Sports Betting Guide
Basketball is considered to be one of the most popular team sports in the world. The most prestigious and viewed basketball competition is The National Basketball Association (NBA) league. It is an annual basketball league (regular season and playoffs) for thirty teams from the United States and Canada, that are split into two conferences (eastern and western) consisting of three divisions with five teams each. Other notable competitions include the Euroleague (European basketball championship for clubs), FIBA Basketball World Cup (International basketball championship for national teams) and EuroBasket (European basketball championship for national teams). In most cases, basketball is played in indoor arenas on a rectangular courts.
James Naismith is considered to be the inventor of basketball. He was a Canadian physician and P.E. teacher who came up with the idea and rules of the sport that would become basketball, while working at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (YMCA) in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith wanted to create an indoor activity for his students who were often limited by the weather conditions while playing games in the open air. The sport quickly became popular in the United States and in Canada, and later on in Europe.
In 1936 basketball officially became the Olympic discipline and ten years later the first professional basketball league in the world – the NBA, was created. The peak of the popularity of basketball came with the arrival of Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time. During the ‘Chicago Bulls Era’ basketball was one of the most viewed disciplines of sport in the world. Currently, after few years of stagnation, basketball is once again peaking the statistics for the most popular sports thanks to the stars such as Stephen Curry or LeBron James.
The rules of the game
Basketball rules are not that difficult. Two teams consisting of 5 players each (including substitutes, overall 12 players for each team), try to throw the ball with their hands into the opponent's basket (hoop) which is attached to the backboard. The hoop is placed at the height of 305 cm (10 feet). There is an unlimited number of substitutions in basketball.
It is allowed to move with the ball only by passing it to your teammates or dribbling the ball by bouncing it. Players are obliged to not take more than two steps or change their pivot foot before passing or shooting (traveling) and once they stopped dribbling they are not allowed to dribble again (they have to shoot or pass). If the ball leaves the court, the opponent begins the game at the place where the ball left the sideline. As for the time of a single game it differs depending on the region and competition. In Europe there are 4 quarters, each lasting 10 minutes. In NBA and WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) it is 4X12, and in NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) it is 2X20 minutes. The time is stopped when the play is not active.
Basketball referees differentiate two types of fouls: personal (intentional regular fouls or brutal flagrant fouls) and technical. After a foul is committed, the opponent team either get the possession or the fouled player gets to shoot one or two free-throws.
Apart from fouls, there is a number of violations in basketball, such as:
- 3 seconds rule - an attacking player can be in the free-throw arc no more than for 3 seconds
- 5 seconds rule - after the renewal of the play, a player cannot keep the ball for 5 seconds or more
- 8 seconds rule - the team has to take the ball out of its own half within 8 seconds, otherwise they lose the ball.
- 24 seconds rule - the team has to shoot the ball within 24 seconds since it gained possession, otherwise they lose the ball.
- Lane violation - If there is a free-throw, and a player that is not shooting it enters the free-throw arc too soon, there is a lane violation and the team that was shooting the free throw gets a chance for another free throw.
As it was mentioned before, the points are given for throwing the ball into the basket:
- one point for a single basket shot from the free-throw line (given to the player that was fouled, 1 free-throw for technical foul and two for personal)
- two points for a basket shot inside the three-point arc
- three points for a basket shot from beyond the three-point arc.
There is a possibility to score more points on a single possession when a player shooting the ball is fouled. If he scores the basket inside three-point arc he gets a one free-throw and can score 3 points overall, and if he is fouled while shooting from outside of the three-point arc he can accumulate overall of 4 points.
Basketball bet types
- 1x2 – bet for the winner of the game
- Point Spread (Sides, Handicap) – in this bet, the punter decides the overall difference of points between the teams in a single game. Odds for both teams are evened by a handicap
- Head-to-head player betting – betting for which player from the two presented by the bookmakers will earn more points in the game
- NBA MVP of the season – betting for the most valuable player of the season
- NBA Winner – betting for the winner of the NBA
- Sum of points – betting for the total amount of points gathered by both teams in the regular time or overall with additional time, depending on the bookmaker