How To Bet On The NBA

The LeBron James news has got you interested in NBA betting, has it? Well, before you dive in, you’ll need have a basic understanding of what’s happening. If you’ve never placed a bet on NBA basketball, here is a brief primer to get you started on your way.

 

Moneyline

You can wager on the outcome of an NBA game on the moneyline and the outcome is all that matters. For example, you could see the Cleveland Cavaliers favored at -185 while taking on the Miami Heat at +165. The Cavaliers are the favored team, as shown by the ‘-‘ sign, while the Heat are the underdogs as denoted by the ‘+’ sign. This means that you have to wager $185 to win $100 on Cleveland and then $100 to win $165 by betting on Miami. You don’t have to stick to those exact numbers but that gives you the equation. Of course, you can bet $5, $1,623 or whatever amount suits. Whoever wins the game wins on the moneyline.

Point Spread

Point spreads are for those that know the game a little better as you have to bet on the winning margin of victory. The sportsbook will set out a number, for example, the aforementioned Cleveland-Miami matchup would have the Cavaliers at -6 and the Heat at +6. Again, the favorite is shown by the positive sign and the underdog by a negative. If you were to bet on the Cavs, they would need to win by more than six points while the Heat would have to lose by less than six or win outright to give you a betting victory. If the final margin is exactly six points, that is called a push or a tie and you get your money back.

Total

When it comes to total betting, you’ll find an over/under that refers to the combined scored of the two teams. The sportsbook might decide that the Cleveland-Miami matchup will have a total of 185 points and you have to wager on whether the final total will be over or under. Expect to see higher totals with teams that have a lot of offensive firepower and lower in games that are expected to be defensive struggles.

Futures

Finally, there are futures that you can bet on, which are odds on events that will happen – you guessed it – sometime in the future. So if the moneyline, spread and total refer to nightly action, futures are long-term bets in regards to things like “Who will win the NBA championship?”

For example, you could find Cleveland at 3/1, the San Antonio Spurs at 4/1 and Miami at 25/1 and the Boston Celtics at 50/1. The Cavs and Spurs would be among the favorites, while the Heat are longshots. You might also see the odds displayed in the American fashion, such as +300, +400, +2500 and +5000. The payout is the same; it is just a different way of displaying the odds.

Futures can be found for all types of things such as odds to win the championship, odds to win a division or odds to win a conference and much more.