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How to Bet on Basketball

By Katniss

Many would argue that basketball is now the most popular sport in the world, with fans from all over the globe clamoring for the thrills that the NBA delivers each and every season. Some of those people have even gotten wealthier from the in-game action after learning how to bet on basketball at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.

We here at Nitrobetting are proud to impart our knowledge on how to bet on NBA games and other basketball-related events in general. Basketball betting guides such as this are a great resource for those who are looking to just get started on placing some stakes on NBA games.

How to Read Basketball Odds

On American sports betting sites, odds are defined with a plus sign (+) for the underdog team and a minus sign (-) for the team pegged as the favorite to win. For example:

Team Moneyline Odds
Miami Heat (+110)
Los Angeles Lakers (-110)

The numbers beside the plus and minus signs are the odds itself. The odds basically explain how much the bettor stands to win if he/she wins the bet. 

Odds can also be displayed in other forms such as fractions and decimals. In any case, Nitrobetting has a built-in system that allows players to choose what kind of odds they want to be displayed.

How Moneyline Bets Work

Learning how to bet on basketball with understanding how moneyline works.

Placing bets on the moneyline or what some bettors also call the straight-up bet is simply predicting the outright winner in a game is considering 

Team Moneyline Odds
Miami Heat (+110)
Los Angeles Lakers (-110)

Using the example from earlier, if a bettor placed a bet on the Miami Heat and the Heat did win the game, the bettor will get his/her initial bet back, plus the winning payout based on the underdog’s line.

Meanwhile, if a bettor placed a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers and the Lakers did win the game, the bettor will also receive his/her original bet and the winning payout, but payouts for teams that were favored to win are lower in value than that of an underdog’s payout and understandably so since the team favored to win is handicapped by the odds to balance the betting field for the game.

Betting on the underdog team usually means a riskier play for bettors, as oddsmakers give them longer odds to win. That being said, winning by betting on the underdog does pay out more than winning by betting on the favorite.

How to Bet Against the Spread on Basketball

Now that you know how moneyline betting works, it’s time to level up your knowledge on how to bet on basketball.

The point spread in basketball is one of the greatest inventions in modern history. Essentially, the point spread provides balance between two teams in a game. If one is perceived as the stronger team, then it will be given a  points handicap, which is the number of points oddsmakers predict it will win by over the underdog.

Team Spread
Miami Heat (+6.5)
Los Angeles Lakers (-6.5)

To use the example in the table above, Lakers point spread bettors will win their bets if Los Angeles wins by at least seven points. If they lose the game or win by fewer than seven points, then Heat spread bettors will be the ones getting payouts.

How to Bet on the Over/Under Point Total

When betting on totals or over/under, the goal is to predict whether the combined points of two teams at the end of a particular game will be more or fewer than the line set by oddsmakers.

Team Over/Under
Lakers 190.5 (-105)
Heat 190.5 (-115)

Regardless of who wins in the Lakers vs. Heat game, a bettor will win an over bet on this game if the total points scored by Los Angeles and Miami at the end of the game is 191 points or more. If the total points at the conclusion of the game fails to clear 191 points, then it will be the under bettors who will rake in payouts.

Live Odds

Check in on Nitrobetting’s coverage of any game in progress to see if there are any live odds being offered in real-time to add even more excitement on top of the stakes you placed on the other betting lines mentioned earlier.

Prop Bets and Futures

Betting lines and odds are not just offered during gameday, as bettors can start placing stakes on the NBA or other basketball leagues even before the regular season starts.

Prop bets and futures odds during the preseason are normally offered for bettors looking to place stakes on the overall outcome of the league after a certain event has passed. Some examples of futures and prop bets are:

  • Who’ll become the NBA Champions at season’s end
  • Predicting the regular-season MVP and/or NBA Finals MVP
  • How many wins will a certain team win at the end of the regular season
  • Which team(s) will win their respective conference(s)
  • Playoff Brackets, season-long survivor pools, Nitrobetting Squares contests, and many more 

Prop bets and futures odds are a great way for the bettors to keep the wagering action going even before the league has yet to resume play, all the while offering bettors a different strategy on the stakes they want to place on such events and promotions.

Where to Bet on NBA and Basketball Games

Players can start placing stakes on NBA games here at Nitrobetting. Create an account in just a few minutes and get started with the basketball betting action in an instant!

Be sure to also check out our NBA Corner for all the latest news and happenings from around the league.