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NBA Odds

When planning to bet on a basketball game, you must know how to read the line correctly. The basketball line sets forth the odds and payout of the teams competing in the basketball match up. The basketball line consists of the favorite team, the underdog team, the point spread, the money line, as well as the over/under. In the basketball odds listing, the home team is often listed in capital letters. In the event no team is listed in caps, the home team is typically the second team listed in the line.

A basketball odds listing typically looks as follows:

    Chicago Bulls +4 (-115) 180 Indiana Pacers -4 (-105) 180

This odds listing tells us that the Bulls are favored by four points in this sample basketball line listing. This means the Bulls must defeat the Pacers by more than four points if we are betting the point spread line on this particular basketball game.

In the event we did not wish to bet the point spread line, we can choose to bet the money line. If we take the Chicago Bulls in the money line, we will win $100 for every $115 we bet on the Chicago Bulls. By comparison, we will win $100 for every $105 we wager on the Indiana Pacers. As the point spread also suggests, the Bulls are favored in this game. As a result, the Pacers get points in the spread and pay out better by way of the money line, as they are not expected to win, despite playing at home in our sample line.

You will also notice the number 180 present in our sample basketball line. This number represents the total points scored between the two teams. In the event a bettor believes the score will be extremely high, such as 100-92 in favor of the Bulls, the "over" bet would be the logical bet to place. This is because the combined total of the score is 192, which is higher than (or over) the 180 point benchmark established in the over/under. By comparison, if we think the game shall be dominated by defense, with a score such as 85-72, we would bet the "under," as 157 points is well under the 180 point over/under mark.

By understanding how the basketball line and odds read, we can find value in betting individual basketball games throughout the regular season.