NBA Betting Odds Explained

If you need the NBA betting odds explained to you so that you know that you are making the right bets, this is the page for you. The staff at loves to bet on the NBA and we are happy to help others understand how the betting lines work. The NBA plays 82 games during the regular season, plus a rather lengthy postseason. These all present a number of opportunities to bet on the NBA. Oddsmakers and online sportsbooks form a ton of NBA betting lines throughout the course of the season. And there are even odds up when the season is not in play. With the accessibility of betting odds for sports at bettor's fingertips, thanks to online sportsbooks and the wide use of the Internet, sports betting has really taken off. The NBA is one of the most popular sports in the world, with basketball being played all over. So it only makes sense that the NBA would be one of the leaders when it comes to oddsmakers forming lines. Here on this page, it is our goal to inform you about the basic betting lines you will see for NBA games, and throughout the course of the NBA Season. This way, you can go into an online sportsbook equipped with the knowledge about what they are offering, and whether you think it is a good line to take advantage of with a wager.

NBA Current Odds

Celtics vs. Cavaliers Odds

Most fans were clamoring for an opening night Finals rematch to kick off the 2017 season, but with Kyrie Irving ditching Cleveland for Boston this summer, it makes sense that a Celtics vs. Cavaliers tilt would generate maximum intrigue. And if the media lead-up to this game has been any indication, the schedule-making honchos at the NBA and TNT are right on the money. So now it’s your turn.

Bovada has tonight’s Celtics vs. Cavs odds posted, and they’re about what you’d expect: Boston (+145) is a 4-point underdog to the -165 Cavaliers, and the over/under is a strong (but slightly modest) 213. The first half spread is Boston +2, with an O/U of 104. A few alternate lines and props are also currently available, though many more will be published between now and tip-off. Check back with Bovada often to make sure you get every opportunity to place your best basketball bets.

Rockets vs. Warriors Odds

Game 2 of TNT’s season-opening doubleheader sees the new-look Rockets taking on the old-look Warriors. Whether or not Houston’s revamped lineup – featuring a rejuvenated James Harden and a newly-acquired Chris Paul running point – can actually hang with the Dubs over four quarters (or 82 games) remains to be seen, there’s no denying the quality of opponent for the defending NBA champions here.

However, Bovada still doesn’t give the Rockets much of a chance to keep it close, as they’re 9-point underdogs to Golden State (-500). However, an upset could earn you quite the return if Houston – at +350 – wins outright, though the 228-point over/under seems a little bit risky. If you’re interested in less risk, of course, you can always take a look at the first half odds instead, where the Warriors are mere 5.5-point favorites and the over-under is only 119. Whatever you do, though, just don’t expect a whole lot of defense out of either of these teams.

NBA Point Spreads Explained

For every game on the NBA schedule, oddsmakers will install what is known as a point spread. A point spread establishes a favorite in the game, which is the team predicted to win, and an underdog in the game, which is the team predicted to lose. But not every point spread is the same. Oddsmakers might think that one favorite is bigger than another. They will install a spread according to how much the favorite should win by, where the favorite will have to give points away. And while the favorite gives points away, the underdog receives the points. This essentially evens the hypothetical playing field, as in real life the teams obviously do not give or take points from each other. This is only done for betting the spread purposes. Once the spread is set, a wager can be made on either team covering that line. For the favorite, it's a bet to win by more than the spread. For the underdog, it's to lose by less than the number, or win the game outright.

NBA Quarter Betting Odds Explained

There are also what are known as quarter betting lines for the NBA. These operate just like point spreads for the whole game, only broken up into the 2 minute quarters. These Lines are obviously much closer than the overall game line, but wagers are made on teams covering the spreads.

Explanation Of How To Read 1st Half NBA Odds

A first half wager is made on the betting line which is installed for the first half of play only. This line will most likely be cut in half from the overall game line, or right around there. The bet is made on which team will cover by the time the first half is over. Once it gets to half time, this betting line is over and the rest of the game has no effect on this outcome.

NBA Moneylines Explained

Betting the moneyline is another form of a straight wager. Though instead of a point spread, the moneyline bet is placed on the team to win the game straight up, with no spread involved. If you think the Magic will beat the Hawks, bet on Orlando without a point spread. Sounds pretty easy right? Well it definitely is an easy wager to make. However, because of the fact that it is technically easier to win a bet on the moneyline, the payouts are a lot different. You will have to risk a lot more on a favorite to win versus an underdog, and the profit is not very high. However, a bet on the underdog on the moneyline could be very profitable, because their chances of winning the game straight up are less.

NBA Over / Unders + Game Totals Explained

The third part of the basic game lines installed for every matchup is betting on the Over / Under odds. Here, oddsmakers set down a total for the combined score that the two teams will put up in the game. The bet is then made on the actual total for the game going over or under that mark. You simply add up the total of the two teams score, and then compare it to what you bet and see if you won. Payouts for this bet are right around even money.

NBA Team Props

NBA Team prop betting odds are formulated for the match ups throughout the course of the season, but can also be odds formed relating to the season. As for the games, NBA team props can cover a range of topics. An example of an NBA team prop might be, 'which team will score 20 points first?' This bet is then placed, and the team that reaches 20 points first will win. From there, the rest of the game doesn't relate to this wager. Think of NBA Team props are smaller wagers within the game, though as far as money placed on these props it can be just as much as a point spread wager on the game.

NBA Player Props

NBA Player props are bets formed on players based on their performances in a game or on the season as a whole. As for the game player props, they can be a number of different things, usually revolving around points scored, rebounds, steals, assists and other stats accumulated for a game. The bets will be on the over or under for a player's statistics. For example, the total number of points that LeBron James will score against the Celtics on any given night. The bet will be made on James scoring more or less than the installed line.

How Live Betting NBA Odds Work

Live betting is a lot of fun for the NBA. With a number of games each week, live betting during the NBA season can be quite active as well. Not every online sportsbook offers live betting, but the majority of them do. When it comes to the NBA, live betting can feature a bunch of different lines, including alternate game spreads, team props, and player props. Online sportsbooks will list which games are available to bet live, and which games are on the schedule coming up.

NBA Championship Futures Odds Explained

From the moment that the NBA championship from the previous year is won, NBA Championship futures odds for the upcoming season are formed. These odds are formed on the teams betting lines to win the championship. They stay up all season long, going into and through the regular season where we could see a lot of changes depending on the performances of teams.

NBA Odds
Deposit Bonuses
Visit Sportsbook
$1,000 Max - 50% Bonus All 50 States Go To BetOnline
$250 Max - 50% Match 46 States Go To Bovada
$1,000 Max - 50% Bonus All 50 States Go To Sportsbetting
100% to $500 All 50 States Go To BetDSI
$520 - 50% Player Bonus All 50 States Go To 5Dimes