NBA Betting: Understanding Point Spreads And Over/Under Bets

Basketball is one of the most popular sports to bet on, with bookmakers presenting a broad range of betting types and markets where you can find a lot of value opportunities. By far, the most popular basketball league is the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States. The NBA started in 1946 with only 11 teams.

Over the past six decades or so, the NBA has grown to 30 teams across the North America and attracts the best talent from not only America but – in recent decades – players from all across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Each of the teams in the NBA plays an 82-game regular season, with 41 home games together with 41 away games. This number of basketball games that are played over a seven-month period offers many opportunities to find value, with games being played every day.

What Is A Point Spread Betting?

In very simple terms, a point spread is a bet on how much the favourite team will win by:

  • If the team has a minus sign, this means that they’re the favourite and they’ll have to win by the stipulated number or more for you to win your bet.
  • If the team has a plus, this means that they’re the underdog and they’ll have to win the game or lose by less than the particular number for you to win.

Each of the teams will have different odds, so make sure that you’re paying attention to them.

Controlling The Point Spread

The simplest way to control the point spread is to pay close attention to the days that lead up to the game. Not only will you have the ability to see any important information pop up, such as injuries, bit you’ll also have the ability to see who the favourite is and who isn’t. In addition, having the ability to watch the line move will give you a great idea of which team you should bet on as well as when you should bet. If you aren’t really sure about how things will turn out, it’s a great idea to avoid betting altogether until the next basketball game. Rather go to Mandarin Palace casino and wager on a few simple games there, as they don’t require the same in-depth analysis.

Points Spread Betting: Outcomes

A point spread bet has three potential outcomes: win, loss, or push:

  • If bettors select correctly and win, a sportsbook will pay out the bettor in full based upon the “price” of the wager, which is most commonly -110. That means that a bet for $110 is going to win $100, or $11 is going to win $10, and so on.
  • On the other hand, a “push,” when the game result falls right on the point spread margin results in a “voided” or “cancelled” bet. This means that bettors get their original wagers given back to them.
  • Of course, a loss is a loss.

A point spread bet is different from a money line bet as the outcome of a spread bet, for bettors, does not always reflect final outcome of the sporting event. Where a moneyline bet requires picking one team to win openly (or a draw when offered as a potential outcome), the losing side in a point spread bet may still give bettors a win, depending on what the score of the sporting event is.

What Are Over/Under Bets?

Over/under bets go by a number of different names. In the United States, it’s common to see this kind of bet being referred to as a ‘total’, which is shortened as O-U. All of these names refer to the same kind of bet.

In an over/under bet, a sportsbook will calculate a number for a given game. Most frequently, this is the total number of points that will be scored. After this, bettors will then wager that the real number will be higher or lower than this estimate. With this kind of bet, you are not attempting to predict the actual score of a match. Rather, you may feel that there will be more points scored than the sportsbook is expecting, or fewer.

How To Bet The Over/Under

Prior to making an over/under bet, you’ll have to decide if the collective score will be a lot more or less than the oddsmakers’ total and if you should place the bet now or later as the over/under may change. After this, you’ll want to understand the vig/juice on the total as well as how much you stand to win.

What Is A Push?

Oddsmakers will post two types of totals: those with whole numbers and those with fractions (212.5 points in basketball). If you see that an over/under wager has a fraction on it, there will be a final result, assuming that the event is completed. Nonetheless, if a betting slip has a total that’s a whole number, it’s very possible that the result can be a tie.

Also, over/under wagers can push (and be refunded) if a game or event is cancelled, postponed or doesn’t finish. Sportsbooks have very different policies regarding what qualifies as a ‘completed’ event for every sport. They also have policies that pertain to whether a bet remains ‘live’ if it’s postponed to a future date.

It’s important to always check on the house rules prior to making any wager (such as side, over/under or futures).

What If The Set Total Is A Whole Number?

Generally speaking, totals betting lines are numbers that end with a half-point (.5), however in rare cases, oddsmakers set out the total as a whole number. A push in sports betting happens when a total is a whole number such as 48 points and the combined score will hit it exactly. Some bettors may be of the opinion that there is a greater advantage in betting on totals with a solid number rather than with a .5 because it provides an extra safety net in order to avoid losing your wager entirely.

Over/Under Betting in Basketball

As opposed to baseball, football and hockey, over/under betting numbers for basketball games increase well into triple digits. In the modern-day NBA, you seldom see full-game totals south of 200 (and frequently they’re well into the 220s and beyond).

However, over/under numbers in college basketball — which has two 20-minute halves as opposed to the NBA’s four 12-minute quarters, together with a longer shot clock — are significantly less. Still, the concept is remains the same: you’re betting on if two teams will beat or fall short of the oddsmakers’ posted total.