No Real Edge Found In Money Line Versus Point Spread Betting

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, February 5, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 7:39 PM UTC

SBR contributor Ross Benjamin shares precise research done on NBA point spread betting compared to that of money line wagering. Go inside to read this insightful article that will certainly be of great help whenever you are placing your wagers.

NBA Point Spread to Money Line Conversions

I decided to touch upon a very intriguing NBA handicapping topic. I’m going to be discussing precise point spread numbers, and then converting them to what an average money line would be in each specific case. Below is a chart of point spreads that are 4.0 or less, and additionally the average money line conversions which correspond to each exact number. If you’re interested in seeing the calculations for point spreads of 4.5 or more just visit Sportsbook Review’s Spread/ML Converter.

Point Spread

Money Line Favorite Average

Money Line Underdog Average






















 NBA Money Line Underdog Betting Values

I did a study on betting NBA money line underdogs that have a point spread of 4.0 or less. My search originated from the start of this 2016-2017 NBA regular season. My calculations were all based on risking $100 on a money line underdog, and betting $110 to win $100 pertaining to point spreads. Furthermore, all money line calculations are done based on the average prices displayed above.


ML=money line

ATS= against the spread

SU=straight up

Point Spread

ATS Record


SU Record

ML Net


12-15-1 (44.4%)


12-16 (42.9%)



6-7 (46.2%)


6-7 (46.2%)



8-13 (38.1%)


8-13 (38.1%)



10-14 (41.7%)


7-17 (29.2%)



10-12-1 (45.5%)


8-15 (34.8%)



7-8 (46.7%)


7-8 (46.7%)



7-3 (70%)


7-3 (70%)



Out of the 7 point spreads queried, only NBA underdogs of +4.0 have made a profit on both the point spread and money line this season. If you bet underdogs of 3.5 on the money line, it resulted in a small profit of $177 thus far. Wagering on home underdogs of 3.0 or less has been a losing proposition. Nonetheless, betting on underdogs of 3.0 or less as point spread wagers would’ve saved you $544 in losses as compared to money line wagers within those same parameters.

Conversely, NBA away favorites of 4.0 or less have gone a respectable 72-60-2 ATS (54.5%), and based on bets of $110 to win $100, they made a profit of $600. Those road chalks also were 79-55 (59%) straight up. However, due to the hefty prices involved, betting on road favorites of 4.0 or less as money line wagers resulted in a loss of $692 thus far.

In conclusion, I found no advantage whatsoever when betting on NBA money line underdogs or favorites if there’s a point spread of 4.0 or less. Based on my many years of professional handicapping experience, I firmly believe that a larger sample size of results would make very little difference if any at all to your NBA picks.

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