The NBL is the highest level of basketball played in Australia and features eight teams, including one from New Zealand. The NBL is played as four, ten-minute quarters and follows FIBA basketball rules, which differ slightly from NBA rules.
Teams are able to score two or three point baskets from the field, or free throws in one-point increments. No match can end as a tie, with overtime periods played if the scores are tied after four quarters.
The most basic way to bet on the NBL is by taking a moneyline bet. Each match features two teams, each priced differently according to their chance of winning. The lower the price, the better the perceived chance of victory.
For example, if Melbourne United were (1.28) on the moneyline they would be considered a strong favourite to win. Their opponents the Sydney Kings price is (3.85), making them a considerable underdog.
Factors that can impact on the moneyline include the absence of an important player, such as the team’s captain or leading scorer.
It is important to note that in NBL, the home team is listed first, unlike American sports, where the home team is listed second.
Betting on a team at the handicap in the NBL is similar to many other sports and it can make a relatively one-sided fixture much more interesting to wager on.
For example, if Melbourne United is (1.28) in the head to head betting, there is a very strong chance they will win the match. Their opponents, the Sydney Kings, are priced at (3.85) to win. The return on investment when betting on Sydney at (1.28) can be increased if you’re confident that they can cover the handicap, points spread or line as it is also known.
In this match, Melbourne United may give away a 10.5-point start. In order for you to win this bet, Melbourne United must beat the Sydney Kings by 11 points or more. If they win by 10 points or less, or lose, your wager is a loss.
Handicaps are available on both teams, so when Melbourne United is a 10.5-point favourite and -10.5, the Sydney Kings are a 10.5-point underdog and +10.5. These wagers are commonly priced between (1.90) and (1.93), depending on the sports book.
Some sports books offer ‘pick your own line’ options, where most single point spread interval is covered. For example, you could bet on Melbourne United -5.5, but it will pay less than (1.90). Conversely, if you’re confident of a big victory, you might take Melbourne United at -14.5, which would be priced greater than (1.90).
NBL matches involve scoring the basketball through the hoop either via one point, two point or three point shots. A bet on a totals market involves betting on the total points falling over or under a number set by the sports book.
For example, a match between Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings has a total match points set at over/under 161.5. A wager on the total match points to be OVER 161.5 wins if the total points scored by Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings combined is 162 or more. If you bet on the UNDER in this match, you are betting on Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings to score 161 points or fewer.
If Melbourne United score 100 points and the Sydney Kings score 95 points, the total points are 100 + 95 = 195. If the sports book has the total match points set at over/under 161.5, then a bet on the OVER would win and a bet on the UNDER would lose.
Wagers can be placed on total match points, as well as total team points, which will vary depending on the quality of the team.
The most popular margin betting in the NBL has four options per match.
The typical options are a win by 1-10 points for each side and a win by 11+ points for each side.
Margin betting typically presents higher odds for bettors, particularly if a match is expected to be close. If Melbourne United is a 10.5-point favourite, you may believe they will win the match, but the (1.28) head to head price nor the handicap appear worthwhile wagers to you.
A wager on Melbourne United to win by 1-10 points could pay (2.80) in this instance. It offers more value than betting on the head to head market and is worthwhile if you aren’t confident they will cover the points spread or handicap. It offers a wider range of points and is a winning bet if Melbourne United wins by anywhere between 1 and 10 points. If Melbourne United lose or win by 11 or more points, the wager is a loss.
Futures wagers are long term wagers, usually based on how a team or teams perform during the duration of a season, or a defined period of time.
The most common futures wager in NBL is to bet on the Grand Final winner. The Grand Final winner is the team that wins the NBL best-of-five Grand Final series and reflects the best team in the league that season.
Other popular futures bets include wagering on the NBL MVP, which is awarded to the league’s best player every year. Odds for these wagers are typically much higher than match odds and reflect play across an entire season. They can be influenced by injuries, suspensions and change of playing roster.
Prop markets are an exotic way of wagering on a match that usually doesn’t involve betting on a specific team or result. In NBL betting, a prop bet can involve betting on a player to score a specific number of points for example.
These wagers are typically presented in an over/under manner, such as Jerome Randle to score over/under 20.5 points against Melbourne United paying (1.90). If you bet OVER 20.5, the wager wins if Jerome Randle scores 21 or more points.
There are markets available for over/under player rebounds, over/under player assists and over/under player three-point field goals.