In terms of the sports betting world, basketball is rising through the ranks and slowly but surely assuming the position as one of the most attractive sports to bet on. Not only is there a number of professional leagues from around the world, the number of high-profile international basketball events seems to be growing on an annual basis. For bettors, all this means is a wider array of events upon which they can wager and an even greater number of propositions than ever before.
Despite the fact that there are literally thousands of different sportsbooks online that allow you the ability to wager on basketball games, this does not mean that your betting experience will be the same regardless of where you choose to go. As such, the following will serve as a guide such that you can know what to look for in order to differentiate a sportsbook that might serve your basketball betting needs from one that may be lacking in one or multiple different areas. We will touch everything from very general to very specific topics to get you the answers you need and ultimately make you a more informed bettor.
What to Look For
While it is true that no two basketball sportsbooks are created equally, there are some things that absolutely every sportsbook should have. These offerings not only ensure that you are able to place a wager on basketball games from around the world, they also ensure that you will have a selection of different wagers to make.
Bet Types Available
No matter what basketball sportsbook you choose, you will notice that they all feature moneyline, spread, and over/under wager options more often than not. No matter whether you are betting on the NBA Finals or a regular season matchup between two teams from Poland’s Tauron Basket Liga, there is a strong likelihood that there will be at least a spread and over/under propositions, and often a moneyline wagering option as well.
Where you begin to differentiate sportsbooks from one another is not with the aforementioned standard betting options, but with the alternate propositions offered, such as wagers on the first or second half, or wagers regarding the performance of a specific player. Bovada, which is known for offering a wide selection of basketball betting, will offer in upwards of 50 different betting options for a single regular season game, and more propositions for higher-profile games such as playoffs. GT Bets, which is known much more for its soccer betting, may only offer up to 5 different betting options on the same NBA game.
For the hardcore NBA bettor, it is clear to see that Bovada might be the superior pick of the 2. In the same breath, GT Bets reduced betting options may give you reduced juice on the bets placed versus the same bets at a site like Bovada, which is known for juicing favorites. In other words, a site that is not necessarily known for its basketball offering may boast better odds than a site where basketball betting is a hallmark.
When it comes down to it, whether the number/type of betting options available at a specific sportsbook is suitable or not is something only you and your personal preferences can determine.
In-Game Betting Options
Another aspect of the modern online sportsbook that is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of bettors is the existence of in-game, or live, betting options. For the inexperienced bettor, these are wagers that can be placed anytime after tipoff and throughout the course of the game. In many ways, the in-game betting options at a given sportsbook will mirror the traditional-pre-game betting options.
To continue with the sportsbooks mentioned above, Bovada will often feature a vast selection of in-game bets while a site like GT Bets may not feature any. Fortunately, checking the live betting layout of a sportsbook is something you can do before ever signing up or making a deposit. If live betting is something you see yourself participating in, be sure that you select a sportsbook like Bovada, or BetOnline, or MyBookie, all of which boast attractive in-game betting interfaces and a large number of individual betting options.
Props and Future Betting
They may not be as common as a single game spread bet, propositions and futures bets are still wildly popular. When we talk about propositions, these can apply to either individual players, whole teams, or both. Futures bets, on the other hand, are typically those wagers that apply to a team’s performance by the time a season has been completed. For example, Intertops offers futures betting on the eventual champions of the different NBA divisions. Bookmaker, on the other hand, boasts only a futures option relating to the eventual champion of the NBA Finals. Most sites will offer some sort of futures bets, however the number and variety of futures is something that changes from site to site.
When it comes to proposition bets, there are few sites out there who can say they offer more than Bovada. In addition to the slew of bets you can place on a single basketball game’s outcome, there are also plenty of other bets, such as player props relating to the over/under scoring tally of a specific player. Other Bovada propositions will see a moneyline bet pitting two individual players from opposing teams against one another. A bet on one of the players is a wager saying that he will score more than the opposing player he is pitted against. Prop bets can get extremely specific, and the number of them that exists tends to grow along with the popularity/notoriety of the game and players in question.
Coverage of Leagues
Unfamiliar bettors may think that there are few professional basketball leagues other than the United States’ NBA, but the reality is that there are dozens of professional basketball leagues from all over Europe, the Americas, Africa, and even Asia. Admittedly, a large number of sportsbooks do a poor job of covering leagues other than the NBA, but that is slowly beginning to change.
