How To Bet On Basketball in the USA

Basketball is an exciting sport to bet on.  There are often major swings in momentum and the game can come down to the final few minutes, especially when betting the spread.

This page will provide you with all of the information you need to start betting on basketball online.  Below I’ve outlined our three recommended sportsbooks for Americans, looked at the three main types of basketball wagers and walked you through the three steps that will get you started betting on basketball from right here in the United States.

Where To Bet On Basketball From the USA

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These are our top three rated betting sites for Americans.  Each of these sites is committed to providing the best possible betting experience to American players and growing their brand in the United States sports betting market.

Check out our review of any of these three sites for an in depth look at their bonuses, bet offerings, banking options, customer service and more.

Basketball Betting Options

Below I will use examples to look at the three most common basketball bets (point spread, money line and over/under).

Point Spread

The point spread bet is the most common wager in a basketball game.  The oddsmaker sets a spread, which is meant to put both teams on an even playing field.  The favorites must win the game by more than the spread (cover the spread), while the underdogs must either win the game outright or lose by fewer points than the spread (beat the spread).

Let’s look at an example:

  • Philadelphia 76ers +5
  • Boston Celtics -5

In this example the Celtics are 5 point favorites as indicated by the (-5).  The Celtics must win the game by 6 or more points for a point spread bet on the Celtics to payout.

On the flip side, the 76ers are 5 point underdogs.  If they win the game outright or lose by 4 or fewer points then the 76ers +5 point spread bet is a winner.

If the Celtics win by exactly 5 points then the bet is considered a “push” and the wagers are refunded.

Money Line ( To Win)

The money line bet is the simply betting on which team will win the game straight up.  The sportsbook will set odds for each team depending on their perceived chance to win the game.  The American odds format indicates how much you need to bet on the favorite (-) to win $100 or how much you would win by betting $100 on the underdog (+).

  • Philadelphia 76ers +182
  • Boston Celtics -212

Continuing with the same example the Celtics are about 2 to 1 favorites over the 76ers.  Based on the odds you would have to risk $212 to win $100 betting on the Celtics.

The 76ers are the underdogs.  You would win $182 for every $100 you bet on the 76ers if they pulled out the upset.

Over/Under (Totals)

An over/under bet involves wagering on the total number of points to be scored in the game by both teams combined.  Here is the over/under for the 76ers vs Celtics game:

  • Over 210.5 -115
  • Under 210.5 -105

In this example a bet on the over would win if 211 or more points were scored in the game, while a bet on the under would win if 210 or fewer points were scored in the game.  The odds may vary slightly on either side of the total.  In this example the over is thought to be slightly more likely to hit than the under.  This is shown by the over having odds of -115, while the under has odds of -105.

3 Step Guide For Betting On Basketball Online

Follow these three steps to get your basketball bets placed online within minutes.

Step 1. Open a Sports Betting Account

First you will have to join an online betting site.  Choose any of the three sportsbooks I’ve recommended above.

For the purposes of this guide we will be using, our top rated betting site.

Click here to visit Click ‘Join Now’ on the home page and fill out the short form to open your account.

Step 2. Deposit Funds

After logging into your account click on the ‘Deposit’ button. Choose one of the deposit methods and follow the instructions to fund your account.

BetOnline accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies, and more.

Make sure you opt-in to the sign up bonus when making your first deposit.

Step 3. Place Your Bets

Select ‘Sports’ from the top navigation bar, open the ‘Basketball’ drop down menu and the league or betting market you are looking for (NBA for example). If you select ‘NBA’ -> ‘NBA Basketball Game’ the spread, money line and total points betting lines will be shown for every upcoming NBA game.

Choose the bet you want to make, enter your risk amount on the Bet Slip and click ‘Place Bet’.

Here’s a screenshot showing you the clicks to bet on the 76ers +2.5:

That’s it.  You should be ready to bet on basketball online.  Click here to visit

Also, check out our betting guide for a few more articles to help you get started betting online.

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