How to Bet on Basketball

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How to Bet on Basketball - Basketball Betting Guide, Tips & Strategies

From the NBA to the CBA, there are pro basketball leagues worldwide. At , you can bet on a wide range of pre-match and live basketball markets to profit from the popular sport throughout the season.

Here, we explain everything you need to know about basketball betting and how to pick your winners on the court.

Basketball Rules & Gameplay

In basketball, each team is permitted five players on the court at any given time. The objective of the game is to score points by throwing the ball through the opposing team's hoop, located at the far end of the court.

In terms of scoring, baskets scored outside of the three-point arc award three points and baskets within the arc award two points. Successful free throws are worth one point to the scoring team.

Players can only move the ball by dribbling (bouncing the ball) or by passing the ball to an opponent. When a team retains possession, they have ten seconds to make it into their opponent's half. Then, they have 24 seconds to take a shot at the basket.

Fouls accumulate, and when a specific number of fouls is committed, a free throw is awarded to the team that has been fouled.

Each basketball game in the NBA is split into four quarters of twelve minutes each. If the teams are tied at the end of regulation time, five minutes of overtime can be played to determine a winner.

Major Basketball Tournaments & Leagues

The top basketball league in the world is the NBA in the United States. The NBA was formed in 1946, and only eleven teams competed in the inaugural league.

Today, there are 30 teams in the NBA – 29 from the USA and one from Canada. The division is split into two conferences (Eastern and Western), and the season ends with the NBA playoffs.

At the end-of-season championship game, the two strongest teams compete for the Larry O'Brien trophy – the biggest prize in basketball. The LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics are the most successful teams in NBA history, with 17 titles apiece.

Although the season is over, you can still read what our predictions were for the 2023-24 NBA season.

NBA action attracts the largest proportion of basketball bettors, but there are also several other major tournaments of note:

  • NCAA: NCAA basketball is college basketball competed by both men and women in their respective leagues. You can also bet on the College Basketball Invitational at

  • 3x3: This popular variation of basketball (known as 3x3) is played with three players on either side with one backboard in a half-court situation.

  • NBA G League : The NBA G League is the minor affiliate league of the NBA and is excellent to watch for the development of young and upcoming players.

  • CBA: The CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) is the top basketball league in Asia, competed by both men and women .

  • EuroLeague : The EuroLeague is Europe's leading professional basketball competition, with teams like Real Madrid, Fenerbache, and Bayern Munich all competing.

  • EuroCup : The EuroCup is an annual knockout basketball tournament organised by the EuroLeague.

  • NBL : Australia's premier basketball competition is the National Basketball League (NBL).

  • LNB: The Liga Nacional de Basquet (LNB) is the premier basketball league in Argentina.

How Does Basketball Betting Work?

Basketball betting works just like betting on any other sport. We determine the odds based on various factors, including a team's form, recent performances, and head-to-head history against their opponents.

Sports bettors can place a vast range of bets, such as the moneyline, totals, and prop bets, and you can even place live basketball bets when the action is underway.

How Do You Bet on Basketball Games?

Betting on basketball at the Stake sportsbook couldn't be easier. Begin by adding your local currency or cryptocurrency to your account, choosing from Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

You can browse all upcoming basketball events at to find odds for this game week and basketball futures markets.

Once you have found the market you wish to bet on, decide how much you want to stake and place your bet.

All that's left is to sit back and watch the action unfold to see if your basketball bet is successful.

If you're new to the world of sports betting, be sure to read up on our guide to the easiest sports to bet on for beginners!

Most Popular Basketball Betting Markets, Options & Types of Bets

If you're keen to profit from basketball throughout the season, the good news is that there are many markets and basketball bet types to choose from. Let's take a look at some of the most popular betting options available.

Basketball Bet Types


The easiest bet to place on basketball is a moneyline bet. Let's look at an example:

Boston Celtics (-125) vs Denver Nuggets (+190)

In the above example, the Celtics are the favourites to beat the Nuggets. A moneyline bet is a simple bet on which team you think will win this match and is a great way to get started with basketball betting.

For more information about this basketball bet type, check out our moneyline betting guide .


Another popular form of basketball bet is a totals wager, commonly known as over/under betting . Here's an NBA example:

LA Lakers vs Miami Heat (o/u 228.5)

Here, you're betting on the total number of points in the combined score between the Lakers and the Heat. It doesn't matter which team wins; all that matters is how many points are scored at the end of the game.


