Basketball is not the easiest sport to bet on. The point spread, over/under, and handicap betting strategies on basketball are offering a lot of possibilities for long-term profits.

In-play basketball betting requires experience and a working strategy to generate guaranteed profits.

I created this article to share some of my knowledge about basketball handicaps and over/under betting, which, I think, might help many bettors to take the next step towards being profitable in sports betting.

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Basketball handicap betting strategies & tips

As I already mentioned if you want to take basketball betting seriously, you need to follow strategies based on mathematics. Many punters became successful after accepting that their simple knowledge about teams and players is not enough.

Some sports fans have an insane amount of data about basketball players, their strategies, and new coaches. But unfortunately, even this information is not enough to beat the bookmakers.

As a basketball bettor, your goal is not to predict the winner. My best tip is to find outcomes and markets where the bookmaker is underestimating the probability of the outcome. 

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1. Arbitrage betting tips for basketball

Arbitrage betting is the most simple yet effective strategy to make guaranteed profits on basketball. The simple fact that bookmakers are offering different odds for the same outcome is making them vulnerable.

They are trying to define the real probability of an outcome. But on the other hand, they still want to be in competition with each other. So, the bookmaker with the highest odds, in general, will have more chances to attract new customers.

Because of these facts, many times you can find opportunities where the discrepancy between bookmakers is big enough to make a guaranteed profit. 

Check my following article and you can find the best NBA tipsters

You can find these sure bets many times on a daily basis.

For example, the home team has an odd of 2.10 to win the match at Bet365, while at another bookmaker the away team has also an odd of 2.10.

In this case, if you cover both outcomes on these odds, no matter which team wins, you will end up in profits.

Tipstrr Review

You might think that these mistakes are rare, or not possible. Well, fortunately for us, they are available on daily basis in almost every match/market.

But finding them manually is almost impossible. The odds are moving very fast, so in most cases, you have only a few seconds or minutes to place your bets.

Click on the button below and you can find the best odds comparison sites. They are crawling the odds at every bookie in every 1-3 seconds.

Their algorithms are comparing the odds between bookies and every time an arbitrage opportunity appears, it is displayed on the platform.

While arbing is an excellent betting system for basketball, it’s important to mention that knowing the overtime rules in basketball, can become important in certain markets.

2. Value betting tips for Basketball

Value betting is very similar to arbitrage betting. The bookies are offering overpriced markets and outcomes on daily basis. In many cases, they can’t figure out what is the real probability of an outcome winning.

On the other hand, sometimes they are missing crucial information about players, current scores, or free throws. In these situations, smart bettors can take advantage of the betting lines and odds that are not representing reality.

Below you can see my results with value betting on basketball within a timeframe of ~3 weeks.

my basketball value betting history
basketball handicap and over/under betting history

Exploiting these mistakes is called value betting.

Your only task is to figure out when is the bookie mistaken. This can be achieved by learning an extreme amount about basketball or by following bookies that are better at offering accurate odds.

Fortunately, many arbitrage scanner tools are already displaying value betting opportunities. Down below you can find out which value betting software might be the best for your needs.

Many bettors are making thousands with this strategy. If you are interested in the topic, read my other articles.

Check my basketball betting course. After using it for three years I decided to share each essential information I learned on how to find markets that generated 13% ROI in the long term.

3. Fast-moving odds and lines

If you prefer in-play betting over pre-match, then basketball offers good opportunities.

If you already read some of my articles, you probably know that I’m promoting proven football betting systems which are profitable in the short and long run too.

These mathematical betting strategies are generating guaranteed profits. In-play betting on basketball has made millions of dollars for a lot of bettors.

The players are scoring almost every 10 – 15 seconds which is changing the results over and over. Before the match starts bookmakers can predict the true odds with fair accuracy.

But when the match is in play, most bookmakers can’t offer sharp odds and lines in every situation. A lot of the time unexpected changes happen in the match, and the odds are not reflecting it.

The mistakes made by bookmakers will always mean a guaranteed profit for a smart and fast bettor.

4. Higher maximum stake limits on basketball

Most leagues have a fair history of data which allows bookmakers to predict the winners as accurately as possible. The more trust bookmakers have in the offered odds, the higher the maximum stakes will be.

If you can place bigger amounts on your picks, you can use more betting strategies. On the other hand, if you get more experienced, you can raise your income by higher stakes.

NBA, NCAA basketball betting strategies for over/under & handicap

Live betting is the king of smart sports betting. It offers a lot of opportunities as I already mentioned. The NBA, on the other hand, is the king of basketball itself.

The performance of players is legendary, and the best thing about the NBA is its predictability. I’m not speaking about the winner of the match, because that’s another thing.

best value betting software

But the performance of the players as a team is fairly easy to determine and to quantify in odds. These facts are making the NBA one of the best basketball leagues for sports betting.

In-play betting is offering a lot of possibilities. Checking the trends and odds movement will help you gain experience, so later you will be able to spot opportunities that bookmakers can’t.

