When James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, most of his college students were sceptical that the game will ever become popular. However, fast forward a century and a few decades later, and basketball is one of the most well-known sports in the world. Children all over the globe are shooting hoops; players such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James have become larger than life and basketball betting sites reign supreme over the rest of the betting industry.
The betting aspect of basketball games is particularly fascinating. In the past, bookmakers would only offer simple points to spread markets for punters to bet on. This went on for quite some time, but sometime in the 1990s select bookmakers started offering more basketball wagering markets.
With the invention of online gambling, betting on basketball exploded in popularity. Placing bets on games became much more exciting as the number of markets increased ten-fold. This resulted in more wagering opportunities for bettors and that in turn brought about higher chances for making lucrative bets.
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The increase in the number of markets coincided with the overall improvement of basketball wagering offers too. A large part of this was that people were able to place bets on new basketball competitions and not just the NBA. These days punters can wager on matches from the EuroLeague, Spanish Liga, Turkish Super League, WNBA, FIBA AfroBasket and so on.
Finally, basketball-related bonuses and promotions have also improved significantly over the years. Nowadays, for a betting site to have a large variety of bonuses is the rule rather than the exception. In particular, welcome bonus offers and NBA specials have become synonymous with basketball bets these days.
Best Basketball Betting Sites
The best basketball betting sites excel in all of the things mentioned above. In their offers, they have everything from Asian second basketball divisions to African college competitions. What does more, even the most obscure of these games come with lots of markets to choose from. This means that basketball betting enthusiasts have something to keep them occupied on most days of the year.
Top-notch bookmakers also offer lots of deal sweeteners to punters. They do this by often coming out with promotions such as enhanced odds and game specials. In addition to these, busy periods such as the NBA playoffs and March Madness also frequently come loaded with special promotions. And let’s not forget, these are promotions in addition to the standard welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and cash out options.
However, before you start your basketball betting spree, you should remember that there are other aspects of wagering too. These are as important as the number of games and bonuses on offer and players should study them carefully. Overlooking only one of these can ruin your wagering experience, or worse, leave you empty-handed.
Always Wager with Licensed Betting Sites
Licensed operators are essential if you are looking for a safe betting experience. This is because they operate under the supervision of a gambling regulatory body.
This gambling authority makes sure that the basketball bookmaker meets all the necessary requirements to offer legal betting services. Some of the most reputable gambling regulators include the UK Gambling Commission, Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen, and the Malta Gaming Authority.
A valid betting license also means that the player will have certain legal protection when things don’t go according to plan. For example, in case of a dispute between the betting site and the player, the provider won’t be able to push the player around. This is because the regulator makes sure that both parties are of equal importance in any legal argument.
To find the licensing authority which regulates your basketball wagering operator just look at the bottom of the site. You will find the name of the gambling authority there. Once you find it, cross-reference the information listed on the bookmakers’ site with the information shown on the regulator’s site. If they are a match, you are good to go.
Check for 256-bit Encryption of Data
Security should be paramount in any wagering experience, and betting on basketball is no different. The thing which a punter should check here is the type of encryption the site uses. To do this, simply click on the padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser. This will tell you how secure your connection to the site actually is.
Bear in mind that there should be no compromises when it comes to security. This means that you should only go with sites which guarantee that they offer maximum safety of transactions.
The best ones in this regard always use a 256-bit encryption key to encrypt and decrypt data. There are billions of combinations once data is encrypted this way. In other words, no human or computer will ever be able to break the code and steal your sensitive data.
24/7 Customer Support is also Important
Customer support is vital if you want to have a carefree wagering experience. The best option here is a customer help desk that operates 24/7 and which you can reach via several communication channels. Most top betting operators offer live chat, email and phonehelp lines and offer them round the clock too.
You might think that customer support is not essential to a basketball betting experience. However, you’ve obviously never had a withdrawal problem in the middle of the night and no one to help you.
Basketball Betting Types
Basketball comes with lots of wagering options. It is one of those team sports which enable punters to make various types of bets. This is true both for the pre-game and live basketball betting types. This means that punters are never short of wagering options, and that always makes me happy.
