Whether you are new to basketball betting or already a regular, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the different markets available. NBA wagering is about so much more than just predicting the match-winner. If you have great knowledge of the game, there are plenty of markets where you can apply your expertise. Here are some popular markets that you’ll find across most NBA matches.
The point spread aims to apply a points-based handicap system to the favorite team to even out the betting. For example, if one team has a spread of -5, they must win by more than 5 points for your wager to win. If they win by exactly 5 points, the bet would be tied and the stake returned; this is known as a push bet. To avoid pushes, an element of 0.5 is often applied.
This means the spread would be -5.5, so the team would have to win by more than 5 points for the bet to pay out. If they won by exactly 5 points, the bet would lose. In contrast, the other team might be priced at +5.5 meaning they could lose by up to 5 points and the bet would still pay out. Unless otherwise stated, both sides of the spread are priced at -110, so if you wagered $110 on either team, you’d make a $100 profit. The overall points spread is one of the most popular markets in the NBA betting on bet365; however, you can also bet on the points spread for individual quarters.
In the total points market, you have to predict the total number of points scored by both teams in the game. For example, in Game 3 of the 2021 playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 120-100. That’s a combined points total of 220. If you had backed Over 219.5 or Under 220.5, you would have won. However, if you had backed Under 219.5 or Over 220.5, you would have lost.
There are dozens of bets available in this market from Over/Under 201.5 up to Over/Under 238.5 and every score in between. You can also wager on the total points tally for an individual team.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the 1st player to score 40+ points in back-to-back NBA Finals games since LeBron James (41 points in Games 5 and 6 of the 2016 Finals). pic.twitter.com/OrhAMN4zXl— NBA History (@NBAHistory) July 12, 2021
Quarter, Half-Time & Full-Time Markets
The quarter winner market lets you bet on who will score the most points or whether the teams will be drawing at the end of either the first, second, third, or fourth quarter of a game. You can also wager on which team or teams will be winning (or whether the scores will be level) at the end of both half-time and full-time. Alternatively, you can predict the half-time winning margin. For example, at half-time in Game 5 of the 2021 Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bucks were leading 65-56 against the Atlanta Hawks. If you had selected a winning margin of 6-10 or 10-12 before the game, you would have won the bet.
Other markets include the highest-scoring quarter or half of a match. You can also bet on which team will reach a stated number of points (e.g. 10, 20, or 30) first, or which team will score first in a certain quarter. These are just a few examples to get you started with NBA betting. Some bookmakers may offer many more markets for individual games, giving you even more choice.