How to Bet Basketball

Of the four main sports, basketball is known as one of the easiest to bet on. Along with football, basketball use the point spread for betting on sides (teams), and an over/under number. If you know how to bet on football, you will know much how to bet on basketball.

How to Bet Basketball

How to Bet Basketball

The most popular method of betting basketball contains the point spread, which is a handicap the sportsbooks set on one team to make both teams equal regarding to betting.

With the point spread, the team which is expected to win will be called the favorite, whereas the team which is expected to lose is called the underdog. The expected team to win gives, or lays, points to the expected team expected to lose for wagering purposes.

If the Celtics play the Knicks, most bettors will bet on the Celtics to win the game. But say the point spread will create the Celtics a 10-point favorite

This means that the Celtics must win by 11 or more points for its bettors win their bet, while those betting on the Knicks could win their bets if the Knicks won the game or lost by 9 points or less. If the Celtics win by exact 10 points, the bet is a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

When bettors bet against the point spread, they are required to lay 11-to-10 odds, meaning that they risk $11 to gain $10. This is how the bookies and sportsbooks get their money. If I bet $11 on the Celtics and you bet $11 on the Knicks, the bookie gets $22 between us, but only give back $21 to the winner. The additional dollar is essentially the bookie’s fee for accepting our bets.

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The second most common way of betting on basketball is to bet totals, also regarded as over/unders.

Essentially, a total is the estimated combined score of the 2 teams which are playing. A number is posted and bettors have the choice to bet more than the predicted total points are scored (over), or less than the predicted total points are scored (under).

In our hypothetical game between the Knicks and the Celtics, the over/under number can be 188. People betting on the over could win their bets if the total combined score was 189 or bigger, whereas people betting on the under would win their bets if the combined total score was 187 or smaller. Remember, if the combined score is exact 188 points, the bet is called a push, or a tie, and no money changes hands.

Just as with the point spread, bettors are required to lay 11-to-10 odds and risk $11 to gain $10 on each over/under bet.

Money Line Wagers

While bettors bet against the point spread or on totals make up the huge majority of basketball bets, they also have some other betting choices offered. One is the money line bet, which is a bet on the winner of the game without the point spread. However, since some teams are given a better than 50-percent opportunity to win, money line bets are made by using odds, so that if you bet on the team which you expect to win you will be required to risk much more than you stand to win.

The money line odds on a game looks like this:

Boston Celtics -300

New York Knicks +240

This means that bettors who take the Celtics are required to put up $30 to get $10, whereas those who believe the Knicks will win are required to risk $10 to get $24.

Parlays and Teasers

The other types of betting involving basketball come in the forms of parlays and teasers, which are often called exotic bets. In parlays and teasers bettors have to guess exactly the winners of two or more games. On parlays, bettors have the choice to bet against the point spread or use the money line, while teasers are made using the point spread and players can change the point spread in their favor.

The one catch about parlays and teasers is that all of your teams must win or the whole bet is a loss. Even if you pick precisely 5 out of 6 games, a parlay or teaser bet is still a loss.

Betting basketball is not tough and it typically ranks second regarding to betting dollars behind football. A lot of fans find that dealing with the point spread, or with totals, more simple than using the money line. So have it a go!


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