When making an NBA moneyline bet, you choose what team you think will simply win the game. The odds indicate what team is the favorite (-) or the underdog (+).
The gap in the moneyline signifies an anticipated mismatch as the top-seed Bucks are heavily favored over the lower-seeded Bulls in Game 1 of their playoff series. As a bettor, you have two options when making an NBA moneyline bet in this spot: 1.) You can bet $350 to win a return profit of $100 (=$450) on the home favorite Bucks. 2.) Or you can bet $100 to win a return profit of $340 (=$440) on the road underdog Bulls.
What can beat the start of the NBA playoffs for basketball bettors of all levels, whether new or sportsbook regulars, ready to cash in on the hardwood action over the next several months (?)
And as is the case with other pro sports, bettors can make moneyline, point spread and over/under total bets on their NBA game(s) of choice.
Here is a tutorial on what to look for and how to make moneyline, point spread and over/under total bets when betting on NBA games.
(Note: I am going to use Bulls @ Bucks as an example in explaining how to make moneyline, point spread and over/under total bets when betting on NBA games.)
How to make Point Spread Bets On NBA Games
As per usual, sportsbooks set a point spread, which is a projected margin of victory to equate into whether you think the Bucks or Bulls are going to cover the given point spread. (Let's use the following point spread as an example.)
Bucks -9 (-110)
Bulls +9 (-110)
For you to win your bet, the side you bet on has to cover the spread. So, if you bet on the Bucks (-9), Milwaukee would have to win the game by 10 points or more for you to win your point spread bet. If you bet the Bulls (+9), Chicago would have to win the game or loss by 8 points or less for you to win your bet. (A point spread bet that lands exactly on the number is considered a push, which means neither side wins and you get your money back.)
How to make Over/Under Total Bets On NBA Games
Oddsmakers set a total combined points for a game. An NBA bettor has to decide whether the points for the game will go 'Over' or 'Under' the total (line).
Over +212.5 (-110)
Under -212.5 (-110)
If you think the Bucks and Bulls will combine to score less than 212 points combined, you can bet on the 'Under' total. On the flipside, if you think the Bucks and Bulls will go 'Over' the total, both teams would have to score more than 212 points for you to win your Over/Under bet. (NBA lines and odds are usually available the day before a game is set to be played, so it's a good idea to check your sportsbook of choice for updated betting info., injuries, etc.)
Fernie Ruano, a South Florida-based multimedia specialist and copywriter with a concentration in sports betting analysis and Miami culture, has just about covered it all over the years. Follow him on Twitter at @bet_on305fernie.