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Our Guide to Betting on Basketball

The betting system of basketball is among the easiest to understand. If you have bet on football before, then chances are that you won’t have too much trouble learning how to bet on basketball as well. That being said, you need to familiarize yourself with the terms that basketball bettors use so that you won’t be confused when the numbers start to stream in.

Below, you’ll find a break down of the most important basketball betting terms to know. Let’s dive in!

Point spread

Simply put, the point spread is a betting system where you win based on the accuracy of the score you bet on. In this system, even if your team won, you can still lose if your score predictions do not make the cut. This makes it equally difficult for bettors on opposing sides of the court to win anything, save for the bookies themselves. Because of this “equalizing” effect and the added thrill it gives to the activity of betting, the point spread system is immensely popular among basketball bettors.

Under this system, the team which is predicted to win is called the “favorite”. The team likely to lose is called the “underdog”. Let’s say that there is a match involving the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, where the former is the underdog and the latter is the favorite. In the point spread system, the San Antonio Spurs could be given a handicap of 20-points, which means that the betters believe that they are likely to beat the Warriors by that many points.

If you bet on the Spurs, they should win by at least 21 points over the other team. The point-lead threshold is meant to make it difficult for those betting on the favorite. If you bet on the underdog, however, all they have to do is not lose by more than 20 points. It can be challenging for the underdog to win, seeing as they are often less skilled than the favorite. If the Spurs win by exactly 20 points, the bet pushes and everybody gets their money back. No winners, no losers. Another rule of this system that makes it so popular.

Totals, ‘over,’ and ‘under’

In contrast with the point spread, the total betting system is based on the total predicted points both teams will have by the end of the game. For instance, let’s say that the winner (Spurs) and the loser (Warriors) have a combined score of 204. You will win your bet if you bet that the total score would be higher than 204. Hence the name “over”. If the total score is less than 204 and you bet that the score would be lower, you win the “under”. If the score lands on exactly 204, the bet would “push” and both over and under bettors would have their bets refunded. Check out Pinnacle for the sharpest totals around.

Money Line Wagers

The money line wager is simply a bet on who wins the game, without the point spread. In cases where the opposing teams are known to have divergent skills, however, those betting on the favorite are often asked to risk more money than what they stand to win. Bovada has great options when it comes to money line wagers.

Suppose that the money line odds are -200 for the Spurs (the favorite) and +200 for the Warriors (the underdog). If you bet on the Spurs, you would have to risk $20 to win $10. If you bet on the Warriors and won, however, you stand to profit $10 from a smaller bet of $5. This wager type is very common in hockey and baseball. In basketball and football, however, the favorites typically win more games, which is why you see a lot of juice. This is why spread bets are more popular in basketball and football; it levels the playing field a bit.

Parlays and Teasers

A popular betting option for action junkies are parlays and teasers. In this type of gambling, you need to pick two or more wagers, and they all need to win for you to win. For a teaser, you can adjust the point spread in your favor, in exchange for a lower payout.

For a parlay, you choose different bets and the odds get combined to create a larger potential win. This can result in a nice payday, as each separate “leg” is rolled over into the next bet.

For example:

I make a 3-team parlay and risk $100.

Team A Money line (-110 odds)

Team B Spread bet -7 (+100 odds)

Game C Over 200 points (-110 odds)

In the scenario, if I were to straight bet $100 against 3 games, I would need to divide my $100 wager up ($33.33 per game) and assuming all three bets won, would win a total of $93.93 profit.

However, a parlay “rolls” your winnings into the next bet. So if I parlay my bet, I would win $628.93… that’s a HUGE difference. This is obviously much more risky, which is why the payout is so much greater. While a parlay might be enticing, the house edge is huge and chances of winning decrease significantly with every game added to the parlay.

If you’re looking to start betting on your favorite sports online, Action Backers is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help. Or read all of our reviews

Happy Betting!