Mar 23, 8:19 AM ET
The pointspread (commonly known as the "spread") is the most common bet when betting on NBA odds or College Basketball odds. The spread assigns a betting line that a team is either favored to win by or expected to lose by. Negative betting lines such as -7.5 indicate that the team is the favorite and expected to win by 7.5 points. Positive betting lines such as +7.5 indicate that the team is an underdog and expected to lose by 7.5 points.
In the case above, the favorite (-7.5) must win by at least eight points to cover the spread. The underdog can lose by seven points or less and still cover the spread. If the spread was an even number such as eight (-8 and +8), the favorite winning by eight points or the underdog losing by eight points would be graded a push and all bets would be refunded.
A total, also known as the Over/Under, is the expected combined score of both teams in a single game. Bettors must decide if the total number of points scored in the game by both teams will be higher or lower than the total set. Note: overtime is included in a total.
So when you see a total of 198.5 points, you are hoping for 199 or more points if you bet the Over and you are hoping for 198 or less points if you bet the Under. If the total was an even number such as 198 and the final score (including any overtime) lands on 198, it would be graded a push and all bets would be refunded.
This form of betting replaces a pointspread and you are simply betting on a team to win straight up, not by any specified amount. Commonly used in baseball and hockey, basketball moneylines are an attractive bet when betting the underdog due to their big payouts in comparison with spread betting and/or betting moneyline favorites.
Negative odd values (-160 for example) are assigned to the favorite, while positive odd values (+180 for example) are usually assigned to the underdog. In this example, if you want to bet the favorite you will have to wager $1.60 for every dollar you want to win. However, if you want to bet the underdog you will win $1.80 for every dollar you wager. If you bet $100 on a -160 favorite and won, you would profit $62.50. If you bet $100 on the +180 favorite, you would profit $180.
The same style betting as described in the pointspread and total or Over/Under sections, however, you are betting on the first half or second half results only, not the full game. Note: second half bets include overtime.
Do you know who will win the upcoming NBA Finals or March Madness tournament? With the availability of futures, you can make this bet at any time prior or during the season. Depending on the sportsbook itself, there can be many different futures offerings available to wagering. Unfortunately, WNBA futures are rarely available due to low market popularity.
Futures can be moneyline or total bets and are generally accompanied by positive odds because long term outcomes are difficult to predict and there are so many different possibilities. Odds are constantly updated as the season prolongs based on the oddsmakers prediction that a team has to win. Many factors come into play such as injuries, roster updates, remaining schedule, probability to make it into the Playoffs and/or amount of games behind the leading teams.
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