1. NBA live betting on the winner

The most basic strategy is determining the winning team. In my experience placing bets on shorter periods is more predictable than trying to figure out who will win the match.

In a single match are four quarters and two halves. If you start your betting journey, you will notice in a short time that even during a quarter the possible winner will change for more times.

Taking advantage of this fluctuation is fairly easy. While following the match, you can notice some patterns in the strategies. You will see what kind of dynamic is dominating after a time-out.

Some teams will push to score, and other teams will play more defensively. In situations like these at the end of the quarter, you can try to predict the winner.

Betting strategies like this should be based on value betting. In the long run, this is the only real way to generate guaranteed profits.

Finding out which team has more chances to win a quarter, half-time, or match is not enough.

Taking odds that are overpriced and higher than their real probability will offer success in the long term.

A lot of football prediction sites and punters have too much trust in their knowledge and some of them are disregarding the importance of taking the right odds.

The only platform I would promote is Tipstrr. If you are looking for the best NBA tipsters, following people with a long history and a fair ROI is a must.

If you are able to place their picks on the same odds or even higher, following tipsters might be the easiest way to profit from sports betting.

No matter how much knowledge you have, bets placed on odds that are lower than the true probability of the outcome will greatly reduce your profitability.

You can also check my Tipstrr Review.

2. Basketball handicap betting

At betting sites Handicap betting is one of the most popular markets and it is very similar to betting on winners. This type is also called point spread or betting lines.

Most of the time these lines can be found with two outcomes. The most favoured one is betting on the lines with the same odds on both outcomes.

Handicaps or point spreads are odds for both teams based on giving some point advantage or “handicap” to both teams.

For example:

If a team is leading 22 – 16 in a quarter, a possible handicap for them to offer the same odds for both outcomes could be -5.5 for the home team on odds of 1.88 and +5.5 points for the away team.

basketball over/under live betting NBA

Some bookmakers can determine these handicap lines in a very accurate way.

Comparing odds between other bookies and theirs will give you an advantage if you can find lines that are off with at least 2 or 3 points.

Betting on these basketball values will generate a healthy income in the long run.

Check my article about the best Asian handicap betting sites.

3. Define the correct basketball handicap betting line

As I already mentioned some bookmakers are better at calculating the sharp odds than others. They are getting information from the match in the fastest way possible.

This is a crucial element for offering true odds and lines. In the long run, these bookmakers with sharp lines and odds will make the most profit.

If they are not making large mistakes, even the smart bettors will have only a small chance to generate profits in the long run. Pinnacle is one of the best examples of offering sharp odds.

On the other hand, Bet365 seems fair on larger leagues, but on the smaller ones, they are making a lot of mistakes. I think that you don’t necessarily need to determine that handicap lines are correct or not.

This is taking a lot of experience and access to algorithms and information from the match. If you want to be profitable, your only goal should be to find a bookmaker that is offering fairly sharp odds like the ones I already mentioned.

The next step to making profits on basketball betting in the long run too is finding another bookmaker that has weaker lines.

Betting on lines that are above the real possibility but still with the same odds will guarantee you profits in the long run. Sadly, basketball betting is not this simple. A lot of influencing factors are also having a place.

You have to take into consideration the dynamic of that particular quarter or half you are betting on, and other factors too.

In-play betting on basketball needs experience and a little bit of intuition. Smart bettors always try to base their betting activity on mathematical betting strategies, and you need to do the same.

4. Highest over-under basketball betting odds

Placing bets that are on the wrong line compared to sharp bookmakers will guarantee you a big advantage over bookies and a higher chance for profitable outcomes in the long run.

best value betting software

But there is another factor. Choosing the right handicap line is not the only way of being profitable. You can find several bookmakers that are offering wrong lines from time to time.

But taking these bets on the best odds possible will have a high impact on your profitability. For example, some bookmakers are offering these handicaps with odds pair of 1.83 – 1.83.

But you can find bookies that have weak lines and offer good lines with better odds. In the long run, it will have a big impact on your betting activity if you place your basketball bets on the highest odds possible.

For example:

betting on handicaps with odds of 1.86 or 1.88 can mean a difference of 2% – 3% in your ROI in the long run.

Using a basketball odds comparison site can guarantee picking outcomes on the right prices and lines.

5. How is the Basketball over/under market determined?

After point spread, over/under markets are the most commonly used by bettors. Bookmakers can determine these markets after historical data and the possible present performance of the players.

Tipstrr Review

Most of the time these lines are automatically generated after these data. You will notice that in live betting bookmakers are following these algorithms when offering over/under lines.

They don’t have the capacity to check every match one by one and adjust the lines after every timeout if the speed play has changed. Over/under betting is very similar to handicap betting.

The lines are representing the possible point number in that particular part of the match. You can find over/under markets for several stages or even for players.

Placing over/under bets for the final points is the most popular, but in my experience, smart bettors can make more money on smaller markets.

