A Complete Guide to NBA Odds

The NBA Finals draw over 7 million viewers in the United States alone, making it one of the most popular sports in the country. Millions of dollars are wagered on every game of the NBA season, with fans, gamblers and basketball aficionados lighting up Las Vegas bookies for the 6+ months that span the regular season and the final.

If you want to join these bettors, you need to know the NBA odds, and that’s what we’ll be looking at here. We are big fans of basketball here at BetzCenter and have plenty of data and tips to help you make your selections, starting with this guide.

NBA betting markets

A typical NBA game offers a variety of different betting markets. You can choose to play as little or as much as you want, with each market impacting different bets and / or areas of the game.

Some of the more common NBA betting markets include:


Moneyline is one of the most common bets and it is also the easiest to understand. When you bet on the Moneyline, you are betting on which team you think will win the game. This bet often includes overtime and only pays if the chosen team wins the match.

The winner / loser is all that matters with the Moneyline. There is no point spread, no Over / Under and no prop bets. If your chosen team wins, you’ll get the payout – that easy!

The problem with Moneyline betting is that there is usually a runaway favorite. This is good if you are betting on underdogs, but not if you are betting on favorites.

Consider the following example:

  • Team A -625 (1.16)
  • Team B +450 (5.5)

A bet of $ 100 can win $ 450 if you bet on Team B, but the same bet on Team A would only win $ 16. The closer the game is expected to be, the more likely you are to find balanced odds, but there is usually a clear favorite and it is very rare to find a balanced Moneyline.

Point spread

Often referred to simply as “the spread,” the Point Spread adds a hypothetical handicap to balance the odds. In the example above, for example, the distribution of points would look like this:

  1. Team A -11 -111 (1.9)
  2. Team B +11 -111 (1.9)

Either way, a bet of $ 100 would pay a profit of $ 90.09.

For bet 1, Team A must win by 12 points or more. For bet 2, Team B must win the game or lose by 10 points or less. In the event of an 11 point win for Team A, the bet will be “Push” at which point all bets are returned.

There is no consolation prize if you bet on the eventual winner but don’t cover the spread, and that’s one of the most frustrating things about the point spread. If your team gains 10 points with 20 seconds left and there is a -11 gap, you’ll be pulling your hair out when it starts to wane. But this is how the game works and it is something that you will often have to deal with as an NBA player.

Totals (plus / minus)

The Totals bet is one of the most popular bets for neutrals and it is also one of the easiest to follow. If you can’t decide which team has the advantage and you aren’t confident enough to bet on Point Spread or Moneyline, this could be the betting market for you.

Each Over / Under market has a fixed handicap score and you need to bet whether you think the actual score will be higher or lower. In a game between the Heat and the Raptors, the score may be set at 220, in which case it will be displayed as the following two options:

At the end of the game, the total points are counted and the winners are announced. If you bet on the Under and the score is 120-99 (219 in total), then the bet is settled as a win. If you bet on the Over, it’s a loss.

If the game ends between 120 and 100 for a total of 220 points, it ends with a Push and the bets are returned. The betting market will always take into account the free score of both teams. If the game involves two teams with big infractions, terrible defenses, and some of the best 3-point shooters in the game, the baseline for totals will be much higher than if you bet on teams with strong defenses and infractions in the game. difficulty.


There are over 1000 games in the NBA season. It’s a lot of action, and you can bet on every tip-off and cart. But what if you are only interested in the big picture – the team that will go all the way and win it all?

This is where NBA Futures comes in. If you think the Lakers are going to have another great year and win the league title, you can put your money where you want. This is one of the best ways to find long-term results, and since there are a lot of variables involved, even the market leaders stand a good chance on their side.

At the time of writing, for example, the favorites for the upcoming NBA season have a tempting price tag of +260, while the fourth-ranked team offers odds of nearly +700. It’s not just about teams. You can also bet on which player you think will be voted MVP at the end of the season, as well as who will get the most points, assists, rebounds or wins.

Bets on accessories

A side bet or “proposition” involves specific events that occur during the game. Many sports bets take money on the team that wins the tip-off and others allow you to bet on the results of the players. such as:

  • Will player X score More less [spread] Three points?
  • Will Team A / Team B Score first?
  • Will player X get More less [spread] Help?
  • Will player X register a double-double Yes No?

