Best Basketball Betting Sites
Basketball, like most other popular sports, was invented in the 19th century. It is played by teams consisted of five players and it is always played indoors, at least when it comes to official matches. It attracts a lot of fans and viewers. The popularity of the NBA is growing and the national leagues in many European countries also attract large followings, not to mention the Euro League in basketball.
History of Basketball
Canadian James Naismith invented basketball almost by accident. Namely, Naismith was a PE teacher and he was trying to keep his students active on a rainy day. One day he placed a wooden basket onto a track that was lifted about 3m. Initially the ball was moved by passing and dribbling was not part of the game. The name basketball was suggested by one of the original players.
Even though the game was initially conceived as a training practice for American football players, it soon got a life of its own and by the beginning of the 20th century it was played at colleges throughout the US and in the first decade of the 20th century it was accepted at many high schools. By the 1920s the first professional teams were formed and in 1932 the international basketball federation (FIBA) was founded.
The NBA was established in 1949, as a result of a merger between BAA and NBL. The NBA has been the most popular professional basketball league ever since the first season. American and Canadian teams compete in the NBA and from the early 1990s onwards the world’s top basketball players have been signed by NBA teams. Top European players like Toni Kukoč, Dražen Petrović, Vlade Divac, Arvydas Sabonis and many more only improved the quality of the league.
Multiple women’s leagues have been established over the year, and more or less, every country where basketball is played at all has its own national women’s league. The top women’s basketball league, the WNBA was founded in 1997. The rules of the game have been updated or altered on several occasions throughout history. The introduction of the 3-point and the time limit within which a team has to shoot (24 seconds) are two of the most notable rule changes that dramatically improved the game’s quality, but the basket interference and the travelling are also important.
Basketball Betting Markets
Betting on basketball is quite simple. Like with other sports, most punters like to place a bet on the team that they think is going to win, also known as match betting. One team is usually a favourite to win and the odds for the favourite can often be very low, which is why handicap betting (point spread betting in America) is very popular.
With handicap betting one of the teams is given an advantage of a certain number of points. The advantage is given as ‘number and a half’, like 5.5, 7.5 or 12.5 in order to eliminate the possibility of a draw. So, if the underdogs are given an advantage of 7.5, equal to or lower than 7 points is considered a win. The favourite would have to win by a margin larger than the handicap in order for a handicap bet to win.
Over/under betting is also very popular. This is a bet on the total number of points and it is usually also expressed as .5 number, in order to give punters to equal options. In addition to over/under betting on the number of points in the match as a whole, you can also bet on the number of points scored in a quarter, in a half, or the number of points scored by just one of the teams.
Some bookies offer a wider range of markets for basketball betting. You may be able to bet on the number of rebounds, both the total number of rebounds in a match and the number of rebounds recorded by just one of the teams. Betting on other statistical categories like blocks or steals is also possible. Moreover, you don’t have to bet on the match as a whole, or either team, you can also bet on the points, rebounds, blocks, steals or assists that will be scored by an individual player. You can also bet whether a player will record a triple-double, double-double, or even whether a player will be sent after committing 6 or 5 personal fouls.
Outright betting, i.e. betting on whether a team will win the NBA, its respective conference or division, as well as betting on the winner on some other leagues or tournaments is also an option.
Most Popular Leagues and Competitions
The NBA is undoubtedly the most popular league for basketball punters, but many bet on their national leagues, the Euro League, the Euro Cup, and other basketball competitions. Furthermore, betting on the World and European championships as well as on the Olympic Games is also very popular.
The matches of the NBA playoffs always attract most attention, especially the final series. In addition to NBA betting, punters usually bet on their national league, for example, Italians bet more on Italian basketball league matches, whereas Germans wager on German matches. The Euro League Final Four is also a popular betting event.
The most commonly asked question by basketball punters is whether the overtime is considered or not, when it comes to match betting. Different bookies may have different standards regarding this issue. Generally, if a draw is offered as an option for betting, then the overtime isn’t considered and if the result is a draw at the end of the regular time and you’ve placed a bet on one of the teams, then your bet will lose. Similarly, if there’s no draw betting option, then the overtime counts. Some bookmakers may offer both a market where the overtime doesn’t count and a one where it does.
When it comes to abandoned matches, if most of the match has been played, then the result at the moment of abandonment is taken as final, otherwise all bets are void.