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A basketball game is all about quick thinking, fast movement and explosive energy. It’s a game where nothing is predictable and where everything is possible. For spectators of a basketball game, it’s an event that can leave the heart racing. It calls on the agility of the players, the strong mindedness of the coach, and the solidity of the team. It’s a game that’s had legends and it’s a game that’s had failures. Whether you bet on basketball, have never placed a basketball bet but are curious, or you’re not interested in betting on basketball at all, it’s a sport that’s filled with unmatchable adrenaline.

The game involves two hoops, two teams and 10 players on a rectangular court. The aim of the game is to shoot the basketball through one of the hoops attached to a high mounted backboard at each end of the court. Players must use their hands to dribble the ball, or pass it to a teammate.

The sport is highly competitive, and particularly popular in the United States of America. It is one of the world’s most viewed sports. A big basketball game can draw in huge crowds of spectators, who pay to watch the game live, some of them taking part on live basketball betting. With the advent of the technological age, those not able to attend big basketball games in person can still enjoy them. Television broadcasts mean games can be watched from around the world, and basketball betting sites mean that people can indulge in basketball betting online from their living rooms.

Whatever your reason for watching basketball, whether it be for the enjoyment of the sport, or placing basketball bets, your experience can only be increased by better knowledge of the game. If you’ve got the itch to bet on basketball, then browse the links at the top of this page for some great opportunities to bet on basketball online.

Need to know basketball basics

Teams are made up of five players, and these five players are assigned different roles according to their height and strength. These different roles are referred to as player positions, and consist of the power forwards (the strongest and tallest team members), the small forwards (the shorter but more agile players) and the point guard (the shortest, most skilled player). The point guard acts in the same way that a football captain would, directing the action of the team during the game.

Players score points by throwing the ball through the horizontal hoops at either end of the court. When you’ve placed a bet on basketball, all the adrenaline happens on the hoop sides of the court. A throw can be hit or miss, a miraculous landing of the ball or a spectacular failure can throw the game into a surprise ending. A basket scored can win a team either one, two or three points. The number of points that a scored basket is worth depends on the position the player is standing in when they throw the ball.

Further rules of game play

The rules and formalities of basketball can seem fairly complicated at first, but once you become familiar with them, it makes it much easier to follow the game. When you’re watching a game having placed a bet on basketball, it’s good to know what’s going on so that you can access how well your team are doing. Reading briefly into the basic rules of the game makes you much better able to do this.

One of the first things to know is how players are allowed to hold and transport the ball. There are a lot of technicalities to how the basketball player is allowed to handle the ball, and it is the job of the crew chief and referees that officiate the game to check that the ball is being handled correctly. If a player is spotted mishandling a ball they can be charged with a violation. Violations generally result in a loss of possession, meaning the violating player’s team must give up the ball to the other team.

It is a violation to advance the ball down the court by hitting it with the fist or kicking it. Carrying the ball is also a violation, as is holding the ball with both hands and then returning to dribbling it. A more tricky violation to spot is the rule against a player lifting or dragging their pivot foot, unless they do so while dribbling the ball. The most common ways to move the ball down the court are by dribbling or passing to a team mate.

There are also plenty of rules in basketball to discourage foul play. Continuous unsportsmanlike behaviour and physically aggressive actions can result in a player being disqualified for a game, and possibly even facing a temporary ban. More minor fouls, such as illegal physical contact, result in the fouled team being given possession of the ball, or a free throw at the hoop. When you’re betting on basketball, it can be particularly frustrating if your team loses on a foul or similar technicality.

A brief history of basketball

Basketball was first invented in the town of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891. The man who invented basketball was actually a Canadian, a man called James Naismith. Naismith wanted to create a sport that resulted in fewer injuries than American football, and so basketball was born. The game’s name, basketball, comes from Naismith using hollowed out fruit baskets, rather than hoops, in the original incarnation of the game.

Basketball quickly grew from its humble beginnings, to become one of the most popular sports around. Its rules were simple, the equipment was cheap, and it was a great sport for building fitness and conditioning. Beyond that, it was exciting to watch, attracting large crowds right from the beginning.

