Sports betting is one of the most exciting ways to experience sporting events. Basketball is one of the most dynamic and thrilling sports to wager on. However, wagers can get complicated, and many people don’t know how to bet on basketball. In this article we will talk about how to bet basketball in Vegas. Contrary to what people think, basketball betting is same regardless of the location or the bookmaker.
In this in-depth primer, we’ll go over the fundamentals of how to bet on basketball. We’ll get into basketball betting lines, NBA and NCAAB betting, implied probabilities, types of bets, and more.
Learning the Basics
The first step towards learning how to bet on basketball is understanding the betting lines. Betting lines, also called moneylines, inform you of two crucial things: what the odds are, and who’s the favorite.
In American odds formats, a match will feature a moneyline for each outcome. In a 2-way moneyline (games where teams can’t tie), only two outcomes are possible. Each team’s moneyline reflects the payout of a $100 bet on the team to win.
Negative (-) moneylines indicate a favorite. A negative moneyline indicates how much you need to bet to win $100. Positive (+) moneylines indicate underdogs. Positive moneylines show potential net winnings on a $100 stake.
How to Bet on NBA Basketball in Vegas?
When you bet on NBA games, you’ll find a few standard betting lines available. The most common include moneyline, point spread, and total. Let’s look at an example. Say the Boston Celtics are playing the Los Angeles Lakers at Boston. Boston is the favorite, with moneyline at -140, spread at -2.5, and totals at 200. LA stands at +120 moneyline, +2.5 spread, and 200 totals.
Let’s then say you bet $100 bet on the Celtics to win, and $100 on the Lakers to beat the spread. The game finishes 97-95, with Boston on top. Your $100 moneyline bet at -140 would pay about $171, or net winnings of $71.
Spread bets pay if your team plus or minus the spread beats the other team’s score. In this case, the Lakers lost, but beat the spread, since 95+2.5 is 97.5, which is higher than the Celtics’ 97. Spread bets are a somewhat more advanced way of how to bet on basketball.
A bet on college basketball isn’t much different from a bet on NBA games. When you bet on college basketball, you get much the same options as with the NBA. Moneylines, spread bets and totals are the most common betting lines.
Let’s try a practical example. Say it’s the height of March Madness, and the Duke Blue Devils are playing the Michigan State Spartans. Duke is the slight favorite, with -110 odds, -1.5 spread. Michigan is the slight underdog, at +105 odds and +1.5 spread.
Let’s also say you are feeling Michigan will have a great game. You bet $100 on Michigan to win, and $100 on Michigan to beat the spread. The game ends 73-72, with Duke ahead. You bet on Michigan to win loses, but spread bets on Michigan still payout, since 72+1.5 is over 73.
Many people love to bet on college basketball. March Madness, in particular, is a great time to bet on college basketball. The best bets, promotions, and offers come around this time of the year.
Types of Bets
Point-Spread bets are available for the NBA, NCAA, and WNBA when the leagues are in season. These bet type is known as Handicap Betting in other sports like football. The point-spread was developed to provide a balance for both teams involved in a contest to entice bettors to potentially back the weaker team and receive points.
The two squads in a game are listed with a title, either a favorite or an underdog. The favorite is usually the perceived better team in the game, as backing them means giving up several points. For example, if Los Angeles is listed as a seven-point favorite (-7) over Orlando, backing Los Angeles would mean they need to win by at least eight points to win the bet. Any victory by six points or less by Los Angeles would result in a loss, even though they won the game straight-up.
The underdog is the team not expected to win, but betting the ‘dog has its advantages. In the above example, betting Orlando with the seven points (+7) is actually beneficial in two ways. If Orlando loses the game by six points or less, Orlando wins the bet. Also, if Orlando wins the game straight-up regardless of the amount, they cash winning tickets. Assuming the game falls on seven, in this case, a ‘push’ occurs, which is a tie, meaning all tickets are refunded.
Over/Under Totals Betting
Another option to bet on basketball instead of taking a side is to bet on the total. Basically, this is a cooperative effort between the two teams to either go ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ the posted total. In basketball, if Los Angeles and Orlando have a game total of 205 ½, a winning ‘Over’ bet would mean the two clubs would combine for 206 points or more. On the flip side, a winning ‘Under’ ticket is 205 points or fewer between the two teams.
Totals Betting is one of the most popular types of bets in any sport. People who want to learn how to bet basketball in Vegas should definitely look into the over/under bets.
How to bet basketball in Vegas Tips
- Manage your bankroll effectively. The specifics are up to you, but keep in mind how vast the NBA schedule is. There’s always a lot of action to take, so don’t commit your whole bankroll to a single game.
- Keep track of schedules. That applies to both game and practice schedules. A team that reads great on paper can quickly fold if they’re fatigued or overworked.
- Stay up to date on injuries. Player injuries can be the bane of both NBA and college basketball best bets. Keep an eye on player rest updates as well. A team on a slump with a star coming back from rest is often underestimated by oddsmakers.
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