Online Basketball Betting

Basketball is probably the only American sport that has built itself a substantial fan base outside of the United States. Hooping, as it is also known as, is a thing in all major part of the world, unlike baseball, (American) football and ice hockey. Perhaps, it owes this to its simplicity or the fact that basketball players, regardless of how they play, are a spectacle in themselves.

Who wouldn’t want to see giant men as big as seven-feet-tall jostle with each other and reach heights in excess of 10 feet?

The sport of basketball’s fame online pretty much mirrors its global popularity. Since it is played on a small(ish) court rather than a full-blown field, it is easier to stage than most other team sports. Thus, most countries have professional basketball leagues, and that transpires in an abundance of options for folks wanting to profit off of their basketball knowledge by betting on games online.

For our purposes though, we’d only discuss the two biggest basketball competitions, in addition to where the sport is at in India.  

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NBA

By far the biggest basketball competition in the world, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the Holy Grail for all professional hoopers. If you look closely, the NBA is basically the championship of a single country but such its stature in the basketball world, that its annual winners are called world champions rather than just NBA or American champions.

It’s a closed circuit franchise-based league comprising 30 teams representing different cities of the United States, with the sole exception being Toronto Raptor, which represent the Canadian capital.

Generally speaking, the franchises from big cities tend to do well as they attract bigger crowds, sell more tickets and this have more money to offer to big player. It is this principle why the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have 17 titles each – more than everyone else. That principle fails with the New York Knicks, though, as they have won just two NBA championships.

A pro-tip that most analysts follow while allocating advantage is the presence of superstar players. The franchises with more talent aka more superstars generally tend to beat a better coached franchise. It is why the NBA teams are very active trading for new talent rather than developing their own.

Thus, as a gambler, what you can do is keep an eye on which team is the most stacked in terms of talent. Furthermore, the NBA has evolved over the past few years. It is now more about spacing, ball movement and three-point shooting than big men and isolation plays as it used to be in the 90s. Thus, it’s always a good idea to back the team than can stretch the floor and shoot from deep.

EuroLeague

After the NBA, the most prominent basketball competition in the world is the EuroLeague. It has been around since 1958 although back then had a different name. It’s major progress, however, has come in the last 20 years.

Unlike the NBA, EuroLeague is not a closed circuit competition and its participants are subject to change every year. That’s because it partially operates on the same principle upon which football’s UEFA Champions League works. It features champions and top performers of Europe’s domestic leagues, but also has some spots permanently reserved for its licensed clubs. It also accommodates EuroCup (second-tier continental competition) winners and gives out wildcards.

A typical EuroLeague season used to feature 16 teams but the number was upped to 18 from the 2019 – season.

Like football’s Champions League, basketball’s EuroLeague is also dominated by Real Madrid. The basketball division of the famed franchise is 10-time winners of EuroLeague, and finished runners-up on eight other occasions. Behind them are Russia’s CSKA Moscow, who are the defending champions, having won the 2018-19 title – the last that got completed before Covid-19 came along.

Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv and Greece’s Panathinaikos are also six-time winners, although they have faded a bit over the past decade.

Thus, it’s sufficed to say that Real Madrid and CSKA are perennial contenders and their rosters need to be studied every season in order to ascertain advantage.

Indian Basketball League

India has given significant indication that it has a growing, if not sizable, fan base for basketball that can be turned into something big, if given a chance. The NBA staged two pre-season games in India back in 2019 and it got more than enough attention.

That said, the country still currently lacks a working professional basketball league. It had one named UBA Pro Basketball League that ran from 2015 till 2017 but then folded. Since then, there have been murmurs but nothing has happened. Indian national basketball team captain Mohammad Anab, in late 2020, urged the constitution of an IPL-style league and indicated that the Basketball Federation of India had been working on it before the pandemic hit.

For now, though, these are just words.

Betting on Basketball Online

All basketball matches come with a vast variety of betting markets. First, there are match-specific markets, the most basic of which is the moneyline bet, which is nothing but a choice between the two competing teams. Gamblers can pick whichever team they like and stake their monies according to the attributed odds.

Gamblers can also partake in Over and Under bets, which lets them predict if the total number of bets in a game will exceed or fall below a certain threshold.

Then there is the famous handicap bet, which makes things interesting for gamblers in mismatches. Instead of simply predicting who’s going to win at very small odds, the punters, in handicap bets, are allowed to pick whether their team will not only win but also win by a certain margin (and vice versa).

Furthermore, there are outright bets regarding the winner of the entire competition, let’s say the NBA Championship or a particular portion, for instance the Western/Eastern Conference.

Most bookmakers also take bets on MVP race, best NBA record, scoring leaders, and whatnot.

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Frequently asked questions about Basketball betting

What is the timeline for NBA and EuroLeague seasons?
A typical NBA season starts in October and ends in June with the NBA Finals. Hence, June onwards is the time to do your research and keep track of roster changes. EuroLeague seasons also start around October but end in May because it has far less teams than the NBA.
Can basketball matches be bet on live?
Yes, basketball matches can also be bet on live while the game is still being played. However, it depends on the bookmaker you are playing with. It is possible for some books to not have the live betting feature. Always check before opening your account.
What websites can I visit to check basketball stats?
Bookmark basketball-reference.com, for it has comprehensive stats for all major leagues. Among other useful sites are stathead.com/basketball, proballers.com and espn.com/nba/stats. League official sites such as NBA.com and euroleague.net also have stats sections worth checking out.