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Popular NBA Betting Markets Explained

Zach LaVine

The National Basketball Association is the premier basketball competition in the world. It is home to the greatest basketball players on the planet and it is little wonder the NBA attracts so much attention across the globe.

Not only do millions of basketball fans enjoy watching the NBA and supporting their favorite team and players but they also love to have a wager on the games.

You can find out more about betting on the NBA at BettingGuide but continue below where you will find details of the most popular NBA betting markets, beginning with the points spread.

The points spread is the most popular NBA betting market and the sportsbooks set the odds in a way that it gives both teams a 50/50 chance of winning the game. This NBA betting market is particularly useful when you have a clear favorite to win the game and the points spread works by giving the favorite a points disadvantage they have to overcome in order to win in terms of the bet.

For example, the Bulls could be +8.5 110 and the Lakers could be -8.5 110. This means the sportsbook believes the Lakers are the favorites to win the game and if you back them to succeed, they will need to beat the Lakers by at least 9 points for the bet to be successful.

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If you decide to back the Bulls, you need them to either win the game or lose within an 8 point margin. The odds of 110 mean you need to bet $110 to see a profit of $100 for both teams.

Another of the most popular NBA betting markets is totals. When having a wager on NBA totals, you are trying to predict the total number of points in the game for both teams combined. This is set out using an over and under points total by the sportsbook.

For example, the sportsbook could set the total number of points at 196.5 and you can back either below or above that total number of points. The odds would look like this: Over 196.5 110 / Under 196.5 110.

Much like the points spread NBA betting market highlighted above, you need to bet $110 on either the over or under market to win $100.

In terms of the most straightforward NBA betting market for a beginner, moneyline is a good place to start. This is simply a wager on the team you believe is going to win the game and you are presented with two sets of odds, one for each team. For example, the Bulls could be +280 while the Lakers are -300.

So, if you believe the Bulls are going to come out on top and you bet $100, you would make a profit of $280 if they won the game. However, if you were going to back the Lakers, you would need to wager $300 to make a profit of $100, as they are considered the favorites to win the game in this example.

There are many other NBA betting markets on which to bet but the three detailed above are the most popular.