Basketball Betting at Bally Bet Sportsbook

Fast-paced, high-scoring; a magical combination of team effort and individual prowess – it’s hard to argue against basketball as a spectator sport. Viewers from all around the world tune in to basketball games to see their favorite teams and players do what they do best.

As basketball’s profile has grown, so have basketball betting markets.

In the present day, the options are practically limitless. You can bet online on college, the NBA, women's basketball, and games from around the world – and you can do all this from over 20 (a number that keeps growing) states.

In this guide, we’ll break down the most common basketball bets, explain how odds work, and share some tips to help you develop your betting strategy.

How to Read Basketball Betting Odds

When it comes to reading odds, the fundamental rule is that any basketball squad with negative odds (-) is considered the favorite to win. In contrast, the team with positive odds (+) is the underdog.

Ultimately, you can use odds to determine your potential payout. If the odds are positive, you multiply them by your bet size and then divide by 100 to reveal your profit.

For example, let's say you bet $100 on the San Antonio Spurs to beat the Denver Nuggets at +175 odds. Your potential profit would be $175 ((100*175) / 100). If they win, your total payout would be $275 ($175 and your $100 stake back).

If the team has negative odds, then they show the bet size you need to make to win $100. For example, if you bet on the Boston Celtics to beat the Utah Jazz at -180, you’d need to wager $180 to win around $100 in profit.

Basketball odds are essentially implied probability: The odds present the chances of your bet winning based on the book’s calculations. To calculate this, simply take your American odds, transform them into decimal odds, and then divide one (1) by that decimal figure.


• You bet on the Sacramento Kings to beat the Portland Trail Blazers at -150

• Convert -150 to decimal format ((100/150) + 1 = 1.67)

• Divide 1 by 1.67 and multiply that figure by 100 = 60%

This means the book believes the Kings will beat the Trail Blazers 6/10 times. Think the Kings have a 60% chance of winning? Then you’re in a good position to place your wager.

Popular Basketball Bets

At Bally Bet Sportsbook, we’ve got some of the most extensive basketball betting markets on the planet. Here's are just a few of the most popular bet types you can expect from us:


With a moneyline bet, all you’re doing is predicting which basketball team is going to win a game.

For example, if you bet $100 on the Cleveland Cavaliers to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, and they win the game 114-112, your bet will pay out.


Basketball spread betting is like a supercharged version of moneyline betting. You need to predict which basketball team is going to win, while factoring in the points handicap placed by the book.

So, let's say you bet on the Dallas Mavericks at -4.5 against the Houston Rockets. They'll not only need to win the game but also finish in the lead by at least 5+ points for your bet to land.


With a totals bet, your task is to predict how many points will be scored in a basketball game. If that sounds a little tricky, don’t worry – the bet is presented as an over/under. The sportsbook sets the line, and you need to predict if the number of points will be over or under that line.

For example, the Golden State Warriors are playing the Miami Heat and the line is 228.5. If you take the over and 229 or more points are scored, you win.


Teasers are unique spread parlays. With a teaser, you can increase or decrease the point spread if you combine multiple spread bets into a parlay.


With this basketball wager, you needn't be too concerned about the final result of the game. Instead, you're trying to predict which team will score more in a particular quarter.

So, if you were to bet on the Toronto Raptors beating the Phoenix Suns in the 1st quarter and they did, you'd receive a payout.


Bet on the outcome of multistage basketball events with a futures bet. Common futures bets include betting on a team to win the NBA championship or NCAA tournament – or betting on a player to win the MVP award.


With props, you can bet on all the different aspects of a basketball game. To give you an idea, you can bet on the player who will score the first points, wager on your favorite player scoring a triple-double, or even predict which player you think will foul out.

Live Basketball Betting

Just because the ref has blown the opening whistle doesn’t mean opportunities to win need to stop. Thanks to our extensive live basketball betting markets, you can place wagers with Bally Bet from the opening tip to deep into the 4th quarter.

During live betting, the odds constantly move up and down based on the action on the court. For example, if an underdog surges to a 10-point, 3rd-quarter lead, it will then be considered the favorite.

All your favorite bets are available with our live markets, and that includes moneylines, spreads, and props.

College Basketball Betting

At Bally Bet Sportsbook, you’ve got all the options you could hope for when you want to bet on basketball. There are odds for the NCAA, and that includes all the games during March Madness, and there are just as many betting options with college basketball as there are with the NBA!

Basketball Betting Advice & Tips

Before you start betting on NBA and college games, here are a few basketball betting tips that may boost your chances of picking a winner:

Stay on top of the latest news

Player updates, especially those regarding injuries, can be paramount to a team’s performance in a sport that’s as individualistic as basketball.

Bet against teams coming off a blowout beating the spread

Just because an NBA team has blown out their opponents doesn’t mean they’ll do it in their next match. In fact, if a team has won their previous game by 15+ points, they’re less likely to beat the spread than other teams.

Bet against losing teams who are playing a back-to-back

Everyone knows that NBA teams struggle when they’re playing a back-to-back game with no break to recalibrate in between. However, teams who have a losing record and are playing a back-to-back game away have an even greater chance of losing.

Take the over for totals

If you look at the trajectory of NBA scoring, the number is only going up. An NBA team now averages over 114 points per game. The NBA continues to make the game scorer-friendly. Also, if you bet on the over and the game goes to overtime, you have a greater chance of winning.

Bet against the public

You can look at basketball betting percentages to see which team the public believes is going to win and then bet on the other team. You should wait for the line to swing in the other direction, as the books try to encourage bettors to back the other team and then pounce. In the process, you could lock up some great odds.

Bet on Basketball with the Bally Bet Sportsbook App

Sports betting on the go just got a whole lot easier, thanks to the Bally Bet Sportsbook betting app.

It’s completely free to download, and it’s been tailor-made to provide you with a seamless and enjoyable mobile betting experience wherever you are (as long as it’s in a state where we operate).

You’ll find betting markets galore for every sport imaginable, including basketball, as soon as you open the app. And you can place any of the bets mentioned in this article with just a few taps of the screen.

So, if untethered sports betting seems like something you’d enjoy, download the app today and check out a bunch of features such as live streams and real-time updates, odds boosts, early cash-outs, and much more.

Popular Basketball Betting Questions

If you see a plus sign (+) next to a team, that means it’s the underdog, and the sportsbook expects them to lose.

You can multiply the plus odds to determine your profit. For example, if you bet $100 on the Knicks to win at +180, your potential profit is $180.

Minus 1.5, often written as -1.5, is a points handicap where the team starts the game down minus 1.5 points. If you bet on a team with a 1.5 handicap to win, they need to win the game by two points or more for your bet to pay out.

College basketball betting percentages show you the total number of wagers placed on different games and teams. You can use this information to potentially uncover teams that are overvalued or undervalued and bet against the public.

You can at Bally Bet!

The Summer League is an off-season league held by the NBA where rookies and developing players showcase their skills in hopes of making a team’s roster.

Unless otherwise stated, all basketball bets include overtime.

"Stocks" is the portmanteau for a player’s combination of steals and blocks per game. As a quick example, if a player is averaging three steals and one block per game, his stocks per game would be four.

The term was invented by sports journalist Bill Simmons, and it’s a great measure of a player's defensive prowess.

PRA is the initialism used to describe the combination of a player’s points, rebounds, and assists per game. If an NBA player scores 20 points, grabs eight rebounds, and racks up seven assists, his PRA would be 35. There’s also PA, which calculates the total number of points and assists.