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NBA POINT SPREADS EXPLAINED:
The point spread – commonly referred to as “the spread” – is the number assigned by the sportsbooks to represent the point difference between two teams for betting purposes. The goal of the spread is not to project how many points that a certain team is going to win by. Instead, the point spread is meant to create a situation where half the wagers that come in on a game are on one team while the other half are on the other. (This is called “balanced action”).
The team with the negative number is considered the favorite. (Example: -7.5) The team with the positive number is considered the underdog or “dog”. (Example: +7.5)
The team that is the favorite needs to win the game by more than the assigned point spread value in order to cash the ticket. For example, if the Boston Celtics are -3.5 against the New York Knicks they need to win by four or more points to beat the point spread. Conversely, a bettor taking the underdog Knicks in this example needs New York to either win outright or lose by three or fewer points.
NBA MONEYLINE EXPLAINED:
A moneyline wager in an NBA game is a bet on which team will win the game outright, independent of the point spread.
The favorite in a game has a negative moneyline (example: -160). The underdog has a positive moneyline (example: +125). The odds represent the payouts on a $100 wager. So for a favorite at -160 the bettor would wager $160 to win $100. For an underdog at +125 the bettor would wager $100 to win $125.
Again, moneyline bettors are simply trying to pick which team will win the game. The moneyline is the agreed upon payout of the wager.
NBA TOTALS or OVER/UNDER EXPLAINED
NBA totals are a bet on the total combined number of points that both teams will score in a given game.
You can bet totals ‘over’ or ‘under’. If you are betting ‘over’ then you are betting that the combined number of points from the teams will exceed the posted total. If the posted total is 205.5 and you bet ‘over’ then you wagering that 206 or more combined points will be scored. If you are betting ‘under’ 205.5 then you are hoping for 205 or fewer combined points to be scored.
All points scored in overtime count towards the totals wager. If the total number of points scored ends up being exactly the same as the posted total (for instance a 104-100 game with a total of 204.0) it is considered a ‘push’ (a tie) and the bet is refunded.
NBA FUTURES EXPLAINED:
NBA futures are wagers on eventual results regarding certain teams. For example, a NBA championship futures wager is a bet on which team will win the NBA title in June. Other types of NBA futures wagers can involve the number of wins that a team achieves during the season, betting on which team wins their specific division, or betting on which team will win the conference title.
The odds on NBA futures wagers are generally expressed similar to a moneyline. For example, the Bulls could be posted at +1800 to win the NBA championship. That means that a $100 wager would yield $1,800 if Chicago won the NBA championship.
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