Take betting on NBA games, for example. Every year from October to June, punters can bet on NBA matches almost non-stop. Basically, for 8 months of the year, NBA betting enthusiasts can place all types of wagers. They can alternate between single and accumulator bets and can bet pre-game or in-play.
As the name implies, with a pre-match basketball bet, punters have to lodge their bets before the game has started. Traditionally, basketball games come with points spreads which bookmakers decide. As a result, this market was and still is the most popular one with punters.
In points spread markets, one of the teams is handicapped with negative points, while the other one gets the same-point starting advantage. Since the points spread theoretically evens the teams out, both get the same odds. These are usually 1.91 in decimal odds and 91/100 in fractional odds. The points spread market originally comes from the USA, so the standard American odds, even when they are not stated, are -110.
Let’s look at an NBA betting example to explain this market:
LA Lakers (-7.5) 1.91 – Boston Celtics (+7.5) 1.91 (including overtime).
As you can see from the example, the Lakers start with minus 7.5 points. The Celtics, on the other hand, could lose with up to a 7-point difference and still be the winning points spread bet.
If the game ends 100-92 in Lakers’ favour, they are the winning bet in this market as the points spread outcome is 100-99.5.
In contrast, if the Lakers score only one point less and the game ends 99-92, they are the losing proposition in the points spread line. In this case, the final points spread outcome is LA Lakers 99-99.5 Boston Celtics.
Other popular pre-game markets include:
Over/Under game totals,
Over/Under 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter,
Match winner (without handicap),
Highest scoring quarter.
The more popular the competition, the more of these markets will be available for punters. Players who bet on the NBA will obviously have more choices than youth league betting aficionados.
Basketball online sportsbooks have a competitive live betting offer. In-play basketball bets are actually quite similar to the pre-game ones. The only difference here is that the punter places live betting propositions after the game has started.
This means that bettors can place wagers on markets such as:
Home team total points,
1st half winning margin,
Race to X points.
As you might expect, live NBA betting offers the most in-play markets. However, popular competitions such as the EuroLeague and the EuroCup come with lots of live sports betting propositions too.
An interesting bet which has become synonymous with basketball wagers is an accumulator bet with basketball players only. Players can come from multiple games or just from one game.
This means that even on slow basketball days with not many duels, punters can make long accumulator bets easily. These individual player markets usually deal with points per player and are in the form of an Over/Under the total. However, it is worth mentioning that the best betting operators will offer to bet on rebounds, assists and blocks too.
Let’s say it’s a quiet NBA day and there aren’t many games to bet on. If you are betting with a reputable bookmaker; however, this is irrelevant for you. In fact, all you need is one game to make a winning NBA accumulator.
For example, if Denver Nuggets are playing against the Raptors, you can make the following player points accumulator:
Nikola Jokic – Over 16.5 points,
Jamal Murray – Under 17.5 points,
Kyle Lowry – Over15.5,
Pascal Siakam – Under 12.5.
A bet of this type can be quite profitable and will also make following the Nuggets vs Raptors game much more interesting. You are also bound to cheer for some players more than you usually would, of course.
Virtual betting on basketball is the same as regular, pre-game betting, but there are some significant differences. Chief among these is that you are betting on a computer-generated simulation and not on a real game.
This aspect scares many punters as they think that virtual basketball outcomes are not fair and can be tampered with. However, this cannot be further from the truth. I say this because virtual basketball outcomes are always completely random and never rigged.
To make sure that this is the case, betting operators use Random Number Generator (RNG) technology. This is the same fair-outcomes technology that slot games, poker machines, and bingo games utilize. As such, it has a proven track record in the online gambling industry and should worry no one.
Another big difference between regular basketball games and virtual ones is in how long the game is played. Virtual games usually finish after 2-3 minutes. In this time, the punter sees highlights of the game while also following the result, stats and time elapsed. After the game finishes, betting enthusiasts get to see the winning outcomes and odds.