As the examples above show, Prop bets have a base outcome which typically revolves around a “Yes / No” or “Over / Under” outcome. The odds are generally balanced, and in many cases, as in the “Double-Double” example, there is no clear push.

Paris Parlay

A bet is a bet that combines one or more bets, which decreases the chances of success and increases the odds at the same time.

A $ 100 bet with four bets of +100, +150, +200, and +250 will pay out $ 5150 if successful.

It’s a great way to turn a small bet into a big win, but you won’t receive a payout if any of the selections lose. For example, if three of the above bets win but the last one is lost, the entire stake will be lost.

You can generally include any selection of bets in a Parlay, but only if those bets are placed on separate games. This means that you can bet on team A to beat team B and team C to beat team D, but you cannot bet on team A at -6, -7 and -8 on the point spread.

If any of your bets are settled as a ‘Push’ it will simply be removed from Parlay and the outcome will be settled according to the remaining selections. It can be frustrating when this happens, but it does mean that you are still benefiting from your other selections.


Still have questions about NBA odds? Are you not sure how certain bets work, need a little more information on the terms and conditions? Take a look at these FAQs, as we answer questions players like you want to know.

What bets should I place?

It is entirely up to you! If you need a nudge in the right direction and aren’t sure what bets to make, take a look at our Choice.

Many bettors prefer to choose the bets that interest them the most, whether it is because they want to increase the entertainment factor and gain an extra incentive to watch, or because they have a good feeling about things.

Futures are usually a good call, especially if you’ve been watching the sport for a long time and have a good idea of ​​how the season is progressing, but you’ll have to wait a lot longer for those bets to settle.

Most US bookmakers offer NBA odds, and these cover all of the games and most of the markets described above. Take a look at our list of bookmakers to find the best options for betting on the NBA.

Some of the things to consider when choosing a bookmaker include whether it is regulated / legitimate, how many betting markets it offers, and what kind of odds you can get. No two sports bets are the same, so be careful and choose wisely!

How to read the odds of the American NBA?

NBA odds are listed in the same format as all other odds and are surprisingly easy to understand. Everything has a base of $ 100, and this is where you need to start when calculating the return. This does not mean that you should bet $ 100 or in multiples of $ 100, it just makes it easy to understand how these odds work.

When you see a “+” (plus) sign, the number displayed is the amount you can win with a bet of $ 100. If a “-” (minus) sign is used, it indicates the amount you need to bet to win $ 100.

Consider the following example:

  • Team A -135 (1.74)
  • Team B +350 (4.5)

A successful bet of $ 135 on Team A yields a profit of $ 100; a successful bet of $ 100 on team B yields a profit of $ 350.

Outside of the United States, this system is often referred to as American Odds or US Odds. Inside the country, they are known as Moneyline Odds or Vegas Odds.

What happens if the schedule changes?

Imagine the scenario: you made a big bet on the points total knowing that the league’s top scorer will line up and continue his fine form. But just hours before the start of the match, he twists his ankle during the warm-up and is forced to take time off from the match.

What is happening now?

Unfortunately, although you may feel like your bet has been canceled, it will remain active, you cannot undo / undo it, and there is not much you can do about it. You may feel like this is a bit unfair, but the bookmaker is often backed by their detailed terms and conditions.

However, there are exceptions. If you bet on a specific player scoring a certain number of points, rebounds or assists, your bet will be void and your stake will be returned. If they are injured after the game starts, that’s another story and you will lose your stake. The same goes for betting on NBA futures which is rendered useless due to long term injury.

The easiest way to remember all of this is to assume that all bets are final as soon as they are placed and that stakes are only returned at the discretion of the bookmaker.

Conclusion: NBA odds and betting

Basketball is big business. Its richest teams are worth over $ 4 billion and generate more than $ 8 billion in total revenue. Most of that money comes from ticket sales, TV rights, merchandise, and sponsorships, but it also generates indirect income through the NBA betting markets.

Huge amounts of money are played on NBA games every day and it has become a popular pastime everywhere, from the US and Canada to the UK and Australia. The ability to bet on these games is a massive driving force between the NBA’s global success and will ensure that this game will continue to soar in the future.

Now that you know all about NBA odds and betting markets, you can join American and international bettors and place some bets on upcoming NBA games.

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