Who do you think will win? If you want a simple way to bet on basketball, bet the moneyline.
NBA Moneyline Betting Explained
We’ve all been making moneyline wagers even before we knew what they were. With NBA moneyline betting you are simply selecting which team you think will win the game. Used by beginners and professional bettors alike, these are the most straightforward wagers to place, and by far the most popular type of sports bet.
NBA moneyline betting is placing a wager on which team you think is going to win the game. Unlike with spread wagers, the margin of victory does not matter – a win is a win.
With NBA moneyline betting online each team is given a separate numerical value for bettors to wager on – these are your odds and are determined by oddsmakers and sportsbooks on how likely a team is to win. Each number is displayed with a minus sign before it (-) indicating the favorite, or a plus sign (+) showing the underdog.
You can also place a parlay bet on NBA moneyline wagers. With a parlay bet, you combine all your selections into a single wager, but all your selections within that bet must hit in order for it to succeed.
NBA moneyline betting requires you to pick which team will outright win the game. Let’s look at a typical example online:
|Los Angeles Lakers||-200|
|Golden State Warriors||+100|
NBA moneyline wagers will have the favorite in any given game listed with a negative number, e.g., -200, meaning that you have to bet that amount to win $100. Therefore, if you bet $100 on the Lakers and they win, you’ll get $150 in return.
NBA moneyline betting online will include the underdog with a positive number, e.g., +100. This means if successful, you will win that amount as profit on a $100 bet. A successful $100 bet on Golden State would win you $200.
When making NBA moneyline wagers, it’s worth knowing that you do not have to wager $100, it’s just the industry standard. You can bet any amount of your choosing. Our Odds Calculator will help you determine the amount you win based on the amount you bet.
Think you know how many points a team will win by? Find out how to bet the spread with our guide.
Find out why betting over/unders, AKA totals betting, is an important skill for any online bettor.
Get bigger odds and bigger returns - learn how to make the most of parlays.
A moneyline with a positive number displays the number you would win if you were to bet $100 on the correct outcome. If you bet $100 on a +200 moneyline and were correct, you would yield a profit of $200. Including your stake, a total return of $300.
NBA moneyline betting online includes overtime, so if a game heads into overtime your bet is still alive. While this can result in a bad beat, or a comeback victory, overtimes in the NBA are not particularly common. Stats from the 2017-18 season show there were 63 overtime games (5.1% of all matches), and in the 2018-19 season, 67 games went to overtime (5.4% of all matches). The shorter 2019-20 season saw 74 games go to overtime (3.5% of all matches).
There are clear pros and cons to both wagers. The advantage to spread betting underdogs is you are "getting" points with the team not favored. The underdog does not need to win outright for you to win your bet, they simply have to come within the allotted number of points.
When backing a favorite in a moneyline bet, although you won’t get as good odds, the advantage is selecting the team to win outright and only having to worry about winning the game, not by a specific margin. Having said that, backing the spread will result in better odds if you think they’ll win by a big margin.