How to Bet on Basketball Games

Basketball is one of the best sports to bet on because the season is very long. Bettors can wager on games every single day of the season, and there is almost always some good bets available. There aren’t too many days where there aren’t any great lines available. The key to betting on basketball, like all sports, is patience and discipline. It is very hard to make money betting on the NBA or NCAA basketball if you do not take it very seriously. Bookmakers put a lot of time into creating a proper line, and your job is to determine which lines just aren’t spot on. This is how sports bettors make money. If you have some great insight into basketball, you can beat the bookies at there own game.

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Basketball Insight

The more that you know about basketball, the greater your advantage is when betting. Many bettors think that they can win bets with a very elementary knowledge of the game, but this just won’t work. You have to actively follow the league you are betting on if you want to make money. You wouldn’t wager money on an investment if you didn’t know the details of the deal, so why would it make sense to bet on a game you don’t know about. Some bettors watch a ton of basketball but still can’t pick consistent winners. For these people, it could be a better idea to bet on over/unders or the spread. This is one of the great things about betting on basketball and sports. Even if you can’t pick steady winners, you can still make money. Always keep an eye on the current action in the NBA or NCAA when betting on basketball, that way you can keep up with trends and have an edge over the sportsbook.

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Types of Basketball Bets

Basketball bets are not limited to the spread. Bettors can wager on the total amount of points scored between two teams or the team who is going to win in addition to the spread. Betting on the spread is almost like betting on the winner, but you have to overcome the line. For example, if you want to bet on the Nuggets to beat the Warriors, but you think they are going to win by more than eight, it would make more sense to bet on the spread at -6 for the Nuggets. This is because the spread pays out more than the moneyline if you are betting on the favorite. If you are betting on an underdog, however, you stand to win more money when betting on the moneyline as opposed to the spread. Bettors usually are better at picking one type of bet than another. Try out different types of bets, and see which comes naturally to you.

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Betting on a Basketball Moneyline

The moneyline is the easiest way to bet on basketball. When betting a money line, bettors only need to decide who they think is going to win (or lose) a game. Moneyline payouts are difficult to read for new bettors, but in reality they are quite easy to understand. Note that betting a moneyline is the safest way to bet on a favorite, but the riskiest way to bet on an underdog. Every once in a while two teams are going to be evenly matched on the moneyline. This means that neither team is offering a bigger payout than another.

Pretend that the Hornets are playing the Knicks. If the numbers for the moneyline read Hornets (-175) Knicks (+150), it means that the Hornets are the favorite to win. The team who has a (-) is always the favorite. A favorite always pays out less money on a successful wager than an underdog. An underdog always has the (+) symbol as an indicator.

If you bet $175 on the Hornets to win, you are going to earn $100 profit when they beat the Knicks. Always remember it this way, attach a $ symbol to the moneyline number, and then know that for every time you bet that amount, you profit $100. (-110) would mean bettors need to wager $110 to win $100, and so on and so forth.

If you bet $100 on the Knicks, you are going to earn $150 when they win. When betting on an underdog, bettors always earn the number on the moneyline for every $100 that they bet. if the line was (+175) for a team, bettors would earn $175 for every $100 that they wager. If you bet on an underdog, there is a big profit potential, but it is also risky.

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Betting on a Basketball Spread

Betting on the spread is a way to even out the playing field. If it wasn’t for the creation of the spread, bettors would not be able to bet on games where a major favorite plays an underdog. If a team like Duke plays Hartford, everyone is going to pick Duke to win. If the moneyline was the only bet available, bettors would just make massive wagers in favor of Duke. For this reason, the moneyline is often not available when a big favorite plays a major underdog.

Using the Duke vs. Hartford example, the spread might be Duke (-26) Hartford (+26). This means that bettors can either bet that Duke is going to win by more than 26, or that Hartford is going to lose by less than 26. This bet is much closer to a 50/50 proposition than a moneyline bet would be, and it is why sportsbooks can afford to offer it. Betting on spreads is the best way to bet on basketball if you want to minimize risk. Payouts for bets on the spread are usually close to even money. For example, a $10 bet would pay out $9.85. If you bet on the spread and the number ends up in a tie (26 point difference in the Duke vs. Hartford example above), your original wager is refunded.

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Betting on a Basketball Over/Under

An over/under is the total amount of points scored by both teams in a game. If the Kings played the Heat and the over/under is set at 204, it means that the sportsbook feels the total points scored would be close to 204. If the game ended in a final score of 104-100, it would mean that the over/under was exactly correct. If you bet on an over under and the final score is the actual over/under, it is considered a push and all bets are refunded.

Betting on an over/under (o/u) is great for bettors that appreciate the mathematical side of sports. Bettors can decide whether a line is good by looking at past match ups and results. Over/unders are close to a 50/50 bet, but bettors can make money by betting on games where the line is not accurate. For example, if a team’s coach is really fired up after a loss, you can bet that the team will play harder next game. In this case, it would make sense to bet on the over. If you have a feel for how fast paced a game will be or how many points are going to be scored in a game, betting on the over/under is your best option.

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The Keys to Winning

Patience and careful game selection is crucial for any sports bettors success. Betting on basketball can be frustrating when you lose a game by just one or two points, but remember that there is always another game. Try not to force any bets, and only make wagers where you have confidence in your play. A loss is much worse than simply passing up on a bet. Don’t chase your losses if you happen to get unlucky, be patient and consistent, and you can make a lot of money betting on basketball.

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