Whether you’re watching college basketball or an NBA game, placing a few basketball bets can be a great way to spice up the action and earn a bit of extra money. First we’ll go over the basic types of basketball betting and then give you a few tips on how to optimize your winnings.
Point Spread and MoneyLine
The most common types of basketball bets are the point spread and money line. An example of a basketball point spread would be Los Angeles -7 1/2 -120 at Houston +7 1/2 +120. In both the money line and point spread the team with the negative number is the favored team, Los Angeles in this example. If Los Angeles wins by 8 points or more than a $120 bet on Los Angeles would win $100. A bet on Houston would win $120 for each $100 if Houston wins the game or loses by 7 points or less.
A money line looks similar but does not take the score of the game into account. A money line might be Los Angeles -150 at Houston +170. The money line wager wins or loses only based on which team wins the game. If Los Angeles wins then a wager of $150 would win $100. A bet on Houston would win $170 for each $100 wagered if Houston wins the game. Both the point spread and money line are attempts by the bookmaker to even the wagers on each side.
Another popular basketball bet is the total bet, or over/under bet. For the Los Angeles/Houston game a total may be 190 1/2. This number represents the total combined score of both teams including overtime points. If Los Angeles scores 109 points and Houston scores 97 points then the total would be 206. In this example the over would win if the score were 191 or more. The under bet would win if the combined score were 190 or less.
Proposition bets and futures bets are two other common basketball wagers. Futures bets are wagers on big events before they happen, such as division and league champions. Proposition bets cover just about everything else you could bet on, from who will win the tip off to total number of fouls in a game or anything else.