Point spread betting is one of the most common forms of sports betting in any sport. Professional basketball is no exception, as bettors regularly take to the point spread market when trying to win with their NBA wagers. In this guide to NBA point spread betting, we go over what this market consists of and what bettors should know before getting involved with it.
What is NBA Spread Betting?
In the NBA point spread market, there is a favorite and an underdog. The favorite has points taken off of their score at the end of a game, or the underdog has points added to their score at the end of the game. The team that has the higher score after the point spread is applied to either side of the equation is the winner for the purposes of this market.
For example, if the New York Knicks are five-point underdogs against the Brooklyn Nets, that means the Knicks would have five points added to their score after that game. If the Knicks won the game or lost by four or less, the extra five points would make them winners in this market. If the Nets won by more than five points, they would cover the spread, and Nets bettors would cash their tickets.
How to Place a Point Spread Bet?
To place a point spread bet, bettors simply need to go to the NBA section of their preferred sportsbook. From there, bettors can pick which game they want to bet on against the spread. The point spread market will list both a point spread value and the odds on each side of that point spread, so bettors know how many points are in play and how much they have to risk to make their desired profit amount.
More challenging than actually placing a point spread bet is the act of handicapping before placing the said bet. This market requires bettors to determine which team is going to win each game. But bettors who are backing the favorite also have to determine whether or not they will win by enough to cover the number.
Pros and Cons of NBA Spread Betting Picks
The biggest positive in point spread betting is the fact that the betting odds are relatively fixed. Both sides of each point spread wager typically come in at least in the neighborhood of -110 odds, meaning that bettors have to risk $110 to win $100. Compared to moneyline Picks odds, which can shift up or down depending on how heavily a team is favored, the odds in this market are affordable both ways.
On the flip side, the biggest negative with point spread betting in the NBA comes in the form of having to lay points with favorites. NBA games can be unpredictable as teams adjust their rotations and effort levels on a regular basis during the season. Bettors have to determine when those items work in favor of the favored team to justify laying points and requiring their selection to win by enough to beat the point spread.