Basketball is one of the most watched and played sports in North America. As a result, basketball betting is now a multi-billion-dollar industry and, in this article, we’re going to look at how it works and how you can make money by betting on the sport.
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To do this we’ve concentrated on key areas such as the best basketball betting sites and the best bonuses. In addition, we’ve included information on betting markets, sign-up processes, markets, bet types, and even strategy.
WeltBet – Strongest Basketball Betting Lines in the Industry
Club Riches – Best for Basketball Betting Prop Bets
31Bet – Great Design and Easy to Use
1Good.Bet – Best for Live Betting on Basketball
Rabona – Best for Basketball Betting Promotions
Cobrabet – Best for Existing Player Offers
BetiBet – Easy to Use and Great Design for Basketball Betting
Reviews of the Best Basketball Sportsbooks
1) Bodog – Best Basketball Sportsbook Overall
Bodog takes the top spot as the best place for basketball betting. Coverage is superb across the board, with a huge emphasis on the NBA. It’s far from reliant on it, with leagues across Argentina, Columbia, Panama, Puerto Rico, and several countries within Europe.
Most games have at least a dozen markets to bet on, which include the likes of spread, win, total, and futures. Betting lines are very competitive, and you get access to both E-Basketball and eNBA if online leagues are your sort of thing.
Betting lines are very competitive
Basketball leagues from around the world
Lots of promotions that are primarily focused on the NBA
2) Stake.com – Great Design for Basketball Betting
Stake.com has improved its basketball section massively. You get access to both the men’s and women’s games from leagues hosted around the world. Each game comes linked to its impressive stats section which allows you to see a good amount of pre-game data.
The design of the site is one of the many highlights. It’s ultra-modern and very easy to use. The live betting section benefits massively from this and includes a live match center (mainly on NBA games) that allows you to see action in real time.
Best-designed sportsbook for basketball betting
Great mobile betting site
Access to a wide range of women’s basketball leagues as well as men’s
3) BetOnline – Over 25 Years as One of the Best Basketball Betting Site
BetOnline covers a wide range of leagues from around the world. It’s also one of the best for college basketball betting, with most games covered and a huge push around March Madness.
It’s future bets where BetOnline excels, allowing you to bet on markets in Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and many more. They are also one of few betting sites that cover the NBA draft, including markets such as the 1st round pick.
Banking options with BetOnline are plentiful, with crypto being the payment method of choice. Promotions can also be claimed, but these are often linked to NBA playoff and Championship games.
Over 25 years in the industry
Huge range of international leagues and tournaments to bet on
Some of the best betting lines
Wide range of specials, props, and futures bets
Live betting section doesn’t have many markets to bet on
4) XBet – Strongest Basketball Betting Lines in the Industry
XBet has some of the strongest betting lines that we’ve tested. They are consistently up there with the best and this transpires to all leagues within the sportsbook. Lines are strong across the three main markets (spread, total, and moneyline) which creates easy value for its players.
Coverage is very much international, although the NBA gets the lion’s share of anything outside of moneyline or simple futures bets. Countries include the likes of Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and Brazil. They even cover Chinese games, which is rare, but welcomed.
Strongest betting lines across the sportsbook
Excellent international coverage
Blog updated daily with basketball picks and news
Fast withdrawal options and dedicated crypto bonuses
One of the worst-looking sportsbooks that we’ve tested
5) MyBookie – Best for Basketball Betting Prop Bets
MyBookie has a huge range of prop bets to choose from, with over 50 for games in the NBA and the NCAA. It’s the highlight of the sportsbook and what’s more impressive is that most of these markets are taken across into the live betting section. Examples include alternative handicaps, alternative totals, and the spread of player points. These are unique to MyBookie.
The sportsbook covers basketball as well as any, but the lack of consistency in betting lines is what lets it down. However, you’ve still got access to one of the best live betting sections, tons of free and fast banking options, basketball-specific promos, and a VIP section where you earn points as you bet.
6) Everygame – Great Design and Easy to Use Basketball Betting Site
Basketball is one of Everygame’s biggest sports and coverage, overall, is very good. They include games from around the world and do well at hosting markets for international fixtures as well. Markets include spread, totals, and moneyline, with betting lines being fairly competitive.
Banking options are good, with an obvious push to encourage crypto payments. These come with the lowest minimum deposits and the fastest processing times. Customer support is available around the clock, with a strong “help” section that will cover most FAQs.
BetNow has a great live betting section for basketball. The layout and match center allows users to track both the game and markets with ease. Market coverage overall is excellent, however, it relies heavily on the NBA and NCAA to fuel its coverage, with a lack of options outside of these leagues.
