Beginner's Basketball Betting Guide
People have been gambling for thousands of years and have always found new ways to wager and win money on a wide range of sports. One of the most common ways to bet in today's modern age is via an online sportsbook offering legal basketball betting lines. The NBA and NCAAB are chocked full of fast-paced, high-scoring action, and many would-be gamblers wish to take advantage of the format in an attempt to win some money. Unfortunately, the field can be treacherous for novice gamblers who aren't well equipped enough to handle the atmosphere. Lines can be difficult to read at times, and a bet you think is a wise choice could end up being a very bad investment.
So, before you start betting on the NBA or prefer legal NCAAB betting, let's take a quick look at some key information that will help you better understand how to read and navigate basketball lines and odds. The more you know, the more informed your decisions will ultimately be.
A Quick Guide to Understanding Basketball Lines
The first thing we want to do is go over a basic basketball line. Now, of course, you can find a bunch of different betting lines on a sportsbook, but the line we're going to discuss here is the most basic line.
Georgetown -2 -110
Seton Hall +2 -110
Now, if you're a regular gambler, then you can go ahead and stop reading. You already know how to navigate this simple line. Though if you're a novice, let's go over this line to explain what you're looking at. First and foremost, you see that Georgetown is -2. What does this mean? It means the Hoyas are actually the favorites to win, and they're favored by 2 points. So, if Georgetown won the game 102 to 100, you would cover that line. However, you can see that Seton Hall is +2, which means they don't have to win the game; they only have to come within 2 points. So, if Georgetown won the game 102-101, you would actually lose the bet if you bet on Georgetown.
The second part of that line is what's called a moneyline. This is basically the amount of money you have to bet in order to win. Think of it this way, this triple digit number simply tells you the amount of money you need to bet to win $100. So, for this line, you would have to bet $110 to win $100, that's how even the line is. Or, to put it another way, you're winning $0.90 for every $1.
You will find other lines out there that have a number called an O/U (over/under). This will give you a triple-digit number like 180. This is representative of the predicted number of total points they expect to be scored. Scoring 184 with both teams combined would be the over, while fewer than 180 points would be the under. The bets you make should take into account the lines you're looking at.
As you become familiar with these basic lines, you can start figuring out the more complex lines on a sportsbook. Just make sure you start out with these basic lines to master the art of spotting the underdog and locating favorable bets on which to wager.
The Key Thing to Remember about Betting on Basketball
Of all the information you learn and implement pertaining to betting lines, the number-one piece of information to keep in mind is that sports betting is still all about chance. Yes, you can research stats, go with a hot team, check injury reports, and ultimately make a very informed decision. But you never know when a shot is going to rim out at the buzzer, or when a star player will twist his ankle and leave your supposed surefire bet a real loser. Gambling is all about chance, so it's imperative that you approach betting with a level head and a sense of propriety. Betting too much money could easily result in huge losses, and this may create a cycle of bet chasing in order to recoup those losses.
Take things slowly at first. Learn how to read the lines and odds on a sportsbook. Research the teams on which you're going to bet. And always start out with small, incremental bets in an attempt to build up a nest egg. After you get the hang of things, you can start betting more money.