Sometimes known as point spread betting, handicap betting is a wager on a team with a handicap applied. Here's what an NBA handicap bet might look like:

Milwaukee Bucks –6.5 (-130) vs Washington Wizards +6.5 (+140)

Here, the Bucks are overwhelming favourites to beat the Wizards (the underdog team). As such, they have been given a 6.5-point handicap to overcome in this line. If you back them in this handicap bet, they will need to win by at least seven clear points for your chance to be successful.

If you back the Wizards, provided that they don't lose by more than six points, your bet will win.


There are two types of proposition (props for short) bets that you can place on basketball – team and player props . Prop bets are wagers on game events that aren't directly tied to the outcome of the match in question. This type of bet focuses on the team or individual player performances. Let's look at some examples:

NBA team prop examples

  • Boston Celtics to win the first quarter

  • LA Lakers to win the coin toss

  • Denver Nuggets to score first

  • Orlando Magic to win the second half

NBA player prop examples

  • Stephen Curry to make +4 three-pointers

  • LeBron James to be the game's MVP

  • Ben Simmons to make +3 free throws

  • Kevin Durrant over/under 5.5 rebounds

Long-Term Basketball Betting

Of course, you can look past the upcoming game week to place bets on basketball, thanks to the various futures markets available at Here are some examples of NBA outright bets that you can place if you want to take a long-term approach to basketball betting:

  • Boston Celtics to win the NBA Championship

  • Philadelphia 76ers to win the Eastern Conference

  • Memphis Grizzlies to win the Western Conference

  • LA Clippers to make the playoffs

  • Golden State Warriors to win 40+ regular season games

Live Basketball Betting

Another great option available to basketball fans is live betting . This is where you can place a wager on the action once it is already underway rather than making a pre-match selection. Options include things like the next team to score a point, the total number of points to be scored in this quarter (over/under), and the next player to score a free throw.

Learn more about the differences between pre-match and live betting .

Basketball Betting Strategies & Tips to Win

Now that you're aware of the different basketball options available at, it's time to look at some top betting tips that will help you make winning selections throughout the season:

  • Always do your research before placing a basketball bet. Look at team performance as well as head-to-head matches against opponents. These things contribute to a team's winning chances. Also keep up to date with the latest injury news and injury reports as star players may be out for that particular game.

  • It's always better to bet with your head and not your heart on basketball! If you're a major basketball betting fan and support a basketball team, avoid betting on them, as your passion can cloud your judgement.

  • If you're a recreational bettor but not as familiar with how basketball works, it would be beneficial to understand the basic rules and game of basketball, as well the the biggest leagues, teams, and players, to help inform your decisions.

  • The more you bet on basketball at, the more exclusive rewards you can earn as part of the Stake VIP Club . Learn more about how monthly bonuses work , but please remember to gamble responsibly.

  • Keep up to date with the latest sports news at for more tips and tricks. You can also use our sports betting guide to inform your basketball betting strategy.

Basketball Betting Odds & Payouts Explained

You can decide how you want basketball odds to be represented, as fractions, decimals or in the American format. As basketball is most popular in the US, it's common to see basketball odds given in the American format.

The key thing to remember about American odds is that the negative odds identify the favourite, and the positive odds indicate the underdog.

If you're backing the favourite, the number given indicates how much you need to wager to win 100.00. If you're supporting the underdog, the price shows how much a bet of 100.00 will win.

You can cash out your winnings instantly at Stake's online sports betting site.

Deposit & Withdrawal Methods for Basketball Betting

Easily deposit funds into your account in order to bet on basketball and other sports by following the steps listed below:

  1. Step 1 - Retrieve your deposit address, located in Wallet > Deposit.

  2. Step 2 - Choose the method that suits your needs. supports multiple cryptocurrencies , including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (Doge), Litecoin (LTC), and others.

  3. Step 3 - Use your deposit address as the 'send to' location for your crypto wallet or exchange.

  4. Step 4 (Optional) - If you wish to make a deposit via fiat currency , you can deposit via the payment method available to your currency , or you can buy crypto for Stake via Moonpay. offers live support to players via our customer support staff for help with issues regarding basketball betting and depositing and withdrawing units .

Moonpay supports multiple payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others, to buy cryptocurrency to bet on basketball and other sports online. For a full list of supported payment methods, please refer to the Moonpay documentation .

Why Should You Bet on Basketball at is the home of basketball betting, whether you're backing your favourite NBA or NCAA team throughout the year. You're now all set to bet on basketball at our online sportsbook – best of luck as you make your selections and enjoy the action as it unfolds.