet to go through and normally, you can choose from 1-2 points, 3-6 points, 7-9 points etc up to 21+ points. This market has some very big odds but undoubtedly the chances of losing are much greater.

Exotics and Futures

Just after that, bookmakers also provide other more peculiar bets like spread points alternative, race to 20 points, highest scoring quarter team and odd or even point totals. Additionally, majority of the gambling platforms often offer futures in which you can bet on any team to win the whole league as well as championship.

Basketball falling through net

Major Basketball Leagues and Tournaments

Basketball betting is mostly done on the NBA. It is undeniably the most famous league in the world, with its stars being among the highest paid athletes anywhere. Nevertheless, there are also many fans of basketball worldwide and almost every country has its professional teams – of different levels and degrees.

However, the EuroLeague is considered to be Europe’s top club competition, while the Americas League is the most important championship in South America. Basketball has a long history in Asia, and after NBA, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is globally viewed as the second best league in the world.

Though there are still some other international basketball competitions, this is far from being a complete list of the best tourneys and contests one can bet on.


The NBA is undoubtedly the best basketball league across the world. The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed in New York during 1946 and after merging with its rival, the National Basketball League (NBL) adopted the name National Basketball Association (NBA). You can find lots of useful information in our NBA category.


After the NBA, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is the second longest standing basketball league on earth. Additionally, you can place bets on PBA which is an ordinary practice. The sport has had a history in Philippines that dates back to 1890s when it was introduced by American teachers through YMCA and school system among other bodies along baseball.


Dubbed the Turkish Airline EuroLeague due to sponsorship reasons, the tournament got underway in 2000. It is a professional basketball league for elite clubs in Europe and has teams from all over the continent. Real Madrid are the most successful club ever to play in this tournament with nine titles won.

Basketball Champions League

The BCL is an annual out of town basketball club contest which is organized by FIBA for top performing national league clubs. Nevertheless, the event has been a bone of contention between FIBA and EuroLeague basketball as they battle for supremacy in European premier competitions.

FIBA Basketball World Cup

Apart from Olympics, Basketball World Cup is the highest level of international basketball. It has been in existence in one form or another since 1950 and FIBA uses it as its flagship event. Recently, United States emerged as the best team in the world by winning the World Cup for a fifth time. This event occurs once every four years.


Held every two years for national European basketball teams, it is also called the European Basketball Championship. In 2017, Slovenia won its first title in history, though historically speaking, the competition had been dominated by the former Soviet Union who won the championship for 14 times.

Worm's-eye view of basketball falling through net

Basketball Betting Tips

Basketball’s popularity is so great that there are matches played every day all over the globe. Therefore, betting on basketball is a significant industry and this keeps us in good stead as bookmakers vie for our stakes.

When you register with most bookmakers, you can receive a sign-up bonus or welcome promo as an incentive for signing up. Always take this opportunity to make a free bet.

Also, there are other things to watch out for when gambling on basketball such as bookmakers with the greatest odds and widest range of markets. Have a browse through our strategy section to pick up some useful tips on how to maximize your gains and minimize your losses.

Undoubtedly, you must have started betting on basketball because you like its games. Use this to your own good and come off the better of bookmakers. If you are well informed about clubs, players who are in their best forms recently or any other factors that could affect a game, then you will likely outdo the bookie as there will be more generous odds for you if the layers miss such occurrences.

Finally, make sure you stick to your disciplined bankroll and have fun betting on basketball.

Join Our Top-Rated Basketball Betting Site

We offer competitive odds and a wide range of betting markets from the NBA and PBA to the EuroLeague and Basketball World Cup in our top-rated basketball betting site. Sign up for an account and place bets on current games.

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