Basketball betting brings an exhilarating dimension to the fast-paced action of the game, offering fans a chance to deepen their engagement with every dribble, shot, and slam dunk. With leagues like the NBA, WNBA, and various international competitions, the opportunities for betting are vast and varied. Basketball Betting Guide

This Basketball Betting Guide is tailored to both novices and seasoned bettors, aiming to provide a comprehensive overview of the betting landscape. From understanding basic bet types like point spreads and totals to exploring prop bets and futures, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the odds with confidence.

Whether you’re aiming to make informed bets on your favorite teams or looking to capitalize on in-play betting dynamics, our guide will help you make your mark in the world of basketball betting. Let’s dive into the strategies, tips, and insights that can turn your passion for basketball into a rewarding betting experience.

NBA Calendar 2024/25 – Key Dates

The 2024-25 NBA season is the 79th season of the National Basketball Association League.

Here are all the key dates for your calendar:

  • Start of Regular Season: October 22, 2024
  • End of Regular Season: April 13, 2025
  • In-Season Tournament: Continuing from the previous season, the NBA Cup will take place (specific dates to be announced)
  • All-Star Game: February 16, 2025, at Chase Center in San Francisco
  • Play-In Tournament: Dates will be set following the end of the regular season
  • NBA Playoffs: Typically start mid-April, exact dates will follow closer to the time
  • NBA Finals: Generally begin in early June

For international games, the NBA will host the Mexico City Game and the Paris Game on January 23, 2025​​​​.

Additionally, notable events like the NBA Draft will be expanded into a two-day format on June 26-27, 2024

Basketball Betting Markets

Here’s a list of common basketball betting markets:

  • Moneyline Bets: Betting on which team will win the game.
  • Point Spread: Wagering on the margin of victory, with a favorite and an underdog.
  • Over/Under (Totals): Betting on the combined score of both teams, over or under a specified number.
  • Prop Bets: Wagers on specific events or player achievements within a game.
  • Futures: Betting on long-term outcomes, such as championship winners.
  • Live Betting: Placing bets on events happening in real-time during the game.
  • Parlays: Combining multiple bets into one for a higher payout, contingent on all bets winning.
  • Quarter and Half Lines: Betting on outcomes of specific quarters or halves of the game.

Basketball Betting Strategies

Here are some basic strategies for basketball betting:

  • Statistical Analysis: Leverage team and player statistics to make informed bets, considering factors like recent performance, head-to-head records, and injuries.
  • Value Betting: Identify mismatches in betting lines versus your own analysis to find bets with higher perceived value than the odds suggest.
  • Bankroll Management: Employ a disciplined approach to betting, allocating only a small percentage of your total bankroll to individual bets to mitigate risk and sustain longer-term betting activity.

Basketball Betting: NBA Playoffs 2024

The 2023-24 NBA regular season is now in its latter stages, with the final games taking place on Sunday, April 14. The playoffs are then scheduled to begin on April 20 and will end with the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals.

The playoffs consist of 16 teams in total, made up of eight teams from each conference. The top six teams in each conference, based on winning percentage, directly qualify for the playoffs, while teams ranked 7 through 10 in the Eastern and Western Conferences will participate in the play-in tournament to determine seeds 7 and 8.

Eight teams – Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs – had all been eliminated from postseason contention before the end of March. Spare a thought for the Hornets, who will miss the postseason for the eighth consecutive season.

On March 14, 2024, the Boston Celtics of the Eastern Conference became the first team to secure a playoff spot. They went on to clinch the Atlantic Division title on March 20. 

In addition, on March 24 the Celtics also ensured that they would be number one seeds in the Eastern Conference and would therefore have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs (home-court advantage goes to the higher-seeded team in the conference playoffs).  

As things stand, as befits the team with the best regular season record, the Celtics are the marginal favorites for the NBA Championship. Second in the betting at present are the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Celtics are the favorites to come through the Eastern Conference playoffs ahead of the Bucks, while the Nikola Jokić-led Nuggets are the current favorites to win the Western Conference ahead of the Clippers, although Oklahoma City Thunder are also considered to be serious contenders.

Miami Heat, beaten 4-1 by the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals, are currently on course for the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, although direct entry into the playoffs is still very possible.  

If the sportsbooks are correct, we should be looking at the Celtics taking on the Nuggets in the 2024 NBA Finals. However, you can almost guarantee that there will be a surprise result or two during the playoffs, so nothing can be taken for granted.

March Madness

The March Madness basketball tournament, officially known as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, is a focal point for sports betting, attracting both seasoned and casual bettors from around the globe. This single-elimination tournament, held every spring in the United States, features 68 college basketball teams and is known for its unpredictability and the drama of “one-and-done” games, which can end a team’s season in a heartbeat. From a sports betting perspective, this unpredictability is both a challenge and an opportunity, making March Madness a unique event in the sports betting calendar.

March Madness represents a peak season for sports betting, driven by the tournament’s inherent unpredictability, the wide array of betting options, and the collective enthusiasm of the betting community. Whether it’s the analytical challenge of predicting outcomes, the allure of the potential for big wins, or simply the added excitement that betting brings to watching the games, March Madness holds a special place in the hearts of sports bettors.

Betting Picks for March Madness

Bettors often dive into extensive research, analyzing team performances, player statistics, historical matchups, and even the impact of different playing locations. The tournament is notorious for its upsets, where lower-seeded teams defeat top-seeded teams, often busting brackets and creating lucrative opportunities for those who bet against the odds. These upsets, referred to as “buzzer-beaters” or “Cinderella stories,” are a significant part of what makes betting on March Madness so appealing.

Betting Strategies for March Madness

From a strategic standpoint, sports bettors consider various types of bets, including point spreads, moneylines, over/unders (totals), and prop bets, which can range from predicting the outcome of a game to guessing which player will score the first basket.

March Madness Bracket Betting

The tournament also sees a surge in the popularity of bracket betting, where participants fill out their tournament brackets, predicting the winner of each game up to the national champion. This form of betting, often done in pools among friends or through online platforms, adds an extra layer of engagement, as bettors track their bracket’s performance throughout the tournament.

The Legal Landscape

The legal sports betting landscape in the United States has evolved significantly, with more states legalizing sports betting, thus increasing accessibility and interest in placing bets on March Madness.

Online sportsbooks and betting apps have also enhanced the betting experience, offering live betting options that allow bettors to place wagers on games as they unfold. This real-time betting can be particularly thrilling during the tournament, as momentum shifts and big plays can quickly alter the odds, providing alert bettors with the chance to capitalize on the action as it happens.

NBA Championship – Winner Betting Odds

  • Boston Celtics – 3/1
  • Denver Nuggets – 9/2
  • Milwaukee Bucks – 11/2
  • Los Angeles Clippers – 7/1
  • Phoenix Suns – 12/1

* Odds correct as Feb 4th 2024. Others on application

Most NBA Championship Wins

  • Boston Celtics – 17
  • Los Angeles Lakers – 17
  • Golden State Warriors – 7
  • Chicago Bulls – 6
  • San Antonio Spurs – 5
  • Detroit Pistons – 3
  • Miami Heat – 3
  • Philadelphia 76ers – 3
  • Milwaukee Bucks – 2
  • Houston Rockets – 2
  • New York Knicks – 2

* Betting odds quoted correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.