Basketball Bet Types Explained

A high-speed and exciting game, basketball has long been one of the more anticipated sports in the US and is steadily gaining popularity and a fan base in other parts of the world. An intriguing offshoot of this sport is basketball betting which allows fans and other bettors to turn a profit while enjoying the action of the game. We will outline below the basics of basketball betting, focusing on the variety of bet types available.

1) Moneyline betting

This is the most common wager available, and is also the easiest to comprehend for the player. It is the most basic form of betting in which the players are just picking which team will win the game. To illustrate, you may see the following money-line odds for a Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs game:

Miami Heat 1.720

San Antonio Spurs 2.960

The above shows that Miami Heat, at 1.720, is a favorite to win over the San Antonio Spurs, at 2.960. If you wager £10 on the Heat and the team wins, you would receive £17.20, inclusive of your original bet. If, however, the Spurs wins, you would lose your entire £10.

Conversely, if you bet your £10 on the Spurs and the team wins, you would receive £29.60, already including your original bet, earning you a tidy £19.60. Obviously, a Spurs loss would also mean losing your wager.

2) Handicap betting

When a team is heavily favored to win over its opponent, the bookmakers usually offer a handicap to counter the advantage and make the playing field more even. The handicap number is displayed as a positive (+) or negative (-) number, and is factored into the final game score to determine the betting outcome. It is likely, therefore, that the game result is different the wager result. As an example, the handicap bet may look like this:

Houston Rockets -9.5 3.520

Milwaukee Bucks +9.5 1.430

If a player bets on the Houston Rockets and the final game result is 99-90 in favor of the Rockets, the player will actually still lose his bet because, with the handicap factored in, the result will now be 89.5-90 in favor of the Bucks. However, if the Rockets had won with a 100-90 score, bets on the team would also win as the adjusted score would be 90.5-90. In this case, the team is said to have "covered the handicap."

3) Total Basketball betting

This bet type is on whether the total combined score in a game would be over or under a specified number. A sample total odds for a Portland Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks game may look like this:

Over 200 1.890

Under 200 2.250

If you bet £10 on Over 200 and the final outcome is 101-100, you would take home £18.90, inclusive of your original wager, as the combined score is 201, and therefore higher than 200. Had the final score been 100-99, or a combined total of 199, you would have lost your £10.

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