Those Unfamiliar with NBA Sports Betting Find Spreads Confusing
If you are new to sports betting and wagering on the NBA, then you may find point spreads a bit confusing. You may be coming to the NBA with a NFL betting background where the point spreads average around 7.5 and points are usually scored in chunks of threes and sevens. But the NBA, where points are scored in increments that range from one to three and where a boatload of field goals can be made quickly, is a tough nut to crack when it comes to understanding if the point spread makes sense.
NBA Point Spread Basics
In sports betting, all point spreads look the same in terms of how they are set up. The visiting team is listed first and the team that is favored is listed in the negative. Here’s an example of a NBA point spread.
Minnesota Timberwolves +27.5
Los Angeles Lakers -27.5
The above point spread, which features one of the worst teams in the NBA visiting one of the best in the league, appears to be huge. It is, in fact, daunting. Due to the fact that at first glance this spread looks out of kilter, it may be confusing to a new NBA bettor. Why is it so extreme? Understanding some of the major factors that go into determining a basketball betting point spread will help you better understand it and will help you decide if it has integrity.
Influences on the NBA Point Spread
When it comes to sports betting in the NBA, you find point spreads that have both teams even, spreads that are over 35 points and everything in between. The NBA is a league that lacks parity. That means in a game as explosive as basketball where top players may knock in 40 points in one night that spreads will reflect this disparity. Thus, unlike in the NFL, the point differences will be all over the place and may look erratic. They are not.
The first thing to do in determining which side of the spread you are going to wager on is to analyze each team’s defense. A solid defense often wins games. Along with studying the stats, be sure to review five or six of the most recent games to get an idea of the level of competition that team has faced and how they have done against it.
Then check out each team’s offense. One again, along with analyzing team stats, you should consider the teams they have played in the last two weeks. You should also take some time to identify the money players on the team. For a team to be capable of consistently winning in this league, it needs three top guys.
Finally study the home court advantage, which in this league can be a huge help. A team like Los Angeles will win about 85% of its home games, while a club such as Minnesota will lose about the same percentage of road games.
Finally, make sure you compare the last few times the two teams met, paying special attention to the point differences. Once you have done that, you can make your decision.
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How to Determine the Integrity of the NBA Point Spread
You may think about the decision you’re about to make in two ways. You’re now about to determine who is going to win the game. But that’s not true. That’s not what you’re doing. You are, instead, attempting to figure out if the point spread has integrity. If it does, that means that the game will be relatively close. That being the case and if the key components of Los Angeles are intact and healthy then go with the Lakers. They have the home court advantage, a lot of powerful players and depth.
Is there a NBA Moneyline?
There may be a NBA moneyline on this game and if there is you want to take the Lakers. However, you may have to put a lot up to win a little and with the actual winner almost being guaranteed, you may not find a moneyline to bet.
NBA Sports Betting with the Spread
When first wagering with the spread on the NBA, you may find some of the numbers posted as being out of whack. But the large point differences are not pulled out of thin air. They are the result of solid handicapping. It’s up to you to try to determine what side of the spread you should wager on when sports betting.