If football is known as the world’s most popular ball game, then basketball would surely be the second in line. With professional tournaments in just about every country on earth, world championships and Olympic representation, basketball’s global reach is undeniable.
The height of competitive basketball is the National Basketball Association – with an undeniable ubiquitous appeal of cool that speaks to the younger generation as well as the showcase of skill that keeps the ardent fans coming back year after year.
On the women’s side the Women’s National Basketball Association is the top tier of basketball in the world, boasting the top female players from around the world.
In Australia the pinnacle of competitive Basketball is the National Basketball League.
The NBL’s appeal has experienced a boost since 2010 when it looked like the league was dead and buried in not only media coverage but the overall standard of the competition itself.
The female equivalent is also stronger than ever in Australia, with the interest and quality of the Women’s National Basketball League growing every year. Of course the success of the Opals, the Australian team, and the stars we provide to the American league has also helped promote the female game in Australia.
Australian bookies will offer betting on everything from the NBA, the NBL to futures markets for upcoming international events.
The National Basketball Association is the world’s biggest basketball league, and as such the demand for markets to bet upon is vast.
The 30 teams in the NBA are split into two conferences, Western and Eastern with the winner from each conference going on to play in the NBA finals to determine who the world champions are.
The NBA regular season makes it very easy for punters who want to place basketball bets on with regularity given that games are played almost every day with typically a minimum of two games per day.
With 82 games played by each team throughout the regular season there are always head-to-head markets, line bets and any other bet you can think of.
Prior to the commencement of the season online bookmakers such as Sportsbet produce comprehensive futures markets on just about every aspect of the NBA season.
The outright market on the NBA title winner typically goes up prior to the completion of the current season.
Along with this, NBA conference betting is available, with both the Western and Eastern conference title markets open almost as soon as the winners are determined.
To round out team betting in the National Basketball Association, playoff betting is available on every team.
With a yes or no option on all 30 teams, punters have the option to pick a pre-season bolter who looks set to exceed expectations or a go with a team who has made a habit of making the playoffs to drop off the pace.
However, team betting is not the only point of popularity beneath the NBA umbrella.
Given that NBA is one of the more individualistic team sports in the world (there are only five players on the court at one time) online bookmakers place great emphasis on individual markets.
The league’s Most Valuable Player award (MVP) is the most prestigious individual award in the NBA and is awarded to the player adjudged to be the best player throughout the NBA season.
Since the 1980–81 season, the award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first to fifth place selections.
Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one. Starting from 2010, one ballot was cast by fans through online voting. The player with the highest point total wins the award.
The other big award given to a high performance player in the league is the scoring title winner which is the simplest market in the NBA – whoever scores the most points in the regular season wins the scoring title.
On the other end of the spectrum is the defensive player of the year title, which is awarded to the player adjudged the best at stopping the opposition from scoring. The winner is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the USA and Canada.
Another great market for punters to attack is the NBA coach of the year market.
The coach of the year is awarded at the completion of regular season and is not necessarily awarded to the mentor of the team with the best record.
The young guys are not neglected either with the rookie of the year award also having a market framed for it, with any guy playing in his first year – regardless of his age – available to win the award.
Lastly, college basketball experts can bet on the No.1 pick in the NBA draft, with the market typically already in the frame 12 months out from the commencement of the draft, which takes place after the completion of the NBA finals.
The title winner market is the most popular one available, but there are several others that draw a lot of attention from punters.
The NBL season mirrors more of the traditional football ladder system, and because of this, a minor premier is awarded to the team who finishes on top of the ladder. Online bookmakers have taken notice of this and offer the market.
Given there are a lot less teams in the NBL, the top four finish is a market that exists in the Australian incarnation rather than the American one.
Another team market on the other end of the spectrum is the most losses frame, with the team that wins the least games in the regular season.
The NBL mirrors the NBA in the same way it awards an MVP award and many other individual accolades for players who have performed well during the regular season.
NBL broadcast agreement – A new dawn for the NBL?
In the 90s the NBL used to be on free-to-air television on occasion – something that stopped a long time ago. But in 2015 the NBL announced a landmark deal with Australian pay television provider Foxtel which has agreed to broadcast all games of NBL live in high definition.
Gamble.com.au is predicting this deal with Foxtel, coupled with a game being televised on free-to-air on Sundays, will breath new life into the national competition. To top of the great offseason for the NBL, its New Zealand team, the Breakers, will have all of their games televised live back to New Zealand by Sky Sports.
Best sites to place an basketball bet
Online bookmakers open markets well before the commencement of the season, with all the finals, conference finals, regular season win forecasts and individual awards markets that punters could ask for.
With this knowledge, here are some of the best places to put on a bet on the basketball, not just from the big leagues like the NBA and the NBL, but the smaller markets around the globe.
- William Hill
Gamble.com.au only endorses Australian regulated sites for betting on basketball if you are a citizen down under. The sites we promote are all regulated and have good reputations for providing extensive markets, a safe betting environment and accepting bigger bets.