Basketball’s global popularity around the globe has resulted in more than 100 international players from more than 40 countries being represented in the NBA. The talent pool across the world is ever-improving, leading to more competitive basketball leagues outside just the NBA and NCAA. That, of course, lends itself to more opportunities for wagers.
These leagues play their respective seasons during different times of the year, meaning there isn’t a time in the calendar year when a basketball game isn’t being played. Considering pace of play, travel schedules, rest days, injuries and even which officials are refereeing are just a few of the factors that go into smart betting.
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Among the top basketball betting sites, the two most common bets are the spread and moneyline. Spreads from oddsmakers indicate the expected difference in final score between the two teams. If a team is -9 against the spread, they need to win by at least 10 points to win the wager.
Conversely, the opponent at +9 will cover and win the wager if they keep the score within eight points or win the game outright. Those wagers usually cost the same to bet, and if not are only slightly different (usually ranging from -105 to -115).
Moneylines are wagers on teams to win the game outright, regardless of score differential. Since no spreads are used to balance the two teams, the cost of those bets change. If a superior team is -450 to beat a weaker opponent, bettors must bet $450 to win $100. Conversely, an underdog bet of +300 means wagering $100 would return $300 if that team won the game outright. Score doesn’t matter.
Over/Unders are also massively popular. Sportsbooks set a total number of points it believes the two teams will combine to score. Like spreads, oddsmakers take into account the offenses and defenses of both teams, so the cost of these wagers is the same for choosing the over or under.
Bettors can also wager on first- and second-half spreads, moneylines and over-unders. The same general rules apply and are generally split in half.
Game spreads, moneylines and over-unders are the most common wagers. But there are also a host of other wagers that have gained popularity.
Given that the top players in their respective leagues have such a significant impact on winning or losing a game, sportsbooks typically have over-under bets on points, rebounds and assists for a given player in a given game.
There are also season-long bets that sportsbooks offer in a variety of ways. The most popular bet is over-under win totals for the year, which follow the same trend as game over-unders for point totals. Bettors can also wager on which teams will win their respective divisions, conferences or championships.
From a player’s perspective, bettors can wager on which players will lead their respective league in scoring, rebounding or assists, as well as which players will win end-of-the-season awards like MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player.
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