Everything There Is to Know When Betting on Basketball
It doesn’t matter if you prefer college or professional basketball, NBA hoops in the U.S. or EuroLeague hoops, betting on your favorite team is a global pastime. When it comes to betting on the universally-beloved sport of basketball, there are some key things that roundball bettors need to know no matter which league they’re betting on.
In basketball, you can make a simple straight-up (SU) moneyline wager on the team you like to win outright. For example, you might see a line that looks like this.
San Antonio -220
In this scenario, if you like the perennially-powerful Spurs to win outright at home, it’s going to cost you $220 to win $100. If you like the underdog Grizzlies, a $100 wager will net you a nice $180 return if the Grizz can pull off the outright upset.
Home And Away
Of course, there are several factors you need to take into account when betting on basketball. There’s the home and away factor. Which team is playing at home and which one is on the road? How do both teams perform at the respective location they’re playing in? In the above scenario, I have the Spurs playing at home. What are Memphis’ chances of upsetting a San Antonio team that is generally rock-solid when they play in the Alamo City? Have the Spurs maybe won a dozen straight at home and are due for a loss? Make sure you consider factors like these whenever you’re making a SU wager.
Streaking or Struggling
Then there’s the ‘streaking vs. struggling’ factor you need to consider. Are the Spurs on fire or struggling mightily heading into this contest? Has Memphis performed horrifically on the road or have the Grizz won three or four straight road dates? Make sure you know how each team has performed in its most recent contests before you place a wager on any basketball game.
Point Spread Betting Odds
With point spread betting, one team is favored and giving up points while the underdog gets that same amount of points. For example, you might see a line like this one.
In this scenario, the powerful Villanova Wildcats are giving up six points to the Big East rival Butler Bulldogs – Villanova is a six-point favorite. If you like Villanova, you’re giving up six points and the Wildcats need to win by seven in order for you to cash in on your wager. Conversely, if you like Butler, then you’re banking on the Bulldogs to either lose by less than six points – or pull off the outright upset.
Another betting factor you need to keep in mind is the head-to-head factor. Does one team struggle against a specific opponent or do they generally own their division or conference rival? In the above scenario, you probably need to know that, while Villanova is perennially-powerful and has won two of the last three national championships, there is something about the Butler that often makes Villanova struggle like crazy against the Bulldogs.
Over/Under Total Betting
With Over/Under betting, you’re simply betting on the final combined score between the two teams, whether the teams will score more or less than the Total set out by oddsmakers. For instance, let’s say you’re betting on a EuroLeague matchup between CSKA Moscow versus Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. You might see an Over/Under total that looks like this.
CSKA Moscow vs. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Over 220 +125
Under 220 -130
If you like the Over in this contest, a $100 wager will net you $125 if your pick comes out right. Conversely, if you like the Under, you need to wager $130 to win $100. Oddsmakers have set the Under as the favored outcome which is why it will cost you more in this scenario.
Offensive or Defensive-Minded
When betting on the total, you need to keep in mind whether the teams involved are offensive-minded ballclubs or defense-first kind of teams or a combination of the two. Combine that with the home and away factor and streaking vs. struggling factors and some O/U trends to maximize your chances of cashing in!