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Basketball Betting Odds And Lines Explained - From Point Spreads To Props


With the rise of online sportsbooks and mobile betting, basketball fans can easily place bets on their favorite teams and playersfrom the comfort of their own homes.

However, navigating basketball betting can be confusing, especially for beginners who are not familiar with thebasketball betting odds and lines explainedin this comprehensive guide.

Whether you are looking to place a point spread or moneyline bet, or interested in exploring futures, parlays, and props, understanding the ins and outs of basketball betting odds and lines is essential for making informed and successful bets.

Basketball Betting Odds And Lines Explained

Basketball betting odds and lines are essentially the same things. The odds represent the probability of an event occurring, while the lines show the point spread or the moneyline. Let's break it down further:

Point Spread

The point spread is a way to even the playing field between two teams. In basketball, one team is usually favored to win over the other. The point spread is a way to give the underdog a chance to win by requiring the favored team to win by a certain margin.

For example, if the point spread is 5.5, the favored team must win by at least six points to cover the spread. On the other hand, if the point spread is +5.5, the underdog can lose by up to five points and still cover the spread.


The moneyline is another type of basketball betting line. Instead of the point spread, the moneyline is simply a bet on which team will win the game. The odds are based on the probability of each team winning.

For example, if Team A has a moneyline of 150 and Team B has a moneyline of +130, Team A is the favorite to win. You would need to bet $150 on Team A to win $100, while a $100 bet on Team B would win you $130.


The over/under is a type of basketball betting line that is based on the total number of points scored in a game. The sportsbook will set a line for the total number of points scored, and bettors can then wager on whether the actual total will be over or under that line.


Futures bets are basketball betting lines that are placed on events that will occur in the future. For example, you can place a futures bet on which team will win the NBA championship before the season even starts. Futures bets can also be placed on individual player awards, such as the MVP or Rookie of the Year.


A parlay is a type of basketball betting line where multiple bets are combined into one wager. The payouts for parlays are much higher than for single bets, but all of the bets in the parlay must be correct for the bettor to win.


Prop bets are basketball betting lines that are based on specific events within a game. For example, you can bet on which player will score the first basket of the game, or how many three-pointers a particular player will make.

Four People Playing Basketball
Four People Playing Basketball

Common Terms In Basketball Betting Odds And Lines

There are several common terms that you will see in basketball betting odds and lines. Here are a few of the most important ones:


Juice is the commission that sportsbooks charge on bets. It is typically around 10% of the bet.


A push is a tie in basketball betting. If the final score of a game is exactly the same as the point spread, the bet is considered a push and the bettor's money is refunded.


The handle is the total amount of money that has been wagered on a particular game or event.

Closing Line

The closing line is the final betting line before a game or event starts. It is often used as an indicator of how much action a particular side is receiving.

Tips For Successful Basketball Betting

While understanding basketball betting odds and lines are essential for making informed bets, there are other factors to consider as well. In this section, we will discuss some tips for successful basketball betting that go beyond simply understanding the types of bets and common terms.

One important tip is to do your research before placing a bet. This includes looking at team and player statistics, injury reports, and previous game performances. It is also important to consider factors such as home court advantage and travel schedules, as these can impact a team's performance.

Another tip is to bet selectively and avoid chasing losses. It can be tempting to place a bet on every game, but this can lead to impulsive and uninformed betting decisions. Instead, focus on games that you have a good understanding of and feel confident about.

Finally, it is important to bet responsibly and set a budget for your betting activities. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and avoid chasing losses by placing larger bets than you normally would. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of making successful basketball bets.

Why Betting Odds and Lines Change - Sports Betting Basics and How-To Guides

The Pros And Cons Of Basketball Betting

It is important to weigh these pros and cons before getting started with basketball betting and to always bet responsibly. By doing so, you can enjoy the potential benefits of basketball betting while minimizing the potential drawbacks.

Here are the pros and cons of basketball betting:


  • Profit potential- With the right knowledge and strategy, it is possible to make consistent profits from betting on basketball games.
  • Excitement- Betting on basketball games can add excitement to watching games and increase your engagement with the sport.
  • Variety- There is a wide range of basketball bets available, including point spreads, money lines, over/under, futures, parlays, and props, allowing bettors to choose the type of bet that best suits their preferences and knowledge.
  • Accessibility- Basketball betting is easily accessible through online sportsbooks and can be done from the comfort of your own home.


  • Risk of addiction - Like any form of gambling, basketball betting can be addictive and lead to financial problems if not done responsibly.
  • Risk of losing money- Even with informed bets, there is always a risk of losing money, which can be a potential drawback for some bettors.
  • Time-consuming- In order to make informed bets, it is important to do research and keep up-to-date with team and player statistics, injury reports, and previous game performances. This can be time-consuming for some bettors.
  • Limited control - Bettors have limited control over the outcome of the game, which can be frustrating for some.

People Also Ask

Can You Place A Bet On A Specific Quarter Or Half In A Basketball Game?

Yes, many sportsbooks offer quarter-and-half betting options for basketball games, allowing you to place bets on specific periods of the game.

How Do You Choose The Best Sportsbook For Basketball Betting?

When choosing a sportsbook for basketball betting, consider factors such as the variety of betting options offered, the quality of odds and lines, the reliability and security of the platform, and the availability of bonuses and promotions.

Can You Bet On College Basketball Games?

Yes, many sportsbooks offer betting options for college basketball games, although some may have restrictions on certain types of bets or conferences.

How Do You Manage Your Bankroll When Betting On Basketball?

It is important to have a clear bankroll management strategy when betting on basketball to ensure that you are not risking more money than you can afford to lose. This may involve setting a betting budget, determining the size of your bets, and avoiding chasing losses.


Having a strong understanding of basketball betting odds and lines explained in this article will give you the knowledge and confidence to make informed betting decisions, while also emphasizing the importance of responsible betting practices.

It is important to note that while basketball betting can be fun and potentially profitable, it is also important to bet responsibly. Set a budget for your betting activities, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Look at team and player statistics, injury reports, and previous game performances to make the most informed decision possible.

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