If you love basketball, then betting on it is a great way to make it even more exciting. Even for die-hards, the season can be a slog at times. The regular season lasts more than 6 months, and if your favorite team isn’t one of the ones at the top, it is understandable if you start to waver when the calendar switches to a new year. By placing some bets, you can add to the drama and make every night feel like the Super Bowl.
However, betting on the NBA isn’t just about picking winners and losers, although you can do that if you want. There are point spreads,money lines, over/under, prop bets, and futures to consider. If putting a few dollars on NBA games over the season sounds like fun, then read on for everything you need to know about online betting on NBA games.
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Besides knowing what you can bet on, it’s important to understand the stats, trends, and concepts that make betting on basketball interesting. Resources like Doc’s top 12 tips will give you insights into every game, and make it easier for you to place informed bets. Especially if you are just starting out, making use of these resources will help you get up to speed quickly.
Playing the moneyline is probably the simplest way to bet on basketball. It is based on betting on the winner of a game, but not all bets are equal. It would be too easy to bet on the top team in the Western Conference to beat the last place team in the East. In the NBA, the better teams win at a very high rate, unlike some other sports that have more random outcomes. The moneyline evens out those odds by reflecting the difference between the teams.
For every game, one team is identified as the favorite, and the other as the underdog. The favorite is listed in the sportsbook with the favorite listed with a negative number, and the underdog listed with a positive number.
As an example, let’s say that the Toronto Raptors are in first place, and are playing a mediocre Indiana Pacers team. The Raptors are the favorites, and are listed at -130. The Pacers are listed at +110. To bet on the Raptors, you would need to bet $130 to win $100, since they are the favorites. For the Pacers, you could win $110 with a $100 bet. The idea is that sportsbooks want to encourage betting on underdogs by providing better incentives.
NBA Point Spreads
Using point spreads is another way to essentially even the playing field when it comes to betting. As opposed to providing more monetary incentive to bet on underdogs, it makes it harder to bet on the favorites by increasing the amount that they have to win by. Point spreads can vary on several factors, such as injuries, matchups, and current team records. Betting trends can change the point spread over time, as well. If a lot of people are betting on the favorite, then the line will get bigger to encourage more people to bet on the underdog.
Again, negative and positive odds are used for the favorite and underdog, respectively. Using the previous example of the Raptors and Pacers, Toronto would be listed with a negative value. For instance, we will use -3.5. Indiana would be listed with +3.5. If you bet on the Raptors, they would need to win by 4 or more for you to win the bet. If you bet on the Pacers, they could lose the game, but you would win the bet if they are within 3 points. Point spread bets also have an amount that you need to bet. For instance, if it’s -110, that means that you have to bet $110 to win $100.
As opposed to betting on one team or another, over/under betting means investing on the performance of both teams together. Each game is listed with a point total for both teams combined. For example, it could be listed as 215.5. Sports books arrive at these numbers by analyzing the offensive and defensive talent of each team and how they match up. They then produce a number that seems like a likely total once the horn sounds to end the game. You can bet that the final tally will be either more or less than that figure.
Basketball is an amazing sport. It combines action, drama, and tense late game moments to provide an entertaining package no matter when you tune in. However, betting on it can make it even more exciting. With this guide, you now have a full understanding of the most common ways to bet on basketball. Use your own knowledge and the knowledge of professional betting sites to help break down the data and provide you with the wisdom you need to make smart bets.