Between Asia and Africa, which continent is seen as the next basketball frontier? Africa has been the home of many more basketball players throughout the years, the most famous of which came to prominence in the NBA.
Names like Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Serge Ibaka, Luc Mbah a Moute, Luol Deng and Manute Bol have come through the NBA over the last three decades. But outside of the NBA and maybe a few NCAA college programs, not many have cared to explore the world of national African championships — from the under-18 tournaments to the senior national teams.
There has been a growing stream of African players being picked up by college programs, and increasingly, the continent has provided more and more of the top recruits, including last years Cheick Diallo, Thom Maker and Tacko Fall. Most arrive via High School first before becoming college Freshmen.
But coming from a developing nation definitely has it’s barriers — first the academic viability is questioned and sometimes, a prospect may come from a region that may not keep very accurate birth papers. This can cause problems when it comes to drafting on potential, that potential depends on whether that player is 19-years old player or actually 21, 22 or 23 years old as some have speculated about Sudanese player Thon Maker.
If we can get past those issues, there’s no doubt that Africa will continue providing an increasing number of college prospects and will cement it is a continent to watch when it comes to potential future NBA stars.
Actually Betting on Africa Basketball
And this fact is especially true when it comes to betting. With that in mind, here is a simplified guide on the betting options in Africa along with some tips to get your started. But before you do, keep in mind that this is a basketball only guide. If you are looking for other real-money options in Africa, you can trust this site to have your back.
The Afrobasket Tournament or FIBA Africa
There is a handful of basketball tournaments in Africa to bet on, the most popular being the FIBA Africa Championships, also knpreviously known as Afrobasket. The Afrobasket tournament is the men’s continental championship in Africa played under the FIBA banner. It is the primary basketball league in the continent which also serves as a qualification round for the Summer Olympics and the FIBA World Cup.
According to official stats, the strongest teams in the Afrobasket have thus far been:
- Angola (17 finals, 11 gold medals);
- Egypt (17 finals, 5 gold medals);
- Senegal (15 finals, 5 gold medals);
- Nigeria (7 finals, 1 gold and 3 silver medals);
- Ivory Coast (5 finals, 2 gold and 3 silver medals);
- Central African Republic (3 finals, 1 gold medal).
There is also the women’s league called FIBA Africa Women’s Championship or Afrobasket Women, which is likewise played under the FIBA banner and serves as a qualification tournament for the FIBA Women’s World Championship and the Olympic Tournaments. The women’s league is likewise very popular in Africa, often even more than the men’s championship.
So far, the following countries have been most successful in the Afrobasket Women:
- Senegal (20 finals, 11 gold medals);
- DR Congo (8 finals, 3 gold medals);
- Angola (7 finals, 2 gold medals);
- Mozambique (6 finals, 3 silver medals);
- Egypt (5 finals, 2 gold medals);
- Nigeria (4 finals, 2 gold medals).
Africa Club Championship and Other Leagues
The second most important competition, apart from the Afrobasket is the FIBA Clubs Championship which is a continental competition of the champion clubs from each country’s individual leagues.
The reigning champions in this competition for years were the Primeiro de Agosto club from Angola, with Petro Atlético (Angola) right behind. Other winners during the past decade are the Recreativo do Libolo (Angola) and the Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia).
Apart from the Club Championship, other important leagues in Africa include the FIBA Under-18 Championship and the FIBA Under-16 Championship.
The U18 men’s championship has been so far ruled by Angola (14 medals), Nigeria (10 medals) and Egypt (8 medals), while the U16’s by Egypt (4 medals) and Mali (3 medals). On the other hand, the women’s U18 championship has been dominated by Mali (7 medals), Egypt (5 medals) and DR Congo (4 medals), and the U16 by Mali (4medals), Egypt (3medals) and Angola (3medals).
Betting on Basketball in Africa
The U16 and U18 championships take place during the summer season, while the Afrobasket men’s championship starts in October. Unlike the NBA, or the Euroleague, the bets for the African basketball championships don’t open early, but only when the competition is under way.
The most common bet type that you can find for the African basketball championships is the money-line bet. A money-line bet is when you bet on which team will win a specific game. This bet type is normally given odds, with the strongest opponent having the lower betting odds. It’s also the safest bet for those who don’t know much about basketball.
You can also find the point spread bets, which are basically handicap bets under a different name. Handicaps are when the underdog team will be given a +point advantage by the bookie to even out the difference. So whatever the team scores the +points will be added to the final score. Likewise, the stronger team will be given –points.
And the last betting option will be the totals bet, which is a bet on whether the added points from both teams at the end of a game will be over or under a certain number. Depending on the game, different odds will be given for the under and over bets.
Tips for Africa Basketball
Betting on basketball can be tricky, especially if you don’t know much about the teams or the league. However, betting is a universal hobby and there are some general tips that you can apply to improve your odds of winning:
- Learn the top-line ups;
- Stay updated on player injuries and news;
- Cherry pick your bets. Don’t go for the lowest odds just because they are there. Learn to recognize a value bet when you see one and bet on it;
- Avoid point spreads if you don’t know what you’re doing;
- Set a betting budget and stick to it;
- Track the number of games your teams play. Exhaustion leads to failures on the court;
- Stay focused and relaxed.