Sites like Bookmaker and Intertops do well to extend beyond the NBA, and they cover leagues from places like Denmark, Poland, Australia, and Argentina. Just as it is with any other aspect of basketball betting, it is important that you carefully dissect a sportsbook’s basketball betting landscape before committing to that site. If your main focus is going to be on NBA, almost every sportsbook will have betting available for you, but if you are looking to dig a bit deeper and bet on lesser-known leagues, this is something worth learning a bit more about.
It would make sense that the same NBA spread bet placed on two different sites would yield the same payout, but that is often far from the case. The unknowing better loses a plethora of money on an annual basis without even realizing it because some sites offer consistently worse payouts than others. Despite Bovada having arguably the widest and most complete basketball betting coverage, they tend to offer worse odds than other sportsbooks for a similar bet.
On a given night, for example, you might see an underdog from a single NBA game listed at +110 at GT Bets, while a site like BetOnline or Bovada might offer even money (+100) moneyline odds for the same team. This is not a drastic difference, but over an extended period of time you might be giving away loads of money to a sportsbook that juices their lines more than others.
When we tell you that you should be concerned with a site’s betting limits, you might think that is something directed solely at those people who are going to be wagering large sums of money on single games, or in a single night. While this is important for higher-limit bettors to know, the lower end of the limits spectrum is equally important for the casual bettor.
5Dimes is the supreme choice for the better who wants to wager as little as $0.50 on a single basketball game. In some cases, 5Dimes allows you to place parlays for even less than that. Sportbet.com is another great site for the casual bettor who does not want to break the bank just to wager on a basketball game. Many other sites, such as MyBookie, Bovada, and BetOnline place a $1 minimum on all basketball bets. When it comes to the higher end of the betting limits spectrum, this varies-often dramatically-between the different sportsbooks.
At Sportbet, for example, wagering anything above $5,000 on a single proposition is often difficult, and even impossible. At BetOnline the story is mostly the same, however, spread bets are capped at a whopping $10,000. The list goes on and on, but the main takeaway is that there is no “industry standard” when it comes to both the high and low betting limits.
Mobile Basketball Betting
Just as it is with live betting, mobile betting on basketball is becoming an increasingly popular method of wagering. Fortunately, there is almost no sportsbook worth mentioning that does not have some sort of mobile betting available. When it comes to the best, most user-friendly mobile sportsbooks for basketball, few sites are able to compete with MyBookie, Bovada, and BetOnline. If you are able to view both simultaneously, you will notice that the aforementioned handful of sites offer a mobile betting experience that is nearly identical to the experience gained from betting on a desktop or laptop. What we mean by this is that if you can place the wager on your computer, you can place the same wager on the same site via your smartphone or tablet.
With that being said, very few sportsbooks promote nor offer a downloadable app the likes of which you might be familiar with through dealings with smartphones. Instead, these mobile sportsbooks can be easily navigated to from the browser that exists on your device.
Mobile betting has gotten so advanced that it is becoming increasingly commonplace to find live betting options even when you are wagering via your mobile device. BetOnline, for example, has a decent live betting mobile offering that is both easy to use and full of betting options and different propositions.
For players, once they determine which sportsbook they would like to use to place wagers on basketball, the next most logical step is to figure out how you can deposit in order to fund an account and ultimately cash out winnings. When it comes to banking options, there is no singular deposit option that is more popular than a credit card. Because the deposit process takes a matter of seconds and is as simple as any online shopping transaction, it is both familiar and easy. With that said, it is also the deposit method that carries with it the higher fees. With fees ranging from 2%-5%, credit card deposits can quickly become burdensome and expensive.
Another viable method of deposit that often cuts down on fees or eliminates them altogether is via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is a relatively new method of deposit, but it is one that is being promoted by sportsbooks as both quick and inexpensive. Furthermore, you can withdraw winnings via most cryptocurrencies, which is not an option with credit cards.
Checks by courier as well as bank wires are other methods of withdrawing winnings, but both of these methods carry fees that can get out of hand in a hurry. E-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Entropay, are also accepted banking options at plenty of basketball sportsbooks, but whether a site supports e-wallet banking is something that should be researched prior to creating an account and attempting to make a deposit.