In all forms of gambling, including basketball betting, tipping the odds slightly in your favour can make the difference over time.

For people who place multiple bets over a long period of time, a steady profit of, let’s say, 15% per year would be a remarkably good performance.

And yet, people successful enough to make a living from their sports betting would normally consider fifteen per cent to be a fairly mediocre return over several hundred bets over the course of a year.

It’s also important to remember that many people try and fail to emulate this kind of performance.

You need to be shrewd, understand the market’s numbers, be able to spot good value and, perhaps above all, you need a huge amount of self-discipline.

Any sport in which you can develop a niche interest that gives you an edge on the market gives you a fighting chance of success.

One sport that is relatively overlooked by UK punters but in which there is still a huge international market to go at is basketball.

Why Basketball Betting?

Gambling on basketball offers huge potential for shrewd spread betting punters.

And the beauty of it is that you should be able to try out your shrewdness for free thanks to the generous introductory betting offers there are around these days.

Alternatively, you may be able to try out different basketball betting strategies using software in demo mode only.

This gives you the chance to see if you have what it takes in a completely risk-free environment.

Basketball gambling is mainly about the spread, which in turn is based on a handicap system.

There are UK games to bet on, and other international games, but the biggest markets and the most worldwide interest still rests with the NBA (the US-based National Basketball Association).

NBA Championship Outright Winner 2023/2024

(Odds from Betfred, correct as of December 20th 2023)

Team Odds
Boston Celtics 7/2
Denver Nuggets 9/2
Milwaukee Bucks 5/1
Phoenix Suns 7/1
Philadelphia 76ers 12/1
Golden State Warriors 14/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 18/1
Los Angeles Clippers 18/1
Los Angeles Lakers 18/1
Dallas Mavericks 22/1
Miami Heat 28/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 28/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 28/1
Sacramento Kings 40/1
New Orleans Pelicans 50/1
New York Knicks 50/1
Atlanta Hawks 80/1
Memphis Grizzlies 80/1
Orlando Magic 80/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1
Toronto Raptors 150/1
Brooklyn Nets 150/1
Houston Rockets 200/1
Chicago Bulls 250/1
Utah Jazz 500/1
San Antonio Spurs 500/1
Charlotte Hornets 1000/1
Portland Trail Blazers 1000/1


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What Is A Basketball Spread?

Most basketball betting uses the points spread for gambling on teams along with an over or under number.

So let’s say, for example, the Boston Celtics are playing the LA Lakers. This would be interesting as it would, of course, be one of the biggest games in the NBA.

As things stand today, most gamblers would expect the Celtics to win this particular game.

They are hot favourites to win the overall NBA Championship, with the Los Angeles Lakers way out at 18-1 with Betfred.

So let’s say for the purposes of an illustration only that the point spread will make the LA Lakers the ten point favourites.

In other words, the team from Boston now has to win by 11 or more points for you to win your bet if you think the odds are favourable.

Obviously, the converse is true so if you think the Boston Celtics are being underrated by the handicapper and that it will be closer than a ten point margin, you’re on the Celtics.

If, on the other hand, the LA Lakers win by the handicap, i.e. by the ten points, then the bet is a tie and null and void – no cash changes hands.

In-Play Betting

But where it gets really interesting for anyone who can become a real aficionado of basketball and can watch the games live on TV is with in-play betting.

Of course, the same is true in any other sport, but basketball is particularly interesting for the way in which games tend to sway as the coaches make decisions.

Talented observers can get a real feel for this and can sometimes rad the game ahead of the rest of the market.

It’s true that other sports tend to swing in similar ways, but basketball offers more favourable opportunities.

Often, this is better for UK punters because there just isn’t the same number of real experts in the sport as there are in the USA and other countries.

So if you happen to be betting in play in a market that is dominated by UK punters, you may well be able to gain an edge.

And a very small edge is all that may be needed to steadily profit from your gambling activities over time.

5 Best Tips To Win More Basketball Bets

1. Researching The Teams

In theory, the handicap makes betting on basketball the same as the toss of a coin; both sides have an absolutely equal chance of winning.

So reading up all you can about the sport and staying ahead of developments, may be able to give you a slight edge.

You will never win them all so what you’re trying to achieve is to win more often than you lose and to make steady progress.

You may have what it takes to make progress on a two steps forward, one step back kind of basis.

And if you can try this out with bonus cash to begin with so much the better.

