Basketball is continuing to grow in popularity in Canada. The Toronto Raptors, Canada’s only NBA team, won the NBA Title just two years back, and that playoff run really brought basketball betting to another level here in Canada. We are also continuing to develop top end talent with players like RJ Barrett, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Andrew Wiggins ensuring Canada has the ability to compete on the international stage.
If you are interested in betting on basketball I suggest doing so at one of the recommended betting sites listed below.
Best Basketball Betting Sites
100% up to $500 in Free Bets
- Licensed and regulated in Canada
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100% up to $400
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- Most popular betting site worldwide
- State of the art live betting platform including streaming of several events
- Fixed odds for horse racing
These three betting sites are all dedicated to building their brand in Canada. You may have noticed Sports Interaction advertising their site on SportsNet or Bodog advertising on the big screen at the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. This brand advertising, along with each of the sites commitment to providing the best betting experience to Canadians has allowed me to confidently recommend each of the sites to Canadian bettors.
Check out our how to bet on the NBA in Canada page for a more in depth look at the steps to sign up at any of these sites and start placing your bets.
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Different Basketball Bets
Basketball is such a high scoring game with so many different stat lines for both the team and the players that there is a seemingly endless amount of bets that can be made throughout a basketball game. For the sake of this page I’m going to be focusing on the three most popular basketball game bets: spread betting, moneyline bets and over/under bets. I will also be touching on the different basketball prop bets and futures wagers you can make.
This is the most common form of basketball betting. It allows teams to be put on an even playing field and you can wager on whether you think either team will exceed their expectations and overcome their handicap.
In this example the Toronto Raptors are 3 point favourites over the Golden State Warriors. This means that the Raptors must win by 4 or more points for a bet on Toronto to win. On the flip side, a spread bet on the Warriors is a winner if they either win the game outright or lose by 1 or 2 points. If the game ends with Toronto ahead by 3 points then the spread bets are a push and you will have your wager amount returned.
In general spread bets will have odds of 1.91 for both sides or -110 in American odds format. Sometimes sportsbooks will only show the games spread without the accompanying odds. If this happens you can assume that the odds for both sides of the spread are 1.91.
If you want to simply bet on which team will win the game straight up then you should be the moneyline. As you know Toronto is a 3 point favourite in this game and that means their moneyline odds will be lower than Golden State’s because they are favoured to win.
In this case the Raptors have odds of 1.65, which means you can expect a payout equal to your bet amount multiplied by 1.65 if the Raptors win as expected.
Golden State are slight underdogs with odds of 2.27. If you put down a bet of $100 on the Warriors then you would expect a payout of $227, which equals winnings of $127.
The other popular bet is wagering on the total number of points to be scored by both teams combined. In this example, Sports Interaction has set the over/under for the game at 235.5 points. You can bet that the total points scored will either be over or under that amount.
There are a ton of stats to keep track of during a basketball game, which in turn creates a great deal of prop bets for betting sites to make. Prop bets are basically anything that you can bet on outside of the actual final outcome of the game.
Here are some examples:
- First half spread bets.
- First quarter moneyline bets.
- Race to 20 points.
- Race to 30 points.
- Highest scoring quarter.
- Winning margin.
- Total home team points over/under.
- Game total – odd or even.
That’s just to name a few. In the higher profile games like the NBA Championships or the Final Four, the amount of prop bets are almost countless and there are many player props in addition to the team based props.
The classic futures betting examples in basketball would be betting on which team which team will win the NBA Championship this year, or which school will win the NCAA Championship.
You can place futures bets throughout the year and the odds for each team will change according to their perceived chances of winning the Championship. I suggest not placing futures bets on a team that is on a hot streak because their odds my be shorter than they really should be due to the fact they are playing well at the moment.
You should also take into account the time value of money when placing futures bets. After you make your bet that money is locked up until the bet is settled. Take into account the decrease in your betting bankroll for this time span and consider if that money would be better used on short term bets.
Other basketball futures bets include which NBA team will win each Conference or Division, which NCAA team will win each Conference Championship and which country will win the FIBA World Cup to name a few.