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Basketball Betting 101 How to bet on basketball online

Are you new to online basketball betting?
Wondering how to start betting on basketball online?

You can bet on basketball online by in four easy steps:

Step 1 Check if online basketball betting is legal in your state

Every state has different legislation when it comes to online sports betting.
In most cases, if online sports betting is legal in your state you' be able to bet on basketball legally.
Legal sports betting sites like Unibet will give you the option of betting on basketball if it's legal in  your state.
You can legally bet on basketball on Unibet if you live in:

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Iowa

Step 2 Vist a basketball betting site or download a basketball betting app

Now that you know you live in a state where online betting is legal it's time to move on to step two.

Check out a licensed sports betting site, like Unibet, or download their betting app. 
Get a feel for the latest basketball odds.

Unibet's Basketball betting app in the US
Unibet's Basketball betting site in the US

Step 3 Sign Up

You can check out the latest basketball betting lines and odds for free in online sportsbooks.
If you want to place your bets with real money though, you need to sign up with the sportsbook and make a deposit.

You can sign up with Unibet's betting sites in less than 90 seconds.

When you sign up with our betting site, you also get a free $500 RISK FREE BET!

Step 4 Place your first basketball bet!

That's it!
Now you're all set to make your first basketball bet online.
We told you it was going to be easy!

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How does online basketball betting work?

You want to know about basketball betting.
That’s a tall order and you might feel like there’s a lot to learn.
But don’t worry,we’ll give you the skinny on how basketball betting works in no time!
When it comes to betting on basketball you need to know about two things:

  1. What are basketball betting odds and how do they work?
  2. What types of bets can you place on a basketball game or tournament?

What are basketball betting odds and how do they work in the NBA and other competitions?

What are basketball betting odds and how do odds work in basketball?

Basketball Betting Odds are used to tell us two things:

  1. The odds setters use those odds to reflect the probability of an outcome.
  2. Basketball Odds will also give you an idea of how much you’ll win if you win your basketball bet.

 To give you an idea of basketball odds work in the US we'll give you the run down on moneylines.

Basketball Moneylines

Basketball betting odds look like this on online sportsbooks in the US:

Basketball betting odds

These are usually known as moneyline odds but they can also be called basketball Vegas Odds or basketball betting lines.

Are you wondering what do moneyline odds mean?
The moneyline bet gives you the odds of each teams chances of winning the game.

The team with the + sign before their numbers is the underdog.
In this case +245, is the amount of money that you would win if you staked $100.
So, if you bet 100 bucks on the Pistons you would win $245 plus your $100 if the Pistons win and pull off an upset!

The Hawks, with their - sign, are the favorites and those odds of -305 tell you how much you need to bet to win $100.
In this case, a stake of $305 wins you $100 if the Hawks win the game.

You don’t need to bet $100 every time.
We used that number to help you understand the odds better.
You can bet any amount between the minimum and maximum bet amounts on Unibet.

Those Moneyline odds also show you the probability of either team winning.
The Hawks may have ranked much higher than the Pistons and it’s easy for any of us to work out that they should be favorites to win.

In terms of how likely that win should be, we like to leave that to the geniuses who set the odds.

A higher-ranking team might be going through a losing streak.
They might be overly reliant on one player and that player might get injured.

Our oddsetters look at many variables like this when they set their basketball moneylines.

Public Betting in Basketball

You may have heard of public betting in basketball but what does it mean?
The public bet is staked on the favorites.
In our case, the public betting option would be the Hawks.
Odds setters expect the public to get behind the favorites.

This is a major factor when it comes to calculating the odds.

You can get higher returns if you bet against the public and win.
The choice of whether or not to follow the crowd is down to you.
More on that later.

How to bet on a basketball moneyline

Basketball moneylines are the easiest bets.
All you need to do is to pick the winner and wait for the results!

Different types of basketball bets and basketball betting options

Here on Unibet we're all about choices.
Moneylines are probably the easiest bets to place. 
But there are a lot more options when it comes to basketball betting.
Let's check them out.

#1 Basketball point spreads

In a point spread bet in basetball you guess the margin of victory for the winning team.
This is what basketball spread looks like:

basketball spreads

In our example, the Heat are the favorites for this one.
We expect the Heat to win the game by a margin of at least 14 points.
-13.5 means that Heat is starting with a disadvantage because we believe they’ll win by more than 13 points.
If the Heat win by at least 14 points they’ll cover the spread and you win the bet.

The Rockets are the underdogs
The +13.5 for the Rockets means that we are giving them a 13.5 point advantage.
If the Rockets pull off an upset and win the game, you win the bet.
If the Rockets lose by a margin of 13 points or less, you win this basketball spread bet.

Basketball teasers

See that green circle at the bottom of the image?
That’s a slider and you can click and slide up or down to create bigger or smaller spreads.
The odds will update as you slide so you can see exactly what you would receive if the bet wins.

#2 Over Under Basketball bets

Are you wondering what does an over under in Basketball betting?
An over under is a bet in basketball where you guess whether the total points during a game will be over or under a certain number.
Over under bets are also called total points bet in Basketball.
This is what a an over/under basketball bet looks like:

What does an over under mean in Basketball

In our example the line for this over under bet is set at 227.5.
You can see the odds next to each outcome.

If you bet on over 227.5 at least 228 points need to be scored in the game for you to win this bet.
If you bet on under 227.5 you’ll win the bet if fewer than 228 points are scored in this basketball game.

