Major basketball tournaments worth betting on

NBA

In the sport of basketball, there are always a few tournaments betters can rely on to win some money.  

NBA playoffs

In the NBA, the only tournament is the NBA playoffs. In the NBA, the top eight teams in the Eastern and Western Conference will make the playoffs. From there, in their respective conferences, the one seed will play the eight seed, the two seed will play the seven seed, the three seed will play the six seed, and the four seed will play the five seed. The teams will play in a best of seven games series. The playoffs consist of the first round, conference semi-finals, conference finals, and then the NBA Finals.  

The NBA Playoffs begin on April 13th, with the conclusion date unknown, depending on how long the different series last, but usually occurs sometime in June. Bovada, an online sportsbook, lists the Golden State Warriors as favorites to win the Finals at -220, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at +850.

NCAA March Madness tournament

The other major tournament in the basketball world is the NCAA March Madness tournament, which starts on March 19th, and concludes on April 8th. There is both a men’s and women’s bracket. Last year, over $10 billion USD was wagered on the Men’s March Madness tournament alone. In the men’s bracket, 68 teams are selected and seeded by a selection committee. All 32 Division 1 conference winners receive an automatic bid into the tournament, while the rest of the teams are selected by a committee on a day known as “Selection Sunday.”

The tournament is single elimination, split up by four regions, consisting of seven rounds: the play-in games, the round of 64, the round of 32, the Sweet 16, the Elite 8, the Final Four, and the National Championship Game. In total, the tournament consists of 67 games, playing over a period of 19 days.

The women’s bracket is very similar but is played in six rounds, with 64 teams, due to their being no “play-in” round. FiveThirtyEight projects that Baylor is the favorite to win the Women’s bracket.

The National Invitation Tournament (NIT)

Another tournament that is often bet on is considered the consolation bracket of March Madness, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), which starts in March and concludes in April. Teams that were overlooked for the March Madness tournament often play in the NIT. Unlike March Madness, only a men’s bracket is played. 32 teams play in five rounds the single elimination tournament: the first round, the second round, the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and the Championship. While it is not nearly as popular as March Madness, some betters prefer to bet on the NIT. Vegas Insiders is the best site to bet on the NIT.

FIBA World Cup

Other notable basketball tournaments to bet on in 2019 include the FIBA World Cup, which is from August 31st to September 15th, and the EuroLeague Playoffs, which is from April 16th to May 19th.

Photo by NeONBRAND

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