It’s probably fair to say that up until the mid-90s, basketball was primarily a game for Americans, but with the seasonal denouement of both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference scheduled to reach a finale by 31 May, so the scale of basketball betting bears little comparison with what was on offer a decade ago.
Betting on basketball has been transformed by the internet, great masses of well considered basketball betting tips and the willingness of online bookmakers to expand the number of markets they’re prepared to open to accommodate basketball bets.
A brief examination of what’s on offer during the play-offs confirms this.
Online bookmakers have basketball betting odds in all sorts of markets: series correct score, handicaps, score after four games (each play-off series runs to a maximum of seven) and even a market which asks punters to consider whether one side will come from behind to win. Betting on basketball has never been as accessible – or its markets so broad.
In addition to the enhanced availability of basketball betting odds, so the game’s global nature has made it much less parochial.
This means that hoops fans across the globe can now enjoy features such as live basketball betting and ready access to Basketball betting tips courtesy of the internet.
Indeed, given the growth in the number of overseas players to be found in the NBA, so basketball betting has gone global.
Mind you, it’s not just the NBA that has benefited. One particular rule change, which prohibits high school seniors from directly joining an NBA side, means that these leading youngsters are now heading to college where they’ve had an enormous impact. College-related basketball betting too has expanded as top matches are televised live and played in front of sell-out crowds. In other words, a bet on basketball is not limited to the pro version of the game.
The result is a colossal range of free bets and other incentives for basketball enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the online bookmaker who fails to look after hoops fans will invariably witness an exodus as supporters go elsewhere to place their basketball bet.
Over the past year, since ESPN stepped into the sporting vacuum left by Setanta, so the number of UK-based punters, already familiar with teams such as the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers, have increasingly been willing to have a bet on basketball.
ESPN’s European-facing coverage of the game has led to a surge in its popularity and an increase in the sale of replica kits; it has also resulted in a proliferation of punters willing to place a basketball bet. In fact, predictions that the game could gain a foothold in Europe and Asia have proved entirely accurate; in both continents, basketball sports betting has blossomed.
“The free bet remains an excellent incentive,” muses one well-known online bookmaker, “and if I were some modern-day predictor of the future, I would say that basketball betting will continue to enjoy prolific growth provided the game maintains its competitiveness.”
There seems little chance of doing anything else as a quick browse of the basketball betting markets proves ahead of the play-offs. There is little to choose between the Celtics and the Lakers and their respective opponents, Orlando Magic and the Phoenix Suns.
Punters staking their basketball bets can remain assured that the competitiveness of the NBA is likely to become even more acute as more overseas stars flow into the league, which is great news for those who enjoy betting on basketball.