Sometimes you may see a line as a whole number - let’s say it’s 227.
If the game finished with a total of exactly 227 points.
This would be declared as a ‘push’ and you get your money back.

#3 Prop Bets in Basketball 

‘Prop’ is short for proposition.
Props bets in basketball are side bets that could relate to many aspects of the game or tournament.
Think of a prop as a ‘what will happen bet’ which can be split into two clear categories.

Basketball game props

A game prop in basketball involves bets on what will happen during the game.
Check out some basketball props on Unibet:

  • Which team will win each quarter
  • Will the total number of points be odd or even

Basketball Player Props

Player props focus are bets on individual players.
Here are some examples of player porps in a basketball:

  • Total Points Scored by a Specified Player
  • Total Assists by a Named Player
  • Total Rebounds by a Named Player

To find prop bets on Unibet, click on the match that you want to follow and scroll down to find Game and Player options.

#4 Basketball Parlays

A basketball parlay is a bet where you combine multiple bets into one big bet.
Each bet is called a leg.
For the parlay to pay out, you must win all your basketball bets (or legs).
You can Parlay bets across multiple basketball games or on a single game.
Here is an example of a 3 leg parlay we built on a basketball game:

What is a basketball parlay

Once you make your basketball betting picks for your parlay all you need to do is choose the amount of your bet.
We'll calculate your odds and your potential payout.

Multi Game basketball parlays

Here's an example of what a multi game parlay look like:

multi game basketball parlay

We bet on moneylines from three NBA games.
You can choose to parlay games during March Madness, the basketball world cup, or other leagues and tournaments from around the world.
Basketball Parlays can get you some big payouts.
But parlays can be risky because you must win all the legs in your basketball parlay.

Boost your basketball parlays with Unibet
At Unibet you can get a cash boost on your parlays by up to 50%!
You can choose to cash out your bets anytime during a parlay if you feel like you won't win the parlay.

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#5 Basketball Future Bets 

What is futures betting in Basketball?

A Futures bet relates to any outright win that happens in the weeks and months that lie ahead.
What does that mean in terms of online basketball betting?

A futures bet here could include:

  • The winner of the Olympic Gold Medal
  • Winner of the March Madness
  • MVP at the NBA
  • Divisional Winner
  • Conference Winner
  • Draft Pick Options

Any long term bet for a season or tournament could be defined as a ‘future’.

🔥Hot Tip: Get on Early

The history of the game shows us that there have been a number of upsets on the basketball court.
They include the Golden State Warriors NBA Championship win in 1975 and the Soviet Union’s buzzer-beating victory over the United States at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Sorry to bring up that 1972 result but it does underline an important point.
If you are betting on a futures market, better odds will be found ahead of the event.
As those teams went deep into their respective competitions, odds would have shortened and returns would have been lower.

Of course, upsets such as these are rare but you can find higher pricing in long term futures.
It’s over to you now to make the right calls.

Basketball Betting Tips And Strategies

#Tip 1: Look at all Basketball Tournaments Around the World

When it comes to basketball, it isn’t all about the NBA.
Sure when it comes to viewership and fan following everyone thinks of NBA when they think of basketball.
But Basketball is hugely popular in Europe and in other parts of the globe too.
College basketball is huge in the US too.
We see a lot of our customers checking out our college basketball betting options on Unibet.
Seasoned bettors tend to do that because they find a lot of value bets and crazy odds in less popular leagues and tournaments.

#Tip 2: Research, research and then research some more

We’re trying to send a clear message here: The more statistics that you check out, the better your betting strategy will be.

Things to look out for include:

  • Current form based on recent results
  • Any head to head results from the two teams in question
  • Home court record and results on the road

There will never be any guarantees but research will generally beat a hunch, hands down.

#Tip 3: Check out the public view

Remember when we talked about public betting earlier in this round up?
There’s a real buzz about public basketball betting and, even if you don’t want to follow the crowd, it’s worth checking out that public opinion.

Firstly, look to see who the public are favoring: Consider those stats that you’ve gained from your own research and you can then decide whether they are right or whether you should ignore public opinion and look for the underdog to come through.

#Tip 4: Consider Parlays Carefully

Parlays will provide higher returns when they come in.
If you’ve carried out all of that research and feel that you have identified some winners, a parlay could be a better option than three separate single bets.

Of course, there is the counterbalance to consider.
If just one leg of the parlay fails to land, the bet loses.
It’s not for everyone but parlays can be a logical progression as you gain more experience.

#Tip 5: Look at Home Court Advantage

We’ve already touched on this in the research section but it’s worth mentioning one more time.
There is a widely held belief that basketball teams perform better when they are playing on their home court.

Why should this be the case?
After all, each court has the same dimensions. Perhaps it’s the partisan crowd that is cheering them on but home court advantage could be a factor.
On the flip side, if a team is performing poorly then they may be happier to take to the road and get away from the supporters as they turn on them.

There’s only one way to find out if this theory stands up: Look at the stats and see if home court advantage has been a factor in recent weeks.

#Tip 6: Don’t Forget your Basketball Betting Bonuses

At Unibet we’re crazy about odds and will always look to offer a competitive platform on which to play.
There are, however, some offers and promotions that can give you even better value.
Having taken advantage of our sign up offer, there can be free bets and other bonuses along the way.
Be sure to keep coming back to the website while opting in for notifications to make sure you don’t miss out.

Welcome offer

Grab Your $500 Risk Free Bet!*

*New players only. Bonuses may differ by region.Terms & conditions apply. 21+