The site has a handy search feature that allows you to hunt for games and markets. It’s a sportsbook that is packed with offers and promotions, some of which are specific to basketball betting.
Great live betting section
Coverage of NBA and NCAA is excellent
Lots of promotions that are primarily focused on the NBA
BUSR comes in heavy with offers and promotions. This is a formula that they’ve had success with for many years now, with the welcome offer often being one of the biggest that you can claim in terms of the bonus.
Coverage for the sport is good, although it is strongly weighted toward NBA betting markets. Betting lines were highly competitive, and the site is one of the better-looking sportsbooks that we’ve tested. This all ties in with good customer support, a wide range of banking options, and access to a mobile betting site.
Best for promotions and bonuses
Good betting lines, very competitive
Easy-to-use sportsbook with mobile betting options
9) Sportsbetting.ag – Best for Existing Player Promotions
Sportsbetting.ag might have a dated design, but it does the basics well. Coverage throughout the sport is good and we liked the additions of leagues from across Europe and the Philippines. Prop bets are accessible with all games and betting lines are relatively competitive overall.
Promotions are excellent for both new and existing players, with a range of reload bonuses once you’ve completed the welcome offer. Examples of ongoing offers include boosts on parlays, enhanced odds, and a weekly rebate on all sports bets.
10) PowBet – Easy to Use and Great Design for Basketball Betting
PowBet is the best-looking sportsbook for basketball betting. The modern design makes it easy to use and allows you to move through the vast range of basketball games that the site offer.
Live betting is the highlight for PowBet. You can jump into the match center to see live updates of the game and not just track your markets but highlight them as favorites to move them to the top of the list. Coverage is across the US, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, and across Europe.
Great design and usability
Live betting center is one of the best that we’ve tested
You first need an account with a betting site. Then it’s simply a case of making your pick and choosing your stake.
What does plus/minus mean in basketball?
The plus and minus figures are linked to the points spread. This is a theoretical handicap that is used exclusively for this market. Plus is where points are added to the final score and minus are points that are taken away.
What does +1.5 mean in basketball betting?
+1.5 is reference to points that are added to a score for the purpose of a spread bet. So, at the end of the game 1.5 points will be added to that teams score to create the spread.
Where can I bet on basketball?
You can bet on basketball at pretty much any sportsbook. Given the sport’s popularity, all of these sportsbooks will have an extensive range of NBA games as well as games from around the world.
What is the best bet in basketball?
It’s impossible to say what the best bet in basketball is as it will vary for each game. You’re trying to find value in all bets that you make. This means that you think the odds of the result are higher than you perceive.
What is the safest basketball betting strategy?
Sticking with leagues and teams that you know is the safest basketball strategy. You need to know as much about a team as possible to make a more informed decision on the result.
What does made threes mean in basketball?
Made threes is the number of three pointers that is scored in a game. For example, if you back 5 or more made threes, then you need six three pointers to be scored for that bet to win.
Comparing the Best Basketball Betting Sites
The table below looks at the best basketball betting sites and what sort of bonuses you can expect to claim. We’ve also included information on parlays, live betting and live streaming.
Live Basketball Betting
Live Basketball Streaming
100% match up to $600
200% up to $1,000
50% up to $1,000
100% up to $500
100% up to $1,000
100% up to $750
150% up to $300
100% up to $1,000
50% up to $1,000
100% up to $150
Are Offshore Basketball Betting Sites Legal in Canada?
Yes, offshore betting sites are legal in Canada. These sportsbooks are located offshore and fully regulated by the jurisdiction that they reside in. It means that they can allow Canadian citizens based on their laws, instead of Canadian laws.
However, due to the rise in gambling within the country and the relaxation of laws, there would be a conflict of interest here that would restrict access. All you need to do is register with the sportsbook and then start betting as you would on any other betting site.
Is Basketball Betting Legal in Canada?
Yes, basketball betting is legal in Canada. Sports betting in general has been around since 1985, but the lifting of the federal ban on single-game sports in August 2021 now means that any restrictions on sports betting have been relaxed.
As a result, the online sector has grown exponentially, with 9 regions legalizing online betting and 13 that have retail options. Ontario lifted the ban in April 2022 and since then has gone on to approve no fewer than 23 online sportsbooks and 46 total gaming operators.
All the sportsbooks that we recommend on this page are legal to play in Canada. However, it’s worth noting that, at the time of writing, BetMGM is only accessible in Ontario.
Our Criteria for Choosing a Top Basketball Betting Site
Use the section below to see how to rate the best basketball betting sites. These are all key factors that come into the equation when making comparisons.
