Basketball is A Global Sport
If you thought basketball was mainly an American sport you would be mistaken. The sport has spread across the planet and there are leagues on every inhabited continent. Where there is a game played there will be a book running taking your basketball bets.
When Basketball is mentioned most automatically think of the NBA and yes they are considered the pinnacle of professional basketball. But there are a lot of very entertaining games around. There’s the Euroleague, the international VTB league, there’s the French LNB Pro A, the Israeli BSL, the Czech Republic NBL, the Lithuanian LKL, the Balkan League, the Greek Cup, Iran Premier League and the Russian Superleague.
All of these have great games and some very strong teams playing. The matches are hard fought but in this multimedia world are easy to place a bet on.
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Basketball A Simple Game –Basketball Betting Though Complicated
So if you have no idea how basketball is played it has one of the simplest sets of rules of any ball game. Two teams of five play on a rectangular court 94 x 50 feet (29x15m) with unlimited substitutes allowed. The idea is to get the ball in your basket at the other end of the court. The basket is set 10ft (3.048m) above the ground with a backboard. Two points are awarded if the ball goes through the hoop if thrown within the three point line. If the throw was beyond the three point line then three points are awarded. It’s known as a field goal.
The game is considered a non-contact sport. The ball can be passed from player to player. It can be dribbled one handed while walking or running. If a players stops with the ball they must continue bouncing the ball or they must pass it before they can move again. That’s basically it. There are fouls and penalties for them.
If a player is struck or run into that can be deemed a foul by the officials. If the player was taking a shot at the time free throws are awarded from the free throw line in front of the basket. Depending on the value of the shot, 2 or 3 pointer, that will determine the number of throws. Each free throw is worth one point. If the foul is committed when a shot is not being taken then the game stops and the throw is taken from the side line. The game is divided into quarters.
Depending on whether it is FIBA, NBA, or high school in North America they are 10 minutes, 12 minutes and 8 minutes respectively. There are a couple of timing rules 8secs before the ball can go past half way and 24 before a shot can be taken. These can vary with leagues. Also a player cannot interfere with the ball as it is entering the hoop. There are a few other technical fouls which revolve around things like substituting if a player enters the court without being acknowledged by the ref, unsportsmanlike conduct by coaches etc. These are at the ref’s discretion.
There are limits on fouls per player for the match and per team each quarter. In a 40 min game 5 fouls and a 48 min game 6 fouls and a player is disqualified. 4 fouls per team per quarter before penalties awarded. These are the main rules some leagues may have a few technical differences but basically that’s it. Basketball bets can get a tad more involved. Here’s a few examples and explanations.
The Simple Basketball Betting Options
- Money line bet – The simplest way to bet on a basketball game, you choose the winner simple. The money line is simply the odds to win these can be represented in a couple of ways. At a UK bookies they will be the usual fractional odds 11/4, 1/8 etc. An international bookies they usually show them as decimal odds 3.55 or 2.34 etc. For example take the Huston Rockets 2/7(0.28) verses Miami Heat 11/4(2.75)
- Handicap/spread betting – This basketball bet is the next level once you have the idea of the money line you will want to take advantage of heavy favorites. Bookies will offer a handicap to offset the imbalance in the team abilities.The handicap will be displayed as a plus or minus figure representing a number of points. This number is combined with the final score and used to determine the outcome of the bet. This means that your team can lose the game but you win the bet if they were within the handicap. E.g. Houston Rockets (-7.5) against Miami Heat (+7.5) the payout odds are 10/11. The Rockets are red hot favorites so if you take the spread bet on them they must win by more than 7.5 points to pay out. If you take the spread bet on Miami they have to get within 7.5 points so they can win outright or lose by up to 7.5. The simplest way to look at it is Huston started the game with -7.5 points or the other way is Miami started with +7.5 points depending on who you wagered on.
Betting On Totals
This is pretty straight forward it’s also known as an over under bet. The bookie will set a figure for the total number of points scored in the whole match. That’s the combined score of both teams. That will come with payout odds. You take the over bet or the under bet. Basically do you think the end score will be higher or lower than the predicted number? Back to the Huston Miami game the total number is 220 and the Over Under payout is 10/11. Most bookies will only offer a single payout odds on totals and spread betting. Some don’t however and this is where an informed sports bettor can make a choice between bookies.
Variations On The Themes
This next area is where it can get interesting. Not all bookies offer these bets so shop around and ask the customer service teams. You can place bets on totals for each quarter. So if your team is known as a late finisher and poor starter you can bet accordingly. You can bet your team is behind by 10 at half time but wins by full time. There are a ton of combinations that can be wagered on if the bookie will take the bet.
Then we have what’s known as props or proposition bets. In the UK they used to be called side bets. These can be a vastly different bets. E.g. first team basket, first basket scorer, first double scorer, first basket/winner double, you can bet on a players total points or their assists or rebounds. The thing with prop bet they can be almost anything it will depend on the bookies you use. You of course have multiples/accumulators betting on more than one team. Teasers which can adjust the handicap odds, Futures bets where you bet on a team winning a league at the start of the season, thereby getting much better odds.
Basketball betting can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. The more you understand the game the more fun it is.
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