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NBA Odds: Point Spreads, Moneyline and Over/Under

Whether it’s the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks, betting on NBA Odds has always been popular among sports fans and bettors alike!

The NFL, MLB, and NHL all dominate the sports betting arena. Still, a lot of people also bet on NBA basketball and even college basketball.

For one, the NBA has more games in a year, so gamblers get more chances of betting and winning. 

There’s also plenty of wagering options for bettors to make quick and easy bucks. Punters can also wager on the NBA Finals, NBA Championships, and even Playoffs.

HOW TO UNDERSTAND NBA ODDS

NBA Odds will look similar across different online sportsbook sites.

There will always be a team name and numbers with a – (negative sign) or + (positive sign).

TEAM Spread Moneyline Total
Trail Blazers -3 ½ (-110) +110 O 230 (-110)
Nuggets +3 ½ (-110) -110 U 230 (-110)

 

Keep in mind that bookies always list the visiting team first and the home court team second. 

This can be useful to bettors because usually, home court teams have a more significant advantage of winning the NBA game.

So in the example above, the Trail Blazers are playing the Denver Nuggets in Denver.

American Odds

In the US, bookies use something called “American odds”.

Odds basically tell you how much money you can win versus how much money you wager. It also shows which NBA team is favored to win.

American odds use a standard of $100 to make gambling a lot simpler.

When looking at NBA Odds, the numbers are always based on an amount that you must wager to win $100.

– and +

This is where the – and + signs come in.

The – or negative number tells you which team is favored to win and how much you have to bet to win $100.

If the Memphis Grizzlies have odds of -150, it means they’re the favored team to win. If you wager an amount of $100 and win the bet, you can get a total payout of $250.

$150 (Bet Amount) + -150 (Odds) = $250 (Payout)

How so? If you win a total payout of $250, that means you earn $100 in winnings, plus your original bet of $150.

So remember, the negative number tells you how much you have to bet to win a standard amount of $100.

The + or positive number, on the other hand, shows which team is the underdog. It also tells you how much you will win for every $100 bet you make.

If the New York Knicks have odds of +200, it means that they are the underdog and that betting $100 will get you a total payout of $300.

$100 (Bet Amount) + +200 (Odds) = $300 payout

Bettor wins $200 on top of their $100 bet, with a total of $300.

Again, remember that + shows you how much you will win for every $100 bet you make.

Note that the most common odd spreads are – / + 100 or 110. 

This simply means that you can win $100 in profit for every $110 bet you make.

However, bettors can, in fact, wager any amount of money they want! American odds simply use $100 as a base unit to make things easier to understand.

Most, if not all, online sportsbooks have odds calculators built inside their site. That way, betting will be a lot easier for both beginners and regular bettors.

KINDS OF NBA BETS

Point Spreads

Point Spread bets are one of the most popular types of wager in NBA betting.

Spread betting is also a good option for beginners who want to try their hand with NBA odds.

Basically, point spreads are designed to make things equal for both the favored team and the underdog.

The point spread puts the underdog at an advantage by giving it a number of points they can lose by and still “cover the spread”.

It also puts the favored team at a disadvantage by giving them a certain margin of points they have to win by to cover the spread.

For example, the Philadelphia 76ers matchup with the Chicago Bulls.

 

Philadelphia 76ers -6 ½ (-110)
Chicago Bulls +6 ½ (-110)

 

You can see that the Philadelphia 76ers are favored to win. If I were a punter, I wouldn’t bet on a losing team.

But the point spread evens out the competition.

Here, you can see that the margin of points Philadelphia 76ers have to win by is 6 ½ points. 

The Chicago Bulls, on the other hand, have to lose by less than 6 ½ points.

6 ½ is basically the “betting line” or the spread.

If you bet on the Philadelphia 76ers, the team will have to win the game with more than 6 ½ points than their opponent for you to win the wager.

However, if you bet on the Chicago Bulls and they lose the game, you instantly win the bet. 

If they lost the game with a score of 6 ½ points behind the 76ers. You still win the bet. 

If they lose with 3 points, you also win. 

If they win the game, you still win the bet!

But if they lose by 7 points, you lose the bet as well.

The more significant the difference in skill between the two teams, the bigger the point spread!

That’s why whoever “covers the spread”, wins.

Moneyline

Moneyline betting is the most straightforward type of bet you can make judging by basketball odds.

Basically, you make a bet on who you think will win the game.

The moneyline price on the team will determine how much you win on your bet.

The general rule is that favored teams with bigger odds to win will have smaller payouts. Meanwhile, underdogs with lower odds have bigger payouts.

For example:

New Orleans Pelicans -175
San Antonio Spurs +155

Here, it’s clear that the Pelicans are favored to win. It also shows you that you can get $100 in winnings for every $135 bet you make.

Spurs are the underdogs, with a chance for bettors to win $155 profit for every $100 wager.

Again, you can bet any amount of money you want, and the bookie will be the one to calculate for you.

Moneyline betting is exciting because if you think that an underdog is going to win against the favored team, you can make a lot of bucks by betting on the former.

The key is studying the situation. Looking at current game standings will be advantageous for NBA odds bettors.

Over/Under or Totals

The Over/Under or the Totals is a bet on the combined score of both teams by the end of the game.

Essentially, you can bet on whether the total number of points goes over or under a certain amount.

You don’t have to bet on which team you think will win. 

The Sportsbook will set a line on how many total amounts of points the two teams will likely score together.

The bettor will simply place a wager on whether the final combined score will go “over” or “under” the betting line.

For example:

Indiana Pacers O 200 (-110)
Boston Celtics U 200 (-110)

 

If you think that the total combined score will be higher than 200, bet on the over (O 200).

If you think that it will be lower, bet on the under (U 200).

FUTURE BETS

From the name itself, futures betting are wagers on a team or player’s performance throughout the season.

Futures bets allow you to wager on who you think will win the NBA Championship, and which team wins a division or conference. You can even bet on which player you think will be crowned the MVP.

Futures odds are also easy to understand once you get the hang of it. It’s usually expressed in either moneyline, fraction, or decimal. In the end, it’s all the same.

Golden State Warriors +300
Los Angeles Lakers +2000
Orlando Magic +50000

In this example, the numbers show each teams’ odds to win the NBA Finals.

If the Golden State Warriors have a good game every week, their odds will improve.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star player gets injured. Their odds will go down.

Orlando Magic, on the other hand, is not performing well at all.

The top team will have +300 future odds, while the team not likely to win will have +50000.

Propositional bets

In Proposition Bets or Prop Bets, gamblers bet on whether something is going to happen in a specific game or not.

For example, you wager that a player from the Mavericks will make five 3-pointers in their matchup versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

Another sports punter gambles that the Los Angeles Clippers will get the opening tip-off.

These are just some of the few examples of propositional bets you can make in online sportsbook sites.