Range of Basketball Bets
The range of bets is how deep the market coverage is. The best basketball betting sites go beyond that of spread, moneyline, and totals. Bets to look out for include an increased range of each of the main lines, most player points, most free throws, and a host of both player and team markets.
Choice of Basketball Events
The NBA is the main league for most Canadian punters. However, the sport is played globally and the inclusion of highly competitive leagues across Europe (Spain, Greece, etc.) and Asia offer a year-round betting opportunity.
Bonus & Promotions
All betting sites have some sort of promo or welcome offer. The best have a lucrative signup bonus to go along with basketball-specific offers that run throughout the season. A popular addition is that of enhanced odds, which creates massive value for those single markets.
Safety & Security
The betting site needs to be safe and fair. All of the betting sites that we list on this page are fully licensed and regulated to make sure that player funds are safe and that odds listed are fair and proper.
Moving money in and out of betting accounts needs to be fast and ideally free. The payment methods will range from site to site but can include Visa, Mastercard, e-wallets, check, and bank transfer. One of the newest payment methods is a cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
You need to be able to access a support team around the clock. Live chat is the best method and one that is now widely integrated, but you can also get support via phone and email.
How to Sign Up and Bet on Basketball
The process of creating an account with an online sportsbook is very simple. Use this guide to walk you through the process with our best basketball betting site, Bodog.
1) Open Account
You can click this link to be taken through the Bodog sportsbook where you will be greeted with the main page for the sportsbook. Click on the “Join” button at the top to get started.
2) Enter Account Information
You’re now going to be asked a series of questions related to your account and to confirm personal details. Please make sure that at each step you take the time to make sure the info you input is correct as you will need to verify this later.
3) Login and Deposit
Once the account has been set up, you now need to log in using the username and password you created. After you’re in, head to the cashier to make a deposit. You can choose any of the deposit options to find your account.
4) Use the Menu to find Basketball
Now that you have a funded account, you can place a bet. To do this, use the sports section down the left-hand side to find basketball. Click on the sport and this will open a host of upcoming games and markets.
5) Place a Bet
To place your bet, you need to click on the odds for that game. Doing so will add the bet to your bet slip which you can find at the bottom of the page. When you open the bet slip you will see your selection along with a “Stake” box at the bottom. Choose the amount you want to wager and then click on “Place bet”.
How Basketball Betting Works
Most Canadian sportsbooks are set up using decimal odds. However, it’s not uncommon for them to be in American or Fractional, and you can choose whichever is best from the three.
Decimal odds are the easiest to use as to get your return you simply multiply your stake by your odds. If you were to bet $10 at odds of 2.0, then your returns would be $20. It’s worth noting that decimal odds include your stake in the total returns, so $10 at 2.0 would be a $10 stake returned and $10 profit.
Let’s run through a quick example of how this works.
Returns from $50 bet
Golden State Warriors
As you can see from the table above, a $50 bet on Golden State at odds of 1.85 gets a return of $92.50 and a $50 bet on Boston gets a return of $105.
Single-Game Basketball Betting Explained
Betting on basketball in Canada has been around since 1985. However, it was limited as to what you could bet on with only parlay bets and pari-mutuel bets allowed. On top of this, these bets could also only be placed via Canada’s lottery system, which was less than ideal.
In August 2021 Bill C-218 was passed, which allowed for single-game sports betting. This means that you’re able to place single bets, which is huge, it essentially removes any restrictions from betting in the country.
As a result, the uptake in both online and retail betting sites has been colossus. It’s estimated that over $14 billion a year will be generated in the country from offshore gambling alone.
Popular Types of Basketball Betting Markets
Basketball betting comes with a wide range of markets to bet on. We’ve included the best of these below with examples of how they work.
Moneyline bets are where you back a team to win the game straight up. There are no handicaps or spreads applied and the winner of the game will be the winner of this bet. Basketball can include uneven matchups, meaning that the odds can be very short or long, where applicable.
Orlando Magic +4
Miami Heat -4
The spread is where a theoretical advantage/handicap is applied to a team. This comes in the form of points. One team will have points added and the other subtracted.
In the example above, the spread is set at 4, which means that Orlando have 4 points added to their final score and Miami have 4 points subtracted. So, if you bet on Orlando at +4 and the score finished 99 -101 in favor of Miami, the spread would add 4 points to Orlando, making the adjusted score 103 – 101 and as a result, your bet would win.
The totals market is all to do with the total number of points scored by both teams. The sportsbook sets a line that is somewhere near even money where possible for both results. You then need to choose the over or under for that line.
