Is there a difference between making NBA and European basketball bets? Twenty years ago the contrast between the two leagues was huge. However, the incredible growth of European basketball in recent times has markedly improved the quality of European basketball.
Understanding Euroleague Betting
The first European basketball competitions had been operated by FIBA in 1958 but Euroleague as we know it wasn’t properly formed until 2001 when the one-year old Euroleague and FIBA’s SuproLeague (formerly known as FIBA EuroLeague) joined together in unified competition.
In November 2015, Euroleague Basketball and IMG agreed on a 10-year joint venture in a deal worth a guaranteed €630million and projected revenues of €900million.
There are 16 teams in Euroleague, with representation from nine countries including Spain, Turkey and Russia. The current holders of the title are CSKA Moscow, while Real Madrid, Maccabi Electra and Olympiacos are all recent winners.
Euroleague Match Betting
In the regular season the 16 Euroleague teams play each other home and away in a round-robin format. The top 8 teams in the table advance to the Playoffs while the remainder are eliminated. Regular season matchdays run from October through to April.
Playoff games are the best of five, with the first team to win three games qualifying for the Final Four. The Final Four is the showpiece final of the Euroleague, which in 2017 will be held over a weekend in May in Istanbul. Two semi-finals will be played on the Friday, with the 3rd/4th placed match and final being played on the Sunday.
Strategies for Euroleague Betting
- Points per game averages
One of the first things to pay attention to is how many points per game a team scores and concedes. This can vary widely from team to team in the Euroleague, and has to be considered when looking at the Asian Handicap lines offered by bookies. If a team consistently scores and concedes many points, how will they fare against a team which normally is involved in much lower-scoring games?
- Dependency on players
In times gone by the quality of European basketball was nowhere near on a par with NBA and as such if a star player was missing it would heavily impact how that team performed. As the Euroleague has grown the depth of quality in the Euroleague has improved and there is a potential for bookies to overreact if a particular player is out injured – which creates a potential for value to be available. When looking for a Euroleague bet it is worth checking the squad depth of the team to understand if they can withstand injuries or if they are dependent on certain players.
- League Equilibrium
Is there a big gap between the teams at the top and the bottom? In early season games it can be hard to understand the differences between the best and the worst teams as the league hasn’t properly formed into order. It could be possible that the bookies have mistaken a temporary blip in form as a lack of quality within a team.
Euroleague Free Tips
Looking for the best Euroleague bets for this gameweek? Head over to ProTipster for free tips for this week’s games and bash those bookies.