With NBA and NCAA Basketball growing in popularity amongst sports bettors, it is surprising to us how many fans still don’t know how to bet on basketball online. Basketball is very similar to football in terms of wagering style. If you can read a football line you will have no problem reading a basketball line.
There are three popular bets when wagering on basketball: ATS (against the spread) wagering, money line wagering, and Over/Under wagering. For a better understanding, let’s look at a typical NBA line:
Memphis +6 M.L. +245 212 Over
Oklahoma City -6 M.L -270 212 Under
How to Bet on Basketball – Betting Against the Spread
ATS or against the spread wagering is wagering whether or not a team will win by a certain amount of points or stay within a certain amount of points. The team favored to win will always be laying points and the underdog or “dog” will always be receiving or catching points. In our example, Oklahoma City is at home playing against Memphis. The odds makers have rightfully determined that Oklahoma City is a favorite and the number they have put up is 6. Therefor you can wager that Oklahoma City will win by 7 or more points or that Memphis will either win outright or lose by less than 5 points if you take the plus six points. If Oklahoma City wins by exactly six than all bets are a push and all bets refunded.
How to Bet on Basketball – Betting on the Money Line
Some people don’t like to worry about whether or not a team will win by a certain amount of points. They also might think that an underdog might have a good chance to win and want to be rewarded for correctly picking that they would win without any help of points. This is called money line wagering and the only thing you are picking is which team will win the game. Since some teams are more talented than others, there is a price involved. In our example Oklahoma City is a -270 favorite. That means if you want to wager that Oklahoma City will win the game, you must risk $270 for every $100 you wish to win. On the other side if you think that Memphis has a shot at winning the game outright, you can wager $100 and get back $245 plus your original $100 wager. Wagering on heavy favorites can severely deplete your bankroll if the favorite happens to lose. However finding some good spots to back underdogs at a nice price can help your bankroll grow without risking a lot of money.
How to Bet on Basketball – Betting on the Over/Under
Finally, similar to football you can bet on the Over/Under of a basketball game. In our example the odds makers have set the total at 212 for the contest. Hence, you can wager on whether or not the combined scores of both teams will be above 212 (over) or below 212 (under). If the total score of both teams lands on exactly 212 than it is considered a push and all bets refunded.
Basketball is a long season. The NBA and college schedule run from October through the NBA Finals ending in mid-June. There are games daily and plenty of action for you to find a betting edge.