Analyzing Basketball Betting Lines

Basketball betting lines come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look.

Key Points

– Carefully analyzing basketball betting lines is the first step to success in betting on the NBA.

– NBA bettors must understand betting lines on all wagers like moneyline bets, point spread bets, and totals bets.

Basketball Betting Lines

Betting on NBA basketball is one of the more popular activities for sports bettors. Most NBA bettors stick to the traditional wagers – moneylines, point spreads, and game totals. 

What helps in having success betting on the NBA is having a good understanding of betting lines. Analyzing basketball betting lines will help bettors have a greater chance at winning more NBA bets. 

Take a look at our basketball scores and odds.

Looking at NBA Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are great for when bettors have issues with the point spread. Betting the moneyline is easier since you are betting on a team to simply win.

A moneyline bet is great in a situation where you like a favorite but are not comfortable laying the points. This is especially true in situations where you have a double-digit favorite. Often, underdogs have a chance for a “backdoor” cover where they score a bunch of points late in a game when it is already out of hand.

It’s good to remember that betting big moneyline favorites on a consistent basis is not a great strategy. You lose big and win small betting on big favorites.

On the other end, betting NBA moneyline underdogs can lead to greater return on investment. Betting a +150 underdog leads to greater profits on smaller wagers.

Point Spread Bets – Basketball Betting Lines

When betting on the point spread, it helps to remember that you need to win 52.38 percent of the time to break even assuming typical -110 odds on all bets. 

If a team is a -2.5-point favorite at -110 odds, you have to wager $110 to win $100 and your team needs to win by three points or more. 

To enjoy the most success in point spread betting, bettors must analyze the numbers and attempt to beat the closing number. Oftentimes, beating the closing number means betting early on NBA games. 

Odds and lines are usually released the morning of a game. As the day goes on, lines will adjust based on information learned throughout the day. Basketball bettors can capitalize on any mistakes made on those initial lines by betting early.

Say you like a 1.5-point favorite when the initial lines come out. Based on your research you think the line should be bigger. You jump on the bet at -1.5.

Injuries can shift betting lines

Later in the day, the injury report comes out and the line closes at  -3.5 just before game time. You only need your team to win by two, but those who waited now need them to win by four. Beating the closing line can help bettors win more often.

Did you see our article where we talked about the best sportsbook for NBA Playoff action?

Betting Totals

Betting NBA totals is a great move when bettors can’t make a decision on a side. Totals bets can also work in conjunction with a point spread or moneyline wager. 

If you like a high-scoring team to beat another high-scoring team, you might bet on your team to win and the game to go Over the point total.

Remember, when betting totals the outcome of the game has no bearing. If the total was set at 220 and the final score of the game was 109-107, the Under bet is a winner.

Typical odds on totals bets are -110. One of the biggest factors in betting totals is analyzing pace data. Teams that play at faster paces typically score more points and vice versa.

It’s also important to shop for the best lines. One sportsbook may have a total at 217, but another has it at 219.5. You can score more wins by finding lines that are more advantageous for your wagers.

Simply analyzing basketball betting lines and using a few key strategies can help improve both your win percentage and your bankroll.