Bet Type Spread
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How to Use the Odds Comparison Tool
Compare odds across legal US sportsbooks at ScoreandOdds.com to help you profit over the course of the NBA season and into the NBA playoffs. Find out how to use the odds comparison tool, along with other NBA betting tips below.
Are you in a state or traveling to a state with legal sports betting, such as Pennsylvania or New Jersey? Our odds comparison tools, which can be used on desktop or mobile, are perfect for any sports bettor looking for an edge.
The NBA odds comparison tool highlights the best spreads, totals and moneylines from the best legal US sportsbooks in the country. We know line-shopping (finding the best lines) can be a drag, especially in a sport that has multiple games nearly every day of the week like the NBA. By using Scores and Odds’ odds comparison tool, you outsource the line-shopping process during our daily NBA betting routine, saving you valuable time and money. Simply click on the kind of bets you want to see — spreads, totals or moneyline — where it says Bet Type. The best NBA odds will be outlined in red, showing you the best sportsbook to use anytime you want to bet on a basketball game.
Want to know something sweeter? Every sportsbook featured in our NBA odds comparison tool will have a welcome promotion, which could include free bets or deposit bonuses if you have not already signed up at their online sportsbook. Take advantage of all of the offers by clicking on the bet you want and sign up today!
Of course, if you are new to NBA betting, or sports betting in general, you will first want to understand exactly what you are looking at in terms of NBA odds, moneylines and point totals. A few of our favorite NBA betting tips won’t hurt you, either.
NBA Betting Glossary & Tips
Spread – Betting on the game spread (against the spread or ATS) is the most popular way to bet on the NBA. You will bet on either the favorite or the underdog to cover the spread. The favorite is the team giving or laying points (ex: Los Angeles Lakers -5.5). The underdog is the team getting points (ex: Boston Celtics +5.5).
By betting on the favorite, the team doesn’t merely need to win the game for you to win the bet. In the example above (Lakers -5.5), the Lakers need to win by 6 points or more if you bet on them. If they win by 5 points or fewer, the bet is graded as a loss.
NBA Betting Tip: Pay attention to the NBA schedule. Is a team traveling home after playing the second end of a back-to-back that went into overtime? They might be fatigued, and since the NBA is a long season (82 games), coaches often rest their star players. We saw this play out earlier this season when the Nets hosted the Grizzlies. The Nets were at home, but they were playing their third game in a row one night after returning from an overtime win in Boston. The Grizzlies were underdogs but had fresh legs. Memphis won the game 118-79.
Moneyline – By betting on the moneyline, you are betting on the game straight up, i.e., on who you think will win the game — no spread included. Favorites require bettors to risk more than they will win, while underdogs pay out more than is risked. Example: Lakers -200, Celtics +180. To win $10 on the Lakers, a bettor must risk $20. A bettor risking $10 on the Celtics will profit $18 if the Celtics win. It is more common to bet on the point spread in basketball, but moneylines are more popular for baseball and hockey betting.
NBA Betting Tip: Upsets are common throughout the long NBA season. Even a bad team can get hot from three and beat one of the better teams any given night. Tread carefully when considering betting on big moneyline favorites, especially if it is against a volatile team that takes a lot of threes.
Total (Over/Under) – A bet on an NBA point total is a bet on the combined number of points scored by both teams, overtime included. If you bet Under on a game total of 218, you want the combined score of both teams to be less than 218 (ex: 110-107).
NBA Betting Tips: React quickly to injuries. This is true for point-spread and moneyline betting as well. NBA teams often have late scratches that can dramatically affect lines and point totals. With a million other things going on for sportsbooks, it is crucial to stay on your toes and beat oddsmakers to the punch before they adjust to news.
Vigorish (vig) or Juice – The vig or juice is how sportsbooks profit, taking a cut from sports bettors when they place their bets. Sportsbooks typically have a vig of -110 on both sides of a bet, meaning you have to risk $11 for every $10 you want to win. Taking into account the vigorish, you need to win not half of your bets but at least 52.4% just to break even.
NBA Betting Tips: While -110 is most common, some sportsbooks will try to charge more, making it very difficult for bettors to profit long term. Always look at the vig. This is why it is so important to use an odds comparison tool. By visiting this page, you can easily find which sportsbooks are charging the least amount for your NBA betting picks.
More NBA Betting Terms
Parlay – Parlays involve two or more betting picks, all of which have to win for your parlay to cash. You have a four-team parlay, and only one pick loses? Tough luck, you lose the entire bet. The larger payouts in parlay bets are typically what attracts bettors. Two-team parlays usually pay 2.6-to-1, three-team parlays pay 6-to-1, four-team parlays pay 10-to-1, etc. Though we refer to these as “two-team parlays,” parlays can consist of picks on the point totals and sometimes even props. Use our parlay calculator for your convenience.
NBA Betting Tip: Remember, NBA lines are pretty efficient. It is tough enough to hit more than 50% of your bets. In a parlay, you have to hit all of your picks, making it even more difficult to win.
Teasers – Like a parlay, teasers require more than one pick, and all picks in your teaser must hit. Bettors like teasers because it is a way to move multiple point spreads (or totals) to their advantage. Since the points are adjusted in the bettor’s favor, teasers do not have as large of payouts as parlays
NBA Betting Tip: Teasing is more popular in NFL betting, as a way to move through a few key numbers. There aren’t key numbers in basketball the way there are in football.
Live Betting (in-game) – Live betting, or in-game wagering, occurs after a game starts. Did you stay at work late and forget to place your bet before tip-off? Most US sportsbooks will have live lines available for you to bet on while the game is still in progress.
NBA Betting Tip: Leads in the NBA are very volatile throughout a given game. A team can easily be up by 20 points in the first half and end up losing. As JJ Apricena (Sports with Facts) has pointed out, rarely do NBA teams cover wire-to-wire against the spread. An NBA game is like a yoyo, built on constant runs, back and forth from both teams. You can often use live betting to get better numbers than were available before tip-off.