Latest NBA Betting Lines
The 2014-2015 NBA basketball season is underway! For US bettors, the best NBA betting sites are FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com. Both sites offer great deposit options including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and PayPal. Throughout the season, we’ll be posting predictions for the best games. Bookmark this page for quick access to the latest NBA lines.
2014-2015 NBA Season – Betting Lineswide
A Few Basketball Wagering Tips
For the beginning of the season, you’ll probably get more value betting on underdogs than favorites. Big-name free agent signings & trades don’t always translate into immediate wins, but excited fans will bet heavier on these teams anyway. Look for good point spreads on underdogs, and teams that consist of the same 5 starters as they had last season. Early in the season, teams consisting of players that know each other and play well together have a healthy intangible that doesn’t show up in the odds.
As the season progresses and new players adjust to their new teams, bettors need to adjust to this as well. We should see more accurate point spreads & money lines, and we’ll need to do more homework.
How to Read the Lines
Every sportsbook offers point spreads, money lines, and over/unders (totals). At sportsbooks who accept US players, NBA betting lines are typically posted in American odds. If you’re not from the United States, or are more familiar with decimal or fractional odds, most sites offer their odds in any format the bettor prefers. For this article, we’re using American odds to explain how to read NBA betting lines.
American Betting Odds
American odds use a minus (-) sign to indicate how much money is required to wager in order to win $100 in profit. For example, -120 means that $120 would need to be wagered in order to win $100 in profit. Plus (+) signs indicate how much would be won from a $100 wager. So, +120 means that a $100 wager would turn a $120 profit.
Bettors often confuse American odds with money lines, so lets clarify the difference. American odds are a way of showing the wager amount versus the profit amount (a way of showing the odds). Money lines are a type of bet. The confusion is caused by the fact that point spread, totals, and other wagers also show the point spread, point total, or some other number alongside the odds. In a money line bet, all that appears are the odds. Since money lines are often posted in American odds, people confuse the two. Here’s an example:
Point Spread Bets
Boston Celtics: +2.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers: -2.5 (-110)
In this point spread example, the Boston Celtics are the underdogs, being given 2.5 points. The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites, giving up 2.5 points. Since a point spread is being used to handicap the game, both sides require a $110 wager to win $100 in profit.
Boston Celtics: +140
Los Angeles Lakers: -160
In money line bets, no point spread is used. There is no handicap on the game, which means that underdogs pay more profit if they win. In the money line example above, since the Lakers are favored, a bet of $160 would result in a profit of $100. For the underdog Celtics, a $100 wager would produce a $140 profit.
Money lines can also be viewed in fractional or decimal format. When you’re looking at the lines at an online sportsbook, look for a button that allows you to change the odds format. Most books allow bettors to choose from American, decimal, or fractional odds.
Over/unders, also called totals, are bets based on the combined score of both teams in a game. The bettors job is to predict if the teams will score more (over), or fewer (under) points than the total. They look like this:
Over: 202.5 (-110)
Under: 202.5 (-110)
In this example, if you think the teams will score 203 or more combined points, you would take the over. If you think they’ll score 202 or fewer points, you’d take the under. In both cases, the bettor would need to wager $110 to win $100 more. Of course bettors can wager whatever amount they like, but -110 is used for calculating the math. For example, a bet of $11 would result in a $10 profit.
If the total was 202 (or any total not using 1/2 point), and the actual game total was that exact amount, bets would push. This means that bettors would receive their original wagers back, with no win or loss.