It’s worth noting that if the points fall on exactly the line, then the bet will be a push. Some markets will include fractional points (within 0.5) to ensure a result.
29.5 points (1.8)
29.5 points (1.8)
25.5 points (1.8)
25.5 points (1.8)
Prop bets can range, but they are unquestionably some of the more exciting basketball betting markets. One of the more popular is the over/under on points scored by individual players.
As you can see from the example above, points are almost always in decimal. This ensures that there will always be a result and not a push.
NBA Championship Winner
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Futures are where you bet on a market that is going to complete sometime in the future. This might be the NBA Championship winner, Divisional winner, or MVP. The earlier that you bet on these markets, generally the better the odds.
Orlando Magic to win
Miami Heat to win
Phoenix Suns to win
Denver Nuggets to win
Total Parlay Odds
A parlay is a combination bet that includes two or more selections. To get the odds for this bet you need to multiply each of the odds by itself. For example, if you had a 5-team parlay all priced at 2.0, you would do 2*2*2*2*2 = 32.0
Basketball Betting Strategies & Systems
To be profitable at basketball betting, you need to have a solid strategy in place. We’ve listed some things that are going to allow you to win more with your basketball bets.
Basketball, and the NBA in particular, can have grueling schedules. They might play multiple games in a week, and this can all be tied in with several days of traveling, especially when teams go on the road for prolonged periods.
As a result, player fatigue plays a huge role. You need to see which teams are fresh are which might be tired. Strong teams such as Golden State and Boston have strong rosters, which means that nonstarters are usually very high quality. But most teams will have a big gulf in class between the starting 5 and the guys on the bench.
Teams will often perform better at home than they do on the road. Home comforts and a home crowd play a big role in this.
Target big underdogs to cover the spread when at home. If a team is around +8 or more points on the spread, it may offer good value to take this on given that, even though they are likely to lose, they will be more engaged than if they were on the road.
Follow the Money
Professional basketball punters are notorious for watching how betting lines react. If lines shorten, then this means that money is coming in and people are starting to favor that pick.
Conversely, if betting lines drift, then the field is moving away from that pick. For those that are new to basketball betting, you can do a lot worse than simply betting on markets that are starting to shorten in price given that we know this is where the majority of bets are going.
Our Top Tips for Betting on Basketball
Use the tips below to create a solid platform for betting on basketball. These are designed to be a little more generic than the strategies above and will create excellent foundations for long-term profitability.
1. Check the Form
Form guides will give you an idea of how well each team is playing. It’s tough to back teams on losing streaks and easy to back those on winning streaks. It’s not always as black and white as that, but If you’ve a team that has won 8 out of their last 10 against a team that has lost 8 out of the last 10, then it’s easy to see where the smart money is going here.
2. Follow Picks
Most basketball betting sites will have picks for upcoming game weeks. You don’t need to follow each pick but use these to see how they compare to your own picks. Sometimes having a little reassurance from other sources is a good thing.
3. Use Welcome Bonuses and Free Bets
If you’re new to an online betting site then chances are you’re going to be eligible for a welcome bonus. They range in terms of value, but it’s generally easy to get something for nothing here. Target deposit match offers that allow claiming potentially hundreds to use for your bankroll.
4. Bankroll Management
Only ever bet what you can afford to lose. Use your bankroll as points instead of cash. Assign points to bets in relation to how confident you are for that bet winning. For example, your standard bet might be 1 point, but a bet that you’re very confident in might be worth 5 points.
Biggest Basketball Conferences and Divisions to Bet on
Basketball has a wide range of leagues, conferences, and divisions to bet on. In this section, we’re going to look at what they are and how they work.
The NBA Championship is the pinnacle of the sport and includes teams from across North America. It’s the finals of the postseason and sees the best team from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference go head to head. The finals are played as a best of 7 and as of 2022, has been won 40 times by the Eastern Conference and 35 times by the Western Conference.
NCAA (College Basketball)
The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is the college basketball league in the United States. It’s one of the elite leagues that is seen as a feeder for younger players to then get into the NBA. It’s broken up into three divisions, all with respected leagues within. The majority of the best NBA players have played some form of NCAA basketball.
The Euroleague is made up of 13 teams that are located across mainland Europe. It’s run by a private company, but it links in a series of second and third-tier teams as well. Running since 2000, the league has developed into the most watched league outside of North America and standout teams include FC Barcelona, Milan, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich.
Basketball Champions League (BCL)
The BCL is one of the newest competitions that run in Europe with its first season tipping off in 2016. It’s organized by the FIBA and includes 32 teams divided into groups before a knockout event starts with the winners and runners-up from those respected groups. The winning team receives €1,000,000 as a reward.