You have the possibility to find opportunities in quarters, half-time, and full-time on total point markets and on markets for only one team too.

You can place bets for example on total points for the home team in the first quarter. These betting markets are offering a great opportunity for smart bettors.

The handicap and winner strategy already mentioned by me is working in these markets too.

6. Is it better to bet the over or under on basketball?

For a long time, I thought it doesn’t matter if the lines and odds are overpriced or wrong. And as long as you bet on handicap or over/under markets with better lines than their true possibility would be, you should end up in profit.

Well, that was something I thought until the near future. In basketball betting, seasonality can have a big impact on playstyle.

In my experience at the beginning of a season, players are more likely to run more, score more, and play less defensively.

The impact and importance of matches at the beginning are slightly lower which can lead to playing in a different style inside a match.

Profitable Betting Strategy in 2023

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Tipstrr Review

For example, in some parts of a quarter, basketball players will score more at the beginning of the season. At the end of the season, in the quarter-finals and closer to the finals, the tactics are more rigorous and players tend to play in a more cautious way.

So, determining if it is better to bet on over or under is not that simple. A lot of so-called experts will say that betting on an over is better because they are forced to score to win a match.

Others say that everyone is betting on overs so the odds on under will be better, and that’s why you should bet for fewer points.

In my experience being profitable in basketball betting should always have mathematical betting strategies included with a lot of experience and knowledge about teams and leagues.

As I already mentioned following basketball prediction sites on Twitter, on Instagram, or on any other platform is the comfortable solution. In a lot of cases, it can bring high rewards for you.

Some betting experts can really predict the winner in a more accurate way than bookmakers do. Some tipsters can be very profitable in betting and can share valuable information. But following even the best tipsters can have some downsides too.

Is basketball handicap good for betting?

Basketball is in the top 5 of most followed sports with an estimated 2.2 billion fans. In a lot of countries, this sport gets a lot of attention.

The best examples are the US, China, and a lot of European countries. The more attention a sport gets the more money flows into it. This will lead to higher salaries which means better players and better teams.

In the higher leagues, the players are well motivated to always show their best form. From a betting perspective, these influencing factors will help us to define the real possibilities for winners in a more accurate way.

Sports betting and betting odds are based on finding out the true odds and the real chance of winning an outcome.

Big leagues in basketball and in almost every sport are giving the best opportunity to predict the winners and make a profit on smart bets.

Basketball has other characteristics too which are making it one of the best sports for any smart betting strategy based on dropping odds.

Is basketball handicap betting easy?

In my experience, successful and profitable basketball betting is not easy. Football betting and tennis betting for example seem easier to make money on.

To be honest I have read a lot of blogs about basketball betting because I was curious about their opinion. A lot of them are stating that basketball is one of the easiest sports to place bets on.

I think this is the biggest lie you could ever write and it is misleading a lot of bettors. Yes, you can choose between a lot of teams, and you can place bets on a lot of markets that are easy to understand.

But what is the main purpose of betting? I think risking your money for a possible profit is what all of us want.

But taking that risk doesn’t mean that you have to be lucky once in a while, but the main reason is being profitable in the long run too.

Tipstrr Review

And for that basketball is not very easy to bet on as a lot of people say. I’ve been betting on basketball for several years, I developed strategies that are working.

But believe me when I say:

Even with a good strategy based on mathematics, you have to pay attention and always improve your knowledge if you want to be profitable.

Placing bets after tipster predictions is the easiest way of betting. With this strategy, the difference between sports is very low.

But I think if you are a smart bettor who is aiming for long-term guaranteed profits, basketball can cause hard times and big variances for you.

Learning enough and gaining experience in betting will help you make good profits with basketball betting.

Why do I think basketball betting is not easy?

  • The odds and lines are moving very fast: placing arbitrage bets is very hard. Spotting value bets can get hard, and finding real values is the biggest challenge
  • The speed and dynamics of players are changing very rapidly. Even inside a quarter, you can experience different attacking and defensive strategies. These can highly influence the chance of winning a bet
  • It takes time to really feel when is the moment to jump in. Spotting patterns by watching the stream needs a lot of experience, but this kind of knowledge can generate the most money

Need more info about these strategies? Check my article on NBA betting systems or NBA betting algorithms.


Is basketball good for betting?

Basketball has a lot of characteristics that are making it one of the best sports for any smart betting strategy. It offers a lot of betting opportunities.

Is basketball betting easy?

Successful and profitable basketball betting is not easy. Football betting and tennis betting for example seem easier to make money on. The betting odds and lines are moving fast in basketball and the dynamic of the game is changing very often.

How do you live bet on NBA?

In-play betting on NBA is offering a lot of possibilities. The most famous markets for professional bettors are point over/under and handicap.

How can you determine if the handicap line or spread is correct?

Comparing the lines and odds to bookmakers that are sharp in defining them is the best way to get the true odds and lines.

Is it better to bet the over or under?

It depends on multiple factors. In this article, you can read more about the seasonality of trends in over/under markets