When it comes to betting on basketball, there's no better market than the NBA. With 30 clubs competing every year, and teams comprised of some of the most well-paid and tallest athletes from all corners of the globe, it attracts a large number of gamblers with ease of understanding and multiple betting points.
NBA stands for the National Basketball Association, although the "national" part only applies if you're American. It's generally considered to be the biggest, and possibly the best, basketball league in the world. In recent times, the NBA has sought to expand its market by staging official league games outside of North America, with the first of these games played at London’s O2 Arena in 2011.
The basketball league can be very profitable for punters who know the sport, but it's also simple enough for newcomers to grasp and have a gamble on.
For one league, the NBA provides a lot of action on which to bet. With the season beginning in late October, each of the 30 teams play a total of 82 games in a season, split between home and away legs. This is divided between teams in the same division and other teams in the same conference, as well as playing all the teams in the other conference twice over the season.
The season splits in February for the All-Star Game, which sees players voted into two "best of" teams who then compete for the All-Star Title. While a one-off, this game offers many exciting gambling opportunities, like who will win the coveted title of Most Valued Player.
The easiest bet to grasp is termed a moneyline bet, where gamblers simply choose who is going to win. One of the other most common bets is known as a point spread. Looking at basketball points markets, gamblers do not necessarily have to choose which team will win, but rather how many points a specific team will either win or lose by. This requires a much narrower field of precision than a moneyline bet.
An over or under bet sees the bookmaker offer an estimate for what the score will be between the two teams. Gamblers then decide whether the teams they are betting on will score more points (over) or less points (under).
Lastly, there is proposition betting, or prop betting for short. This type of bet is a side bet to the final outcome of the game. For example, a gambler might bet which player will score first, or who will commit the most fouls. There are many varieties of prop bets, and some bookmakers will offer a more extensive list than others.
Different punters will seek out distinctive types of bets, so the first thing to do is find a site tailored to your needs, offering a wide and varied selection of bets under the style you want to make.
Once you have a small group of bookmakers to choose from, compare the market and see what odds they are offering on different types of bets. These are businesses competing for your custom, and will try to out-do one another by providing the best returns.
Another aspect to weigh up against the various bookmakers is the bonuses that they're offering. While one site may not offer the best odds, for long-term gain the site may operate a lucrative reward scheme. For those looking to make short-term gains or one-off bets, it is worthwhile checking out joining bonuses and whether any of the bookmakers offer first-time free bets.
If you wish to explore the betting world of basketball on a deeper, more intuitive level, then choose a bookmaker that provides up-to-date news and statistics, highlighting injuries, coaching staff, home and away scores, and more. The better informed you are, the more educated your bet can be.
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