The best thing about these virtual games is that as soon as one finishes, another one starts. This means that betting enthusiasts can bet on a new game every 3 minutes—however, a word of advice. If you are on a losing run, make a short break from virtual betting. Games here come thick and fast, and a punter can often lose track of time or money spent when deep into them.
Bonuses & Promotions
Bonuses & promotions are integral to any basketball wagering experience. This is true for both college basketball and NBA betting. The right welcome bonus or game special can turn an ordinary bet into a super-lucrative proposition.
There are many types of basketball bonuses and promotions, but the most popular ones include:
Welcome bonus – new client offer,
The most enticing promotion that any online betting site offers is the welcome bonus. With it, sports betting operators reward their new customers in several ways. This can be through a matched deposit offer in which the bookmaker matches your first deposit up to a given amount. Alternatively, the bookmaker can also offer a couple of free bets for the initial deposit a new customer makes.
Loyalty programs are also quite rewarding, especially if you stay loyal to the same sports wagering operator. With this offer, punters collect points for every bet they make. After they have collected a certain number of these, they go up a loyalty level. They get better rewards each time they advance.
Cash-outoffers can also come in quite handy. Let’s say you have only one college basketball game remaining in order to have a winning slip. However, you have a bad feeling about the team you are backing, and you wish you didn’t place the bet in the first place.
Fortunately, the cash-out option lets you come out a winner from a situation like this. You choose to cash out early and get winnings which the bookmaker deemed adequate.
New Basketball Betting Sites
If you are looking for basketball wagering with a compelling twist, you should definitely try out new basketball betting sites. The fresh faces in the online gambling industry can often make backing a game feel like something you have never done before.
This is because these recent arrivals on the wagering scene are actually of the cryptocurrency type. If you follow the news, you probably know of the Bitcoin benefits by now. I am happy to say that these advantages translate to basketball betting too.
Crypto gambling sites come in many shapes and sizes but have two things in common. The first one is that they offer super-fast transactions. Ethereum sports betting sites enable players to complete deposits and withdrawals within several seconds. Bitcoin sites trail slightly behind, but with speeds of around 10 minutes per transactions, they trump conventional payment methods easily.
The second similarity that all crypto sites share is the anonymity they provide to players. Backing a basketball team with a cryptocurrency will leave literally no trails behind. No records of the transaction will ever go out of the crypto network, and the wager will remain anonymous.
Basketball Betting on Mobile
There are few things which are as exciting as basketball betting on mobile devices. Mobile betting is not only a fad but is definitely here to stay. There are several reasons why this is the case.
The first one is that mobile betting offers a seamless wagering experience. You can back the Bulls to win the game while queuing in a shop for example.
Another reason why online betting is mostly done through mobile devices these days is the compatibility they offer. Mobile apps and mobile versions of browsers are easy to manoeuvre. This means that locating your sports and markets of choice has never been easier.
In addition, most financial transactions are very simple when you do them via a mobile device. Moreover, the top operators have such secure mobile apps that wagering through any other channel just doesn’t make sense.
Lastly, mobile apps and devices are ideal if you want to activate a bonus or promotion. Say you want to bet on a March Madness college game while also activating a welcome bonus. The easiest way to do this is to use a mobile app.
The app software will immediately make the connection that you are a new customer and that you want to place a March Madness wager. It will do all of this in a millisecond, and all you’ll need to do is just tap the screen once. You’ll get the welcome bonus, place your bet and see your potential winnings in an instant.
To get the best out of a basketball wagering experience, only place bets with reputable betting sites. The best basketball bookmakers have several things in common.
First of all, they are all licensed, secure, and have 24/7 customer support. Secondly, they have an extensive betting offer. It comes with the maximum number of basketball games possible and offers tons of wagering propositions.
In addition, the best sites complement all of these markets with a wide variety of bonuses and promotions. Welcome bonuses take centre stage here, but other promotions serve a good purpose too.
Finally, when choosing the ideal basketball betting provider, punters must check for a mobile app or mobile version of the site. Mobile bets offer lots of perks, and bettors should make full use of them.