Basketball was particularly taken up as a college sport, with many colleges adopting it as a conditioning game for their young athletes. The first college to have a basketball team was Vanderbilt University, who played a game against the Nashville, Tennessee YMCA in 1893. At this time, basketball rules allowed teams to have up to nine players per side.

When basketball was born, its regulation was mostly controlled by the YMCA. Naismith had been an instructor at Springfield YMCA, so the control has stayed within his institution. By 1897 the Amateur Athletic Union had taken over control of the regulation of basketball, and by 1946 the Basketball Association of America had come to be formed. The Basketball Association of America is still the key regulator of basketball and the basketball league, although now they are know as the National Basketball Association, or NBA.

Basketball has always been a game that’s brought in the betters. If you’d like to place a bet on basketball, then have a browse through the sites we link to at the top of this page – you can find some great deals, including the opportunity to access free basketball betting.

Famous basketball players

In the relatively short time that basketball has been around, it’s spun up some really interesting legends.

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was, for a time, the highest scorer to have existed in the history of the NBA. Kareem was born in 1947, and grew to be an impressive seven feet two inches tall. Many refer to him as the “greatest player in college basketball history.” As well as being a high scorer, he could be depended upon to consistently perform in games at a high calibre. His performances were so predictably brilliant, that through 20 seasons of playing he managed to maintain an almost identical average score.
  • Larry Bird was so famous in the basketball world that he was often referred to as “Larry Legend.” Bird was born in 1956 in Indiana. Throughout his entire career he played for the Boston Celtics, part of the National Basketball Association. He was named as the NBA’s most valuable player three times in a row, from 1984 to 1986, and he was an NBA All-Star twelve times.
  • Nicknamed ‘The Dream’, Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon is one of the most famous basketball players to have lived. He was born in 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved to America to pursue a college basketball career at the University of Houston. He is one of only four NBA players to record a quadruple-double, and he was a member of the USA’s gold winning Olympic basketball team back in 1996. At the end of the career, he was the NBA’s all time leader in scoring.
  • One of the heaviest players to ever play on an NBA basketball team, and one of the highest scoring basketball players, was Shaquille O’Neal, also know as Shaq. O’Neal weighed over 325 pounds, and was an impressive seven feet one inches tall. He was selected in the NBA’s All-Star team 15 times in a row, and has a ton of basketball awards behind him. Not only has he been a star on the court, but he’s also released four albums as a rapper, one of them turning a platinum record.
  • Wilt Chamberlain knocked over records when he managed to score 100 points in a single game. Wilt stands at seven foot one inches and is considered to be unbeatable. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest players in NBA history, and has a formidable history of awards and record-breaking achievements.

Gambling on basketball

Basketball has always been a great game for gambling; the two activities go hand in hand. From die-hard fans who have so much hope invested in their favourite team to casual spectators who love to place a flutter on the team they think are most likely to win, it’s always great fun to enhance your sporting experience and place a bet on basketball.

Basketball is acknowledged as one of the easiest games to bet on and the betting system is similar to that of American Football. There are plenty of online resources where you can bet on basketball online if you can’t access a game, and many online betting sights will let you have a trial run with free basketball betting.

The main betting system for basketball is the point spread system. The point spread system can sound a little tricky at first, but it’s very simple once you get used to it. Whether you’re involved in live basketball betting or online basketball betting, it’s useful to be aware of how the point spread system works. If you’re eager to start betting on basketball, check out the links at the top of this page.

The point spread system splits teams into the team more likely to win (referred to as the favourite) and the team expected to lose, referred to as the underdog team. If one team is a strong favourite, then they will be favourite by a number of points. For example, a strong team playing against a weak team may be referred to as a ten point favourite. In this case, for people betting on the stronger team to win, their team will have to win by ten points or over for their bet to cash in. And for those betting on the underdog, even if their team loses, if the loss is by less than 10 then their bet will still pay off.