Canadian Basketball Teams to Bet On
Canada has a host of successful basketball teams. However, there is only one that plays at the top level, which is the Toronto Raptors who are a member of the NBA.
The Toronto Raptors are Canada’s most successful basketball team and reside in the NBA. They were formed in 1995 and take part in the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division. They have won the NBA Championships just once, back in 2019, which sparked huge scenes of celebration throughout the city. However, they’ve won the divisional title 7 times, with the most recent coming in 2020.
Bonuses for Basketball Betting Online
Bonuses play a huge role in basketball betting. We’ve included some of the bonuses that you need to look out for along with information on how each of them works.
Match Deposit Sign Up Bonuses
The match deposit sign-up bonus is the most popular of the welcome offers. This is where the sportsbook will match your opening deposit with a bonus.
For example, this might be a 100% match up to $1,000. So, if you deposit $750, then you will get an additional $750 in bonus cash. You then need to wager the bonus a set number of times (wagering requirements) before you’re able to move the bonus from your bonus balance into your cash balance.
No Deposit Bonus
A no-deposit is a bonus that is applied without the need for a deposit. These are smaller than the deposit match and are usually limited in terms of how much you can win from them. However, given that they are free, they are highly lucrative.
Free bets are applied to your account for you to use in the sportsbook. They are set amounts that you’re usually able to wager on any market you like and then keep the winnings as cash. Stakes are not returned for free bets.
Bitcoin & Crypto Bonuses
Bitcoin and crypto payment methods are now very popular with sportsbooks. As a result, you can get a dedicated bonus when you use this payment method to deposit. They work in the same way as the matched bonuses as outlined above.
Reload or Top-Up Bonuses
A reload bonus is one that you can claim after the initial welcome bonus. This can be applied to your second deposit at the sportsbook, with some extending it to future deposits as well.
A risk-free bet is where the sportsbook allows you to place a bet and then if it loses, they will refund your stake. Refunds are generally paid out in bonus cash, however, some will repay straight back to your cash balance, which is preferable if you can find them.
The Best Payment Methods for Basketball Betting
Banking at basketball betting sites is now as accessible as it’s ever been. Use the information below to see what sort of payment methods you can access and a little more about how they work.
Crypto Betting Options
Crypto is the newest payment method in the sector. The uptake to use this has been huge and sportsbooks are getting on board by offering dedicated bonuses just for this currency.
You’re able to access a wide range of coins, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Binance being the more popular ones. All you need to do is hook your crypto wallet up to your betting account and move the balance across just as you would a bank transfer. Learn more about crypto betting sites.
eWallet Betting Options
An eWallet (Electronic Wallet) is an account that you can set up to run your sports betting bankroll. It links directly to your bank, but it means that you don’t need to link your bank to your betting site. All you need to do is load your eWallet from your bank and then use that as your “bank” for online betting.
Popular eWallets include the likes of PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller.
Traditional Payment Methods
Traditional payment methods include the likes of debit cards, credit cards, and checks. These are still highly accessible, but they are not always the best way to move money. Most betting sites include fees with the likes of Visa and Mastercard, which means that the options mentioned above are usually cheaper and faster to process.
2022 Basketball Schedule
The table below highlights some of the key fixtures and games from basketball leagues around the world.
October 18th 2022
Start of NBA Season
February 17th – 19th 2023
NBA All-Star Weekend
Salt Lake City
April 11th – 14th 2023
NBA Play-In Tournament
April 15th 2023
June 1st 2023
NBA Finals Game 1
November 11th 2022
Armed Forces Classic
USS Abraham Lincoln
March 12th 2023
April 3rd 2023
NCAA Championship Game
Betting on Basketball Near Me
Sports betting is on a sharp rise in Canada which means basketball betting is now highly accessible. Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon are the only provinces that are currently only accepting retail betting (no online).
Provinces that accept both include Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.
The Best Basketball Betting Site in Canada
Bodog takes our top spot as the best basketball betting site in Canada. The sportsbook offers incredible coverage for the NBA, including dozens of prop bets for every regular season and post-season game.
This is linked to one of the best welcome offers where you can get up to $400 in bonus cash plus 50 free spins at the casino. On top of this, you get access to a full range of live betting markets and also live streaming for selected games.
Jonathan has been working within the iGaming sector since 2007. After graduating with a BA Hons in Marketing from Northumbria University, he's been able to set up his own online content business, working with some of the biggest brands in the iGaming sector. Outside of work he enjoys any type of sports, especially cricket, golf, football and darts.