Kevin Davis explains the basics of betting on the NBA and highlights the key areas that bettors need to focus on if they are to begin with a win in the Orlando restart.
NBA Betting Refresher
The NBA restarts on Thursday and it’s like Christmas Eve for sports fans and, in particular, sports bettors. However, before you rush out and hit the sportsbooks, think back to the basics of betting and what will help you to win when wagering on the NBA. Following the advice below will be the difference between filling your sack or being left looking like a turkey.
The Different Types of NBA Bet
Before even placing a bet this weekend, have a think about the different bets available and whether you are making the most of all the options at your disposal as a bettor.
A spread is not just what you put on a bagel, but it is the most popular type of NBA bet. When you are either betting on who you think will win the game by a certain amount of points or more, or who you think will either win or lose by less than a certain amount of points. For example, let us say that the Los Angeles Lakers are playing the Washington Wizards. The Lakers are much better than the Wizards, so they are favored by 8.5 points. If you bet on the Lakers spread at 8.5 points and they only win by four points, you lose your bet. If you had bet on the Wizards as 8.5 spread underdogs you would have won your bet despite the Wizards losing.
Typically, you must pay a premium or “juice” when betting on the spread of -110. This means that if you bet $11 on the Wizards spread, you would get $10 if your bet won. However, PointsBet is offering no juice +100 spreads meaning if you are right more than half of the time you will be a profitable sports bettor.
Moneyline wagers are the most basic type of bet, but they are not as popular as spread wagers. If you are betting on a team’s moneyline, you are simply betting that they are going to win the game. In the Thursday July 31st afternoon game between the Orlando Magic and the Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic are 6.5-point favorites. If you believe that they are going to win but not by seven or more points you can bet on their moneyline at -255 odds. If you think that the Brooklyn Nets are going to win, you can bet on their moneyline odds at +215 odds.
The minus and the plus symbols are overwhelming for new sports bettors, but they are relatively simple at their core. A minus symbol represents how much money you need to bet in order to win $100. With the Magic as -255 favorites, you would have to bet $255 just to make $100. A plus symbol is how much money you would make if you bet $100. For the Brooklyn Nets moneyline at +215, if you bet $100 on their moneyline and they win, you would win a profit of $215. What makes the moneyline a great bet is that if you like an underdog to win you can make more money with the moneyline than the spread. To the contrary, what makes the moneyline a risky bet for a favorite is that the returns can be too small to justify the bet.
A total wager is a wager on the total amount of combined points. For Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers the total is 216.5 points. You have two options for how to bet on a point total, over or under. If you bet that under 216.5 points are scored and the final score is Lakers 110, Clippers 98, the total amount of points was 208 points and you would win your bet. If you had taken the over, you would have lost that bet. There are a few things you should keep in mind. If a game is a blowout the total could either go under because the team ahead slows down the pace, or the total could go over because the team that is behind plays at a faster tempo. A point total bet is a bet on the tempo of the game more than the scoring abilities of both teams.
Basic Strategy for Being A Profitable Sports Bettor at Legal Sportsbooks
One of the best ways to be a more profitable sports bettor is not just by correctly predicting the result, but in getting the best payoff for your bet. There are several legal sportsbooks, and each of them offers different odds for each game. Typically, a sportsbook has a 4.5% hold on spread bets meaning that on average they make $4.50 per $100 on spread bets. This is bad for you as a bettor because your goal is to make money, not to lose it.
However, there is an easy way to reduce the hold of the sportsbook that has nothing to do with sports, line shopping. All you must do is check every sportsbook app to see what their odds are and combined the best rates on each team winning. For example, you like the Lakers spread against the Clippers. One site offers Lakers -4.5 (-110), but another site offers the Lakers at -3.5 (-107). If you combine that with another site that offers Clippers at +3.5 (+102), you have reduced the hold from 4.5% to 1.2%. This means that on a $100 bet, you reduced your hypothetical loss from $4.50 to $1.20.
Therefore, you need to shop for the best lines because it will keep more of your money in your pocket than just blindly betting whatever line one sportsbook gives you. As a new sports bettor if you sign up for new sportsbooks, they will give you sign-up bonuses which you can gather more information about on our site.
Enhanced Odds, Bonus Promotions
As a way of keeping you engaged as a sports bettor, the sportsbook will offer enhanced odds. The sportsbook will boost the payout on a bet which is a great way to make money.
For example, DraftKings is boosting the payout on any one team of your choosing to win their opening day matchup from whatever their moneyline odds are to +500 odds. The limit on this is $20, but it is good for you as a sports bettor. If you like the Lakers to win against the Clippers and you bet $20 on the -180 moneyline, you would only make $11.20 if the Lakers win. However, with the +500 odds boost, you would make $100.
Another marketing tactic that is good for you as a sports bettor is when you are offered a bonus if a certain event happens. FoxBet is offering a free bet worth $3 for every three-pointer that the 76ers make against the Pacers up to $50 in free bets, as long as you make a $3 bet on any outcome in that game paying -200 or better. This means that if you, for example, bet $3 on the points total for this game, and the 76ers hit eleven three-pointers, you would have a $33 free bet regardless of the outcome of the game.