Basketball has been around since the 1890s and continues to grow in both popularity and value so we take a look at this sport and why it is so heavily favored by gamblers
Basketball is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the United States with $50m dollars or more wagered on an average game and way more on some of the seasons spectaculars. The gambling news follows the players, the coaches, the teams and everything in between both on and off court. The players are the highest salary earning athletes in the world and within the NBA and college basketball there’s the good, the bad and the ugly.
From all but humble beginnings to the dazzling displays of today basketball has undergone a transformation in it’s scant hundred year span and despite scandals and setbacks, fights and feuds, corruption and craziness, it has continued to grow into one of the best sports in the world. American gambling laws let you bet on it in the US, and in the rest of the world we can use Bet365 and the like to bet on our favorite personalities in this galaxy of stars.
Beginning as a sort of winter warmer by coaches who wanted their summer athletes to retain peak fitness thought the colder months, basketball was seen as a safe sport due to its non-contact nature and because of that lack of risk to valuable summer-sport team members became very popular very quickly. Within a decade of its creation it had spread to nearly every corner of the country and it wouldn’t be more than a few years for tournaments to start seeing these college teams play each other.
Gambling on college basketball is big business both on and offline and with March Madness alone rumored to be backed by various gamblers to the tune of some $14bn (globally) the world of college basketball garners more attention from the media and gambling news organizations than perhaps any other amateur sport across the world including the Olympics. It continues to grow in popularity year on year with even scandals unable to prevent its rise.
Getting paid a small fortune for playing your favorite sport is a dream held by many of young man but for the players in the NBA that dream is something they live every day. Certainly they are subject to intense scrutiny from the press, have little or no privacy and are at constant risk from injury but these do represent the very best in the world of professional sports. Their names alone conjure connotations of skills and stamina that surpass the rest of the sporting world.
Hand in hand with the rise of the NBA from its inception back in the 1940s has been the growth of personalities within the sport. As the number of franchises has grown and public interest has increased legends like Bird, Johnson, Jordan and Pippin have dominated the court whilst bad boys like Barkley and Rodman have dominated the headlines in a press that simply can’t get enough of these stars and their roller-coaster ride in the NBA.
The amount of money that is wagered on basketball is a hotly argued one in many quarters. The modern day competition that sees a lack of online sportsbooks in the US giving off-shore sites like Bet365 the edge of convenience over travel to Vegas or Atlantic City, means that establishing a true figure for the sums of money involved quite tricky but most experts think that it ranks somewhere in the tens of billions each season. Given how exciting it is as a sport to watch and wager upon this can in no way surprise anyone.
Whether you’re backing a winner straight up or trying to cover the spread, whether you’ve bet on an under or over prop bet for or against a team or player, or any number of side bets in between, you won’t find a more exhilarating way of gambling in the world today. The information and coverage gives a prospective punter all the information they need to make an informed decision about where to place their wagers and then lets them sit back and enjoy some of the best sport in the world.
Of course like all sports there have been numerous set backs and scandals that have rocked the basketball world. From academic fraud in college teams to points shaving amongst professional players, on the court and off basketball has attracted some of the worst attention possible from the press. Kobe Bryant was innocent by the damage to his reputation was already done by the time his case was dismissed, but not every player in the NBA or on a college team were so guilt free.
The recent revelations of racism from one of the largest owners shook the very foundations of a sport already reeling from accusations of match fixing and dubious refereeing. However it is the personalities that rise to stardom in the NBA that are most regularly to blame for these public relations nightmares that regularly beset the sport. Arrests and investigations, drink and drugs, women and fighting, they do it all and I suppose it might not be entirely unexpected given these are all young men earning vast sums of money week in, week out.
In an event like no other, in a conjunction of circumstances never to be repeated, in a moment of pure sporting magic, the 1992 Olympic men’s basketball team from the United States was comprised of the very best players the NBA had to offer. These 12 men, 11 of them elected to the hall of fame, represented their country, themselves and their sport in what became known as The Dream Team and their performances on the court that summer in Barcelona are unforgettable.
Starts like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird who had for so long played as rivals were taken in by coach Chuck Daly and molded into a team of unparallelled skill, experience and stamina. 1992 didn’t just the gold medal won by America in the Olympics, but it saw the NBA showcase itself for a world wide audience inspiring many of the young players from around the world today who flock to the NBA to join the most exciting sporting league in the world.