How to Bet on Basketball

For a fast-paced game where the sports stars are literally giants in their field, it has to be basketball. Rivalries are intense, the field is wide open and the athleticism and skill are at an incredibly high level. All this attracts Nigerians to basketball as spectators and as a sport for waging.

If you want to put your money on the line and back a basketball prediction, you need to know how to bet on basketball. In our guide, you’ll discover how to understand basketball odds and which bet types and markets to explore. Plus, we provide some basketball betting tips to help you on your way.

A Brief Look at Basketball Odds

To know how to bet on basketball, you need to understand the odds. You’ll see the odds for the three main bet types for any basketball match. They are the spread, total and money line wagers. Each one has a specific layout, with money line odds being the straightforward bet with decimal odds like 1.10 for Miami Heat to win and 6.00 for Detroit Pistons to win.

The spread odds will include a margin set by the bookie. So you might see Milwaukee Bucks (-14.5) 1.90 and Charlotte Hornets (+14.5) 1.90. The odds are 1.90 for each team, but the Bucks need to win by more than a 14.5 margin.

Finally, the total bet odds include an over and under amount. In a matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, you’ll see (O 230) 1.95 and (U 230) 1.85. The over and under numbers are the score set by the bookie, and the odds show your return for predicting if the score will go higher or lower.

The Most Popular Types of Basketball Bets

Now you understand the odds and know that the three most popular bets are spread, total, and money line. We’ve listed a few of the other popular bet types to look out for when betting on basketball.

  • 1st quarter/half money line – betting on who will be leading after the first quarter or first half.
  • 1st half point spread – a spread bet with a point margin set by the bookie on the half-time score.
  • 1st half odd or even – predicting whether the score at half-time will be an odd or even number.
  • Double result – you’re betting on combinations of who will be in the lead at half-time and at the end of the game, e.g. draw/Boston Celtics.

Basketball Outrights and Prop Bets

Outright bets on basketball cover which team will be NBA champions or who will win the EuroLeague. The odds are posted in advance, so you’re usually making a prediction without as much information as you would have for a pre-match or in-play bet.

Prop bets usually revolve around players. They don’t directly relate to the game outcome. For example, you can wager on the total points a player will score, if they’ll get into double digits, the number of assists, rebounds, steals and so on.

Live Streaming and In-Play Betting on Basketball

Our basketball betting guide also covers live betting. When a game is in play, you can make specific bets based on what’s happening that quarter and the specific players on the court. The bet types and the odds are updated based on the current action, which makes it a fast-paced way to bet while following a game.

The spread, total, and money line odds will adjust according to the score, but you’ll usually see other markets available. They include the next pair of players in an assist and the next team to score a three-pointer.

How To Bet on Basketball: Step by Step

You know what to expect, and now you need to know how to bet on basketball. Follow our simple guide to wager on the next NBA or EuroLeague match.

  1. Register at a bookie or sign in to your account.
  2. Browse the basketball events.
  3. Check for competitive odds and bet types that suit you.
  4. Add selections to your bet slip by clicking the odds.
  5. Enter your stake and view your projected return.
  6. Add additional selections if you want or confirm.

Basketball Betting Strategies and Great Tips

Basketball has a unique pace with games that are usually high-scoring. Our tips and strategies for basketball betting keep those aspects in mind.

  1. Prepare for scoreline changes – in close matches, the lead can change several times, so don’t panic if your team isn’t winning. Also, take advantage of the changes by betting on the score at the end of each quarter.
  2. Bet on the NBA and other major leagues – you’ll be able to find better coverage and more information about the teams, players, and games.
  3. Start with the main markets – money line bets are best for beginners, then you can try spread bets and totals, then explore the other markets.

Things To Avoid When Betting on Basketball

Our basketball betting guide also highlights what not to do. Once you include NBA, EuroLeague, NCCA and other competitions, you’ve got a lot of games available with plenty of betting opportunities. Less is more when it comes to this fast-paced sport, though, as tracking the play and outcomes of each one will divide your attention and lead to making the wrong call.


It depends on your taste and which teams you like to follow. However, we recommend starting with NBA games. There’s a lot of information available about the teams and you can find the best tips and coverage.

There’s no such thing as an easy bet or a guaranteed win in sports betting or basketball specifically. However, the simplest basketball bet to understand is a money line wager. It’s a straightforward bet on who you think will win the game.

If you want to bet on actions in the game rather than the result, choose player props. Player prop bets include predicting the number of points, assists, and rebounds from a particular player or player pair during a basketball game.

Yes, many online bookies in Nigeria have in-play betting options for basketball games. Head to the live betting section and check for NBA, NCCA, EuroLeague, FIBA Eurobasket and many more. You’ll be able to see games that are in action as well as upcoming matchups.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll win money from your basketball bet. However, you can use the information in this guide to understand the odds, choose your bets wisely, find the right markets, and take on our tips to improve your chances.