But you will need to develop some kind of edge on the rest of the market to be successful.

2. Consider Home Court Advantage

Home court advantage is a concept in sports that suggests teams tend to perform better when playing games on their own home court.

This advantage is particularly pronounced in basketball and can have a significant impact on the outcome of games.

Teams are more accustomed to their home court’s dimensions, lighting, and surroundings.

They practice and play there regularly, which can lead to a higher level of comfort and confidence.

Plus they also have the support of their fans, creating a better atmosphere. The crowd can be an intimidating environment for the opposing team which can influence the game’s outcome.

When teams play away games, they often have to travel, which can lead to fatigue and disrupt routines. Traveling across time zones, in particular, can affect players’ performance.

While referees are expected to be impartial, some studies suggest that there may be a slight bias towards the home team due to the influence of the home crowd.

In basketball betting, sportsbooks take home court advantage into account when setting point spreads and odds for games.

As a bettor, recognising the significance of home court advantage can help you assess matchups and point spreads more accurately.

3. Pay Attention to Injury Reports

Key players often play pivotal roles in their team’s success. If a star player or a key contributor is injured and unable to play, it can weaken the team’s offence or defence.

Injuries not only affect the starting lineup but also the depth of a team’s bench.

When multiple players are sidelined, it can force less-experienced or less-talented players into more prominent roles, affecting the team’s overall performance.

Coaches may need to make tactical adjustments to compensate for missing players. These adjustments can affect the team’s playing style, offensive and defensive schemes, and overall strategy.

The severity of an injury is essential to consider. A minor injury might not have a significant impact, while a major injury or a long-term absence of a key player can be a game-changer.

Be sure to check the specifics of the injury and the expected return timeline.

So stay up-to-date with injury reports as close to game time as possible. A player might be a game-time decision, so the latest information is vital.

Bookies adjust their betting lines and odds based on injury news. If a key player is ruled out, you can expect the point spread to shift in favour of the opposing team.

4. Analyse Betting Trends and Statistics

Analysing betting trends and statistics is a fundamental aspect of making informed basketball bets.

To evaluate teams and players, you should examine a range of performance metrics.

These include:

  • Points per game (PPG)
  • Rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goal percentage (FG%)
  • Three-point percentage (3P%)
  • Free throw percentage (FT%)
  • Turnovers

These metrics provide insights into a team’s offensive and defensive capabilities, efficiency, and style of play.

Compare the statistical performance of both teams in the upcoming matchup. Look at how they fare in the key statistical categories mentioned above.

Identify strengths and weaknesses for each team and assess how these align with the matchup.

Pay close attention to the recent form of both teams. Look at their performance over the past few games or weeks.

Then examine historical head-to-head statistics between the two teams. Certain matchups may favour one team over the other due to playing styles, personnel, or other factors.

In addition to team-specific statistics, consider over/under trends. This involves looking at whether games involving these teams tend to have high-scoring or low-scoring outcomes compared to the set over/under total by sportsbooks.

Keep an eye on betting market movements, including changes in point spreads and odds.

Sharp bettors often have access to sophisticated statistical models, and their actions can indicate where value might lie.

5. Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is a critical component of successful sports betting, including basketball betting.

It involves the careful management of the money you allocate for betting purposes.

Bankroll management helps safeguard your initial investment or betting bankroll. It ensures that you don’t deplete your funds quickly due to a series of losses.

Proper bankroll management allows you to sustain your betting activities over the long term.

Consistency is key in sports betting, and blowing your entire bankroll in a few reckless bets can be detrimental to your betting career.

Emotions can run high when money is at stake. So maintain your discipline and avoid emotional betting decisions, such as chasing losses or increasing bet sizes when on a winning streak.

By setting a budget and adhering to it, you limit the risk of substantial financial losses.

This approach ensures that even if you encounter losing streaks, you’ll have funds left to continue betting and recover.


Basketball betting is dynamic and thrilling and combines the love of the game with the excitement of wagering.

However, it’s important to approach it with the right strategies and mindset.

From understanding the impact of home court advantage to staying updated on injury reports, analysing statistics, and practicing disciplined bankroll management, these principles can guide you on your betting journey.

Remember that success in basketball betting often comes through a combination of careful research, informed decision-making, and patience.

With the right approach, you can not only enjoy the games but also increase your chances of making profitable bets in the long run.

So, step onto the court of basketball betting prepared, and may your bets be as swish as the sound of a perfect jump shot.